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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jan 14, 2013
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    3
    RAM upgrade to early 2008 iMac keeps failing
    Greetings, I have tried with three different shipments of RAM to upgrade the original RAM in my early 2008 build 20" iMac. I'm running OS 10.8.2 & currently have the 2 GB 800 MHz DDR2 SDRAM installed (1 GB per slot) that came installed on the machine. If it helps, my processor is 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo.

    I reviewed this article to help me buy RAM: <http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1759> & followed the specifications there. I'm just trying to double the RAM to 4 GB. The first batch I picked from Amazon didn't work. The second & third batches that I got from MacMall after giving all my computer information to the salesman, including my computer's serial number, etc., don't work. By "don't work" I mean that when I install the new RAM & turn the computer on, the screen stays dark & the machine beeps at me once every 3-4 seconds. When I reinstall the original RAM, everything is back to normal with my computer.

    Each set of the most recent set of RAM I tried to install is Axiom 2GB DDR PC2-6400 SODIMM.

    Any suggestions or solutions to this problem or do I just need to take it into a professional?

    Many thanks for any information you can provide.

  2. #2

    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    35,812
    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Quote Originally Posted by TPern View Post
    By "don't work" I mean that when I install the new RAM & turn the computer on, the screen stays dark & the machine beeps at me once every 3-4 seconds. When I reinstall the original RAM, everything is back to normal with my computer.
    Those "beeps" mean it's the wrong or defective ram. I would suggest getting ram from one of these folks:

    - OWC
    - Crucial

    Both sites have well organized ways to identify the ram you need to insure you get the correct ram.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  3. #3

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Keller, Texas
    Posts
    49,478
    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, Sierra
    Your machine memory specifics are:

    Maximum Memory 6.0 GB (Actual) 4.0 GB (Apple)
    Memory Slots 2 - 200-pin PC2-6400 (800MHz) DDR2 SO-DIMM


    Each set of the most recent set of RAM I tried to install is Axiom 2GB DDR PC2-6400 SODIMM.
    It appears you purchased the correct memory type but since I know nothing at all about Axiom memory, I have no idea it it's suitable for using in a Mac.

    We usually recommend buying memory from either Crucial or Other World Computing. Both are reliable sellers of memory modules for the Mac. The other thing to consider is the way you're installing the memory. I'm assuming that you're installing it correctly - that is making sure the new modules are firmly seated.

  4. #4

    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
    Location
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    Posts
    22,400
    Specs:
    Imac 27", 3.3GHz, 512 flash storage, 16GB memory, macOS Sierra.
    As staff members correctly advise OWC or Crucial. Just select if it is a late 2007 or 2008 model from Apple System Profiler:-

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/apple/memory/iMac
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Jan 14, 2013
    Posts
    3
    Thanks chscag. I figure I must be installing the new stuff correctly if I use the same method to reinstall the old stuff & the old stuff works fine.

    The Axiom memory I tried to install yesterday says "series for Mac." But several of the responses to my query seem to indicate that maybe the brand of the RAM might make a big difference, so when I feel like I can face the possibility of failing again, I will try OWC or Crucial.

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Jan 14, 2013
    Posts
    3
    I'm running 10.8.2. Could that have any effect on whether or not the RAM would work? I'm asking because MacMall has verified that this memory is compatible with my computer. The first batch was determined to be defective, but with the same outcome from the second batch they sent (both Axiom), I'm just wondering if there's not some larger problem.

    Or can RAM modules simply be defective that often?

    Thanks again!

  7. #7

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Keller, Texas
    Posts
    49,478
    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, Sierra
    I don't doubt for a moment that MacMall knows which memory your Mac uses, however, that particular brand of memory is unknown to me. I just can't be sure if it works in your Mac. I do know from experience (as well as others here) that memory purchased from Crucial or OWC does work. One thing I would like to point out is that Macs are more "fussy" about which memory to use than other computers that I have had experience working on.

    And since the first batch of Axiom memory they sent was bad, who's to say the second batch isn't likewise bad?

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