LOWER RAM FAILURE in Al PBs after 10.3.9

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by D*I*S_Frontman, Jul 30, 2005.

  1. D*I*S_Frontman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 20, 2002
    Location:
    Lombard, IL
    #1
    Hey Everyone,

    I just thought I should offer a new thread here for keeping track of this embarrassing issue.

    My 15" 1.5ghz AlPBook is right now getting its third replacement main logic board (MLB) since I got it in late February 2005. Thankfully enough for me, all trips to the Apple Store have been covered under warranty, but I don't expect this MLB to last more than the last one did (2 1/2 months).

    For anyone who owns an ALBook, has installed 10.3.9, and has not experienced this phenonenon yet, here are some of the common symptoms you should watch for:

    1. System suddenly starts running much slower than usual, with a lot more swap-outs to the HD than normal
    2. "About This Mac" shows less RAM than you installed
    3. When you physically check you RAM, or have any shop test it, it's fine
    4. If you have different sized chips, swapping them out reveals that the lower RAM slot is toast, not your actual RAM.
    5. The problems began when you upgraded to 10.3.9 or Tiger from 10.3.8 or lower.

    Additional accompanying problems also reported include:
    --no boot chime
    --intermittent kernal panics
    --excessive heat


    I had been following this issue on the Apple Discussions site, but just today their moderators shut down the main thread. There are probably a dozen or so smaller threads dealing with the same issue. I am lucky because my machine is under warranty, but there were at least 350 or more posts on that thread alone who had precisely the same problems I have experienced, and the majority of them upgraded to 10.3.9 after warranty, meaning they are completely screwed.

    The crux of that post on the Apple Discussions board was to get Apple to own up to an obvious product defect and offer some kind of recall to address the issue, as it is quite obviously a design and/or production flaw. There was also a link to an online petition to do precisely that, which I'll include the link to here:

    http://lowermemoryslot.editkid.com/
    (nearly 200 signatures at the time of this posting)

    As far as Apple's forum is concerned, they can moderate it as they wish, but it certainly isn't reassuring that the lower RAM slot/post-10.3.8-Al-PBook issue has not been formally acknowledged as of yet, but the thread has been dutifully collapsed. I guess I'll be forced to buy AppleCare before my year ends in February 2006, because with the current ineffective correction of new MLB every time it goes bad, I know I'll need servicing. Right now I am averaging a new MLB every three months, with two weeks of downtime with every repair. That is already one month of shop time for six months of ownership.

    If you have been a victim, please post and be counted. If you are running an AL PBook with 10.3.9 or better, better look closely for that power button light, listen carefully for that boot chime and check "About This Mac" any time your system begins to feel a bit sluggish to see if all your RAM is actually working for you.

    :)

    PS: If there are any DashBoard programmers out there, I think it would be absolutely hysterical to have a "RAMSlotWatcher" widget--one that flashes and beeps when your lower RAM slot fails, and autogenerates a feedback email to Apple for the issue!
     
  2. joecool85 macrumors 65816

    joecool85

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    Location:
    Maine
    #2
    I've had 10.3.9 on my 12" rev a PB (al book) since it came out...128mb built in, 512 in the lower slot...no problems.
     
  3. St Soichiro macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    Tulsa, OK
    #3
    I agree that this is a known (but denied) problem. Had same failure on my 15" Al PB, but it was under warrantee. It was the second problem in ~8 months. The first was a power inverter failure. Had to send in my PB both times for repair, which was tough because I rely upon it extensively for work. Firm, yet polite, complaining got me a free Shuffle. So all in all, no complaints.
     
  4. joecool85 macrumors 65816

    joecool85

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    Location:
    Maine
    #4
    It seems to me that its mostly only a problem in the 15" PBs.
     
  5. lfielder06 Guest

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2004
    #5
    Is this still a problem with the new pbooks? As you can see in my sig I am planning on getting one in a couple of weeks, but don't want to be with out my computer for weeks at a time every couple of months. What should I do? :confused:
     
  6. St Soichiro macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    Tulsa, OK
    #6
    I would not worry. This is specific to 10.3.9. Since I presume you are getting a new one it will come with Tiger. The 15" PB is a sweet machine. Never really noticed any speed/performance/other issues until I got my 2.7 DP PM :D

    Also, with both my repairs the turn around was very fast. 4 days, including pick-up and drop-off! Also, of the 4 Macs I have had in the last two years, the other three have performed flawlessly.
     
  7. D*I*S_Frontman thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 20, 2002
    Location:
    Lombard, IL
    #7
    Specific to 10.3.9?!

    Are you ABSOLUITELY SURE of this?!

    Heck, if that is indeed the case, they should give me a free upgrade to Tiger when they return my machine! What would certainly cost less than shipping/parts/labor for another few MLBs between now and when my warranty runs out.

    BTW, nearly everyone with this problem is using a 15" Al PBook, but the issie has been rarely but significantly reported from 12" and 17" Al PBook owners as well. Us 15" owners bear the lion's share of problems, however.
     
  8. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    sitting on your shoulder
    #8
    I did notice a few kernal panics with 10.3.9 in the few days before I installed Tiger, but my PB still sees all my RAM.
     
  9. B-CarnageSelf macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2003
    Location:
    England
    #9
    RAM? what RAM??

    I've had my Powerbook for just over a year now (Warranty finished 4 weeks ago) Low and behold my lower RAM bay has started .... well stopped recognising the 512MB RAM I've got shoved in it. I have 2x512MB Crucial RAM cards and when I swap them over the lower drive bay refuses to see the other RAM either.
    Yep it's a 15inch Al Powerbook. Yes my warranty has just run out so I'll have to shell out a cack load of cash to get it replaced. Yes it's really annoying.... and yes this is my last Apple purchase for a while because of the shoddy workmanship.
    Apple quality control my arse.
     
  10. St Soichiro macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    Tulsa, OK
    #10
    No, I am not.

    Unfortunately, they won't do anything such thing on their own. Since this is the first "incident" they will carry out the repair as usual. You can ask however. Be nice yet firm. You can catch more flies with ...

    Despite certain popular opinions to the contrary, I have never have had any issues with Apple's support. I did talk to level two support, and was quite unhappy about turning in my PB even for a single day. And they did want it sent it in. Apparently, they don't like to make repairs on portables at local Apple Stores.

    Was offered a free copy of Tiger (this was just before it came out), but I had already pre-ordered so asked for a Shuffle instead. The fact that I have bought 4 Macs over the last two years may have helped a bit :) Was also told that after 3 unrelated incidents I would become eligible for a brand new machine.

    Anyway, good luck.
     
  11. St Soichiro macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    Tulsa, OK
    #11
    Please talk to Apple first. Be nice and tell them that you've heard that this is a known problem. They may deny it, but still could fix it for you for free.

    This is the ONE problem you have had for over a year and are completely writing off Apple?
     
  12. amin macrumors 6502a

    amin

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #12
    Were you running 10.3.9?
     
  13. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #13

    Should have got Applecare :eek: Why is is their fault that you are too cheap again? They gaurantee it will work for a year, and it did...
     
  14. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #14
    I truly have a tough time buying that a software version would cause a hardware failure. If most people were current, wouldn't they be running 10.3.9, if they don't own Tiger?

    Guess its like saying everyone who drinks water will die.
     
  15. amin macrumors 6502a

    amin

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #15
    Laptops should last more than a year when well cared for.
     
  16. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #16
    ^^Yeah, I agree.

    If it's broken because of an accident, then fine, it's your fault. If it's broken because of THEIR workmanship, or because of any mistake on their part, they should fix it, even after 1 year of ownership. In fact, they should fix it with or without AppleCare.

    If a line of Ford Explorers (as an example) manufactured in a particular year were found to have a faulty engine that ran the risk of catching fire, you'd be sure that Ford would fix the problem even if the problem or faulty part was discovered AFTER the warranty expired.

    I don't know why the computer industry is so protected when it comes to THEIR faults, but people have gotten so used to it that they'll even protect a company like Apple for making a faulty part. If a car company did that, you'd be all over them.

    I heard people exactly like KingJr say similar things when people were complaining about their iBook's going in for repair after a logic board failure several years ago. I remember people saying, "Well, you didn't get Apple Care, so...." Made me sick.
     
  17. Wes macrumors 68020

    Wes

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2001
    Location:
    London
    #17
    There's a difference between a engine catching fire and people dying, and the future lawsuits, and somebody not having a working computer.
     
  18. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #18
    Because some of us can't get Applecare (in Florida) and because that adds a full 10% to the cost of a computer thats already twice as expensive as their PC counterparts.
     
  19. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #19
    In severity, yes, but in principle, no.

    The fact is that if something was designed improperly, or the breakage was due to Apple or the manufacturer (in this case, it would be Apple's coders), then they should be held liable. This isn't a wear and tear issue. If Apple built something faulty, they should have to fix or replace it whether you have AppleCare or not. I shouldn't need to pay for a coverage that only covers "manufacturers defects."
     
  20. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #20
    Unfortunately, companies aren't held liable past their stated warranty period (except as noted w/ the cars-- when human lives are at risk).

    Psst, it's called planned obsolescence. It's a tactic used by many companies.
     
  21. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #21
    They do, if it breaks in the first year.

    Why does everyone feel they are entitled to free fixes beyond the warranty period? You all had a chance to buy an extended warranty and chose not to. You took a risk and it didn't pay off and now you all get your panties in a bundle.

    Curious to all you Generation Entitlementers, at what point is Apple not responsible for repairs anymore?
     
  22. Linkjeniero macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #22
    I don't think you're getting the point. In general, you're right; but in this particular case, Apple CAUSED the problem via the 10.3.9 update (although they deny it); so they should be held responsible for the damage, just as the electric company is responsible if they fry your electronics with a voltage excess.
     
  23. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #23
    You missed my post about doubting whether an OS upgrade can cause hardware failure and this is all speculation at this point unless EVERY single 15" PB dies on a 10.3.9 upgrade. My point was its most likely coincidence since if you don't own Tiger, you are probably running 10.3.9.
     
  24. Linkjeniero macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #24
    An OS upgrade can't fry a motherboard, but a firmware update can, and those are sometimes included with OS upgrades. I know we don't know for sure this is what happened, but it's a possibility (and the fact that Apple killed the thread about it makes them look more guilty, I think). Still, whether this is what happened or not, this is a common enough issue to warrant a better answer from Apple than "it's no longer under warranty".
     
  25. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    sitting on your shoulder
    #25
    I doubt Apple would release a firmware update for one model in a downloaded general OS update.
     

Share This Page