IMAC boots up to a black screen.

I ahve an iMAC that only boots up to a black screen with a blue folder in the middle that keeps flashing between the mac os x symbol and a question mark.

I´ve never even touched a mac so this is pretty new to me. How could I go along fixing this with out resorting to the apple store?

It apparently doesnt work with my 2 keyboards I use for my windows machines.
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  1. Not possible. Macs "just work", don't they?

    Forgive me, I couldn't resist. Hope you get it fixed, though.
  2. I think you need to install your operating system again. Or possible hard drive failure. I have had this problem with a customers mac..
  3. The folder/? means it can't find a good boot partition. This can be caused by a bad hard drive, among other things.

    If you have the Apple Discs, you should run the Hardware Test (on the gray labeled DVD, press "D" to boot to hardware test) and see if everything passes.

    The steps in ijack's Edited post are also good.
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