Constantly Beeping Macbook

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by S2cookie, Dec 25, 2008.

  1. S2cookie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    #1
    Hi everyone,

    I am really hoping that someone will be able to help me with my problem because my Macbook freaking out = Me freaking out. Someone please help!

    It started when my computer was lagging a bit, so I decided to shut it down. I pressed the button and the screen went black but now the computer is not completely off because the light on the front of the base (the one the pulsates when it sleeps) is flashing with this beep 9 times about every 15 seconds. And before it starts beeping, the sound of the computer waking up from sleep status comes on.

    I am seriously scared because I have no idea what is happening!!

    Please help me! I would definitely appreciate it!!!

    ---

    Sorry, this is much more concise and organized:

    The symptoms are:

    - Instead of the usual start-up tone, the 'waking-up-from-sleeping-sound' occurs
    - Every 15 seconds, 3 short tones, 3 long tones, then 3 short tones sound, WITH the sleep indicator light flashing with each tone
    - The computer IS able to shut down properly when the power button is pressed
     
  2. slieu92 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2008
    Location:
    California
    #2
    try removing the battery, and megsafe too of course. and leave it there for a while. that should reset some chip on the mobo.
     
  3. S2cookie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    #3
    Stll require help

    Hey slieu92!

    Thanks for the suggestion, and I did take the battery out and the magsafe and waited until it cooled down and everything but it's still beeping.

    Has anyone experienced the same issue before?

    And do you think that this is purely a battery issue?

    So that a simple replacement of the battery might be sufficient?

    Because that would be relatively okay, I'm just really concerned that I might lose data - which would be very tragic.
     
  4. Solemony macrumors 6502

    Solemony

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2008
    Location:
    Wonderland
    #4
    Well do you know specifically where the beeping sound was coming from?
     
  5. S2cookie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    #5
    oh this is going to sound very stupid, but the sound seems to be largest from the space underneath the display, and above the keyboard??
     
  6. Reverend Ozz macrumors newbie

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    Dec 25, 2008
  7. S2cookie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    #7
    can still save data?

    if indeed the beeping was due to bad RAM...do you think that the repair people will be able to fix the issue (i have no idea how they're going to deal with bad RAM) AND still manage to retain the data.??
     
  8. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #8
    probably. since the problem is with the memory and not the OS or the HDD where all the files are kept.
     
  9. wareupdater macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    #9
    If you can remove your RAM please do. Then turn on your PC we should hear a different beep codes which is a RAM error beep code.

    Note: you should hear the RAM error code. if not there are other things having problem in your PC.

    If you got the RAM error code then turn off your pc and put your RAM again.

    if error persists, bring it to your technician. IT must be a defective RAM.
     
  10. toolbox macrumors 68020

    toolbox

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Location:
    Australia (WA)
    #10
    The macbooks have 2 ram slots. Both of them will have ram installed

    Can you pull one stick out and see if it boots or stops beeping?
     
  11. S2cookie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    #11
    Remove the RAM? I hope the process is simple and friendly to unfortunate newbies like myself. :) I'm dissecting the diagrams in the 'Everything Mac' booklet in case I accidentally do something that could upset the problem more.

    < You have no idea how reassuring that is. I sincerely hope that it is defective RAM.

    By the way, BIG thank yous to SnowLeopard2008, wareupdater and toolbox for your replies! I will try out your suggestions, and hopefully that will end this stressful problem and I can embrace my laptop again.
     
  12. S2cookie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    #12
    HOPE it is RAM

    Remove the RAM? I hope the process is simple and friendly to unfortunate newbies like myself. :) I'm dissecting the diagrams in the 'Everything Mac' booklet in case I accidentally do something that could upset the problem more.

    < You have no idea how reassuring that is. I sincerely hope that it is defective RAM.

    By the way, BIG thank yous to SnowLeopard2008, wareupdater and toolbox for your replies! I will try out your suggestions, and hopefully that will end this stressful problem and I can embrace my laptop again.

    ----

    damnit i've double posted...and now i do not know how to delete this post....sorry!
     
  13. S2cookie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    #13
    sorry, a question

    Sorry, can I please bother someone with a question?

    Can anyone please give me an idea of how much it will cost if the technician needs to replace the defective RAM for new RAM?
     
  14. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #14
    If the memory is defective and your computer is under warranty, $0.00. If it's not, I would consider replacing the memory to be something you could do yourself. Apple designs the memory to be easily accessible, and doing so will not affect your warranty. You can find clear, simple instructions in your computer's full online documentation. You should only need a clean, well-lit space, a small Philips screwdriver, and about 10 minutes to change the memory. No experience required.

    Apple is notorious for making things either very easy or very hard. This is one of the things they've made very easy. You don't want to know about the process to get at the hard drive.
     
  15. jonbravo77 macrumors 6502a

    jonbravo77

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #15
    Umm, add pressing the power button for 5 seconds then put everything back and start up. that will reset the system and may cause the beeping to go away. As for the ram, are there any other symptoms other than the beeping?
     
  16. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #16
    Forgot the where beep tone/flash sequences are.
     
  17. S2cookie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    #17
    I guess I should be grateful then :) I have looked up the manual, and it does indeed look much simpler than I thought. If I find out the answer IS RAM, then I will definitely follow your suggestion. Thanks!

    Unfortunately, I've tried that (many, many times), but it hasn't worked. Again, thanks for the suggestion though.

    The only symptoms are:
    - Instead of the usual start-up tone, the 'waking-up-from-sleeping-sound' occurs
    - Every 15 seconds, 3 short tones, 3 long tones, then 3 short tones sound, WITH the sleep indicator light flashing with each tone
    - The computer IS able to shut down properly when the power button is pressed




    Sun Baked, I think you are referring to this, but unfortunately this does not describe long/short tones, and there are 9 tones in total, and my tones constantly repeat themselves.

    I would of been so excited if this was the answer! Thanks, it might turn out to be helpful.

    Since it might be, could somebody please answer to me what
    3 beeps = no good banks
    4 beeps = no good boot images in the boot ROM (and/or bad sys config block)
    5 beeps = processor is not usable

    means?
    Particularly in regards to whether I will be able to retrieve my files?
     
  18. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #18
    Even if your computer were absolutely toast, which we're hoping is not the case, none of this would have any effect on your files. It would only affect your ability to get at those files – the hard drive thing I mentioned. However, even if the worst is true, you will still be able to get your files off.

    And back them up.

    ;)
     
  19. S2cookie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    #19
    BlueRevolution!
    I'm tempted to hug you at the moment. XD - That's how ecstatic I am about that. (Please don't think I'm weird :eek:) haha

    You have relieved a LOT of stress. But I still hope that my computer isn't ABSOLUTELY toasted. :)

    And, I will definitely learn a lesson from this experience, backing up is really important.

    HOPEFULLY the repair people will try their best to keep my files, I've heard that sometimes they just reformat everything and don't bother...that is not the situation I want to find myself in. :(
     
  20. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #20
    :)

    One thing at a time, though. Have you tried toolbox's suggestion regarding testing for corrupted memory? As you noticed earlier, it's a simple matter to get at it. Just be careful to touch the metal case first to ground yourself and prevent further damage to the memory... but the instructions should cover that anyway.

    Sorry, were you planning to just take it in? If it's not under warranty and you have to pay out of pocket, I'd suggest doing the memory tests we've described first. Doing so will save you a bundle.
     
  21. nakile macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #21
    Sounds like your Macbook keeps saying "SOS" to you in morse code. Apple has a support article on this: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1221

    Sure, it says it's for the Macbook Air, but I'm sure this would apply to the Macbook, too.
     
  22. S2cookie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    #22
    One thing I'm not really sure about toolbox's suggestion is, does that mean that I alternate with the two RAMs and check which one is defective?
    ...So in the case that only one is bad, once I remove it, the computer can successfully boot up with only one good one? Sorry if the question is stupid. :rolleyes:

    And can somebody please describe the RAM error beep? Or should I just look for a difference?

    Thanks BlueRevolution for being concerned about paying :) I'm pretty sure that there are still a few months until the warranty ends for this machine. I got it early last year. It's just so bad it's broken during the holidays.

    Nakile! Thank you so much for finding that for me! It does say Macbook Air, but I'm sure that it's the same issue. It's a relief that at least I'm not alone! haha

    It tells me to schedule an appointment with an Apple technician, so that will definitely be the next step after my unprofessional hands try out the memory tests suggested here. :)
     
  23. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #23
    No question is stupid. Actually, I've heard some doozies in my time, but that's not one of them.

    Yes, you've got it. Twice the memory is twice the fun, but it will run perfectly well (albeit more slowly) on one stick – so long as the stick isn't damaged. It is unlikely that both sticks would be damaged, so if that's your problem, you just need to purchase a new one (or pretend to be clueless and have Apple do it for you for free) and you'll be laughing.

    You can determine if your computer is still covered by warranty by running the serial number. This is the same way authorized Apple repair shops determine what to charge for and what is covered.

    Don't get too hung up on your inexperience. At least right now you know whose unprofessional hands the computer is in and what those hands are capable of. If you take it in, who knows?
     
  24. S2cookie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    #24
    Pretending to be clueless while Apple does it for me for free sounds fine to me.

    And you went to the trouble of finding the warranty site? I've lost count on how many times I'm saying thanks :), and you're very reassuring about the stupid/inexperience/entire situation. Maybe I WILL find myself confidently fixing more things in the future. Though the prospect of additional troubles is not so attractive, I guess it will be infinitely better if I fully understand what is wrong and can contribute to its recovery.

    I've got to say, I posted the same question in another forum, and the people at Mac Forums have, by far, been the most helpful :) I'm starting to love this place.
     
  25. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #25
    I'm applying for a part-time job with the IT department at my school. Can I use you as a reference? :D

    One thing I should caution you against is misplaced confidence. It's something that has tripped me up as well and had no small part in totaling a 13-month-old MacBook Pro (mine, thankfully). I heard someone say that the highest injury rate in rock climbing is among novices. Beginners are careful, experts know exactly what they're doing, but novices push the envelope, and it leads to them going further than their skill level can comfortably accommodate.

    Especially regarding hardware, the rule to live by: if you're not certain that you know what you're doing and why, ask Google (or us ;)), and ensure that you have at least two independent sources that corroborate the identification of the problem and its possible solution before you do anything. I do often poke around without knowing exactly what is going on, simply in the name of diagnostics or smacking it until it works again, but I also know what I can poke without having it poke back.

    On the subject of that MacBook Pro, I suggest buying AppleCare if you don't already have it and are still eligible. Since most manufacturer's defects appear during the first year, I think it's a waste of money for desktops. Laptops, however, are treated far more roughly and have a tendency to develop problems through simple wear and tear. When they do, they are more complicated and costly to repair because of all the fiddly bits, but normal use will still be covered by warranty. 3-year coverage does a lot for your peace of mind.

    Glad to hear it. :)
     

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