MacBook Pro 2009 question mark folder screen - holding down option shows my mouse

by SDNR   Last Updated September 11, 2019 03:12 AM

My MacBook Pro 2009 (A1278) is having an issue. When I power it up it shows a blinking folder with a question mark. I have tried most of the options that I've seen, none of them showing any signs of doing anything:

  • Command and R just shows the missing folder
  • Command Option and R shows missing folder
  • NVRAM Reset doesn't do anything

The only thing that shows any sign of progress is holding down the option key after powering up. It shows a blank screen with a mouse cursor that I can move.

Very rarely, it shows a glowing globe with a sort of hard drive underneath it, but it just fades away into the mouse cursor again within a few seconds.

I have even tried putting an external hard drive that's formatted for Mac, but my MacBook doesn't recognize it at all.

Is it a problem with the cable that is plugged into another SSD while I have an external SSD? I have no clue.

I have another MacBook with me that has helped me reformat the external hard drive for Mac use.

How do I proceed to troubleshoot this?

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