Strange RAM / NVIDIA issues with 13" Unibody

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by YASL, Mar 13, 2009.

  1. YASL macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2009
    I have a 2.0 GHz / 2 GB RAM Unibody that I've just installed Windows Vista on (With Boot Camp Assistant), along with the applicable drivers found on the Mac OS X Install Disc 1.

    Let me just preface this a little bit. I have had this notebook since December, and ever since I bought it, I've ran into a few Kernel Panics. And by a few, I mean, I've checked console messages and I've had around 40 altogether. The first time this happened, I was watching a DVD. Second time I was just browsing the web with Firefox. All the other times were with various software, so I figured it was a hardware issue. I called Apple Care, they told me to do some sort of VRAM reset or whatever, where you hold Option, Control, P, and R and all that business. Anyhow, since then it's still been happening and the main problem I've had is that whenever I bring it into an Apple Store I can't for the life of me recreate the problem. It's very frustrating. Besides the Kernel Panics I get, I've also had programs just randomly shut down for seemingly no reason.

    So I installed Vista. I get my Steam account up and running, excited to see what this baby can do. I ran TF2 for about a minute and a half. Then I get a BSOD, the message being IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL, which I Googled afterwards and it came up as some sort of RAM issue. Puzzled, I went to the Apple store the next day, and told them about this problem. Little did I know, Apple does not support Windows problems. So I told them about the Kernel Panics. They ran hardware tests, everything was fine. I told them about the random program shutdowns, they told me to reinstall Mac OS X and Windows. So I backed up my disc, reinstalled, and I still have the same issues. Am I cursed or something?

    I've tried Googling all the error messages I've been getting but they've been so specific that I don't get any results.

    Any help would be much appreciated, thank you very much.

    Edit: I've also been thinking that since the NVIDIA chip is integrated, maybe it has something to do with the graphics card? I'm so lost right now it's not even funny.
  2. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Call AppleCare and clearly explain to them the whole story. Tell them how you Googled the errors you got on OS X and Windows. AppleCare has to cover it since it seems you problem is hardware and not software related. In fact, mention to them that your machine may contain valuable diagnosis information since hardware test was passed but there is clearly something wrong with the hardware; Apple might find that an interesting find since their hardware test is designed to detect these types of errors.

    Having that many Kernel panics is not good and when you have a Kernel panic its usually because something pretty bad happened or is happening.

    Call AppleCare!
  3. impreza98 macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2008
    I think you are getting bad advice left and right. It definitely sounds like a hardware issue though.

    When you probably called AppleCare you got an inexperienced Tier 1 agent, reseting the PRAM won't anything. I'd call back and request a product specialist.

    The Apple Store gave you bad advice too. Read up on how to boot the the Apple Hardware Test from the install disk. The Apple Store probably ran the quick test which doesn't usually find a failed component. You want to run the extended test which still may not even find a component which is failing.

    In any case, most kernel panics are a result of bad RAM. Which totally explains why you are having these shut downs in OS X and Windows.
  4. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

    Jun 21, 2006
    It definitely sounds like a hardware issue, and quite possibly an issue with the RAM. Make sure that you have the panics in your log files since you are unable to reproduce it on-demand, call Apple, and demand that they repair your machine. I second impreza98's advice, especially the part about speaking with a product specialist.
  5. cash4chaos macrumors member


    Jun 27, 2007
    campbell ca
    Same problem

    I had some of the same issues on my 2.4 uni macbook , I decided to upgrade the ram to 4 gigs , Have had no issues since . I run parallels vista and many games simultaneously . No Problem, just upgrade the ram.
  6. YASL thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2009
    Thanks for the advice guys. I would call Apple Care, but my phone support is expired, I bought this laptop on the 2nd of December and it's been 90 days, sadly. I'm just going to have to take it into the Apple Store again and ask for someone more knowledgeable than the guy I got. He seemed like he was one of those guys that goes by the books.

    I would upgrade the ram in a heart beat if I had a job... I got laid off in January and this MacBook purchase was before I knew it was going to happen.. Payments take all the meat and bones from my unemployment checks!

    Luckily I have a friend who works at an Apple store, but he's just a Concierge. He was with me the last time I went and he even said the guy I got wasn't very savvy.
  7. impreza98 macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2008
    You did say that you called AppleCare before right? When was it? Even if you are out of phone support I think you have an extra 30 days from the last time you called to have the issue resolved.
  8. youssefm macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2008
    Wait, I had the same issue, it turned out to be a trackpad driver malfunctioning and causing the BSOD's.. i tried plugging in a usb mouse and ever since it hasn't happened!
  9. YASL thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2009
    It was in January unfortunately :/

    I'm currently usin' a USB mouse. Thanks though!
  10. impreza98 macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2008
    Well, you could always try requesting an exception and ask specifically to speak with a product specialist. I'd bet the higher level agent would make an exception for you because of how wrong the other two Apple Reps you spoke with are.

    In any case, If you call them or not you are still covered under the 1 year warranty. so get it fixed asap!
  11. YASL thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2009
    Thanks, will do!
  12. YASL thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2009
  13. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    Your problem is with the ram. Its a classic case of faulty ram. It has nothing to do with the nVidia graphics card.
  14. YASL thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2009
    I know that's probably the case but I ran the Apple Hardware Test (extended), and it resulted as "No trouble found." I'm going to call them tomorrow.

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