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13" Aluminium Unibody, 2,0 oder 2,4 GHz Core 2 Duo Prozessor.

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Won't boot, RAM beep


This is my first post here, been lurking for a while now and could not find an awnser to fix my problem.

I have an A1278 macbook that suddenly stopped turning on. It was working fine the last time I used, shut it down, and the next time I tried to turn on, it woudn’t boot, instead, it would beep in 5 to 5 seconds, with the light blinking together with it.

I look on an apple support page that this beep pattern was related to ram problems, so here is what I already tried:

1. Removed the sticks and tried to turn on with only one of them. Tried each stick in each slot.

2. Cleaned the slots and the contacts with isopropyl alcohol and tried the step 1 again

3. Unscrewed the ram slots and put it on again (I saw someone saying it would solve in other models and gave it a shot).

What else can I do? I didn’t switch any components at all, and right now I don’t have any working extra stick to test, but if needed I can search for one.

What other information would be useful to troubleshooting? This is my first time trying to solve anything on a macbook, all my experience in troubleshooting came from windows desktops and notebooks.

Thanks for your time and any help you can provide!

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How many beeps are you getting at a time?


One beep at a time, syncronized with the light blink. It repeats after 5 seconds aprox.


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Hilfreichste Antwort

These things are known for bad RAM slots; in particular the 2012 is notoriously bad. Try running it with just the lower module and see if you can boot - if you do, the top slot is bad.

It is sometimes possible to adjust the screws, but it doesn’t always help. That said, if it’s a cut and dry slot issue, it’s worth a shot. You need a Phillips #00 to do it but all 4 must be identical or close to each other or it won’t help. Adjust it with a 1/4 turn so the tolerances are tighter and that often helps or completely fixes it. If it doesn’t, you may have an issue beyond tolerance adjustment so don’t do it more then maybe 3-4 times before you consider the board dead. If the slot is beyond recovery, you’ll need one large RAM module and you’ll have to accept the RAM options you have may not be great. Look at a new board and see if you want to live with a single 8-16GB stick or get it repaired due to cost.

If the slot trick doesn’t help, try getting a cheap set of Mac friendly 1600MHz DDR3L RAM (8-16GB depending on the machine) to see if your set of RAM is bad, especially if it still has issues booting with just the lower slot and no upper RAM installed. The RAM may only run at 1066-1333MHz depending on the age of the A1278 you own, but it can usually adjust to the lower speeds no problem.

Depending on the age, seriously consider a 2012 system and a new HD cable, especially if you have a 2009-10 Core 2 variant - you can usually coast on the SATA II cable many of these have, but it tends to become a problem when people (inevitably) want to install an SSD. The 2009-10 machines are left behind due to the C2D (13” only) and the 2011 lacks Metal 2, which may cause future compatibility issues - BUT it’s a good machine for the money if you can get it cheap enough but I probably wouldn’t recommend anyone buy them unless the price is substantially lower to help out with the lack of Metal 2.

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Thanks! I'll try here and see if it fix the issue. Also, do you know if reseting the BIOS would work? It normally helps with my desktop, removing the battery and trying to turn on, the problem is, I don't usually use macs, so I'm completely lost in this case.


Tried adjusting the screws, no progress. The problem persists.


@anahera0 The problem is when these have the upper slot issue, you need to rework the board or replace it. Hence why I said to try running it with one and adjusting it so it holds the modules better to see if you can try saving it. You want to tighten them and hope for the best once the slot fails.

As far as the boards go, we don't know if it's 2009-10 or 2011/12.


One tone, repeating every five seconds: No RAM is installed. If you recently replaced or upgraded your computer's RAM, check to see if it was installed properly.


@mayer i didn't replace it, it was never open before the issue. The first time it was ever open was to troubleshoot this problem.

@nick im going to try again with only one slot, hoping for a miracle hahaha.


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Vinicius Sousa wird auf ewig dankbar sein.
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