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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

iBook - Can RAM destroy a hard drive?

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Member Since: Feb 14, 2009
Posts: 1
tarantino100 is on a distinguished road

tarantino100 is offline
My brother tells me that that this is impossible. However AppleCare told me a different story...
What happened was, as a birthday present, my parents bought me a 1 gig chip of RAM from Mac RAM Direct - Discount Premium Certified Apple iMac PowerBook iBook PowerMac RAM Memory Sales. I installed it and everything worked great for a long time. The additional RAM showed up in my computer's system profiler, for a total of 1280 MB (1024+256).

However, one day I turned on my computer after it had frozen the previous day and had to be shut off manually. I recall only getting so far as a blue screen before the hard drive began making grinding noises, and the computer failed to work completely.
It was still under warranty, so I sent the laptop to get fixed. I get it back and it works fine, and then in about two weeks, the EXACT same thing happens. The hard drive makes the exact same grinding noises and the computer doesn't start up. (This time, however, I was eventually able to get it to boot up and get my data backed up before it stopped working completely)

When i got it back, the 1GB chip of RAM had been removed and placed in a separate bag. The papers that came with it (I can't find them for the exact wording) informed me that it was the 1GB chip that had caused the problems with the hard drive. If i put the chip back in, it told me, it would be at my own risk, and I would void my warranty.

Well, the warranty has long since expired anyway, so I don't have to worry about that. But I've been using my ibook without the additional RAM, which gets very annoying sometimes when my computer goes slow. I want a faster computer, but a slow computer is better than a fast but BROKEN computer.
Everyone I talk to says that RAM cannot harm a hard drive like that. I even went to an apple store and asked an employee, and he said that, no, he hadn't ever heard of that happening, but that AppleCare would have no reason to lie to me in the report.

Does anybody know about this kind of thing? The report from Applecare was not very detailed. Something about the RAM being incompatible.
Should I put the chip in, or continue to not risk it?


This is the RAM I have: Mac RAM Direct - Discount Premium Certified Apple iMac PowerBook iBook PowerMac RAM Memory Sales
And here's my current computer information:
Machine Name: iBook G4
Machine Model: PowerBook6,5
CPU Type: PowerPC G4 (1.1)
Number Of CPUs: 1
CPU Speed: 1.2 GHz
L2 Cache (per CPU): 512 KB
Memory: 256 MB
Bus Speed: 133 MHz
Boot ROM Version: 4.8.7f1
Mac OS X 10.4.11

A preemptive "thank you" to those who try to help.
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Thundermoon1994's Avatar
Member Since: Dec 26, 2006
Location: Kent, OH
Posts: 495
Thundermoon1994 will become famous soon enough
Mac Specs: 15" MacBook Pro w/ 2.4 GHz C2D, 4 GB RAM, 250 GB

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That sounds ridiculous to me. If the RAM worked fine before, then your hard drive must have just tanked on ya. If the RAM were incompatible, it never would have been addressed by the system.

-- Unibody 15.4" MacBook Pro (2.4 GHz Core2Duo Penryn, 250 GB HD, 4 GB RAM, nVidia GeForce 9400M & GeForce 9600M GT w/ 256 MB) --
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Member Since: Dec 22, 2006
Location: Texas, where else?
Posts: 26,144
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Mac Specs: 15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '11 1.8 i7 4GB 10.10; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.10; 5s & 5c

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Grinding noises in the drives. You're talking about a mechanical failure within the hard drive units themselves.

Whoever said the RAM could cause that is full of malarky.

If the RAM caused it and there had ever been any evidence of RAM causing such a thing, they wouldn't have replaced the drive the first time, much less the second time around. Apple can't back up that statement and they know it.

This was some overzealous, unkowledgeable, tech guy trying to figure out why this machine would have two drives fail (this really is not a common occurrence) during the warranty period and was going by Apple's non-support of user installed hardware thinking that must be it.

RAM causing the system not to boot or system freezes, OK. No way can it cause a mechanical failure of a hard drive. Try calling a RAM manufacturer and tell them their RAM caused a hard drive failure and see what they say.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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ADKhikerVW's Avatar
Member Since: Aug 18, 2007
Location: Wilmington, NY
Posts: 715
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Mac Specs: 15" Unibody MBP (2009), White MB (2009), iMac G4

ADKhikerVW is offline
Put the RAM back in. There is no reason to deal with only 256 MB of RAM if you don't have to. As everyone else has said, there is just no way that it caused your hard drive to fail, it is simply impossible.
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