Mac Mini G4 RAM upgrade issue

2784155

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 8, 2017
11
2
Recently, I bought a 1 GB standard DDR ram stick for my old Mac mini G4, looking to re-purpose it. Everything seemed to be going fine when I began to install it, until I restarted the mac to find that only half of it (512 MB) is working. I found this very strange, considering the previous RAM stick was 512 MB by itself, and it worked just fine. I looked up a video guide to compare my results to, and it seems that I did everything in the installation process like I should have. I also re-installed 10.5.8 just to be sure it wasn't a software issue, but it didn't help.

Is my new RAM stick defective? Did I not install it correctly? Maybe I skipped a step?

What can I do to fix this issue? All responses are appericiated.
 

2784155

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 8, 2017
11
2
Your should at least tell us the specs of the RAM bar (written on the stickers). Does it have ECC? Is it registered RAM?
Looking at the sticker, it says it's non ECC and LD Unbuffered, if that helps at all.
 

2784155

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 8, 2017
11
2
You have one, 1 GB stick, and half of it is working? Just trying to make sure I understand.
It certainly seems that way, but my 512 stick works just fine. Both sticks allow me 512 MB of ram even though one should give me double that.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,338
2,736
Delaware
Yes, you may have installed it incorrectly (not completely seated), or the memory could be defective, or could just be the wrong type.
Can you tell us what is on the memory stick's label:
Brand, memory type, exactly as is showing on that label. The most relevant would be the speed, which should be PC-2700 DDR333. PC-3200 would work, but would clock down to 333 MHz.
 

2784155

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 8, 2017
11
2
Yes, you may have installed it incorrectly (not completely seated), or the memory could be defective, or could just be the wrong type.
Can you tell us what is on the memory stick's label:
Brand, memory type, exactly as is showing on that label. The most relevant would be the speed, which should be PC-2700 DDR333. PC-3200 would work, but would clock down to 333 MHz.
All right, here's everything on the label:

Brand is Computer Bay
Memory type is PC3200, DDR 400MHz
Non-ECC
LD Unbuffered

Hopefully some of this helps clear things up
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,338
2,736
Delaware
I guess you mean "KomputerBay" (Not that I am being pedantic about spelling, but... )

Appears to be right, and should work.
Reseat the RAM in the slot, do that a couple of times.
Reset PRAM. Do THAT a couple of times, too.

If you still have the original restore DVD (grey disk) that came with your mini, it would have the Hardware Test listed on the disk label. You can boot to that (insert the DVD, restart holding the letter D), and see what happens with an extended test.

Finally, if you only see 512MB (and the mini seems to work without problems), and the label says that it is 1GB size, then I suspect that the label is wrong. (KomputerBay might not be the most detail-oriented company in the world)
Call the KomputerBay support number, or the shop that sold you that RAM. You should be able to return it, no probs.
 

2784155

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 8, 2017
11
2
I guess you mean "KomputerBay" (Not that I am being pedantic about spelling, but... )

Appears to be right, and should work.
Reseat the RAM in the slot, do that a couple of times.
Reset PRAM. Do THAT a couple of times, too.

Finally, if you only see 512MB (and the mini seems to work without problems), and the label says that it is 1GB size, then I suspect that the label is wrong. (KomputerBay might not be the most detail-oriented company in the world)
Call the KomputerBay support number, or the shop that sold you that RAM. You should be able to return it, no probs.
All right, I'll see if doing those two will help this. Although, I haven't ever needed to reset a RAM slot on a Mac before. Is there a guide or set of instructions here or elsewhere on how do to that? PRAM, however, I'll be able to do myself just fine.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,338
2,736
Delaware
Not reset - reseat!
All that I mean by that is popping the stick out of the slot, and re-inserting. The RAM slot contacts are designed to be self-cleaning on each insertion, so that's why I would suggest doing that reseat a couple of times. Just takes a couple of seconds to do (other than the "fun" of getting the case open so you can get at the slot :D )
(Notice that I edited my last post, adding some info about the Hardware test, if you have that original DVD)
 

2784155

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 8, 2017
11
2
Not reset - reseat!
All that I mean by that is popping the stick out of the slot, and re-inserting. The RAM slot contacts are designed to be self-cleaning on each insertion, so that's why I would suggest doing that reseat a couple of times. Just takes a couple of seconds to do (other than the "fun" of getting the case open so you can get at the slot :D )
(Notice that I edited my last post, adding some info about the Hardware test, if you have that original DVD)
I tried reseating and resetting the PRAM several times, but nothing has changed so far. As far as I know, the reset DVD has also been gone for ages. Is it possible that a burnable ISO of it is on the Apple support website?
 

AmazingHenry

macrumors 65816
Jul 6, 2015
1,285
523
Central Michigan
I tried reseating and resetting the PRAM several times, but nothing has changed so far. As far as I know, the reset DVD has also been gone for ages. Is it possible that a burnable ISO of it is on the Apple support website?
This is a hardware problem, so reinstalling the OS wouldn't help.

Have you noticed a performance difference with the new RAM? Sometimes the computer can use all of the RAM but it registers as lower.

The only other possibility (besides not seated correctly or incorrect RAM, both of which we have ruled out above) is that the RAM is simply bad. If nobody has any other suggestions, try new RAM.
 

2784155

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 8, 2017
11
2
This is a hardware problem, so reinstalling the OS wouldn't help.

Have you noticed a performance difference with the new RAM? Sometimes the computer can use all of the RAM but it registers as lower.

The only other possibility (besides not seated correctly or incorrect RAM, both of which we have ruled out above) is that the RAM is simply bad. If nobody has any other suggestions, try new RAM.
If there was a performance boost, it's a very slight one. Regardless, I'll see if I can get my hands on some new RAM and see if that helps. Thanks for responding
 
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AmazingHenry

macrumors 65816
Jul 6, 2015
1,285
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Central Michigan
If there was a performance boost, it's a very slight one. Regardless, I'll see if I can get my hands on some new RAM and see if that helps. Thanks for responding
You won't notice a difference unless you are doing stuff like web browsing. So try using the machine for a little bit.

Also, where does your username come from? :D
 

2784155

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 8, 2017
11
2
You won't notice a difference unless you are doing stuff like web browsing. So try using the machine for a little bit.

Also, where does your username come from? :D
To be honest, I just typed in a bunch of numbers at random, no real significance in them!
Also, I'm still curious about that restore DVD idea from earlier. Are there any copies of those on Apple's websites somewhere?
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,338
2,736
Delaware
I looked for the Hardware Test for your G4 mini

I think this link will give you what you want. The image should be burned to a CD-R.
 

2784155

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 8, 2017
11
2
I looked for the Hardware Test for your G4 mini

I think this link will give you what you want. The image should be burned to a CD-R.
Thanks for the link, the new CD works just fine.
Now, when I went to go test with it, it came back with errors in the RAM. The error code it gave me was

"2STF/8/3:ATA-100 ata-6 - Master post/0/2048"

It also seems to recognize that my RAM stick is 1028 MB, and also recognizes that only 512 MB is useable. What should I do here?
 

AmazingHenry

macrumors 65816
Jul 6, 2015
1,285
523
Central Michigan
Thanks for the link, the new CD works just fine.
Now, when I went to go test with it, it came back with errors in the RAM. The error code it gave me was

"2STF/8/3:ATA-100 ata-6 - Master post/0/2048"

It also seems to recognize that my RAM stick is 1028 MB, and also recognizes that only 512 MB is useable. What should I do here?
Try the test with your old stick of RAM, and if there's no errors, then the RAM you bought is bad. If there are errors with the old RAM, then it's probably a problem with the mini.
 

2784155

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 8, 2017
11
2
Try the test with your old stick of RAM, and if there's no errors, then the RAM you bought is bad. If there are errors with the old RAM, then it's probably a problem with the mini.
I'm afraid you were right, the RAM was defective. I'm returning it, and buying a new stick. Thanks for all the help
 

ziggy29

macrumors 6502
Oct 29, 2014
439
252
Oregon North Coast
I'm afraid you were right, the RAM was defective. I'm returning it, and buying a new stick. Thanks for all the help
Don't be afraid, be glad! Far better a defective RAM stick than a problem on the Mini's logic board itself. Apart from solving the problem and getting it to work entirely, this is the next best outcome!
 
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2784155

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 8, 2017
11
2
Don't be afraid, be glad! Far better a defective RAM stick than a problem on the Mini's logic board itself. Apart from solving the problem and getting it to work entirely, this is the next best outcome!
Out of curiousity, what would the symptoms of a bad logic board be? I don't think I have any, but I'd like to know just for future reference
 
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CooperBox

macrumors 65816
Nov 28, 2010
1,266
1,284
France - between Ricard & Absinthe
Just for info, I have purchased several different types of 'KomputerBay' RAM memory sticks frm Amazon. Often one associates cheap with 'nasty', but I've never found this to be the case with that brand of memory. Quite the opposite, they've always performed to spec, and I've been very satisfied. Never used with a Mac Mini, but with G4 iMacs that brand generally require to be 'paired' in the user accessible and so-called 'factory accessible' (innermost) slots.
 
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