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MacBook solidifies with three beeps;

My Feb-2011 MacBook Pro hangs with three beeps.

I noted the first strange thing a few days ago. The MacBook was in standby (as always) but very hot (not usual). I thought some process must have stopped the mac from switching to stand by and kept the processor busy, so no big deal.

Switched off, booted up normally. After a while the screen freezes and I hear three loud beaps (they repeat). This happend three or four times, every time it boots up as if nothing happened.

Than it happend at a boot. The grey start up screen is interspersed with terminal messages repeatedly sagin "8debugger called: ", three loud beeps. Turn off, turn on, everything normal again.

I googled the issue and found out that three beeps signal a RAM issue. However most sources agree on the fact that system diagnostics are only run at startup - so this should not happen in other modes of operation. Also I'm puzzled since it did not always hang with three beeps (I got a “regular“ kernel panic most recently, with that black PNG in the middle of the screen, telling me to reboot).

Also I did a memtest, which reported no errors. It may be worth noting that every time the problem occurred I was playing some flash video. system.log and kernel.log do not contain any error messages (at least none relating to a kernel panic).

What may be the cause of this problem? Is it possible that the RAM is damaged (without memtest reporting an error?) or simply loose somehow? In some forum I read it may be the logic board. Do you think that may cause the issue? What should I do next to identify the problem or better: solve it?

The three beeps has historically been a RAM issue. However, recently I have seen three 2011-2012 machines where it is not and is the logic board. To test use just one stick of RAM and remove the other. Try it in one slot and then the other slot. On each try take a look at the system configuration and see if it is reading correctly. Do this with the other stick. This will check both the sticks and the slots. Let us know your results. As it is, it look like a GPU issue.

Let's also ask @danj if he has run into this.

UPDATE

@clarkclark The only solution I have found on the GPU issue is a logic board replacement. Due to the cost of the part, I have sent two into Apple requesting a "Flat Rate" depot repair. My total cost for this in Texas is $357. For that they will fix any and all problems if the machine has not received liquid damage or incurred a major impact. Total time for this is four days including the first call day. I call 1-800-MYAPPLE and request it, give them a credit card. Next morning there is an overnight FedEx box on my door step. I box it up and take it to FedEx. one day there, one day to repair and one day to send it back. It's a sweet deal.

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You might try removing part of your ram and booting up; then trying with the full amount or first one then the other. As for acting up/freezing during operation, I recall having this same behavior with a loose RAM stick once so IMO it would also be worth reseating them. MEMTEST is not perfect BTW.

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