6 Replies Latest reply: Mar 23, 2013 7:12 PM by Tommy Boyo
Tommy Boyo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Late 2012 Mac Mini.  Updated OS X with Software Update, upon restart it is instead beeping 3 beeps in a row, silence, then 3 beeps in a row again, for hours.  It's getting hot near the power cord.  Screen is black.  I finally powered down successfully by holding power button.

 

I've seen older posts saying this signals faulty RAM in Powerbooks.  I did upgrade the RAM to 16 GB myself when I bought the Mac mini, it has always worked fine (apart from snowy screens when it first awakes or starts which eventually go away and I understand this update was supposed to address...).

 

Have I voided my warranty by installing the RAM myself?

 

What to do?


Mac mini (Late 2012), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • 1. Re: 3 Beeps After Software Update, Will Not Start
    John Galt Level 8 Level 8 (36,365 points)

    Three beeps, pause, three beeps: RAM failure.

     

    Tommy Boyo wrote:

     

    Have I voided my warranty by installing the RAM myself?

     

    No. RAM is user - replaceable.

     

    It is more than likely your memory simply doesn't meet Apple's specifications, whether or not it is labeled as such. OS X upgrades often reveal such deficiencies. It is possible the update pushed yours over the edge.

     

    All reputable RAM vendors have a lifetime guarantee. Return it and purchase memory from OWC / MacSales or Crucial. There are many reports of incompatible RAM from other vendors.

  • 2. Re: 3 Beeps After Software Update, Will Not Start
    keg55 Level 5 Level 5 (5,925 points)

    In addition to John's excellent advice, you can put your old RAM back in for the time being so you can use your Mac Mini.

  • 3. Re: 3 Beeps After Software Update, Will Not Start
    Tommy Boyo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks.  The RAM is actually from OWC / MacSales.  So it should not be the problem....?

     

    So I left the mini unplugged over night and tried to start it again this morning, and it worked!  How weird.  I restarted it a second time, and it worked again.  So what was up with it?

     

    I still have snow on the screen at start up, however...  it takes turning the monitor off and on a few times to get rid of it.  And running latest, current OS X everything.

     

    And concerning RAM, I've noticed I can't get the Mac to ever utilize even half of it... so I don't understand what the benefit is.  In Activity Monitor, I see that even with like 10 apps open, there are still huge chunks of my 16 GB RAM unused.  Is there a way to assign RAM to apps -- to make them use more?  Like Safari...?

  • 4. Re: 3 Beeps After Software Update, Will Not Start
    John Galt Level 8 Level 8 (36,365 points)

    Run Apple Hardware Test. Run the extended tests. If it fails OWC will replace it at no charge. A failure could be temperature related but in any event OWC memory is guaranteed for life. Remove and re-seat each of the modules to verify they are properly installed.

     

    Rember, the free GUI front end for memtest is another memory test utility to consider.

     

    The display may or may not be related to anything. It will be difficult to draw any conclusion without another display to substitute.

     

    Tommy Boyo wrote:

     

    And concerning RAM, I've noticed I can't get the Mac to ever utilize even half of it... so I don't understand what the benefit is.

     

    Correct, there is no benefit of additional RAM unless and until your system and what you do with it requires more than you have. OS X manages its resources efficiently, and there is no way to change how it does that.

     

     


  • 5. Re: 3 Beeps After Software Update, Will Not Start
    Tommy Boyo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    John, thanks.  I ran the Apple Hardware Test, and the memory tested fine.  The three beeps at start up has not returned since the original restart after the software update, so who knows what it was...

    John Galt wrote:

     

    Run Apple Hardware Test. Run the extended tests. If it fails OWC will replace it at no charge. A failure could be temperature related but in any event OWC memory is guaranteed for life. Remove and re-seat each of the modules to verify they are properly installed.

     

    Rember, the free GUI front end for memtest is another memory test utility to consider.

     

    The display may or may not be related to anything. It will be difficult to draw any conclusion without another display to substitute.

     

    Tommy Boyo wrote:

     

    And concerning RAM, I've noticed I can't get the Mac to ever utilize even half of it... so I don't understand what the benefit is.

     

    Correct, there is no benefit of additional RAM unless and until your system and what you do with it requires more than you have. OS X manages its resources efficiently, and there is no way to change how it does that.

     

     


     

    I'm still getting snow when starting or awakening the Mac when the monitor has not been recently on, so there may be some interaction between the monitor and the Mac mini.  (MultiSync LCD2470 monitor.)  Because when the monitor has been running for a while I can restart the Mac without getting snow, usually.   Turning the monitor off and on about three or four times usually gets rid of the snowy image and I get a picture.  Every now and then it will abruptly turn to complete snow after having been on for hours, so who knows... I understood the snow problems were a common problem with the Intel integrated graphics and the recent software update(s) were meant to address it.  It didn't help in my case.

     

    At least I'm back to the original functionality from before the software update...

  • 6. Re: 3 Beeps After Software Update, Will Not Start
    Tommy Boyo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    keg55 wrote:

     

    In addition to John's excellent advice, you can put your old RAM back in for the time being so you can use your Mac Mini.

    keg55, thanks.  Yes, I saved the original RAM when I updated to 16 GB thinking it might come in handy if something like this happened.  Luckily, it appears I don't have to use it this time.  Cheers.