RAM disappears when my Mac Pro goes to sleep?!?!?!?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by MacSeriously, Jun 12, 2007.

  1. MacSeriously macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2007
    Hi everyone,

    Since I am a newbie to Mac in general, whenever something weird happens to my new Mac Pro, I don't know what to do. And what I am about to ask you seems to be a major one to me.

    My Mac Pro came less than a month ago and I've recently added 4GB of RAM along with the default 1GB = 5GB in total. The installation was a breeze. It took probably less than 5 minutes. I thought that was nice for a newbie.

    The reason why I have installed that much RAM is to do video editing on Final Cut Pro and some motion graphics in Motion.

    The issue was noticed a couple of nights ago when I started downloading all the fancy dashboard widgets, and one of them was iStat Pro. Like the name itself, it shows current status of parts, including fans, on my Mac Pro. Free Memory seemed very low (less than 500MB instead of 4.something GB) when I was running only Firefox. The reason why I mentioned about iStat Pro has nothing to do with the issue. I am just saying that I wouldn't even know there might've been a change in RAM usage status otherwise. (Now I pay attention to those things...)

    To make this rambling short, the issue generally occurs after my Mac Pro goes to sleep. The screen saver runs first and then it goes dark. When I come back from whatever I was doing and wake it up, (not all the time but most of time) my Mac Pro seems to be missing the extra 4GB of RAM.

    Several time I restarted (by choosing Restart...) the computer but it still didn't change, so I had to completely turn off the computer and back on again, and then it loaded up the full memory. I also checked with About This Mac to make sure whether or not iStat Pro was working properly, and it did work properly - even About This Mac was showing only 1GB of RAM. Very weird and I am rather concerned. At this moment, I do not use FCP heavily but will soon and if it keeps happening whenever I am away (without completely turning off the computer), I have to turn it off and back on all the time. It sounds very bad, doesn't it?

    I have not set the monitor NEVER to go to sleep because the little yellow sign warns me that it would shorten monitors' life. Well, I love my Apple Cinama Display, so, I said to myself, 'O.K. I won't do that. Wait just 15 minutes and then go to sleep.'

    Is that a problem with my Mac Pro or the newly purchased RAM? And what should I do? Any answers to resolve this issue would be appreciated.
  2. eluk macrumors 6502a


    Dec 14, 2006
    East London, UK
    An article that explains memory allocation. It seems like you are not understanding how it works.
  3. apfhex macrumors 68030


    Aug 8, 2006
    Northern California
    Maybe be true, but I don't think that's what the OP's asking.

    If I understand correctly, you have five 1GB RAM sticks? And after sleep, 4 of them are "missing"? The same 4 that you added after purchasing the machine? I would seriously question the quality of the RAM itself, maybe it's defective.

    Though I do not understand why this would happen after DISPLAY sleep, because that is very different from the whole system sleeping, and in fact should not affect any computer operations at all.
  4. MacSeriously thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2007
    Sorry if I made you wait for my responses. I was trying to capture some images to show you guys what I was talking about.

    First, thanks for the article. It helped me understand how memory allocation works. :) Like I said, I am a newbie to Mac in general.

    That being said, I wasn't talking about memory allocation. What I was talking about is the physical disappearance of the amount of RAM I've installed. I have 5GB of RAM (1GB default + 2 x 2GB added) and this is how it looks when my Mac Pro normally boots up.

    Image 1 - Activity Monitor - full 5GB RAM

    Then, like I described earlier, my RAM disappears after my Mac Pro goes to sleep and wakes up. Not all the time but very frequently. And also, sometimes it normally boots up but seems to be sort of jerky (when watching video clips or what not), so I check the memory and it is 1GB. And this is how it looks.

    Image 2 - iStat Pro - way low free memory,
    Image 3 - Activity Monitor - just over 1GB shown
    Image 4 - About This Mac - only 1GB shown

    Yes, that is why it rather concerns me. Like I said, I didn't know even how to look up Activity Monitor until few days ago when the issue was brought to my attention by iStat Pro. Then I remember somebody talking about it under Utilities and doubled-checked it. Well, obviously it doesn't look good, does it?

    So, should I contact the retailer from which I purchased the memory or Apple?

    Attached Files:

  5. MacSeriously thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2007
    As I posted my reply with the images earlier this morning, it's been still shown as 1GB of RAM on About This Mac, Activity Monitor and iStat Pro since then. I have turned off and on my Mac Pro several times and taken longer than 5 minutes to let it cool off at each break (and one time I left the computer alone for a good half an hour) but nothing has changed. No more 5GB. It's still shown as 1GB as I type this. :(

    I guess I could come to a conclusion by now that the memory sticks I purchased are defective, right? :mad:
  6. bpd115 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 4, 2003
    I've had a similar issue.

    I have 2 1 gig sticks from OWC. If the machine would get rebooted (say bootcamp or just a restart) it would most of the time come back with 2 gigs of ram instead of the 3 that were there.

    Checking the memory allocation in system profiler showed that the 1 gig sticks were showing up as 2 512 sticks. Opening the side of the mac pro showed that a red light was lit on one of the daughter cards.

    Pulling out the ram and reseating it would solve the issue on the next boot but it would come back after a restart, with the red light following the slot of a particular dimm.

    To sum it up, I have 1 bad dimm which I just got an RMA for and sent back to OWC. This is the 2nd RMA, the first pair they sent me kernel panicked everything.
  7. MacSeriously thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2007
    Exactly like how you described the issue of yours, by just restarting wouldn't make the problem go away.

    So, a couple of days ago I contacted the retailer about the defective RAM, and they asked me to check if they were installed properly - 2 x 2GB of RAM in socket 1 and 2 of Riser A and 2 x 512MB of :apple: RAM in socket 1 and 2 of Riser B. Yes, they have been since day one.

    And suggested me to do a couple of things to make sure that those sticks were really defective - swapping the Risers, reseating the sticks in the switched Risers (they said it could be a Riser problem), and submitting the tag # on the sticks. I did it all like they told me to do, and still the problem remained.

    So, this is so far what I've observed. Every morning, with the side opened, when I turn on my Mac Pro, it boots up normally with full 5GB of RAM. And then when I turn it off and on again, it only comes back with 1GB of :apple: RAM, missing the 4GB of RAM purchased from the 3rd-party retailer.

    And also I see the red LED light come on and stay on. Not at the first boot but second and any time afterwards throughout the day, no matter how long I let it cool off for. :(

    I let them know all these and am waiting to hear from them. Hopefully soon.
  8. MacSeriously thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2007
    I didn't pay attention to the DIMM comment until this morning (because I didn't know what it meant :confused: ) but then it just came to me. So I checked where the red LED light was on, which was at DIMM 2. So, I turned off the computer, unplugged everything, pulled both of the sticks, switched the seats and turned it back on.

    And yes, like you pointed it out, the red LED light was on at DIMM 1. So, I could conclude that that particular stick is defective. Or both of them? :(
  9. bpd115 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 4, 2003

    Most likely just the one stick.

    But I bought mine as a "pair" so I had to send both back.
  10. macenforcer macrumors 65816


    Jun 9, 2004
    I just had a run in with bad ram. Bad ram will do all the wierdest stuff. There is no one obvious malfunction.

    I say if your computer is acting up, remove the aftermarket ram. 9 times out of 10 it will be fixed.

    My computer was fine. Ram past all the tests and everything except the computer would not restart. Kept clicking the dvd drive. Now I ask you, what does ram have to do with that??? Don't know but it was the ram. Waiting for new replacements now.

    Nothing like using an 8 core mac pro with 1gb ram. I'm limited to just safari. :mad:

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