Weird, hollow beeping

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by neurosciguy, Dec 6, 2007.

  1. neurosciguy macrumors newbie

    Dec 6, 2007
    Hey everyone;

    I've had my macbook now for about a year. Around September, it gives off this weird beeping noise.. like.. it's three hollow sounding chimes (with an echo), at random intervals, so I can't really record it.. it just kind of does it when it feels like it.
    Does anyone know what it is? It's really frustrating.. it seems to be attached to the speakers, though, because if I insert headphones in, it seems to go through them as well..
    I've tried quitting every application, and it will still do it.

  2. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    Does it sound anything like the boot noise Macs make? If it does, you probably have a shorted out logic board, or some other hardware problem that would cause the Mac to think it just booted at random times.

    If the sound is rather harsh, loud, and unlike any noise you've ever heard Macs make, again I suspect hardware to be the cause - in this case I suspect something's wrong with the EFI firmware that controls the machine at a low level.

    If it fits neither of those two descriptions, open Activity Monitor and watch it for a while to see what processes are running when your Mac beeps, and look for anything unusual during that time.
  3. bluesjam macrumors member

    Nov 25, 2007
    hello Pete,

    The noise that you are getting three separate chimes I too had that on my mac mini G4 model except I used to get it when I switched on the machine. And the machine wouldn't start from there. It happened over two years ago and I called applecare and they said it could be some kind of memory problem (don't know if that is true). So I took to it to the service centre of which they gave me the address of and the problem was fixed swiftly and since it was under warranty I was not charged. They said they has to open the up machine and fix the components properly which could have come lose.

    So if you have applecare or the product is under warranty then call them and see how it goes from then on.
  4. neurosciguy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 6, 2007
    It doesn't sound like that at all, actually.. it's three chimes, hollow sounding, and I can't find a chime that sounds like them in the sounds --> alerts in system preferences. I've run activity monitor and there is nothing out of the ordinary on it, either.. I've observed it both connected and disconnected from the internet, and the machine is operating well within temperature ranges according to istat.

    The only thing that I have noticed, however, is that it varies itself with whatever my current volume setting is; if it is muted, no beeps, if it is loud, etc., and I really don't want to format my harddrive, because I have several files on that (including my BSc and MSc thesis, and parts of my dissertation, along with several programs that took me years to acquire)...

    So could it be something with the sound card?
    I've run disk utility and it said that everything is good.. like the machine runs fine.. it just beeps with a triplet of medium high beeps...I don't know.. this is also the first mac that i've had, and i am extremely happy with it..:confused:
  5. sheepguy42 macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2007
    I had the same thing with my iMac not too long ago. As suggested online and by a friend, I reseated both memory cards—turns out they weren't in 'all the way,' meaning there was the slightest movement when I pushed them in. Maybe a millimeter. Anyway, I got the chimes a couple times over the next day, then they went away.
    I'm not sure if the problem was with the memory or the temperature, as my room could get quite warm before and I fixed that around the same time. Either way, it's got to be a hardware problem.
    If it's the temperature thing, be glad you didn't deal with the G4 Cube. Mine would just snap off if it or its power brick got too hot. You had to unplug it and plug it back in to get it running again, and because of this placing the power brick was always tricky—had to give it plenty of airflow.
  6. N-Tice macrumors newbie

    Feb 27, 2008
    I'm getting this as well on my iBook G4. It just randomly started about a week ago. And the chimes are not similar to the boot-up chime. Have you found out what it could be?

    (It just did it again...damn that's annoying.)

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