Friday, April 16, 2021

Mac Chimes of Death

Stephen Hackett (Hacker News):

We’re all familiar with the Mac’s startup chime. While it has changed over the years, it has greeted users with its friendly tone for decades.

What you may not know is that for years, the Mac also came with a death sound, that would play when the machine was unable to properly boot.

I remember these sounding a lot more menacing in the wild.


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Thanks for that great article.

You can also hear the chimes for all models using the MacTracker app (

Open up the info page for any model and click its image (in the upper-left corner) to hear its startup chime. Option-click it to hear its death chime.

These are hilarious and fun, though yeah, probably only when reading about it, not when you're not actually experiencing a dead Mac. I'm sure these are a lot less joyful when you're facing a downed system and potential data loss.

I remember hearing the chimes of death in the wild a couple of times in the olden days. The car crash sound was pretty terrifying!

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