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I don't observe any specific pattern of this behaviour. Strangely, sometimes when my macbook reboots/boots, it plays a chime sound.

And often in other cases, no chime sound is played.

So what determines whether to play a chime sound?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

It depends on the volume rate before you Restart or Shut Down your mac

so if your volume level is 0 (Mute), you will hear no chime sound on start-up, just try it and make sure

I have Muted my mac speakers because i always use headset (as you know you can set headset volume separately when you connect it) so i never hear a chime sound,

i searched a lot and found this (muting) as a solution because i hated that voice (imagine restarting in the middle of the night!)

hope this helps

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This is the correct answer. If the speakers are muted at shutdown then the startup chime will also be muted. I use a shutdown script to always mute before shutdown. –  Dave Nelson Nov 26 '13 at 15:01
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According to wikipedia.org,

"The Macintosh startup chime is the single note or chord (depending on model type) 
played when an Apple Macintosh computer is turned on. The sound indicates that 
diagnostic tests run immediately at startup have found no hardware or fundamental 
software problems."

So your Mac might have some issues, which can be resolved by resetting the PRAM. You can perform this by holding CMD-OPTION-P-R while your Mac is booting. Hold the key down until you hear the chime two times. Then release the keys.

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