2 Replies Latest reply: Feb 16, 2013 11:48 AM by carole-mac
carole-mac Level 1 (0 points)

Few days ago Mac Mail started making fast, loud, continuous beeping sounds while I was writing a long document. The Mail program started flashing, "vibrating," and froze. I had to force quit and lost that email (right - I should have saved it, but didn't).  I tried to re-create the document in Pages and the same thing happened.  Then I tried to recreate it in Word.  Same thing. (may sound nuts to just keep trying new programs, but this was an urgent document.  Figured I could get it done, then focus on fixing the problem)


When I finally got things working again by re-starting multiple times and using Disk Utility, I evenutally opened iPhoto. After working with that program for several hours, I tried to use "share, "which creates an email with a jpeg. The same beeping and flashing started again. I had to shut down the computer. Next day everything seemed OK.  No problems for 3 days.


Tonight I was working with several programs, all doing fine.  Then I opened iPhoto and it immediately started the fast beeping and wouldn't let me access any of my MANY photos. Had to force quit. So I tried to access photos I saved in Finder.  Every saved photo (I have hundreds in Finder) would beep and flash continuously when I clicked on it's icon, even without opening it.


I can't find anything online about this situation. Some articles and forums talk about 3 beeps having a certain meaning. That's not what this is. It's continuous loud rhythmic beeps, flashing and I can barely shut down the program when that's going on. 


Background: right before this started, my HD was very full and giving me warnings, so I deleted numerous file.  It's possible I could have deleted something that should NOT have been deleted. I also started in PRAM mode.  If I deleted something, I don't know how to tell what's missing. Also, iPhoto is very full and gave me warnings not to add photos. My Mac is 5 years old and running pretty fast. I installed Mountain Lion several months ago.


Has anyone experienced this? Help!! I don't want to lose my photos!

iMac, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (136,700 points)

    Running with a very full HD is very, very bad.


    OS X needs about 10 gigs of hard drive space for normal OS operations - things like virtual memory, temporary files and so on. Without this space your Mac will slow down as the OS hunts for space on the disk, files will be fragmented, also slowing things down, apps will crash and the risk of data corruption - that is damage to your files, photos, music - increases exponentially.


    Then, frankly, telling us you deleted "numerous file" but don't know what you deleted, really means that we can't help.


    It's very likely that your Library is damaged from being run on an overfull disk. But you'll need at least as muh disk space again for repair it.


    So, you need to get an external HD or two, move some data off that machine to make room. You may also need to reinstall your OS as you're not sure what you have deleted. After you've got your Os working you can try fix iPhoto.

  • carole-mac Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks so much Terence.  Sounds like I really screwed up. Before the problems started, I arranged a view of my HD by size and tried to delete duplicate and unnecesssary videos, documents, photos, saved web pages, power point and keynote presentations, then restarted the computer in PRAM to achieve that 10% free space. I now do have 10% fre space, but I also have all these problems.


    I'm afraid I might have accidentally deleted something else - something critical. The problems started right after I freed the space.


    I'm taking the computer to the Apple store today. Looks like everything is backed up to my external drive through Time Machine.  I'm concerned about iPhoto, though. I'm still using the 09 version and, from what I'm seeing on the forums, it can be tricky to backup and restore.