I have a Macbook Air (mid 2012) which has some various problems. The main problem is that the computer will occasionally display a blinking folder at startup. Whenever that happens I do one of the following things, until I can boot into the computer again that is.

  • Reset the NVRAM
  • Try to boot into safe mode
  • Repair the start up disk
  • Choose the right disk as the start up disk
  • Various keys getting bashed

Besides the blinking folder problem, 3 beeps can be heard at start up.

I have tried to reinstall the OS a couple of times, but that hasn't helped at all. So my solution is to keep the Macbook running with Amphetamine, basically never shutting it off to avoid these problems. But this is quite troublesome whenever wanting to travel with the computer, so I was wondering if any of you have any ideas how I could mitigate all these problems?

Thanks in advance

  • Try running Apple Hardware Test (AHT). Hold the D key while booting from a powered off state with the AC adapter connected. It will most likely confirm what @IconDaemon answered below - you have memory issues.
    – Allan
    Oct 30, 2017 at 17:49
  • So I just ran the AHT with extended testing and it concluded in that no trouble was found. Worth mentioning is that the 3 beeps only occurs at random times.
    – Rehav Keki
    Oct 30, 2017 at 19:28
  • Intermittent issues are always fun. Try removing a memory module and running your computer. If it persists, swap out modules and try again. If the problem goes away, you found the issue.
    – Allan
    Oct 30, 2017 at 20:35
  • How does one remove a memory module? I suppose you are talking about the RAM, it's soldered to the motherboard.
    – Rehav Keki
    Oct 30, 2017 at 20:43
  • I keep forgetting that the RAM is now soldered. I'm still used to the pre-2012 MBPs. If it's memory, it's time to take it in for service.
    – Allan
    Oct 30, 2017 at 20:46

1 Answer 1


Three startup tones indicates that the RAM installed in your Mac is not passing an integrity check:

Three successive tones, then a five-second pause (repeating): RAM doesn't pass a data integrity check. If you recently replaced or upgraded your computer's RAM, check to see if it was installed properly.

From: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202768

Misbehaving RAM can contribute to a host of problems, including, (but not limited to,) the startup problems you've been experiencing.

  • The 3 beeps only occur during some startups, not on all of them. I just ran the AHT with extended testing and no troubles were found. I suppose problems with the RAM should show up there?
    – Rehav Keki
    Oct 30, 2017 at 19:30
  • RAM errors can be intermittent and your MBA is booting intermittently. I suggest you run the AHT a few times, and while it is running, pick up your MBA, give the body a gentle twist or two, turn it upside down, shake it, etc, to see if it is motion-relatd. The problem may be temperature-related, too, heat and cold cause the components to swell and shrink (ever so minutely) and can cause the intermittency.
    – IconDaemon
    Oct 30, 2017 at 19:44
  • Having no luck in getting the AHT picking up a RAM error. Let's say that is the problem, is there any way to repair it? Even though the RAM is soldered to the motherboard.
    – Rehav Keki
    Oct 30, 2017 at 20:42
  • iFixit has information about the 11" model and the 13" model. Without your MBA on the test bench, I've reached the limit of my remote sensing abilities. ;-)
    – IconDaemon
    Oct 30, 2017 at 23:50

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