Strange Powerbook RAM Failure

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by nstchief, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. nstchief macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    #1
    Yesterday I noticed that my (15" 1.5 GHz 1 GB RAM) Powerbook only thought that it had 512 MB RAM when I looked in "about this mac". Upon looking further in the System Profiler, the lower RAM spot was reported as "Empty" and my top RAM spot was working fine. Nothing like this had happened to me before.

    I powered down and pulled out the RAM to inspect it - and it looked fine. I had expected bad RAM to prevent my computer from booting up entirely rather than not showing up in System Profiler. Note - my lower spot had 512 MB original Apple RAM and my top spot had a 512 MB stick from crucial.com.

    I put the RAM back in thinking it was a connection issue, but System Profiler still didn't recognize the lower RAM. I then powered down again and put the crucial ram in the lower spot and the Apple ram in the upper spot.

    Wah-La, everything work again after the switch and I see the correct 1 GB RAM listed. Weird.

    Anyone else had problems similar to this with a Powerbook not recognizing RAM? Specifically with the lower RAM spot? Any idea how I can prevent this from happening again?
     
  2. nstchief thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    #2
    Update

    So I came home from work today and my Powerbook is frozen and running super hot. I was able to restart it, but now it only recognizes 512 MB of RAM again. The lower slot is still reading as 'Empty', so I know both of my RAM sticks are good (Crucial.com stick is in lower spot now, but the Apple stick was in the bottom slot when it happened yesterday.)

    Any ideas if this is hardware or software related? Very strange since I was able to get it working again yesterday by doing the swap and restarting twice.

    Has anyone else experienced problems with RAM in the lower slot on a Powerbook?

    Any help is appreciated!
     
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #3
    This may be a failure of your logic board, the lower RAM socket is fried.

    Apple had an extended warranty program for this issue for a limited range of serial numbers, I would call Apple service or an authorized service centre ASAP to see if your machine qualifies, and if the program is still running.

    I believe the issue is heat related, and it may have been triggered by a OS or firmware upgrade at some point -- anecdotally, people were reporting it happening after they upgraded past 10.3.7 or 8.
     
  4. eidrunner247 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Location:
    Arizona
    #5
    The same thing just happened to me :( :( :(. Today, I checked my system profiler and found that I had 1gb ram instead of 2gb. I called Apple, but since my computer was more than two years old (without Applecare), they wouldn't fix it. Talk about frustrating. Guess I can sell my 1gb stick...
     
  5. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #6
    They won't fix it for free you mean. They charge $280 flat-rate to repair stuff like this. At the same time they will replace everything else that's broken as well.
     
  6. eidrunner247 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Location:
    Arizona
    #7
    Exactly. Next laptop I will be getting Applecare for sure. I had one of the g3 ibooks (notorious for logic board failures) and I used Applecare for a couple of issues. I thought by buying a late revision Powerbook would clear me of those issues. The $280 flat repair would be almost equivalent to me purchasing Applecare with the computer originally, but now I don't feel it's worth putting in a few hundred dollars more to a machine that's worth ~$650. A gig of RAM works for what I need. I just need to occasionally remind myself that I don't need the latest and greatest - rather, only something that will allow me to do basic word processing, movies, etc.
     
  7. matblue macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    #8
    Instead of paying Apple to fix it, can we instead add one stick of 2gig ram?

    I have the same problem.
     
  8. danakm macrumors regular

    danakm

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2006
    Location:
    Wonderland
    #9
    Same here

    I just noticed the same on mine **sigh**

    I guess I'll try to swap them and see what happens, otherwise I go cry in a corner... :(
     
  9. eidrunner247 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Location:
    Arizona
    #10
    I find it sad that this thread was resurrected, I was just browsing this forum and this topic happened to catch my eye.

    Yeah, it sucks, and though I may be wrong, I don't think there are 2gb chips for the powerbooks. Someone may correct me on it though...
     
  10. danakm macrumors regular

    danakm

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2006
    Location:
    Wonderland
    #11
    Same here. I switched the two memory sticks last night and it went back to normal. This is beyond weird... :eek:
     
  11. danakm macrumors regular

    danakm

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2006
    Location:
    Wonderland
    #12
    As far as I know the PB can only take 2GB max. but with 2 sticks of 1GB on each slot, not a single one...
     
  12. danakm macrumors regular

    danakm

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2006
    Location:
    Wonderland
    #13
    My computer has gone back to showing only 1GB. WTF! The switching them from place worked last time, but I can't be opening it and doing that every day... **frustrated** :mad:
     

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