Model A1181: 1.83, 2, 2.1, 2.13, 2.16, 2.2, or 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo processor

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Despite resetting PRAM, MacBook continues to beep upon startup.

The MacBook Model is A1181, Intel Core 2 Duo, 2.13 GHz processor with 4 GB Memory. I have reset PRAM, repaired disk permissions, run Apple Hardware Test, even reimaged. Yet the beeps persist. It usually beeps in 3 sets of 3 beeps - almost like an SOS. The machine seems to work fine - just beeps. Any suggestions?

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Someone actually asked this question about a week ago:

Beeping sound every 5 seconds, it won't turn on

The two Apple links I posted in my answer there are relevant here. Beeping at startup is an issue with RAM; 3 beeps indicates that the system has checked your installed RAM, but finds it unacceptable. This could mean that the RAM has physically failed; it could also mean something simple, like the RAM has gotten jostled loose in its socket(s) and now isn't seated correctly, or some bit of scuzz has gotten on the contacts/socket and there isn't a clean electrical connection.

Power On Self-Test Beep Definition - Part 2

Intel-based Mac Power On Self Test RAM error codes

Three beeps = no good banks of RAM installed. Have you removed or changed your RAM recently? Has the computer gotten knocked around?

The first thing to try is to reseat the RAM correctly:

Installing MacBook Core 2 Duo RAM

When messing with RAM, I like to use a pink pencil eraser to rub the RAM contacts clean of scuzz, and use a soft, dry toothbrush to clean the inside of the RAM socket. Then reinstall, reassemble and reboot, and see if anything changes.

If that doesn't work, the next step is to replace the RAM - preferably with sticks that you've seen working in another computer, so you can be sure they're good.

Assuming the original RAM came from Apple, it's worth contacting Apple to see if the RAM's warranteed. Normal practice in the RAM business is a lifetime replacement warranty; perhaps Apple will do that. If it's third-party RAM, definitely contact the retailer and get a replacement.

EDIT: Or wait - am I misunderstanding the problem? Does the machine still boot and run normally, aside from the beeps?

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Yes, the machine still boots and runs normally, aside from the beeps.

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Hunh.

Just spitballing here: Is it possible that you might have recorded this SOS-beep as an alert sound, and it's sounding on errors? I once knew someone who unintentionally recorded a 10-second silence as an alert sound, and then the cursor would "freeze" for minutes on end as the silent error-sound chimed and he'd try to click his way out of it, only to get a new silent chime with each click. Needless to say, his friends laughed themselves silly when he figured it out.

Check System Preferences>Sound>Sound Effects and click through the various alert tones, to see if any of them match the SOS you're hearing.

Does anyone else have access to this machine? Is it possible someone else might have recorded the SOS sound as a joke?

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I had that beep signal before in a Macbook. And yes, the machine continued to run normally. It later turned out to be a signal that the hard drive was failing. In a few days the hard drive died, and I was able to restore the machine by substituting another hard drive from my other Macbook.

Update

Not a chance. The RAM was good. All I did was replace the hard drive.

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Very odd, there is no error beep for HD issues. Could you have had a memory problem?

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Thanks, all. It has been nearly two years since I first posted this. Yes, adlerpe, lots of folks have access to it since it is one of 30 identical MacBooks in a cart used in an elementary school. It has continued to function properly, except for the beeping. Recently I swapped the DIMMs with an identical, but non-beeping laptop from the same cart. The beeps followed the DIMMs. I have requested new DIMMs.

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ı have macbook a1181.ram slot 1gb ınstaliing power on startup one beep sound ? pls help me

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You should really start a new post to keep the questions distinct, but: Is it a short beep repeated every 5 seconds or so, or is it a single long beep? The repeated single beep indicates "no RAM installed", so your RAM is either not seated correctly in its sockets, or it's dead. Reinstall, reboot, and see if that fixes it. If not, replace with known good RAM and see if that does the trick. // If it's one long tone, then the computer is attempting to install an EFI ROM upgrade.

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