In computers, the startup disks are one of the most important parts of the device. Also known as the internal hard drive, the startup disks hold most of the OS data and system files. However, in some cases, the issue of no startup disk on a Mac can come up, which may affect the steady performance of the Mac device.

You can download the CleanMyMac X application to check the system conditions, optimize the OS, disable background apps, and delete faulty apps/files. Besides that, you should use different methods to fix the Mac OS startup disk missing problem before losing any data or files. That is what we discuss in this post. Read to know more.

Ways to Fix the No Startup Disk Error on Mac

The problem of no startup disk on Mac can appear in the Desktop/Finder or during the booting period. It is difficult to access the stored data without fixing the issue, or it can stop the device from switching on. We went through the various methods that can rectify this issue and presented the right methodologies here.

Fix 1: Reset the NVRAM

One of the common signs of an issue of no startup disk on Mac is the appearance of the question mark for some seconds. You can reset the NVRAM in Mac devices to fix the problem when you see this part. That would rectify the issue.

How to do this?

Step 1: Shut your Mac device down.

Step 2: Click the power button and then hold your finger down on Command-Options-P-R on the keyboard.

Step 3: The Mac device would start playing the sound for the startup. You should stop pressing down on the keys before the second sound replay when it does so.

For models with a T2 Security chip, wait for the Apple logo to appear twice. After the second time that it disappears, release your hold on the keys.

Step 4: Choose the right startup disk after the system boots up.

Fix 2: Use the Disk Utility to boot Mac in the Recovery mode

It is possible to use the Disk Utility to repair the startup disk. If the question mark for the startup disk keeps appearing continuously, it should boot up the device in the pre-set Recovery Mode.

With no startup disk on Mac, likely, you cannot access the Disk Utility tab through the Applications folder at all. Here, you can use the Recovery Mode function of MacOS to access the Disk Utility option.

How to do this?

Step 1: Shut your system down.

Step 2: Click on the Power button while also holding down the Command-R keys.

Step 3: The Apple logo, a spinning globe, or a secondary startup screen can appear. Release the keys and type your pre-set admin password in the text field when they do.

Step 4:  Open the Utilities tab and select Disk Utility. Then, press your cursor on the “View” option.

Disk Utility

Step 5: Select the option- Show all Devices. 

Show all Devices

Step 6: When you see Macintosh HD, click your cursor on top of the arrow beside. Choose the volume and then opt for the First Aid option from the toolbar.

Macintosh HD

Step 7: Select Run.

Do these steps for the following volume as well. If this process is successful and the disk repairs, you should restart the Mac device. Then, the Mac OS startup disk missing prompt or the question mark would not appear.

However, if it does not work, you have to reinstall the macOS on your device.

Fix 3: Adjust The Internal Hard Drive with Another Startup Disk

One of the reasons for the Mac OS startup disk missing issue is that the existing startup disk is damaged or does not work. Therefore, the MacOS software cannot recognize it. If you do not have external storage material at the time, like another disk, one network volume, or a CD/DVD, you change the startup disk.

How to do this?

Step 1: Switch your Mac device off.

Step 2: Then, press down and keep your hold on the Mac power button to start the device up.

For users operating with Apple silicon, it is better to press down on the power button until they see the “Loading Startup Options” dialog box.

Step 3: Click on the Up arrow on your device. Or press the Continue button (Apple silicon devices).

Step 4: Choose the new startup disk to add from the next list.

Fix 4: Change settings on the Mac device to fix the issue on Desktop/Finder.

Sometimes, the no startup disk on Mac prompt comes up where the users cannot see the startup disk on the Finder/Desktop. In this situation, there is no error in the system performance of the Mac device. The startup up is not set for showing the hard drive content on desktop or Finder. Users must change the settings to rectify this problem.

How to do this?

Step 1:  Open the “Finder” section. Click on the Apple icon for the menu bar on the top left part of the screen. Choose the Finder option.

Step 2: Then, click on the Preferences option and then choose General from the next list that appears.


Step 3: Press the checkmark beside the “Hard Disks” choice under the General tag.

hard disks

Step 4: Then, open Finder Preferences > Sidebar > Hard Disks (check the choices).

Finder Preferences

Step 5: If there “Hard Disks” selection is already ticked, but still the internal hard drive is not opening, you should open the “Finder” option.

Step 6: On the left-hand sidebar, you will see Locations. Put the mouse on top of it. It might show the “Hide” or “Show” terms.


Click on it and adjust the state. You would know if the Finder is hiding the startup disk/internal hard drive or not.


Use these methods to fix the issue of no startup disk on your Mac device. You can directly change the startup disk option or go through the MacOS Recovery function to configure the settings accurately. Before choosing any of the steps, you should understand the main cause for the error and select accordingly.

Additionally, use the CleanMyMac X software to optimize the condition of your device and remove any malware that may cause this issue. With this app, you can handle continuous maintenance of your system ahead of time.

Source link

Translate »