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No desktop

I have a Mac running OS 7. The fan has been making a strange noise for some time now. The machine froze and so I restarted.
When I restarted, nothing but a file icon appeared with a question mark on it. Each subsequent restart yields the same results. What does this mean?
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evony72178
Asked:
evony72178
1 Solution
 
njxbeanCommented:
This means the computer can not find a system folder.  Have you tried zapping the p-ram?  If you boot with an os disk does the drive mount?  Nortons?
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weedCommented:
System 7 ey? What model is the Mac. Must be REALLY old.
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njxbeanCommented:
I can honestly say i have never even seen system 7.
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evony72178Author Commented:
njxbean...

I'm sory to have to admit this, but I am a pc person. I have no idea what zapping the p-ram means. (It sounds really cool though!)
More infor please...
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njxbeanCommented:
hehe its ok.  and again, i have never seen os 7 but im sure you can do this with your machine.  reboot and hold apple + option + p + r.  You will here a chime and the screen will flicker.  Let it chime/flicker 4 times.  then let go and see if it boots up.  By the way, what kind of machine is this you are working with?
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weedCommented:
Probably going to stay a PC person if your only experience with Macs is system 7. I havent even seen system 7 since some time around 1994.

Zapping the PRAM is done by holding down command-option-p-r at startup until youve heard the boot chime for the 3rd time.
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RobMurotaCommented:
Bad fan noises on any platform is bad news for the motherboard or even your cpu chip from overheating. A ten year old computer probably needs a new battery - they should be replaced at least every five years but who remembers. On any older Mac its a sizeable item on the motherboard. If you haven't taken a look under the hood yet - I would suggest doing that. It probably also needs a good blast of compressed air. A lot of greasy compressed dust tends to congregate around the cpu chip adding to the overheating problem and maybe some arching. If you have a pre-CD model I would start looking for boot-up floppies - what a concept?#
That said - I hope the P-ram ritual works.
Theres another workaround involving duct tape... and...
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adroitusCommented:
njxbean is correct, your Mac cannot find a disk that it can identify as containing a bootable operating system. In my experience this was one of the most common yet most easily repairable problems seen with the classic OSes. Unless something really bad happened to your hard disk, running a version of Norton Utilities compatible with a classic MacOS should clear everything up. Disk First Aid might do it, but I wouldn't hold my breath. Try it first, since it's free.
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ladweinCommented:
Sounds like you are having one of those old Centris, Performa or VX Macs - probably even older. There should be a disk named Tools or System Tools or something alike. (Too long ago I used System 7.1). Simply put that disk into the floppy drive and start your Mac. Wait until the Finder (=Desktop) appears. Then run Disk First Aid.

If the hard drive is shown on the desktop, open it by double clicking its icon and check if there is a folder named "System Folder". It MUST have an Icon that looks like two blue faces facing each other, otherwise the system software is damaged and needs reinstallation.

PS: Exchanging the fan, should be quite ease. Most older Macs can be opened by simply opening two clamps at the back. Please post the name of your model to get further assistance.
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