Help! Searched! Macbook Beeps 3 Times! Does Not Turn On!!!!

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by ebutka, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. ebutka macrumors regular


    Feb 25, 2008
    So I was on my MacBook and all of a sudden the screen gets some weird lines on it and then freezes. I turn it off and turn it back on and I get a black screen and 3 short beeps and it keeps going. Well I called apple and they said it is a hardware issue. I goggled it and found it is a memory issue (maybe). Any help?!!? By the way, I'm studying abroad in Prague and I won't be home for another 3 weeks. I'm going to London tomorrow to take a train to Leeds. There is an Apple store in London so I am going stop by. I hope they can do something for me but I doubt it. I have a warranty back at home from Best Buy, and they do deal with out of the states. So once I get to Leeds or Endinborrow(sp?) in Scotland, I hope that they can help me out.... Help feedback you guys can help me out with?:mad:
  2. NovemberMike macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2008
    If this were a PC then I would say 100% that it is a memory issue, although I am not sure on a Mac. The good news if it is memory is that you shouldn't have any other problems and it should take about five minutes to fix.
  3. bart rijksen macrumors regular

    Mar 1, 2008
    Open the ram sloths, and reposition the two ram modules. If that doesn't do it, switch them. If that still leads to problems, take one or the other out. If that doesn't fix it, you have a much bigger problem.

    how to take out the ram.
  4. twjj91 macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2010
    I realise this is an old thread but i had a similar problem and read this advice.

    I have managed to get the macbook to start up again by taking out one of the RAM sticks. Currently i am running the laptop with only one stick in, as far as i can see i still have all of my files, this confuses me slightly as i only have half of the RAM i had before but that's not the issue. What i wanted to know was what i shoud do with the macbook now. I live in London so i could take it to the apple store if neccesary or is it just a case of buying 1GB of RAM to replace this and if so what happens to my data on the one i've taken out?

    I'm no expert as i'm sure you can see so any help would be great,
  5. MacTech68, Jun 17, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011

    MacTech68 macrumors 68020


    Mar 16, 2008
    Australia, Perth
    Sometimes reseating the RAM module is all that is required. However, if the module you removed is intermittent then it might work for a while and the problem will return. It might even be that the module that is still in the laptop is intermittently defective.

    If you re-install the "suspect" RAM module and the problem immediately returns then all you will need is a replacement module.

    Data (ie your files) are not permanently stored on the RAM modules. That's what your Hard Drive does. :)
  6. twjj91 macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2010
    Ok brilliant, thanks for your help, much appreciated.
  7. apexdubb macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2010
    macbook pro beeps...

    I recently bought one of the brand new 2010 MBP "15 2.4 i5...
    directly out of the box it began to beep at me....
    sometimes I turned on my MBP it didnt do this...
    I was pretty confused about the whole beeping thing first thinking
    my battery was too low....
    and then searching google I found alot of people were having beeping troubles...
    I contacted apple support right away and they taught me to reset the PRam...
    thinking this might be the cause, I did what was asked of me....
    I also did a hardware test from the apps disk (os x disk 2)
    and all the hardware passed..........
    the next day after feeling so proud of myself for finally tracking down the problem.....
    I went to turn on my MBP and all it would do is beep at me....
    OK... so back on the phone with apple support I went....
    a really nice guy on the other side of the phone instructed me to physically test the ram by taking them out and putting them back in one at a time....
    both ram sticks passed the test and hardware testing afterwards as well...
    However I noticed when the MBP was open that there were small little pieces of metal shavings....(the kind found in a machinists shop)
    I used compressed air to remove these small electrical hazards from my MBP
    and you know what I found?
    one discoloured (electrically burnt) piece of metal that didnt belong anywhere in my MBP..... know what happens when electricity arcs across circuits?
    Errors can happen......
    that being said my MBP is working very well after discovering and cleaning that little problem....hope this helps any of you out....
    check to see if those little Asians forgot some important steps in the building process of the MBP......
    no I'm not prejudice..... I'm small like an Asian too.....
    thats how I could search it out so fast^^ JK
  8. sprale macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2007
    Republic of Texas
    I just realized I was misdiagnosing this issue. Mine was doing the same thing. It would lock up occasionally and on reboot it would just beep three times as well. I used to be a Mac tech, but never ran into this exact issue. It usually went away after a reboot or two, but not this time. I found this thread and it's suggestions. I took the two RAM sticks out and swapped them; problem solved.
  9. Zipfox macrumors newbie


    Oct 8, 2009
    Huh you're a GENIUS Bart! Many thanks for solving my problem.
  10. bnardone macrumors newbie

    Sep 11, 2009
    another option: try bending it.

    Another thing that one might try, which just worked for me, is trying to bend your macbook. I just tried to bend it, somewhat gently but with some real pressure, holding four fingers from each hand on two edges and pushing inward with my two thumbs. I did it both ways then rotated to do each of the four sides, and presto: working macbook wootwoot..
  11. Kad1223 macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2013
    Your advice worked! Anything else I should be worried about?

    Thanks bnardone! I was having the same problem with 3 beeps on my macbook.
    I listened to your instructions and my computer came back to life which is a huge relief! Do I need to worry about the problem persisting? Was the problem resolved on your mac or did you have to take it into an Apple store afterwards?
    Please let me know how you resolved this problem!
  12. WildCard^ macrumors regular

    Oct 11, 2013
    Wow, this is a weird old thread.
    You have a guy that found electrical sparking on his logicboard and metal shavings, didn't RMA it, just blew it out.
    You have two people bending their laptops.

    If bending is fixing your issue, I have to ask if your machine's been overheating. Motherboards/logicboards are not designed to take so much heat they bend or warp.

    Definitely not a permanent fix. Have it checked or do it yourself. Inspect for damage, maybe research the arctic silver re-paste task, confirm the fans are working properly. I think there are programs you can install to monitor temps. I don't know what they are, but might be good to find.
  13. WildCard^ macrumors regular

    Oct 11, 2013
    For anyone getting 3 beeps at boot, there are a few things you can easily do. Go through each step one by one and only advance if it still beeps.

    1) Power off and back on. If it's a one time deal, no worries.
    2) Switch RAM slots. This effectively gets you to inspect the module as well as reseat it.
    3) Pull one module out, leave the other one in. Boot using only the one.
    4) Put the module back, pull the other out.

    Going past that point would be very uncommon. The above steps help narrow down which module is the problem. If neither of them boot solo, I would try a different pair of RAM. If the new RAM doesn't work, then the focus would be either the logicboard or the way you are inserting your RAM. Confirm you are seating it nice and tightly and evenly.

    If you are able to narrow down what module is the problem, toss/replace the bad one or just operate with the one good one. You can run a Memtest86 test to make sure the good one is good. I do that with all new RAM. It is a 2 hour test you can do while you sleep.

    Hope it helps.

    PS, no more bending or torquing your Macbook. :)
  14. Gino1951 macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2015
    My MacBook Air was running with no issues the other day. Today I turned it on (while on battery power) and it started beeping 3 beep intervals and a black screen. I assumed that the battery needed charging (?) so I plugged in the adapter. Everything then was running okay. The I noticed that the battery showed 95% charged, so I waited until it was at 100% and unplugged the charger. As soon as I unplugged it everything shutdown. I reconnected the charger everything worked fine and then downloaded CoconutBattery. But the results were okay, but I cannot figure out why everything shuts down. I went to an Apple technician at Best Buy and he told me the battery needs replacement? But the coconutBattery program tells me everything is fine. I also noted that when my charger is connected, once I shut my computer down, the light on the charger only stays on for about 3 minutes, then it goes off! Can anyone help me! Thanks.

    Here are my specs:


    OS X version 10.8.5 (12F2518)

    Processor 2.4 GHZ Intel Core 2 Duo

    Memory 2 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM

    13 inch, Late 2010

    OS X version: OS X Yosemite

    coconutBattery info:

    Age: 1149 days

    Loadcycles: 123

    OSX Battery status: Good

    Battery temperature: 27.4 C

    Battery Failure: None

    Charging with: 3.1 Watts

    Power Adapter: 45 Watts
  15. ApolloBoy macrumors 6502a


    Apr 16, 2015
    San Jose, CA
    You bumped an old thread about the original MacBook when you could've created a thread in the proper board?
  16. Gino1951 macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2015
    Hello, I am not to savy about this and the procedures to following. Please assist me on where this should be posted. Thanks!
  17. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Three beeps normally means bad memory.

    See if you can run the Apple Hardware Test.
  18. Gino1951 macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2015
    I tried to run the Apple Hardware Test but could not. First tried with the 'D' pressed down and restarted, but nothing. Then tried with the 'Option and D' key and still nothing. Is there anything else I can check it with? Thanks.
  19. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Like I say, three beeps is usually bad RAM, so that is where I would start.
  20. matt_tepp macrumors newbie


    Jan 15, 2018
    Thank you so much! I created an account just to confirm this works!

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