Getting 3 tones, but RAM passing test, ideas?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Paco II, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. Paco II macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
    #1
    Mac mini late 2012 i7, the mini will periodically crash, then I'll get the 3 tones (pause 5 secs, 3 tones). Unplug everything, wait a few, re-plug, restart, computer starts up. I've run RAM test (start up holding D) as well as memtest and everything passes. What are causes of the 3 tones if in fact it isn't actually the RAM that's bad?
     
  2. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #2
    It's a memory issue.
    http://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202768

    Have you tried reseating the RAM that is installed now?
    You can swap the memory sticks between the slots, which can assure that the sticks are seated properly.

    And, if that doesn't help - replace the memory. Make sure the replacement memory is within the specs for your mini.

    You can also try using memory in only one slot at a time. You would want to know that one stick is enough for your system. (2GB or more)
    Your mini might not run as well, but you can watch for the boot failure/beeping.
     
  3. Paco II thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
    #3
    Doh, should have mentioned that I also replaced the RAM (2x8). Issue still happening.

    Edit: Also took the original RAM and put it into a Mac mini late 2012 i5, and it's been running in that machine without issue.
     
  4. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #4
    Then - your mini isn't liking that new memory much.
    What exact memory did you get?

    And, did you keep the old memory? Put that back in as a test.
    If the boot problems go away, then you know that the new memory is not too compatible (even though it might pass one or two tests)

    I've seen a few problems with some of the "bargain" brands, like PNY, Patriot, iRam, some others. Some sticks work - then in another mini, the same RAM is flaky/crashy.
     
  5. Paco II thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
    #5
    Not sure I understand. Issue started with original RAM. Put in new RAM, issue still happening. Put original RAM in another computer, it's not having any issues.


     
  6. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #6
    Glad you said that - it would have helped if you had mentioned that in your OP.
    So, I agree, the RAM sticks are less likely.
    There's not much left - which would mean that you have a problem with the logic board, probably the slot itself, or the memory controller. Either one means replacing the logic board.

    I still suggest that you try just one stick in a single slot as a test.
    If you still get the same problem, try the same stick in the other slot.
    If one of those does work (no boot problems) then you get to live with one stick, 8GB maximum. Or, replace the logic board.
     
  7. Paco II thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
    #7
    I'll give the alternating slots a try and see what happens.
     

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