10 Replies Latest reply: Jul 30, 2010 11:01 AM by WhyteKong
Eric_Jacobson Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Hello all:

Hoping somebody here can help me out. I have a 2009 Macbook that refuses to start up. When I hit the power button, it turns on, i hear the hard drive start to spin, it chimes, then I get 3 beeps over and over again. The computer will not go past the grey start screen.

I thought it was a simple permission issue, so I put the operating system DVD in, booted the computer from the disk, and got to utilities and tried to repair permissions. Unfortunately, I received an error message telling me to power down my computer, and my computer seized up.

I also tried resetting the PRAM, thinking maybe that was what was causing it... but it didn't help either...

I haven't added any extra hardware to the laptop, and there is no reason that it should be doing this, it just crapped out randomly... this is the third major problem I've had with the unibody... my 2007 Macbook Pro runs like a dream, never had an issue with it...

Any help would be great

Macbook (unibody), Mac OS X (10.6.3)
  • stedman1 Level 9 Level 9 (64,525 points)
    Hi Eric: This Apple article might help;


  • Eric_Jacobson Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I've come across that article, and it mentions that you wont hear the regular startup chime.

    My computer starts up as per usual (hard drive click, start chime) the it beeps 3 times, rests for 3 seconds, beeps 3 times over and over.

    From what I read in the article, there is no chime, and the beep cycle only occurs once. Where mine has the chime, and infinite beep cycles...

    Hope that made sense...
  • WhyteKong Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    this is because your hard drive has a corrupted file.
    Solution: take your snow leopard cd or disc 1 from your osx cd and turn on the computer and insert the disc as soon as you can and the while it is loaded hold the "C" key down. This allows the computer to boot from the disc rather than your hard drive. Once your computer boots up if you have a time machine back up you can boot it from their but the only problem is, you might put that corrupted info back on the comp so the best bet would be to just run both the osx cds and start fresh, unfortunately, if you have a lot of itunes songs and movies you should be able to email itunes and get your purchased songs back. Hope this helps
    - Whyte Kong
  • Eric_Jacobson Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    This is what I originally thought the problem was actually.

    However, when I try to reinstall Snow Leopard, I get about 10 min into the install and I get the error message "Can not install Snow Leopard on this volume"...

    Grrr, Any ideas why?
  • stedman1 Level 9 Level 9 (64,525 points)
    Hi. Try this: using the restrore disk that shipped with your computer, run the Apple Hardware Test.

  • Dale Weisshaar Level 6 Level 6 (15,865 points)
    Eric_Jacobson wrote:
    I've come across that article, and it mentions that you wont hear the regular startup chime.

    This Apple doc. was a link inside the one stedman1 kindly provided.

    It is for the newer Intel Macs (what you have). I would follow it's advice.




  • Dale Weisshaar Level 6 Level 6 (15,865 points)
    Did you install any new RAM in this machine?

    If so, what brand was it?

  • Eric_Jacobson Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I haven't made any hardware changes on the machine...

    The only thing new to it is Nikon imaging software, which I installed earlier in the week...

    I think I'm going to have to take the machine to Best Buy again... pain in the butt
  • xiaobao12 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I had the same problem this morning, although I am overseas. Did you manage to find out what the problem was?

    The problem is that I haven't yet found a screwdriver small enough to open the memory case and I don't have any of my startup discs with me.

    Any advice? Thank you.
  • WhyteKong Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    if i were u i would not take the computer to best buy. geek squad is a bunch of kaplan college graduates who have no clue on how computers work. u would be better off taking it to the apple store and talking to their genius associates.