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  1. #1


    Member Since
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    Macbook PRO: Three Beeps of Death
    I have an 18 month old Macbook Pro 13'' that won't boot, but instead it just beeps 3 times (a RAM issue).

    Called APPLE SUPPORT, as I had done in the past as a long time Apple user, and was SHOCKED by the AWFUL customer service. I talked to two people, the last of whom HUNG UP ON ME when he realized that I was not going to accept "I'm sorry, but your hardware warranty has expired" as an answer.

    In the past, Apple would always stand behind their products. Now, I'll never by an Apple product again...

    SO, what gives???

  2. #2

    Kevriano's Avatar
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    What gives is you are asking too much. 6 months out of warranty, unless you have Applecare, is far enough out for them to be perfectly within their rights.

    If it's a RAM issue, you can probably solve it yourself anyway.
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  3. #3

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skiptrip View Post
    I have an 18 month old Macbook Pro 13'' that won't boot, but instead it just beeps 3 times (a RAM issue).

    Called APPLE SUPPORT, as I had done in the past as a long time Apple user, and was SHOCKED by the AWFUL customer service. I talked to two people, the last of whom HUNG UP ON ME when he realized that I was not going to accept "I'm sorry, but your hardware warranty has expired" as an answer.

    In the past, Apple would always stand behind their products. Now, I'll never by an Apple product again...

    SO, what gives???
    First of all...Apple phone support is NOT free. Once your warranty-based Apple phone support has expired...you have to pay for it...which is the direction a lot of companies are going these days (hardware & software).

    Things change over time...and if you got lots of free phone support in the past...well...it's 2011 now...and Apple phone support is not free (unless someone still has warranty-based phone support remaining).

    This problem is simple enough. If you're getting the "3 beeps"...you have a ram issue (just like you mentioned). This could have been caused by:

    - a ram module going bad
    - installation of incompatible ram
    - your ram may have become dislodged

    I would suggest:

    - removing all ram from your MBP...and reinstalling it...to see if that helps.
    - if you recently installed new ram...remove it...then restart the computer with only the old ram...to see if this helps.
    - if the previous two ideas fail...you may need to purchase at least one new stick of Macintosh compatible ram for your MBP...install it...and hopefully this will fix things.

    Hope this helps,

    - 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

  4. #4


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevriano View Post
    What gives is you are asking too much. 6 months out of warranty, unless you have Applecare, is far enough out for them to be perfectly within their rights.

    If it's a RAM issue, you can probably solve it yourself anyway.
    Really? So, I should expect a Macbook Pro to crap out in 18 months?

    How about some troubleshooting advice? I already pulled the RAM and reinstalled... No dice.

  5. #5

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skiptrip View Post
    Really? So, I should expect a Macbook Pro to crap out in 18 months?
    Your MBP didn't "crap out"...you simply have a ram issue. That's NOT "crapping out". Crapping out is having a logic board go bad on you...and costing $700 or more dollars to replace.

    I think that if you follow what I mentioned above regarding trouble-shooting...there's a good chance things will turn out fine.

    - 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

  6. #6

    osxx's Avatar
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    To add to what was already said try removing one stick at a time odds are both will not go bad at the same time and it will run on one a little slower but run also swap them just
    to make sure its the ram and not the logic board. To be fair when you bought it on the
    booklet that came with it stated how long both warranty and phone support was that why
    most of us pay for Apple Care a logic board replacement is a gamble I am not willing to take.

  7. #7


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    This problem is simple enough. If you're getting the "3 beeps"...you have a ram issue (just like you mentioned). This could have been caused by:

    - a ram module going bad
    - installation of incompatible ram
    - your ram may have become dislodged

    I would suggest:

    - removing all ram from your MBP...and reinstalling it...to see if that helps.
    - if you recently installed new ram...remove it...then restart the computer with only the old ram...to see if this helps.
    - if the previous two ideas fail...you may need to purchase at least one new stick of Macintosh compatible ram for your MBP...install it...and hopefully this will fix things.

    Hope this helps,

    - Nick
    Thank you very much, Nick. I just pulled the ram and re-installed. Nothing. Then, I tried booting up with just one RAM module installed and it worked!!

    Does this mean I simply need to get another Mac compatible RAM module?? (If so, good thing I didn't fork out the $320 Apple wanted for this repair).

    BTW, I'm still shocked at how much Apple Support has changed. In the old days, they would have at least had a tech walk me through some trouble shooting. Now, they hang up on you!! Is Apple the new Evil Empire? I switched from PCs years ago to escape the MS Empire...

  8. #8

    chscag's Avatar
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    BTW, I'm still shocked at how much Apple Support has changed. In the old days, they would have at least had a tech walk me through some trouble shooting. Now, they hang up on you!! Is Apple the new Evil Empire? I switched from PCs years ago to escape the MS Empire...
    Welcome to 2011. Call Microsoft some time when your 90 days of free support has expired and see how much they'll charge to talk to you.

    In any event, it does no good to complain. Pull both modules and replace them from the same reseller. Most of us here recommend either going to Crucial or OWC to buy new modules. If you're in a hurry, you may be able to find the modules at Best Buy, Fry's, or CompUSA (if you have one in your local area). Replace both, not just the bad one.

  9. #9

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skiptrip View Post
    Thank you very much, Nick. I just pulled the ram and re-installed. Nothing. Then, I tried booting up with just one RAM module installed and it worked!!

    Does this mean I simply need to get another Mac compatible RAM module?? (If so, good thing I didn't fork out the $320 Apple wanted for this repair).

    BTW, I'm still shocked at how much Apple Support has changed. In the old days, they would have at least had a tech walk me through some trouble shooting. Now, they hang up on you!! Is Apple the new Evil Empire? I switched from PCs years ago to escape the MS Empire...
    AWESOME...sounds great!!!

    What I would do just to confirm that the one stick of ram is bad...is remove the good ram stick...and only install the "bad" ram stick...and see what happens.

    But...make sure that you install the "bad" ram stick into the SAME ram slot that you take the "good" ram stick out of. What we're looking for here is to make sure we don't have a bad ram slot versus just a bad stick of ram.

    If the "bad" ram still checks out as bad (after what I suggested above)...yeah...it's sounds like you would just need to buy another stick of "good" Mac compatible ram.

    Regarding the phone support...yeah things change. Everybody is trying to save money or make more money...so phone support will cost you if you no longer have phone support via warranty. You might have gotten some free troubleshooting help if you had walked into an Apple Store.

    Apple is still VERY VERY good when it comes to customer support...and MUCH better than they're competitors.

    There was a time when you would take your car to the local gas station...and they would:

    - fill the gas tank
    - wash the windows
    - check the oil
    - check the radiator fluid
    - check the tire pressure
    - etc. etc.

    ...and you wouldn't have to take one step out of the car. Things do change!

    Good luck with the ram,

    - 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

  10. #10

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    Pull both modules and replace them from the same reseller. Most of us here recommend either going to Crucial or OWC to buy new modules. If you're in a hurry, you may be able to find the modules at Best Buy, Fry's, or CompUSA (if you have one in your local area). Replace both, not just the bad one.
    Yeah...great advice from "Chscag" regarding replacing both ram modules. I tend to be "frugal" (aka "cheapskate")...and only replace what's broke. But if one ram module has gone bad (and both were from the "same batch")...then the other module may fail soon as well.

    - 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


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    Thank you for your help, guys! Very much appreciated, indeed!

  12. #12

    Kevriano's Avatar
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    Just to say I would have chipped in with similar help, but had to go out before my colleagues jumped in there.
    Glad you got it sorted though.
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  13. #13


    Member Since
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    Went from 3 beeps to 1 beep
    When I saw how removing, reinstalling, removing, reinstalling 1 of the two RAM sticks worked for the user who had the 3 beeps, I decided to try it myself. However, whether I reinstall both, one or the other one, depending on which slot I place it in, I still get either 1 or 3 beeps. According to Power-On Self-Test Beep Definition - Part 1 the one beep means no RAM installed, which I assume a bad RAM could be seen as no RAM. But to have both sticks getting the same error would suggest that both are bad.

    What are the chances that both RAM sticks could go bad at exactly the same time? Is it possible there is another issue here? If so, what?

    My AppleCare ran out last month, and the nearest Apple Store is 6 hours away, so the community is my best chance right now. Appreciate any insight you can offer. This is my first post as a new member.

  14. #14

    DJ Hellfire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmeriCanadian View Post
    When I saw how removing, reinstalling, removing, reinstalling 1 of the two RAM sticks worked for the user who had the 3 beeps, I decided to try it myself. However, whether I reinstall both, one or the other one, depending on which slot I place it in, I still get either 1 or 3 beeps. According to Power-On Self-Test Beep Definition - Part 1 the one beep means no RAM installed, which I assume a bad RAM could be seen as no RAM. But to have both sticks getting the same error would suggest that both are bad.

    What are the chances that both RAM sticks could go bad at exactly the same time? Is it possible there is another issue here? If so, what?

    My AppleCare ran out last month, and the nearest Apple Store is 6 hours away, so the community is my best chance right now. Appreciate any insight you can offer. This is my first post as a new member.
    Hmmm, in your case, I would just try my chances at buying a single cheap Crucial 4GB stick from Newegg or Crucial and see if it works. Shouldn't cost anymore than $20-25. It'll be cheaper than the 6 hour drive or phone support. If it works, then just buy another stick, if not, then probably the logic board may be the issue! Hard to say when both sticks aren't working!

  15. #15

    Deckyon's Avatar
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    I am beginning to understand why you were hung up on.

    Things break, especially mechanical and electric things. You were given some things to try, even admitted in the first post that it was a RAM issue. However, from you responses, you feel that you should have been an exception to the rule and that somehow you were special. Getting upset enough that you caused someone to hang up on you is pretty much your own fault. Coming here to complain how bad "Apple support and products are" and that you wont buy another pretty much leads most to blow you off as nothing but a complainer.

    In the future, just speak normally with someone, ask for their help rather than demanding it, take their advice if/when and try it. You will always get better results.
    MBP 17" 2011, 2.3GHz Intel Quad-Core i7, 8GB RAM, AMD Radeon HD 6750M 1GB RAM
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