MacBook Pro makes beeping noise on start up

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by vicviper789, Jul 14, 2015.

  1. vicviper789 macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2013
    Hi all, I have a Mid 2009 MacBook Pro. It was running lion up until mid May and I decided to try a clean installation of Yosemite out (if it isn't broke, don't fix it, lion did everything I needed it to do). Yosemite ran fine for a a few days then I began having the occasional kernel panic and then it started something new. It would shut off and upon restarting, the screen would stay black and make 3 beeping noises followed by pause. The only way to stop the beeping is to hold the power button for several seconds to shut the machine off. Letting the computer sit for a few minutes then restarting would make the problem go away. It went away for a few days and did it while I was in class (which earned me a lot of bad looks from the noise).

    I figured it was Yosemite being unstable so I tried Mountain Lion. The crashes went away for about a month and then it began doing it 3-4 times a day. I put lion back on and after about 4 hours of use, it acted fine then I closed the lid to let it sleep. After going to use it in the morning and I was greeted with a kernel panic.

    So I began to suspect a hardware issue. I ran rember for a full 256 pass test, it found nothing and the laptop did not panic during that several hour time frame. I then tried full Apple Hardware Test and it found nothing. I tried the usual, software updates, fix permissions, verify disk, SMC reset, ect and the panics continue at random. I checked the console logs and it always mentions kernel task (and once for Firefox a month ago).

    Here is where it gets really weird. I can run window 7 under bootcamp all day without issue. This only happens when I run OS X. I want to post the console log but the macbook refuses to turn on now completely. It just makes the a "beep beep beep pause" noise with all black screen.

    I am running a Crucial 128gb ssd and 8gb unknown ram (laptop was given to me used but the previous owner had a taste for high quality components).

    Does anyone have any idea of what to do next? I can try to reinstall a HDD and see what happens or pull out the ram. I just don't want to drop any money into it without being certain of the issue. I have been having this problem for 2 months now and I really need a reliable laptop before I go back to school.

    Thanks for the help
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    It's 6 years old, it sounds like it has a failed logic board, you will almost certainly be better off putting any money into a new machine at this stage.

    You could try booting from an external bootable drive if that works it'll show it's your SSD, or pull each ram stick out one at a time. Other than that it's take it to someone and get it professionally diagnosed.
  3. lowendlinux Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    Pull one DIMM and try if that's a no go pull the other and try again. then swap slots. Rapid beeps are usually RAM
  4. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006

    Three beeps and a pause indicates a RAM issue. Could be the RAM itself, a bad RAM slot or some other logic board issue.
  5. vicviper789 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2013

    I agree, the beeps do seem to indicate a RAM problem. I pulled one DIMM out and installed the original hdd with a fresh install of lion and the only non-apple software on it is firefox. If it crashes now, I will be almost certain it is the RAM or logic board going. As of now, it has been running for about 4 hours and has not locked up (albeit it is very slow). I will play with it some more tonight and see if I can get it to crash again for the log. The SSD was installed around 2012 and might be worn since lion did not support TRIM.

    I forgot to mention in my original post, the windows installation is on a second HDD in the cd/dvd bay (and still does not crash when in windows). This set up has worked perfect up until I put Yosemite on the separate SSD.
  6. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    It is possible you need a firmware update on your SSD for it to work with yosemite, try googling it. My old 2010 can't use mavericks or yosemite because the SSD I installed is not supported in mavericks or yosemite and there is no easy way to upgrade the firmware. You could try El capitan it seems apple has relaxed a bit on the SSD support with it.
  7. vicviper789 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2013
    I used it for a day with no crashes. I usually leave the computer sleep and charge while I sleep. Woke up this morning and it apparently woke back up right after I closed it and froze. It has done this before and is usually followed by the nasty beeping noises but this time it did not do it. It gave me the "You need to restart your computer" in several languages and restarted fine.

    I guess this would be a good opportunity to upgrade the SSD and ram. Way cheaper than getting a new computer ..
  8. vicviper789 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2013
    I used the laptop all day today. It will freeze every once in a while when I close it but it does not go to the beeping screen. So I popped that DIMM out and installed the 2nd one and instant nonstop crashes. I could not even get past the gray apple screen without black text. I reinstalled the bad ram and had a few freezes. I moved that chip to the second slot and no issues.

    It sounds like a bad slot but I am not certain. Ram is cheap, I just bought 2 sticks and will test it out on Friday. Unfortunately I cannot find the firmware for my ssd. It is an OCZ agility 2 and is not listed on their website.

    Attached Files:

  9. jlc1978 macrumors 68020


    Aug 14, 2009
    If you are near an Apple store make a genius appointment and see if they'll run a system diagnostic for you. That should help pinpoint the problem.
  10. vicviper789 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2013
    Nearest one is a 50 minute drive from me, is there any difference between the Apple Hardware Test and their diagnostics? I never used their services before but I am sure it will cost me money. I ended up buying new RAM before I saw your message. I moved one DIMM to the 2nd slot and the laptop has been running perfectly fine for the last day. When the ram is installed in the 1st slot, I was getting issues with sleep. But the 2nd DIMM caused non stop crashes.

    Either way, it beats dropping $1500 on a new laptop
  11. jlc1978 macrumors 68020


    Aug 14, 2009
    Yes, as far as I can tell they run a complete separate diagnostic suite that tests memory, video, etc. You can d/l some trial versions of other programs that run diagnostics to check RAM etc as well before you go. I've never had them charge to run a diagnostic on any of my machines even out of warranty, but YMMV.
  12. vicviper789 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2013

    I received my 2 sticks of crucial ram today. I tried one card to the inner slot and it instantly crashed. I have been running the machine with a stick of ram on the outter slot and it has not crashed once.

    At this point I think it is pretty clear that there is something going on with the logic board. Since I was able to narrow the issue down a little to RAM, I was able to search "macbook 2009 ram issues" and turned up multiple reports of the same thing. It appears as if the inner slot is prone to warping from the heat/cooling cycles over time and causes it to become dysfunctional. Perhaps Yosemite ran hotter than previous versions and caused it because the laptop was perfectly fine before yosemite.

    I don't have the money for a new laptop or logicboard so I guess I will just have to live with it.

    This link describes the problem exactly

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11 July 14, 2015