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themacmeister's picture
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Joined: 2009 Oct 26
Hardware beep of death?

I tried (one last time) to resurrect my iBook battery by resetting the PMU with the little white button on the side -- following all instructions. I do not know if the two are related, but the previous boot I did not have sound...

On two separate occasions, there was a loud default mac beep noise (like a Mac Plus on startup), once during startup, and a separate time when nothing was happening.

Could this be a dead battery related beep? It has never beeped like that before with a dead battery installed.

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bertyboy's picture
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Joined: 2009 Jun 14

Not sure, the Volume setting used to be stored in the PRAM along with all the other info, so a PMU reset would scramble the PRAM. Had a similar thing with my old IIsi, was a LOAD speaker, so I kept the volume on low or off. If I reset PRAM or left it unplugged for too long, I'd get a frighteningly loud Mac II chime at startup.

Temporary Joe's picture
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Joined: 2009 Nov 14

My brother's iBook had most definitely died in 2005. I'll ask him about the "hardware beep of death".

themacmeister's picture
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Joined: 2009 Oct 26

I reset the PMU, and I got the beep of death again - it must be a bad battery warning (happens shortly after desktop appears). Computer running perfectly fine now -- fingers crossed!

bertyboy's picture
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Joined: 2009 Jun 14

May be a dead battery or not. If you reset PMU the PRAM settings are scrambled. And this is where the volume setting is held. It appears to default back to maximum volume (like it did on my IIsi).

themacmeister's picture
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Joined: 2009 Oct 26

The beep, as it turns out, is not the system beep - it is a different pitch, and goes for about twice as long. It only occurs after resetting the PMU, and my battery is 100% DEAD, so it must be that -- will the iBook still function fine with a dead battery inserted (which usually means dead PRAM, as the PRAM battery in the dual-USB iBook is in the main battery? Sad

bertyboy's picture
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Joined: 2009 Jun 14

It's the startup chime, right ? like Wall•E recharging from the sun.

Yep, that's what happened to be, it picks up a default volume of LOUD.

themacmeister's picture
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Joined: 2009 Oct 26

Bertyboy, it is not the startup chime, ala Wall-E, it is more like the horrible default beep, but higher pitched and running for a full second. I would post a wav file, but it is easier to spell it...
(about half an octave above default beep)
| - - - - 1 sec - - - - - - |
B-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-P

themacmeister's picture
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Joined: 2009 Oct 26

as it only ever happens on the first startup after resetting PMU, I am no longer concerned -- at least it isn't death chimes and hex codes.

bertyboy's picture
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Joined: 2009 Jun 14

"Sounds" like the tone you used to get when resetting either PRAM or NVRAM, you know, when a certain key combination is held down at startup until you hear the long chime. A bit like the triple chime we get with firmware updates on current Macs.

Check OWC (Other World Computing) to find which PRAM battery you use, how much they cost and great instructions on how to fit it.

themacmeister's picture
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Joined: 2009 Oct 26

It is INSIDE the busted main battery -- I'm not paying $160US again!

I actually cannot remember the computer complaining about an incorrect date on startup, so the PRAM battery may be working perfectly?!?!?!

go figure...

Bolkonskij's picture
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Joined: 2009 Aug 3

Did you check the RAM? I had this one long beep once when I had installed a new RAM module. I opened up the Mac and saw that the module wasn't resting 100% correct in the slot. After applying some pressure it snapped in and worked fine from then on. You may want to exclude the possibility of a RAM fail?

bertyboy's picture
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Joined: 2009 Jun 14

If you're continuously conneected to the internet, the Date / Time Control Panel / System Pref sets the correct date / time at startup so you never notice the battery is flat.

Jeez, you're not kidding on the PRAM battery. I though the $40 battery for my 1.67GHz PBG4 (and 90 mins to disassemble and 60 mins to reassemble) was bad enough.

Nearly all the new Macs use standard (and therefore, extremely cheap) Lithium 2032 cell batteries.
For all those wondering, I founf out years ago what all these numbers mean, 2032 for 20mm diameter and 3.2mm think. There's also 2025 and 2015 batteries, same diameter but thinner.

themacmeister's picture
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Joined: 2009 Oct 26

Also, dreamcast use 2032 in the VMU, but use a RECHARGEABLE LITHIUM 2032 in the unit itself (for time/settings backup). DO NOT PUT A 2032 inside the console itself, it will eventually leak/expolode!

Computer is never on the internet, so PRAM battery MUST be working!

themacmeister's picture
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Joined: 2009 Oct 26

@Bolkonskij -- Well, the RAM is under the keyboard, and I do press hard on the keyboard, as the lock-down wire for the Airport card makes the X key hard to press. I will certainly check your idea (it may not be the battery at all!). I have had a good look at the battery and contacts, and all seems fine with them.