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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Sep 07, 2010
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    Intel iMac speakers emitting obnoxiously loud noise
    Problem description: Something is up with my sound. My speakers are emitting something that sounds pretty much like in this video: YouTube - iMac Crash Loud Squeal minus the scratching sound and the computer freezing.

    This problem started three nights ago (Sept 4th, morning of Sept 5th really) while my computer was in sleep mode. A vibrating kind sound was coming from my speakers, on and off for maybe a minute or two. At first I thought it was my phone vibrating on my desk, but it definitely wasn't the kind of vibration sound my phone makes. It stopped after about a minute, so I went back to bed and I got woken up again by the noise (I'm not sure how much time passed) so I went and tried to mute or lower the volume on the computer. I couldn't do any of that, display said that my volume was all the way up and I couldn't adjust or mute it at all. So I just decided to turn my computer off and deal with it when I was actually awake.

    When I turned on my computer, it instantly played that sound again, which freaked me out so I turned it off right away. I did the whole unplug the computer, hit the power button a couple times, plug it back in and hope that it works (it didn't). Sound was still there but I noticed that it only played during the duration of the boot up sound. My computer booted up fine, I could use the programs and everything so I went to see if I could adjust the volume. I could but that horrid sound came back right away and wouldn't stop. I tried playing music to see if audio was still actually working but I couldn't hear anything at all beside that loud noise. And after letting it go for awhile the speakers started to crack and pop which is when I thought it would be best to turn the computer off.

    The sound usually won't happen unless I do something that should be making a sound, i.e. adjusting the volume; playing an audio file, system boot up chime. There was a time like once or twice where it just randomly started.

    Attempted fixes: Unplug the computer, hit the power button a couple times, plug it back in; booting into Windows to see if it played that horrid sound during the boot up chime, which it did, so it's not an OS problem; reboot the PRAM with command+option+p+r during start up; plugging in headphones/speakers into the headphone jack to change the output but that didn't do anything, sound still came from internal speakers; tilted the monitor around, light tapped on the back;

    Recent changes: Pretty sure I haven't. I do remember doing a system update somewhat recently but heck if I remember what got updated

    --

    Operating system: Mac OSX 10.5.8

    System specs: iMac 20" (mid 2007)/2.4 GHz/ 3 GB ram; Model no. A1224/ About 3 years old

    I have Googled: Yes

  2. #2

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Are you sure one of your iMac's speakers isn't "blown" from playing the volume too loudly?

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Sep 07, 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    Are you sure one of your iMac's speakers isn't "blown" from playing the volume too loudly?

    - Nick
    Yes, I don't even use the internal speakers. I've always had my external speakers plugged in and now the computer doesn't even recognize anything plugged into the headphone jack.

    Unless it got blown out when it first made this noise, but I don't see why that would stop the computer from recognizing my external speakers or headphones.

  4. #4

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    According to the Youtube video you linked...the problem was bad ram. Have you considered this?

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Sep 07, 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    According to the Youtube video you linked...the problem was bad ram. Have you considered this?

    - Nick
    Yes, I have had my current ram installed for two years now and I haven't touched it since. In the video, the computer acted up shortly after the ram installation and it also caused the computer to freeze. My computer is not frozen and I am able to boot it up and shut it down properly. Also, when the guy rebooted his computer, his boot up chime played whereas mine plays that loud sound instead of the chime.

  6. #6

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by labbit View Post
    Yes, I have had my current ram installed for two years now and I haven't touched it since. In the video, the computer acted up shortly after the ram installation and it also caused the computer to freeze. My computer is not frozen and I am able to boot it up and shut it down properly. Also, when the guy rebooted his computer, his boot up chime played whereas mine plays that loud sound instead of the chime.
    Here's the deal with ANYTHING electronic or mechanical. They always work fine until something goes bad or breaks. So just because your computer has worked fine for two years...doesn't mean something couldn't have all of a sudden just died or broke.

    It's just like a automobile...one day the alternator, air conditioning, radio, power windows, etc. can work fine...and the next day not work. Computers can be the same way...one day they work fine...next day not. Things go bad.

    So unless something different has been done recently to this computer:

    - different/new hardware of some sort
    - installing of new software
    - electrical surges in your homes electricity
    - etc.

    Then the problem could be something has gone bad inside the computer...including the ram.

    Have you tried booting from a CD/DVD?...this could eliminate anything to do with "bad" software on your hard drive.

    HTH,

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  7. #7


    Member Since
    Sep 07, 2010
    Posts
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    I live in Florida so there has been some power outages due to thunderstorms, but the computer is plugged into a surge protector. I guess there is the possibility something with the speakers may have shorted, though I'm pretty sure there wasn't a storm going on the night this started.

    I ran a hardware diagnosis (holding d during boot up) and it found nothing wrong.

    I also tried getting rid of AppleOnboardAudio.kext to just completely get rid of audio, but that didn't do anything either.

    I'll try booting from a CD next I guess.

    Thanks for trying to help me out.

    --

    I haven't brought it to Apple yet because I'm flying out to California in 8 days and I'm going to be there for almost a month, so I figured if I can't find a fix myself I'll bring it to Apple when I get back. I'm just worried about the costs they'll throw on me and then probably just telling me that I need to get a new computer essentially. And also the closest Apple store to me is almost 2 hrs away and I'd have to find a ride with someone.

  8. #8

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by labbit View Post

    I'll try booting from a CD next I guess.
    This is an important thing to try...because it can eliminate any software conflicts with the computers hardware that may be present on the hard drive.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  9. #9


    Member Since
    Sep 07, 2010
    Posts
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    Can I use installation disc 1 to boot from? or is that for only installing mac os x

  10. #10

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by labbit View Post
    Can I use installation disc 1 to boot from? or is that for only installing mac os x
    If you're talking about the "gray" disks..then yes you can boot from disk 1. You could also launch "Disk Utility" to examine the hard drive. Disk 2 is a hardware test disk...which you could run as well.

    One word of warning (if we're talking about the gray disks)...they need to be the original disks that came with the computer...otherwise they may not work. The gray disks are model specific.

    If we're talking about black colored disks with a big "X" on them...then it would be good to know what OS version we're talking about. Because the last time the Mac OS came on multiple install disks (CD's)...and were not gray colored...was OS 10.4...the most recent OS now is OS 10.6.4.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  11. #11


    Member Since
    Sep 07, 2010
    Posts
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    If you're talking about the "gray" disks..then yes you can boot from disk 1. You could also launch "Disk Utility" to examine the hard drive. Disk 2 is a hardware test disk...which you could run as well.

    One word of warning (if we're talking about the gray disks)...they need to be the original disks that came with the computer...otherwise they may not work. The gray disks are model specific.

    If we're talking about black colored disks with a big "X" on them...then it would be good to know what OS version we're talking about. Because the last time the Mac OS came on multiple install disks (CD's)...and were not gray colored...was OS 10.4...the most recent OS now is OS 10.6.4.

    - Nick
    Yeah, the gray disks. They're the original disks that came with the computer. They're OS 10.5

  12. #12


    Member Since
    Sep 07, 2010
    Posts
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    i ran a disc verify from disc utility and everything checked out fine. i ran a hardware test earlier today and everything checked out fine.

    I think I'm just going to have to take it in

  13. #13

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by labbit View Post
    i ran a disc verify from disc utility and everything checked out fine. i ran a hardware test earlier today and everything checked out fine.

    I think I'm just going to have to take it in
    The more important answer is...did this "loud noise" still happen when you booted from the disk?

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  14. #14


    Member Since
    Aug 16, 2012
    Posts
    1
    Happening to me!
    Please.... please.

    Help!!!

    This obnoxious sound it driving me insane! When I go to sleep, I leave the alarm clock to wake me up, but when there's no sound from the mac, the external speakers do that noise!

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