Just did something extremely dumb while trying to upgrade RAM

Discussion in 'iMac' started by elleana, Nov 24, 2010.

  1. elleana macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    #1
    ... in my late 2009 iMac 27"

    If you've ever opened up the RAM slots, you will know that there is a 'space' above the exact slot where the RAM is supposed to go (if the iMac is facing LCD-down on the floor and the pull tab is below). By some amazing feat, (I was being lazy and did it by feel while the iMac was still standing instead of laying everything down nicely) I managed to shove my new RAM into this space instead of the 'correct' slot. Of course I get the three "RAM bad" beeps when I start up, and my RAM is now stuck. Pulling on the pull tab does nothing, because the RAM is not where it is supposed to be.

    Does anyone have any bright ideas on how to get the RAM out? If I bring it to an apple store, will the techs laugh at me in the face?
     
  2. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68030

    Mac'nCheese

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    #2
    Well, not to your face. But maybe in the back room. Its probably worth it though, don't want to make another silly mistake and do some real damage. They might not even charge you. My kid filled my dvd slot with coins once. They got the last one out for me for free. They didn't even keep the dime.
     
  3. elleana thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 30, 2009
    #3
    Well technically it /is/ under warranty, just that the 'service' required isn't anything like the usual. Grr. Hopefully the techs will be nice about it.
     
  4. PatriotInvasion macrumors 65816

    PatriotInvasion

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    Boston, MA
    #4
    They'll help you out at the Apple Store. Definitely.

    As for the other comment, iMacs and kids don't mix. When I have a kid, my office door will be locked:D
     
  5. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000

    rkaufmann87

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    #5
    With due respect if the techs are in a bad mood this could be seen as abuse (which it was) and invalidate the warranty.
     
  6. Bobbytoad, Nov 24, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2010

    Bobbytoad macrumors member

    Bobbytoad

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    #6
  7. elleana thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 30, 2009
    #7
    Wow. I think these are exactly what I need. Time to hit the hardware store.
    Thanks very much, will post if it succeeds :)
     
  8. bossxii macrumors 68000

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    Kansas City
    #8
    If you haven't already done this little operation, I would suggest finding something like a rubberband or small rubber pc of material so you don't totally crush the ram stick when you squeeze the pliers. I've had the joy of one of the tabs breaking that usually removes the memory. I had a pair of needle nose pliers and the first one I actually cracked the memory stick getting it out. I then cut about 1/2" strips of a thick rubber band, put it over the memory stick and put the pliers on it. I didn't have to squeeze nearly as hard to get a good grip and it came out without damage.
     
  9. chrisdazzo macrumors 6502

    chrisdazzo

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Location:
    Colorado
    #9
    Hindsight speaking here, but you should've checked out the iMac RAM install guide on Apple's support site (here) before touching anything. I'm assuming you didn't because you didn't lay it on its screen (on a soft surface) to start.

    I'm sure the Apple techs will be pretty understanding about it, but next time I'd recommend checking if there's a guide on Apple. This coming from a guy - I know, following directions sucks, and it is sometimes more fun to go it alone. Maybe not on this one. :p Hope it works out for you.
     
  10. elleana thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 30, 2009
    #10
    Good call, thanks, will remember that. Am at work now, will get home and do this a little later. Already have the needle pliers already though.

    I saw that, but I was too lazy to clear my desk to lay it flat, and 27" iMacs are heavy things... Well I sorta skimmed through Apple's guide, and looked at the pictures on ifixit, and figured it was easy enough. Besides, RAM installs on regular PCs aren't exactly rocket science.

    Famous last words...
     
  11. Stealthipad macrumors 68040

    Stealthipad

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    #11
    If I were you I would not go into the Apple store with the attitude that this is covered by warranty!

    I would be humble, admit what I did and "ASK" if you can fix it. YOU are the one who needs to be nice as this is your fault and not theirs.
     
  12. John T macrumors 68020

    John T

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    #12
    Very wise advice!
     
  13. elleana thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 30, 2009
    #13
    Is all good. Used needle nose pliers and it came out - not without a fair bit of elbow grease but oh well. Thanks Bobbytoad and Bossxii for the tips.

    Sad thing is, one of the sticks doesn't work. Both RAM slots are fine, tried with all combinations. Not sure if it was originally DOA or I messed it up somehow. The stick looks fine though. Oh well, RMA time.
     
  14. Lordedmond macrumors regular

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    Tilchestune UK
    #14
    how can you RMA the ram when you have damaged it with the pliers ?
     
  15. Bobbytoad macrumors member

    Bobbytoad

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    Nov 18, 2010
  16. George Knighton macrumors 6502a

    George Knighton

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    Oct 13, 2010
    #16
    He'll probably get away with it, but the question is more like, "How can you expect to RMA it when you've documented the issue online?"

    :)
     
  17. elleana thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 30, 2009
    #18
    Well, I looked closely and there was no physical damage. I followed the tip about using rubber bands to 'line' my pliers, and it seemed to work. Of course, the damage may be not visible to the eye, I don't know. But it could very well also be a DOA stick of RAM. I think I'm rather justified to try and RMA it. If they reject me, well, my loss. I won't kick up a fuss or anything.
     
  18. fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

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    #19
    How do you know it was damaged by the pliers and not DOA to begin with?
     
  19. John T macrumors 68020

    John T

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    #20
    Why not break a habit of your lifetime and be honest for a change?
     
  20. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

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    Jan 11, 2007
    #21
    Pliers and thin PCB boards with comparatively large chips = damage. Flexing the PCB (which you very likely did with the pliers) will cause solder joint / pad failure because the chips do NOT flex at all.

    I was cringing at the thought of needle nose pliers tugging on that ram stick.

    --- You could have knocked off some small components when pushing it into the incorrect slot. It doesn't take much to break off tiny caps and resistors when it comes to these ultra-small SMT components.

    Finally - it could be ESD damage or just a DOA - but I'm willing to wager it was one of the top 2 actions that caused this.
     
  21. coolspot18 macrumors 65816

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    Canada
    #22
    RAM and computer components are not THAT fragile.
     
  22. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

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    Jan 11, 2007
    #23
    My experience has shown me otherwise. I've seen components on consumer electronics fall off with merely a brush of your finger. If pliers were used and it was "stuck" I'd say it's very likely some pads got lifted, subcutaneous fractures, broken traces or (most likely) some caps, diodes and resistors were shorn off.

    Pop both sticks out, put them side by side, and look them both over with a magnifying glass.
     
  23. Kissaragi macrumors 68020

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    Nov 16, 2006
    #24
    Im glad the imac is ok! At worst youve only lost one stick of ram.
     
  24. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

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    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #25
    What would be your attitude if you ordered a refurb Mac and it came with twice the memory specified? ;)
     

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