MacBook Unibody RAM Question

sunapple

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jul 16, 2013
1,862
2,693
The Netherlands
Hi!

I recently got an old white MacBook Unibody from 2010. It has 2GB of RAM so I got 2x 2GB of RAM second hand to replace it with. The required RAM is:

PC3 8500 1066Mhz DDR3 SO-DIMM

This is what the original stick was and this are the new sticks I got:

Samsung 2GB PC3 8500S

Sounds correct right?

It doesn't work, the Mac just beeps every five seconds, indicating no RAM is installed.

I happened to come accros the exact same Samsung RAM from an old 2010 MacBook Pro at home, they give the same result.

Also combining the old RAM with any of the Samsung ones gives the beeps.

Is there anything I could do, or anything I should look for when buying new RAM? I thought just the form factor and speed where enough to consider.
 

sunapple

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jul 16, 2013
1,862
2,693
The Netherlands
Old RAM works in the lower slot, upper slot gives the beeps (with five-second interval). New Samsung RAM (any of the four) doesn't seem to work putting them in just the lower slot.

Tried running the Apple Hardware Test but it just gave an error message: Failed to initialize product driver. Status= E. (not possible taking any action other than forcing it to shut down).

I'm guessing now just the lower slot works, so I can either get one 4GB or one 8GB. Very strange.
 

citan

macrumors newbie
Mar 29, 2014
5
0
Old RAM works in the lower slot, upper slot gives the beeps (with five-second interval). New Samsung RAM (any of the four) doesn't seem to work putting them in just the lower slot.

Tried running the Apple Hardware Test but it just gave an error message: Failed to initialize product driver. Status= E. (not possible taking any action other than forcing it to shut down).

I'm guessing now just the lower slot works, so I can either get one 4GB or one 8GB. Very strange.

i had same issue on my 2010, one slot works with 4gb, other will not (beeps on boot)...right now i have 6gb.
 

butterburger cookybutter

macrumors member
Aug 5, 2016
48
31
Tried running the Apple Hardware Test but it just gave an error message: Failed to initialize product driver. Status= E.
I do not have anything to contribute regarding original subject. I want to settle one unknown: this message:

Failed to Initialize Product Driver. Status = E

This message means, an incorrect version of AppleDiagnostics is loaded. This message is not entirely unhelpful. Having experienced a fair amount of Apple's "It Just Works When It Just Works" design, I would have expected a terse, useless, message: 'Status = E'. Full sentence, 'Failed to Initialize Product Driver.', means that diagnostic software does not initialise because it is not matched to host machine. It does not imply any hardware problem. Until now, at least one person has misinterpreted this message (interpreted it as the sign of a hardware problem).

Apple targets only recent models (since around 2013) for AppleDiagnostics. Apple's diagnostic program which targeted Mac PCs older than 2013 is AppleHardwareTest. An attempt to run AppleDiagnostics on an older (than around 2013) model will result as this message. If an attempt to run AD on an AD-age model, or an attempt to run AHT on an AHT-age model, results as this message (Failed to Initialize Product Driver. Status = E): then a wrong software version is loaded. When Apple's hardware diagnostic software is loaded on a correct, matched, machine model, then this message will not be result.
 
Last edited:

EugW

macrumors 604
Jun 18, 2017
7,298
4,686
A couple of points to consider:

The fact you haven't given us the full RAM specs yet suggests you may not know what the full RAM specs are. What are the RAM timings? I suspect the RAM timings are fine, but nonetheless, you haven't told us yet for sure.

Also, is the firmware the latest?

https://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT201518

Sorry, I don't know how to fix your problem, but I want to recommend a brand of RAM I recently bought, which worked really well in my 2009 Macbook Pro: A-Tech.

This is what I bought: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01C7YX7FQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Just be aware that noname brands like A-Tech likley have higher product return rates than top tier RAM brands like Crucial and Kingston.

Even popular 2nd tier name brands like Corsair and G.Skill have significantly higher return rates than Crucial and Kingston. Your RAM is probably fine but just be aware there are indeed differences in RAM quality, which probably relates to how stringent are the RAM manufacturers' production QA requirements.

Find some Kingston, Crucial or Corsair RAM specifically for Macs
See above regarding second tier brands like Corsair. G.Skill is roughly is in the same category as Corsair with regards to return rates IIRC, and both are considerably higher than Kingston and Crucial. But I recently bought some second tier Transcend RAM for my 2008 MacBook just because it was uber cheap. It was about US$36 for 8 GB PC-8500 CL7 RAM at Amazon in a flash sale. Luckily I got in on the deal just before it all sold out. However, if pricing of 2nd tier is within say $10-15 of Crucial RAM, I'd lean to getting the Crucial RAM.