PowerBook G4 15" Lower-Memory-Slot Failure

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by bobesch, Jul 13, 2016.

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PowerBookG4 15/17" Lower RAM-slot failure. How about your PB?

  1. 15" - both RAM-slots ok

    7 vote(s)
    38.9%
  2. 15" - lower RAM-slot failure

    4 vote(s)
    22.2%
  3. 15"(DLSD) - both RAM-slots ok

    8 vote(s)
    44.4%
  4. 15"(DLSD) - lower RAM-slot failure

    1 vote(s)
    5.6%
  5. 17" - both RAM-slots ok

    1 vote(s)
    5.6%
  6. 17" - lower RAM-slot failure

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. 17"(DLSD) - both RAM-slots ok

    3 vote(s)
    16.7%
  8. 15"(DLSD) - lower RAM-slot failure

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. bobesch macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Kiel, Germany
    #1
    Got a 15" PB today.
    After the first great impression about the 'Book' the disappointment followed really fast :
    the lower memory slot doesn't work.
    Searching for that issue I've found endless complaints about that hardware-problem.
    So either live with 1GB RAM in the upper slot or get rid of the PB 15".
    Can't believe, Apple got away with that issue ...
    Does anyone here has a solution how to fix that problem?
    Anyone here running a PB 15" with 2Gigs RAM at all?
     
  2. MacCubed macrumors 68000

    MacCubed

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2014
    Location:
    Florida
    #2
    I've only seen DLSD PowerBooks run with a single 2GB stick, you could reflow the bad RAM slot and it should work again
     
  3. bobesch thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Kiel, Germany
    #3
    Are there any insructions, how to reflow the board (temp/time etc)

    I'm really sad to recognize the 15" PowerBook a NoGo...
     
  4. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #4
    I had a 15 with the bad slot years ago - I think the deficit is psychological more than anything, 1Gb is enough especially if you're running Tiger, unless you're Photoshopping or video editing.
     
  5. jbarley macrumors 68030

    jbarley

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    #5
    Sorry to hear about your problem,
    I'm one of the lucky ones it seems, my 15" PB is quite happy to use the full 2GB.

    Picture 1.JPG
     
  6. bobesch thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Kiel, Germany
    #6
    "psychological" - you may be right!
    But it's somehow annoying, that things do not work as intended.
    I was really impressed about the PB 15" as an "upgrade" to the 12" PB with it's huge display,
    but now I'm disappointed about that big flaw in hardware design... :(
    The 15" PB should run 2GB of RAM and obviously it doesn't.
    I guess it's only a matter of a fellow Apple community this issue did not become another xxx-gate.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 13, 2016 ---
    Oh ho, thanks a lot encouraging me about the good in PowerBooks ...
    There's an auction for a 1.67 GHz PB next to my place.
    Now I dare to go for it hoping it's like yours and won't have the "Lower-Slot-Gate".
     
  7. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #7
    I know, there's no getting away from that - I've been disappointed so many times with eBay buys that turn out to have one significant thing wrong.
    Look at it like this - if you'd bought a TiBook with 1Gb you'd be pleased that it was maxxed out - not lamenting the fact it's 'only' 1Gb....small consolation I know.
    My 12" iBook & Powerbook are both 512Mb short of their maximum...I'm in no hurry to upgrade them.
     
  8. Hrududu macrumors 68020

    Hrududu

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Location:
    Central US
    #8
    I've got 2GB running in my 17" DLSD and its really just not an impressive system. 1GB can get tight in Leopard or even Tiger with any sort of modern web browsing. If you can, sell it and try again unless you don't really want to bother. There are still a lot of PowerBooks out there with both slots functioning.
     
  9. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #9
    Obviously not all Powerbooks are created equal....my 17" DLSD is a great performer :)
     
  10. sawpits, Jul 13, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016

    sawpits macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    #10
    My non DLSD 1.67 is running 2GB, my HiRes has the RAM slot problem.
     
  11. Orizence macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2014
    #11
    I think a lot of the 1.67 models are unaffected as mine runs fine with the full 2gb of ram
     
  12. 128keaton macrumors 68020

    128keaton

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    #12
    Same. Both DLSDs I've had didn't have this issue. I do have 2GB in the lower slot since I couldn't find any matching sticks.
     
  13. Gamer9430 macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2014
    Location:
    Central New Jersey, USA
    #13
    if you aren't impressed by the 17in DLSD, I'd be willing to take it off your hands and bring it to a special place where macs of any age or spec are appreciated ;)
     
  14. bobesch, Jul 14, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016

    bobesch thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Kiel, Germany
    #14
    Today I've got the sellers response, that he would take the PB back and refund the price.
    It was otherwise a perfect machine with a good display and in overall good condition.
    But the "psychological" factor and the "good" price I've paid made me sending the PB back...
    Funny: the seller alternatively offered a kind of partial refund by sending me a 1GB and two 512MB RAM-chips - which makes me think that he knew about the lower RAM-slot failure - and might have felt bad, to keep this problem secret ... ;)
    After all an honest offer to take the PowerBook back.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 14, 2016 ---
    How many frogs do I have to kiss to find the princess...?
    --- Post Merged, Jul 14, 2016 ---
    Added a poll about the lower RAM-slot-issue.
    Might help to look closer when going for a 15/17" PowerBook...
     
  15. swamprock, Jul 14, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2016

    swamprock macrumors 6502

    swamprock

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2015
    Location:
    Michigan
    #15
    I've had two 1.5ghz DVI machines that experienced the failure. The one I own now runs Debian Jessie like a champ with 1gb (Openbox/XFCE desktop).
     
  16. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #16
    Exactly the same experience I had buying the standard 15" - seller told me he'd upgraded the memory but inside just one stick!
    When I came to sell it I fully acknowledged it had a slot failure and despite being immaculate, boxed and with all original accessories it went for a quarter of the normal price.
    Lesson learnt though - afterwards never bought a half full 15 or 17 Powerbook....
     
  17. MacinDan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    #17
    I revived a dead lower RAM slot a few days ago by heating it with a hair dryer. Doubt it will last long, though.
     
  18. bobesch thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Kiel, Germany
    #18
    Yeah, that's really the quintessence about buing a 15" Powerbook ...
    And not beeing impatient when looking for one: "check all, choose the best ..." my grandmother used to say, but obviously she forgot to tell me, not to be impatient and wait for the right thing to come.
    Finally I've got a 15" 1,67GHz DLSD with 2Gigs of memory from a nice seller virtually "next door" about 5 miles away from my place. And it has all additional stuff included (except from the box).
    It's in a perfect condition and I'm really impressed about the screen size&resolution. Perfect companion to my 12"PB (which now sports a nice Snoopy & Woodstock @ campfire sticker so that I don't mix them up ;) ).
    Looking foreward to attach an mSATA drive too.
     
  19. bobesch, Jul 31, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2016

    bobesch thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Kiel, Germany
    #19
    Another RAM-issue...
    I'was lucky to return that otherwise fine PowerBookG4 with lower-RAM-slot-failure and get an excellent 15" DLSD from a nice seller next door.
    That could have been the happy end.
    But there is another 15" PB - the first 15" I ever got, which suffered from a yellow display and which lived unloved somewhere in my office sitting in a dark box, until... Until I got a cheap wrecked 15" for spare parts and was lucky, the optical drive, the display, 500MB of RAM and the screws were fine...
    Replacement of the display worked without problems (even if iFixit made me remove the whole Logic-board on my first round at the wrecked PB... quit interesting, but I know better now) and the display looks like new now :)
    I also got a 1GB-RAM-chip to max out the remaining upper RAM-slot and was disappointed again, since that upper RAM-slot does only regonize 512MB of the 1GB RAM chip.
    Arrrgh...!
    Did I miss out something (any firmware-upgrade) - or is it, the upper RAM-slot is smoked up too? Profiler also reports a problem with that upper slot.
    So has to go into the oven for reflow? Or is there anything, that will sort out that kind of a problem?
    Ah, life's to short for bad drinks...
     
  20. Xandros macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    #20
    Could be the actual module.
    I'd suggest trying some other compatible RAM modules before you go jumping to any conclusions. That module is probably high density. I can't remember if these PowerBook's are compatible with it or not but, usually the reason for a system only seeing 512MB of a 1GB memory module was because it had high density modules and as a result the system was only seeing the first half of the memory. I could be wrong but, that would be my guess.
     
  21. bobesch thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Kiel, Germany
    #21
    Thanks! It's the RAM-module. It's supposed to fit all 15" PB except the PowerBook5,4.
    So, something to add to Dronecatcher's advice: better don't go for a PowerBook5,4 at all, unless it has 2GB of working memory installed, cause finding a compatible RAM sucks and is more expensive and delicate than for the other models ...
     
  22. bobesch thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Kiel, Germany
    #22
    My previous posting prooved to be rubbish: two of my 1GB RAM-chips are faulty. Checked them with all available iBookG4 and PowerbookG4: only 512MB RAM of the total 1GB did show up in System Profiler... (and they were all low-density modules.)
    And there's obviously nothing different beween the RAM-specs of the G4 books (except the PB G4 DLSD which has to be DDR2 RAM)
     
  23. Xandros macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
  24. bobesch thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Kiel, Germany
    #24
    One pair of 1GB RAM is labelled "Quimonda" - one of the two chips works fine, the other offers only 512MB.
    The same seller sent me a pair of 1GB Samsung Chips which also work fine.
    Then there's the faulty single 1GB "no name" brick with the black squares labelled Samsung.
    I guess, it's a lottery ...
    Anyway - I'll get both faulty 1GB bricks replace by the seller :)
     

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