Mac mini (2009) Randomly Beeps... What is it?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Htown, Aug 6, 2015.

  1. Htown macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2015
    #1
    Hi

    I have searched and searched the forums online and I cannot seem to find what the issue is with my computer. I bought it online over a year ago and all of a sudden it has started beeping randomly. I turned off the speakers and it is apparently coming from outside of the computer and not from "inside" the computer (through speakers).

    Computer works fine and I have no issues, it just started randomly beeping every 10 mins or so. It has gotten kind of annoying. As far as use, i leave it on wall the time and rarely ever turn it off, unless there is a power failure. Other then that is has been a wonderful computer.

    It does have the max 8 GB ram in it which I had installed 6 months ago.

    Any ideas on what could be causing the issue, the only thing I could come up with was the PRAM battery, but then would't the computer not be turning on or booting up? Any help would be appreciated.


    Hardware Overview:


    Model Name: Mac mini

    Model Identifier: Macmini3,1

    Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo

    Processor Speed: 2.26 GHz

    Number of Processors: 1

    Total Number of Cores: 2

    L2 Cache: 3 MB

    Memory: 8 GB

    Bus Speed: 1.07 GHz

    Boot ROM Version: MM31.00AD.B00

    SMC Version (system): 1.35f1
     
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #2
    What sort of beep is it? Can you get an audio recording?
     
  3. Htown thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2015
    #3
    It just sounds like a light beep, nothing too loud, kind of like a digital watch beep. Not a tone or long sound, simple quick and short beep about every 10 mins or so.

    It is a single beep, not multiple..... just one beep every 10 mins or so.
    Kind of like the beep this computer makes (but this cpu in video makes multiple beeps):
     
  4. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #4
    Hmm, very strange. Could you please try the following to see if this makes a positive impact:

    - Reset NVRAM (hold Cmd, Alt, P, R on startup and continue to hold until you hear the Apple boot chime 3 times, then let go)
    - Reset SMC (shut down Mac Mini, unplug power cord, wait 15 seconds, attach power cord, wait 5 seconds, turn back on)
    - Restart with the option 'reopen windows when logging back in' disabled
     
  5. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #5
    Other things you can verify that likely aren't causing the issue, but hey it's worth checking anyway while we're here, to make sure there aren't any other problems with your Mac Mini.

    Check if HDD is OK or if it's corrupted by viewing its SMART Data. I use SMART Utility, direct download here. Anything other than a green 'Passed' means the hard-drive requires replacing.

    Run a volume verification through Disk Utility -- any red writing/errors?

    Is OS X fully up-to-date?

    If all above is OK, try permissions repair & then restart.
     
  6. Htown thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2015
    #6
    I will give that a try and get back to you.... Not sure how long it will be, but i will restart it now and try that.
     
  7. Htown thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2015
    #7

    I am running Mavericks 10.9.2, I have not updated yet due to having some older Adobe CS 3 programs and fear it may not make them work correctly as before. I will also check the other options you provided.
     
  8. Htown thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2015
    #8

    Ran a verify of the disk, received no errors.

    Ran the Smart Utility app and it is showing a Failing in yellow.

    Says it has 2 pending bad sectors under attributes.

    Under Errors it shows 20 total errors and that they are uncorrectable errors
    When I click "show all" it only shows (5) READ DMA EXT errors, with 16-20 shown all showing the exact same thing.

    What is causing those errors? The computer works fine and I have had no issues what so ever.
     
  9. Htown thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2015
    #9
    Here is what it shows under attributes when you click "show all". I took a screen shot.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #10
    2 bad sectors on HDD, best to get that replaced. Due to how HDD technology works (spinners, platters, needles), even something as simple as wear-and-tear over time will cause them to fail. As it's a machine from 2009 it's not hugely surprising.

    The errors are hardware so nothing you can do to fix, beyond replacing the drive.

    As you'll be replacing the HDD anyway you may as well throw in an SSD instead to give your Mac Mini a new lease of life.
     
  11. Htown thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2015
    #11

    Problem is it is a 320 HD upgrade then the original that came with I guess, as i bought it like that. Will the errors get worse? Or is is something I can live with as I backup stuff constantly. Don't really have the money to go get a new drive at this point in time, maybe a few months from now.
     
  12. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #12
    With corrupted sectors the computer will reallocate to other sectors, so try to keep as much free space as you possibly can as to not make the problems worse. It's something you can live with certainly, though any issues with the computer running slowly/crashing/freezing will likely be caused by the HDD.

    You can replace with any old SSD (500GB, 1TB), so don't worry about it being 320GB.

    If you've got a Time Machine backup you can restore that directly to the fresh SSD, so it'll be just as you left it.
     
  13. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #13
    With regards to the beeping ... who knows, hopefully PRAM/SMC reset would have fixed this.

    Never heard of a corrupted HDD causing intermittent beeps on Mac Mini? Any input from other posters?
     
  14. Htown thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2015
    #14

    I had thought about replacing it with a SSD, what type do you think I could use? What are the best ones out their from your experience? Also I only use about half of the 320 GB right now as i have a 2 TB Newertech Hard Drive and a 2 TB Newertech to backup that one. Actually now that I think about it, I use Time Machine too backup my 2 TB drive to the other 2 TB drive, I don't backup my Mac Mini drive, because I generally don't store a lot of information on there and usually copy it over the my 2TB drive if it is important, which then gets backed up. Am I able to backup two different drives to one hard drive? Like maybe adding my Mac Mini System drive to also be backed up to the backup 2TB drive? Or do i need to get a separate drive for this?
     
  15. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #15
    Either Samsung or Crucial.

    If you have the hard-drive partitioned in Disk Utility you can do a seperate TM backup on the same volume.
     
  16. Htown thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2015
    #16

    I don't have it partitioned, would I still be able to do so even though it has data on it that has already been copied? Or will it erase the current data on it?
     
  17. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #17
    Try shrink the volume in Disk Utility, though off the top of my head I'm not sure if you can only do that with an active internal partition on an external one.

    I'll have to check when I'm home, at work at the moment I'm afraid. Sorry I can't be more helpful in the immediacy.
     
  18. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #18
    Me either.... I think OP has a failing drive plus some other issue causing the beeping.

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202768

    Do the beeps match up with anything from this Apple support doc? Do you still have the old RAM you could swap back in just to test and see if that stops the beep?
     

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