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Apple has launched a MacBook repair extension program for hard drives issues (http://www.apple.com/support/macbook/hd/repairextension/). The company says it's determined that "a very small percentage" of hard drives that were used in MacBook systems, sold between approximately May 2006 and December 2007, may fail under certain conditions.
If your MacBook was purchased in the date range listed above and shows a flashing question mark on the screen, take it to Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider and they'll examine the hard drive to confirm if it's eligible for a replacement, free of charge, under this program.
If Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider confirms that your hard drive is affected, Apple will replace it with a new hard drive. You'll need to have the original OS installation discs that were shipped with your product in order to re-install your operating system, other applications, and any backed up data.