Macbook Pro RAM Issue?

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Hey all,

This is my first post on the forums after reading for a long time, so bear with me, haha.

I have a 13" Macbook Pro Unibody (2009) Model, and I've been having an issue with extreme slowness recently. My Macbook came with 2 GB of RAM, but when I checked the "About This Mac" settings today, it said I only had 1 GB.

I opened it up and looked at the RAM sticks, and both were there. I took 'em out and reinserted them, but I still had the same 1 GB problem. I tried switching them, but no change. Then I tried only operating with one stick in a slot at a time, and I couldn't boot with one stick only in the bottom slot.

Any ideas on what's wrong? I've never had any issues like this before with it.

Thanks!
 

pigoo3

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This MacBook Pro model did come with 2 gig of ram...so most likely it's the original ram that came with the computer. It's possible that one of those sticks of ram has gone bad for some reason. As you found out...booting with each of the 1 gig sticks by itself pretty much proved that one of them is bad.

So you could either replace that bad 1 gig stick of ram (for a total of 2 gigs)...or just go for a ram upgrade to 4gig total (2 x 2gig).:)

HTH,

- Nick
 
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So you think it's just one of the sticks of RAM that went bad, and not one of the slots? And that upgrading my RAM should take care of it?
 

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So you think it's just one of the sticks of RAM that went bad, and not one of the slots? And that upgrading my RAM should take care of it?

Take your 1 gig stick of "good" ram...and test it in one ram slot...and then the 2nd ram slot (rebooting in between). This will determine if the slots are the issue or the other stick of "bad" ram.

If both slots work...then you need purchase a 1 gig stick of ram to get back to 2gigs...or just buy 2 x 2gig sticks...and upgrade the computer to 4 gig.

Good luck,

- Nick
 
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Take your 1 gig stick of "good" ram...and test it in one ram slot...and then the 2nd ram slot (rebooting in between). This will determine if the slots are the issue or the other stick of "bad" ram.

If both slots work...then you need purchase a 1 gig stick of ram to get back to 2gigs...or just buy 2 x 2gig sticks...and upgrade the computer to 4 gig.

Good luck,

- Nick

So I went ahead and got new RAM sticks because my computer needed them anyways. I got and installed them today, and the computer booted up quickly. Once on, I checked my "About this Mac" and it said the memory was half of what I installed (2 gig as opposed to the 4 gigs I installed). The detailed information said that one of the slots were empty when they clearly were both full.

Any information on this current issue? Thanks!
 

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Any information on this current issue? Thanks!

Yes...did you do what I suggested above?...

Take your 1 gig stick of "good" ram...and test it in one ram slot...and then the 2nd ram slot (rebooting in between). This will determine if the slots are the issue or the other stick of "bad" ram.

...BEFORE...ordering the new ram?? You never reported back your results of this test!:(

- Nick
 
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Yes...did you do what I suggested above?...



...BEFORE...ordering the new ram?? You never reported back your results of this test!:(

- Nick

I thought I did it right, but I guess not :/

But now that I think back, I remember the computer not booting with either stick in the bottom slot... My brain's fried, it's been a hectic week, haha.
 
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Sounds to me like you've confirmed a dead slot!
 

pigoo3

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I thought I did it right, but I guess not :/

But now that I think back, I remember the computer not booting with either stick in the bottom slot... My brain's fried, it's been a hectic week, haha.

This is what I'm thinking. You had two 1gig sticks of ram originally...and now you have two 2gig sticks of ram.

Before when you had both 1gig sticks installed...only 1gig was being reported in the "About This Mac" window. Now when you installed two 2gig sticks of ram..."About This Mac" is still only reporting "half" of the installed ram (2gig instead of 4gig).

Thus the same condition with 2 different sets of ram. My conclusion is...with the info given...is that the ram is good...and it's one of the ram slots that's bad. Sorry.:(

- Nick

p.s. I can only suggest one thing to try (this is a longgg shot)...see if there's any dirt or debris in either of the ram slots. Blowing them out with some "canned air" would be a good idea. Then reinstall the ram. Like I said....a long shot...but something to try.:)
 
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This is what I'm thinking. You had two 1gig sticks of ram originally...and now you have two 2gig sticks of ram.

Before when you had both 1gig sticks installed...only 1gig was being reported in the "About This Mac" window. Now when you installed two 2gig sticks of ram..."About This Mac" is still only reporting "half" of the installed ram.

Thus the same condition with 2 different sets of ram. My conclusion is...with the info given...is that the ram is good...and it's one of the ram slots that's bad. Sorry.:(

- Nick

That's what I was afraid of :(

How did this happen seemingly out of nowhere? Is there anything I can do to get it fixed?

And at least now I'm back to having a faster computer, even with only 1/2 RAM slots working, haha.
 

pigoo3

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How did this happen seemingly out of nowhere? Is there anything I can do to get it fixed?

It's just like a lightbulb...one second they're working...and the next second (POP!) they're not working.

This can be the same way with electronics...one second they're working...and the next second they're not.

Bad ram slots are sort of rare...especially on a computer that's been working fine for a long time...but anything can happen. I edited my last post...so try blowing the ram slots with some canned air...and see if that helps.

- Nick

p.s. Regarding getting it fixed. No...not really. You would be told you need a whole new logic board...and that's going to cost a LOT more than you want to spend. It would actually cost the same or more than your MacBook is worth.
 
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It's just like a lightbulb...one second they're working...and the next second (POP!) they're not working.

This can be the same way with electronics...one second they're working...and the next second they're not.

Bad ram slots are sort of rare...especially on a computer that's been working fine for a long time...but anything can happen. I edited my last post...so try blowing the ram slots with some canned air...and see if that helps.

- Nick

p.s. Regarding getting it fixed. No...not really. You would be told you need a whole new logic board...and that's going to cost a LOT more than you want to spend. It would actually cost the same or more than your MacBook is worth.

Alright I'll try the canned air next. And I figured it'd be a hassle to repair or replace...

Thank you for your help!
 

pigoo3

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By the way...two more suggestions:

1. If you do find out that one of the ram slots really is bad (since you have a 2009 MacBook Pro)...it has a max. ram limit of 8gig (2 x 4gig). You could purchase a single 4gig stick of ram...and then you would have 4gig of ram...not so bad!:)

2. Would you happen to have extended Applecare on this computer? If so...this would certainly be covered...and be a free repair.:)

- Nick
 
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Possible Solution

I know this thread is old, but this solution might be helpful for anyone who is running into this problem as well.

I have the same model MBP and ran into the same exact problem when I was upgrading from 2GB RAM to 4GB.

I tried resetting the PRAM and now both sticks are recognized. For instructions on how to reset the PRAM, please see this link:

Resetting your Mac's PRAM and NVRAM

I can't say it will work for everyone with this problem, but it's certainly worth a shot. When I did it, I ended up mistakenly holding down the buttons to the point where the grey screen flashed 3 or 4 times. Not sure if that mistake helped. :\
 
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Maybe I was wrong

So, it looks like that didn't completely solve the problem because when I booted it up this morning, I am now back to only one 2GB of RAM being recognized out of the two I have. WIll respond if I come up with a permanent solution.
 

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