11 Replies Latest reply: Jan 21, 2013 4:55 PM by somanna
somanna Level 1 (110 points)

After I finish my work on the Mac for the day, I put the Mac to sleep [option > command > eject]. When I need to resume, I hit any key on the keyboard and the Mac starts readily.


Recently, I was out of town for 4 days and had left behing me a sleeping Mac. Upon returning, I found that the Mac would not wake up with a tap of the key. It had shut down and I had to switch it on using the power button. When I, after working with on the Mac for sometime, put it to sleep, some strange thing happened: the Mac started giving out an alarm: 3 beeps followed by a pause. the alarm would not stop and the Mac would not start despite me hitting several keys several times. I could silence the alarm by only by shutting out its power supply. I then pressed the power button again to start the Mac. After working on the mac, I put the Mac to sleep in the regular manner. After 2 hours later, I was woken up from my sleep by the alarm given off by the Mac. I could silence the Mac by keeping the power button pressed and shutting down the Mac. This morning, when I started the Mac, a grey 'reading bar' appeared beneath the Apple logo and after a while I had to enter my password to access the Mac.


I had a 'grey line experience' earlier too and I did this: went to disk utility and verified the internal drive which was given a clean chit. I then did a repair of permissions. I am yet working on the Mac and have not put it to sleep.


In between the first and second 'breakdown' [I do not know how else to describe what had transpired] I had done this: download 2 apps...paintbrush and seashore.


Any instructions and guidance regarding what the problem is and what I should do will be deeply appreciated.

iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.4), garage band, FCPX:10.0.5 version
  • John Galt Level 8 (44,705 points)

    Faulty RAM, it seems: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2538


    Intel-based Mac Power On Self Test RAM error codes


    The solution to both of these situations is to first re-seat the memory and test the computer again. If the memory fails the POST test again, try memory that has been verified to work correctly on another system (i.e., "known-good") or order new memory ...


    To test memory, run Apple Hardware Test, but it may pass anyway. Run the extended tests. The POST code indicates bad memory so I would be suspicious of it even if AHT indicates it passes.

  • somanna Level 1 (110 points)

    Thanks for the leads. I had got a new RAM card for my Mac about 10 days ago. Perhaps it could be causing this problem. I have read your links which appear to be start-up tones; I do not get such tones on start-up but got it twice when I had put the Mac to sleep. I am in the process of contacting the Apple technician who has installed the RAM. Shall let you know the end result once I know of the matter.


    Thanks again. Take care and have a grteat day!

  • somanna Level 1 (110 points)

    Hello John,


    The technician whom I contacted did not turn up and the problem appeared to have gone away, but it has resurfaced again:


    Just a little while ago, the problem I had mentioned in this thread has recurred: my unattended to Mac going black and giving out an alarm: three beeps followed by a pause. The screen would not come active despite pressing any number of keys, the Mac would not shut down despite pressing the power button, and finally I had to shut off the power supply from the wall outlet.


    FYI,I had been working with Seashore when this problem recurred. But I have been playing with Seashore since 2 days and there was no problem then.


    Have re-contacted the technician who should come today.

  • Friedhelm_ch Level 1 (0 points)

    Hey Somanna,

    what did the technician tell you? Since a few days I got quite similar results when I am shutting my mac down or put it to sleep (3 short beeps, black screen, only poweroff stops the alarm sound).

    Start-up and working works as usual.


    And my USB adapter both fail to recognize different devices.

    I assume a logicboard problem since the RAM works perfectly.

  • somanna Level 1 (110 points)

    Hello Friedhelm,


    I am a medical doctor and am not acquainted with computer diseases!


    This problem has not yet gone away and the technician who came to attend seemed unsure of what could be the cause. He gave the RAM card which he felt would be the culprit and asked me to go to the shop where I had purchased it and ask for a replacement. The guys at the shop inserted the RAM onto their laptop [windows] and reported that it was working. They paid no heed to my complaint that the RAM does work. They held the view that it was due to a mismatch of this Ram with the other RAM cards in use. I did not have any knowledge about how to counter this contention of theirs and even do not know whether they are right or wrong in so stating.


    I have to get back to the technician with what you opined: it could be due to a logicboard [BTW what's a logicboard] problem and hope things get sorted out. Shall let you know of how things will work out and also, please keep me posted of how you are negotiating this 'dangerous' problem. 

  • John Galt Level 8 (44,705 points)

    somanna wrote:


    ... The guys at the shop inserted the RAM onto their laptop [windows] and reported that it was working.


    This is meaningless. The only way to rule out incompatible memory is to substitute memory verified to work on a Mac.


    Macs require memory that meets its published specifications. I recommend only two vendors: Crucial and OWC / MacSales.

  • somanna Level 1 (110 points)

    Thanks for this input John.


    I am based in India and to purchase stuff locally would be good should problems in performance surface. The local Apple dealer does have RAMS and going for those, though they be be pricey, will ensure that I will have assured after sales services.

  • Friedhelm_ch Level 1 (0 points)


    Ok even if I am still to find out the reason for the beeps and other phenomena, the logic board (Explanation: core unit of your mac, or more detailed on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motherboard) remains my favourite guess. I will open the mac to see if something inside has melted or broken and if I cannot find the cause I will send it to a repair service.


    I will keep you guys informed.

  • somanna Level 1 (110 points)

    Thanks for this reply. I will be asking the Apple technician who attends to my SOS calls and ask him to go through this thread. Hope the actual disease can be properly diagnosed and treated. Please keep us informed of your findings after you conduct the 'internal examination' of your Mac!

  • Friedhelm_ch Level 1 (0 points)

    After sending the MBP to a repair service they told me that it was indeed a serious logic board issue that caused the problem. Unfortunately, no fixing is possible and the replacement of the Logic board costs (900 Euro), which is simply ridicuolous. So this is why I will stay away from Apple from now, since my MBP after 1.5 years is already garbage.

  • somanna Level 1 (110 points)

    Thanks for taking this care for filling up this thread with this critical information. I wonder how frequent this type of affliction affects Apple computers. Guess it is few and far in between...otherwise there would have already been a great uproar over this matter as it is with the matter of iPhone's having videos in an upside manner.


    I am fortunate enough to have taken a 3-year warantee for my Mac which is one year old now. I will have to insist my Apple technician to look up into this Logic board issue and replace the same.


    Do you have with you any documentary evidence related to this Logic board problem...any written communication received from the service center you had approached? If yes, could you please mail it to me to my mail ID given under my profile? Such a communication will help me to interact better with the Apple technician in resolving this issue.