View Full Version : Advice on Newegg RAM Dilemma

Dec 13, 2004, 01:42 PM
I recently bought a stick of 1GB from newegg for a little under $200. When I got it my computer froze up right as it got to the desktop or I would get the gray screen of death. So I tried every possible combination of the RAM that I have, (swapping slots, using my dad's PB RAM) It worked fine in my dad's 15" 1.33Ghz PB and it only worked in mine when it was the only stick installed. This is unacceptable since right now I have 2 sticks of 512 and would just end up with the same amount in the end. The computer works fine when I have the 2 512 sticks in but not with the 1GB/512 combo. So I ran TechTool deluxe which came with the applecare package, and ran all the tests and the only problem that came up was a bad block in the hard drive. SO i'm wondering if its the RAM (newegg's problem) or the hard drive (Apple's problem)?

Dec 13, 2004, 05:04 PM
RAM is notoriously finicky, and what you describe (consistently works when it's the only stick, doesn't play well with others) are exactly the symptoms of a somewhat flaky stick of RAM.

Bad blocks on modern hard drives aren't very common, and may not be a good sign, but that shouldn't cause a particular stick of RAM to look bad. If it's a name brand stick (Kingston or the like) I'd get NewEgg or the manufacturer to replace it; if it's generic or off-brand, I'd just return it and get one from a better known company or one that specializes in Macs (DMS, for example, sells 1GB DIMMs guaranteed to work in PowerBooks for around $230).

I'd at least keep an eye on the hard drive as well, though...

Dec 13, 2004, 05:14 PM
As far as the ram goes, it is not uncommon for two different ram chips to be incompatible. For example: most of the time you cannot use PNY (I think they use infineon chips) and Micron chips (Cruscial uses Micron). Id return the ram from New Egg for another brand.

Dec 13, 2004, 06:08 PM
Yeah i figured that i'd go and exchange the ram and see what happens and then see if i can return it if that one doesn't work.

Dec 14, 2004, 01:24 AM
You should zero out the drive to freeze up that bad block. It may give you trouble when you least expect it down the road. I'd say your problem is with the memory. Return it and buy from Crucial... :D

Dec 14, 2004, 03:37 PM
Talked to my Apple Service Tech today and he said that from what I told him that the hard drive might have something to do with it so he just went ahead and ordered me a new one. Which should be here tomorrow or so. Thank goodness for AppleCare. NOW the question is should I just use the clone of my HD that I have on my ext. FW HD to load up on the new HD. OR just start from scratch and install all my Apps and such manually?

Dec 14, 2004, 08:17 PM
Cloning should work fine, although a clean install always gives you that minty-fresh (read: somewhat faster and less prone to issues later) feeling if you've been running the system for a while.

A single bad block would only affect the file it was in (and that's assuming it's not in free space to begin with), so unless it was an unrecoverable error in the middle of the kernel or something, it's probably nothing to worry about as far as a clone goes. Also worth noting that most modern hard drives automatically re-map and work around bad blocks when they run into them; zeroing the drive will guarantee you get all of them, but just writing a file to the block should have the same effect.

I wouldn't get my hopes up about the new drive making the RAM work, though.

Dec 16, 2004, 01:51 PM
Checking out the Apple discussion pages I found that many people have been having my same exact problem... there is one solution (besides returning it). Turns out that the stick ISN'T compatible with the PB 1.25Ghz and the only way it works is if you run the laptop at highest performance. I tested it and it runs flawlessly. Until you go back into energy saver set it back to auto or reduced and restart and the problem returns. SO i'm just going to return it, unless someone wants to take it off my hands for $200 :)