MBP Boot faliure, alarm sounding constantly

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mzip, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. mzip macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2010
    MBP 15 inch unibody. Just over 1 year old, has been in for service at least twice.

    First off, let me say that I am not with the box at the moment. Am not a Mac person and am trouble shooting this for my sis. It is her box and she is in a situation where tech support may be minimal and has no access to net.

    So, she's at home and drops a file of papers quite hard on the MBP and it restarts on its own. It appears unharmed, no dings or screen problems. Restart is OK and all proceeds normally, she is able to work for several more hours etc etc. Then she packs it up and flies across 12 time zones.

    Gets in to hotel, gets MBP out and fires it up. While it is doing that, she unpacks and is *not* watching the screen (so we don't know if there was a mac start up sound or any messages). Coming back to it she sees a blue or grey screen, nothing else.

    She reboots and this time she does not get the apple sound but instead she gets a beeping noise which appears to happen in time with a flash on the indicator light (the light which is usually "on" or "breathing"). The beeping is rather a low pitch and it is timed at about a second or so. It does not appear to be in any pattern. I heard it over the phone but did not think to ask from where it was coming.

    I called my Mac friend and he suggested a number of remedies.

    Here is what we have tried:
    1. Remove battery, try wall power only.
    2. Remove wall power, try battery only.
    3. Reset PRAM.
    4. Safe boot.

    None of the above helped.

    Have *not* yet tried resetting PMU / SMC by taking out battery and removing wall power and pressing power button for 5 seconds. Have instructed her to do that next. (Time difference means that she is asleep now)

    Any advice welcomed.

    While she can probably survive 1 day without the box, she absolutely needs it for the next two weeks. Is doing important training instruction for ministry of health or university or something.

    Finally, any tips on Mac service in Bangkok?
  2. kenbrinkman macrumors regular


    May 20, 2009
    Daytona Beach, FL
    this type of alarm can be caused my RAM that has become unseated
  3. m85476585 macrumors 65816

    Feb 26, 2008
    Sounds like loose or bad RAM. Try reseating the RAM, and try booting with only one stick of RAM in place. Try both of them one at a time.
  4. Penguissimo macrumors 6502a


    Nov 17, 2009
    What you're describing is a BootROM error code: the MBP performs some brief hardware tests at power-on, and if it detects a problem, it throws up one of those codes. Flashing once per second is an indicator of bad RAM or no RAM. Since the problem didn't show up until after an overseas trip, it's possible that the bumps and temperature changes of travel helped unseat the RAM modules. The best first step for her to take would be to open it up and re-seat the RAM—which basically consists of removing the modules and put them back in to make sure there's a good connection. You can find Apple's guide to this procedure here:


    Just make sure she's looking at the instructions for the correct model (which should be easy enough, as one model has a latch on the bottom and the other does not), and of course she'll be re-installing the original models rather than replacing them with new ones. With any luck, this will solve the problem completely.

    If this doesn't work, the next step would be either to call Apple support (not sure how much of a hassle that would be in Bangkok) or find a friend with the same model and see if they'll let her borrow their MBP for an hour or so. Then she could install her friend's RAM in her system and see if it works—if so, you know the problem is the RAM and not the system.

    If her MBP still won't boot even with different RAM, then it's time to get ahold of Apple. Good luck!
  5. mzip thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2010
    Thanks for the RAM suggestions

    Thanks for the fast responses, guys.

    I half suspected RAM as that was one of the problems which led it to go to mac repair shop earlier in its life.

    Have passed on instructions. Hope she has access to a small screwdriver. Certainly will not have brought one on the plane ;)

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