Macbook help

I have a black macbook that is around 4 or 5 years old. a few months back it froze, and i shut it down. when i tried to restart it, all i got was the grey screen and then the blinking folder with the question mark. anyone know what could be the problem? i bought a new hard drive and put it in, didnt make any difference. if i let it sit for a few days, it will usually start back up, only to crash again.
any ideas what could be going wrong?
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  1. the folder means it is unable to boot from the hard drive, generally from what you said, freezing and then shutting off. it experiences an error and cannot boot. sometimes it will boot back up but it needs to be repaired.
    disk warrior is a good tool that should fix the problem in most cases.
    if not you might want to just backup the drive and then reformat it because this is a sure way to fix the issue
    programs like super duper will do a complete copy of you system.
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