Unibody MacBook - After upgrading RAM & HD, laptop locks up with graphics glitching

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by mixvio, May 1, 2009.

  1. mixvio macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #1
    I recently (about a month ago) purchased a 13'' aluminum unibody MacBook. It was the starter model with only 160gigs HD and 2gigs RAM.

    I decided to upgrade both, increasing the HD to 500gigs (still the same RPM though) and the RAM to 4gigs (same DDR3, same clock speed).

    Since then several times now I've had the machine completely lock up and freeze with a graphical glitch while using OSX; it looks like bands of color streaking across the screen, flashing back and forth. It's kindof hard to explain but it's a clear "oh ****, something's broken."

    The first time it happened I thought I had seated the RAM incorrectly somehow since it was tricky to install (even though the machine recognized the four gigs) so I took the chips and replaced them and everything seemed fine. When it happened again I ran a RAM memtest which passed perfectly.

    It's happened for me doing the following things: patching the World of Warcraft client (but oddly not while playing WoW) and when I was running Second Life fullscreen (but somehow running SL windowed with EVE and WoW open didn't cause it.)

    I'm not really sure what the issue is, since a stress test didn't make it mess up either. I'll also point out that these issues don't happen in Vista at all either, even when I tried to kill the machine by running a stress test with two instances of Second Life, WoW and running a HD movie in iTunes all at the same time. Given the streaking seems to be some sort of video card issue it's making me wonder if it's a voltage problem since the upgrade that comes into effect because OSX has more aggressive power management than Vista, but I don't know how I can change any of that. It's also the same type of RAM and same HD, only both are larger, so I don't know why they would draw more power.

    I'm going to try to take out one of the 2gig RAM chips and replace it with the original 1gig (so I have 3gigs instead of 4) and see if that helps, and if it glitches again I'll go down to 2gigs next. But has anyone had this happen before after upgrading their machine?
     
  2. mpcoder macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    #2
    Ok, its clear that I'm not the only one with this problem then...

    At first after upgrading my 13-inch unibody to 4GB, it was happening constantly, specially when I was watching videos.

    I reinstalled the OS, I ran memtest, I reinstalled the memory chips in case I installed them wrong, and it kept happening. The memtest showed that the memory chips were ok, and I ran it 3 times overnight.

    So then I thought that the problem was the temperature, that the new memory chips were not as heat tolerant as the originals, so I installed fan control and increased the speed of my fan and so far nothing has happened. I've made sure that my laptop never goes over 60 C, But I am not sure if this was in fact what fixed it. Does anyone know?

    By the way, the memory I installed was this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820134827, see if by chance is the same one you used.
     
  3. MBHockey macrumors 68040

    MBHockey

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Location:
    New York
    #3
    There's a lot of problems popping up with the Unibody Macs and 3rd party ram. I personally experienced it and had to return the ram. Look around, you'll see lots of people with similar issues after using 3rd party ram.
     
  4. mixvio thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #4
    http://tinyurl.com/dzgw53 - I tinyurl'd it because it kept breaking the post.

    It's what was suggested to me from someone at the Apple Store when I asked about upgrading.
     
  5. mixvio thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #5
    If it helps any, I searched around on the official forums and eventually stumbled onto this picture which is exactly what my machine does when it ****s up:

    http://att.macrumors.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=143297&d=1226129340

    I took one of the chips out and am running it at 3gigs now for about an hour, so far it's not glitched but it does seem like the computer is running incredibly slowly now (but I can't tell if that's placebo, or me throwing all the programs I can think of to try and crash it.)
     
  6. CarlisleUnited macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    Location:
    Nederland
    #6
    With 3rd party ram is that including OCZ and Crosair? I thought they were specifically recommended for macs
     
  7. mixvio thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #7
    I took the second chip out and replaced it back with the stock; the machine was definitely running much more sluggishly than even with just 2 gigs in, (even in Vista) and I couldn't take it. I guess the timing speed between the two chips were different.

    I guess I'll try taking it in to the Apple Store to have them test replacing the RAM with their own chips. It's just four hundred bucks versus the two hundred for third party RAM. :(
     
  8. muskett32 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    #8
    Sorry to resurrect this old thread, but this has been happening to me too. Tends to happen more while watching a DVD. I also have installed 3rd party RAM. Any progress on this?
     
  9. mixvio thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #9
    I ended up replacing it with RAM I bought from the Apple Store; waaay too expensive but it worked. I didn't feel like going back and forth replacing stuff over and over.
     
  10. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    #10
    I never skimp on buying RAM. I recently bought 8 GBs of RAM and got it from OWC. It's the exact same brand and spec as the RAM that came with my Mac, and has given me no problems whatsoever. I learned the hard way with my previous MBP. I bought RAM from a 3rd party. It was name brand RAM, but not specifically tested by the vendor for use with a Mac. I ended up reselling it and getting the same RAM Apple uses (but from OWC, not Apple).
     

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