MacBook RAM Problem

lyingfromyou

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 9, 2009
7
0
I am trying to upgrade the RAM in my white macbook from 2 GB to 4GB using the RAM from a Sony VAIO laptop. If I put both 2 GB sticks from the other laptop in, my computer turns on but does not boot. The screen never turns on. If i have one of the original sticks in, and one of the new sticks in, it boots up fine and the system profiler recognizes the new RAM and says it is in working order. Why can't I boot with both sticks in? They are both DDR2 667MHz sticks and are all working.
 

Makosuke

macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2001
6,168
354
The Cool Part of CA, USA
It depends on what model of MacBook you have.

Some of the older (but not really old) ones officially only support 2GB of RAM, but generally will accept 3GB. The hardware cannot deal with 4GB, however, so that may be what you're seeing. (Admittedly, I thought that they would just show you 3GB even if you had 4GB installed, but maybe it just refuses to boot entirely--never tried it myself.)

If you have a newer one (Santa Rosa or later) that officially supports 4GB then something else is wrong. Could be a weird incompatibility (I've seen some pretty un-intuitive RAM issues on occasion), or maybe a motherboard issue.
 

lyingfromyou

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 9, 2009
7
0
Well the model Identifier is MacBook4,1 with an Intel Core 2 Duo, 2.4 Ghz processor. I bought it in July of 2008 and I'm pretty sure that I checked if I could upgrade to 4 GB of ram when I first bought it because I knew i would be using Pro Tools and other audio programs a lot, but until now I was not in a position to upgrade. I'm going to try booting with just one of the sticks, and I have tried booting with each of the new ones as well as an old one and it worked fine.
 

lyingfromyou

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 9, 2009
7
0
So can you think of any reasons why it won't boot without at least one stick of the original RAM?

It just seems odd that I can boot it with one stick of the original 1 GB and one stick of the new 2Gb, switch and use either stick and have it work fine, but if I try to use just one of the 2GB sticks or both, it will not load at all.
 

BlueRevolution

macrumors 603
Jul 26, 2004
6,054
2
Montreal, QC
Must be bad memory, or it doesn't match the specs of the Apple RAM precisely. Just because it reports as working to Apple's diagnostic tools doesn't necessarily mean that it is in perfect working order. The ultimate test of whether the memory works is whether it... works. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work, and you need to buy new memory that does.

Does the MacBook beep when you try to start it with only the new memory installed?
 

lyingfromyou

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 9, 2009
7
0
No, the light at the front comes on, the screen flickers just once quickly, and the CD drive boots up, but other than that nothing happens. Is there software I can use to test the RAM while I have it up and running?
 

BlueRevolution

macrumors 603
Jul 26, 2004
6,054
2
Montreal, QC
Well, you could try booting to Apple Hardware Test from the computer's restore disk 1 if you haven't. Just follow the instructions printed on the disk. I think you hold D on startup to access it.
 

lyingfromyou

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 9, 2009
7
0
Well, you could try booting to Apple Hardware Test from the computer's restore disk 1 if you haven't. Just follow the instructions printed on the disk. I think you hold D on startup to access it.
Well I tried that, and it says that the RAM is fine. Both sticks say they're fine, and run fine with one of the 1 Gb sticks. I don't understand why I can't boot up with both of the new sticks, but they both work fine =\
 

colourfastt

macrumors 6502a
Apr 7, 2009
906
745
Well I tried that, and it says that the RAM is fine. Both sticks say they're fine, and run fine with one of the 1 Gb sticks. I don't understand why I can't boot up with both of the new sticks, but they both work fine =\
Probably since the RAM is from a Vaio .... Apple computers are known for being rather 'picky' with the RAM they will work with. Even with new memory they're known for problems with Kingston for example, even when spec'd for the computer.
 

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