MBP + 4GB RAM = problems for me

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mcbeej, Apr 12, 2008.

  1. mcbeej macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2007
    Hi guys,

    I just put in 4gig of Crucial RAM into my Penryn MBP, and it's having stability problems (spontaneous kernel panics on operations like unzipping large files with the archive utility).

    I ran the Apple Hardware Test on extended mode, and it reported no problems. I then tried Rember, and the machine kernel panicked immediately on starting the test.

    Ok, so definitely a RAM issue I thought. I jiggled the RAM around, swapped slots and made sure it's seated firmly. Rember now runs the memory test - I haven't let it complete a full cycle as it takes a while (I'll try it overnight) but I haven't got any problems so far.

    But still these kernel panics continue.

    I removed the Crucial RAM and replaced the original Apple 2 gig back in, and the machine is fine, no kernel panics and it's stable. Seems to be quicker too, and boots quicker.

    So, given the errors reported when I got those kernel panics, it seems to be related to a 32-bit function call in some programs which returns a larger than 32-bit memory address. Now, I would have thought Leopard handles this as the machines are supposed to support 4 gigs. On searching around I have found other posts saying some apps, like Apple's DVD player can cause kernel panics *only* with 4gig installed.

    So, onto my question:- do my problems stem from a bad batch of RAM, and 4gigs in a recent MBP should be perfectly stable, or are there issues when running with 4gigs of RAM that mean some applications/utilities can kernel panic the machine at unexpected times?

    I'm assuming the former, but I'd like some feedback on whether other people with 4gig of RAM have stable machines - I don't think a stable 4gig machine is too much to ask for, is it?

    I guess the next step is to try the RAM sticks one at a time, do a thorough Rember test on each and see if it points to one stick with an error.

    I've emailed Crucial support to see what they say as well.

    Honestly, it's just issue after issue with these computers... it's good job I love them so much to compensate...
  2. J@ffa macrumors 6502a


    Jul 21, 2002
    Behind you!
    I couldn't speak from personal experience, but I would have to lean towards you having gotten some bad RAM. Unlike third party peripherals, 4GB of RAM is something Apple offers themselves as a BTO option regardless of the make. If having 4GB caused kernel panics in DVD Player, and Apple said 'stuff happens' then someone who bought that up front would return the machine and tell them where to stick it. It may, of course, be a problem with Penryn Macs/MBPs, in which case, it might be worth hanging on. Since you've got 2GB, though, I'd just tell them it's causing loads of kernel panics and they'll just replace it. The odds of you getting bad RAM twice in a row are pretty high, so if it does continue then just stick with the 2GB until a firmware/OS update comes out.
  3. bobbleheadbob macrumors 6502a


    Feb 6, 2007
    I upgraded my new MBP to 4 GB of RAM from OWC w/o any problems. Can you return the Crucial RAM and have them send you two different RAM modules? :confused:
  4. MARTB macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2008
    Barrington Illinois
    I have a new Penryn 15" 2.4 and installed Crucial 4GB. It's been 2 weeks and no issues.
  5. merl1n macrumors 65816


    Mar 30, 2008
    New Jersey, USA
    I agree. It sounds like either one or both of the RAM modules you got from Crucial are bad. I also ran into this problem a few years ago buying Crucial RAM modules where one of them was bad.

    Crucial RAM is good and far cheaper than buying from Apple, but I still find Crucial prices to be in excess.

    Since then, I have been buying RAM and storage from OWC which has excellent prices and the same lifetime warranties (for RAM) as the other companies, and I have never received a bad RAM module from them.
  6. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    You have a bad SO-DIMM. Here's how you isolate which one:

    1. Put one of your Apple SO-DIMMs in one slot, and one of the Crucials in the other slot. Run your computer. If you don't have problems with it for the next few days, that SO-DIMM is probably ok. If not, that's a bad SO-DIMM.

    2. Repeat for the other SO-DIMM. While it's statistically unlikely that both are bad, it is possible.
  7. mcbeej thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2007
    Thanks guys for the confirmation that it's most likely bad RAM.

    I'll see what Crucial say and I'm sure they'll replace it. I'll also see if I can isolate the problem to one stick...


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