MacBookPro 4,1 - 3 beeps = no good banks

sparkie7

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Oct 17, 2008
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I can't believe it, my trusty old MacBook Pro 17" 2.6GHz upgraded to 6GB RAM has now started beeping the dreaded three beeps, which doing some googling looks like a bad RAM slot?

I took out the RAM and test individual sticks into the slots. It seem like the top slot is screwed. The bottom works fine with all the RAM modules (2GB, 2GB and 4GB), but as soon as you install any in the top slot -- up comes the three beeps on start up, or starts up and freezes after login, sometimes doesn't even go that far.

So what are my options?

One apparently is to clean the contacts on the bad RAM slot? With alcohol - what type - Jim Beam? (kidding)

Or is it a log board replacement - which ain't gonna happen. Too expensive.

Or do I live with just 4GB RAM, really miss the extra 2GB. Now I have 2GB RAM modules sitting around.

Anything else I can try?
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
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Does that MacBook normally support 16gb (8gb in both slots)?

If so, could you go with a single 8gb DIMM in the bottom slot?
 

sparkie7

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Original poster
Oct 17, 2008
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It normally supports 4GB RAM according to Apple, but it can handle and run 6GB.

So I'm running the 4GB on the working slot
 

Hrududu

macrumors 68020
Jul 25, 2008
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You're lucky the thing still works at all. I've got a 17" 3,1 2.6GHz and it of course died the 8600M GT death. Baked it 2x so far and was able to get it back a couple times, but the last time I haven't opened it up again to try again. Sucks because they're fantastic machines.
 

sparkie7

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Oct 17, 2008
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Looks like you'll have to get used to using 4gb of RAM, then...
I'm still trying to come to terms with this lol. I'll try to buy some isopropyl too clean the contacts inside the RAM slot, but it's so thin - what does one use to apply the isopropyl and clean the slot with? Q tips would be too thick by the looks
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You're lucky the thing still works at all. I've got a 17" 3,1 2.6GHz and it of course died the 8600M GT death. Baked it 2x so far and was able to get it back a couple times, but the last time I haven't opened it up again to try again. Sucks because they're fantastic machines.
Mine is a 4,1. Agree they are fantastic machines.

Wasn't yours had a recall by Apple to fix it? Or was that a different model. Guess getting it fixed would be cost prohibitive?
 

Hrududu

macrumors 68020
Jul 25, 2008
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I'm still trying to come to terms with this lol. I'll try to buy some isopropyl too clean the contacts inside the RAM slot, but it's so thin - what does one use to apply the isopropyl and clean the slot with? Q tips would be too thick by the looks
[doublepost=1493514926][/doublepost]

Mine is a 4,1. Agree they are fantastic machines.

Wasn't yours had a recall by Apple to fix it? Or was that a different model. Guess getting it fixed would be cost prohibitive?
All the 2007- early 2008 MacBook Pros with the Nvidia 8600M GT were recalled including yours, but the problem just came back for most everyone. Not many of them are still out there that haven't gone bad, so its pretty surprising you had a failed memory slot before GPU failure. Its certainly not something I'd put money into. If you switched out the motherboard, you might just be dropping in one that is about to fail, or has already and was re-flowed.
 

sparkie7

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Original poster
Oct 17, 2008
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All the 2007- early 2008 MacBook Pros with the Nvidia 8600M GT were recalled including yours, but the problem just came back for most everyone. Not many of them are still out there that haven't gone bad, so its pretty surprising you had a failed memory slot before GPU failure. Its certainly not something I'd put money into. If you switched out the motherboard, you might just be dropping in one that is about to fail, or has already and was re-flowed.
Did you get yours replaced?

Mine is MacBook Pro 17" Late 2008. What are the symptoms of the 8600M GT failure?

Looking at this video, it shows the  repair programme applied to specific models:

Specific products affected:

MacBook Pro 15-inch and 17-inch models with NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics processors

MacBook Pro (17-Inch, 2.4GHz)

MacBook Pro (15-Inch, 2.4/2.2GHz)

MacBook Pro (Early 2008)

These computers were manufactured between approximately May 2007 and September 2008


Looking up when my MBP 17" was made on appleserialnumberinfo.com, it says:

Model: - MacBook Pro (17-inch, Late 2008) (CTO)
Codename: - M88
Build Country: - This unit was built in Changhai, China.
Build Year: - This unit was built in 2008.
Build Week - Your Mac was built in week 43 of that year (October).
Processor CPU speed: - CTO, 2.6 GHz

So based on this, it suggests my machine is not in the range affected. I think. o_O
 
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Hrududu

macrumors 68020
Jul 25, 2008
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Symptoms varied, but typically there would be artifacting on the screen, booting without any video on the screen, and simply failing to POST. There was a small diagnostic app we would run on them which was made specifically for that problem when I was working for a service provider. Yours being a 17" was made into January 2009, but still has the 8600M GT video card. Not entirely sure HOW the late 2008 17" wasn't included in the program, but I would imagine so
 

sparkie7

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Oct 17, 2008
2,026
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Symptoms varied, but typically there would be artifacting on the screen, booting without any video on the screen, and simply failing to POST. There was a small diagnostic app we would run on them which was made specifically for that problem when I was working for a service provider. Yours being a 17" was made into January 2009, but still has the 8600M GT video card. Not entirely sure HOW the late 2008 17" wasn't included in the program, but I would imagine so
Do you remember the name of the app, or link to it? Presumably a GPU testing app could do similar?


The only screen issue I have with the screen is a very faint line of vertical dots two thirds to the right of the screen (probably from the screen being pressed in my backpack or travelling. They are not dead pixels, but just very faint light green I think. So, no graphics card artifacting at all.

I'm thinking the late ones from October 2008 production,  were aware of this GPU problem and presumably those units were fixed by way of using higher temperature solder etc..

Did you try fixing yours, seems a lot of people say they fixed theirs by baking it in the oven! no joke.
 
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