RAM Slot not working on Macbook Pro mid-2009 - Looking for Alternatives

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Tested RAM slots and found that the second slot (slot closest to interior of computer) is not working properly. Switched both 4gb cards in back slot and the computer would not start up, only would beep....definitely not faulty RAM cards because they both work in the first slot.

I've researched this on forums briefly, the consensus seems to be logic board replacement.

I really don't want to invest more money into this older computer - Macbook Pro mid-2009.

Are there any other troubleshooting options here? I don't think it's the OS and do not have any Time Machine data set up before Mac X nor do I have an partitions set up on an external.

The computer is not terribly slow but when using Final Cut Pro X it tends to lag. All of the specs for my computer fall in the recommendations for using with FC10

Could I get an 8gb RAM card for slot 1?

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks!
 

pigoo3

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Could I get an 8gb RAM card for slot 1?

Nope…can't do it. Max ram for Mid-2009 MacBook Pro's is 8gig. Which means a 4gig ram card in each of the two slots.

If an 8gig ram card would work in one slot…then the max. ram would be 16gig (but it isn't). So you are stuck with 4gig of ram…if one ram slot is bad.

If you know both of the 4gig ram cards you have now are good…and you tested them both in the "bad ram slot"…then the slot is bad.

Only other thing you can do is (VERY CAREFULLY)…look at the bad ram slot…and look for any dirt, debris, or foreign matter…or bent pins.

- Nick
 

chscag

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Tested RAM slots and found that the second slot (slot closest to interior of computer) is not working properly. Switched both 4gb cards in back slot and the computer would not start up, only would beep....definitely not faulty RAM cards because they both work in the first slot.

You might want to do a search for repairing the ram slot on your MacBook Pro. Some time ago I ran across a thread in the Apple Discussions Forum where a guy was able to remove the logic board and get access to the slots. He stated that he adjusted the screws which hold the ram slots to the logic board. The one slot that wasn't working was adjusted too tight and when he loosened the screws the slot began to work again. Not saying that's the fix for your problem but what have you to lose? Go to www.ifixit.com and take a look at the take apart instructions for your model.
 
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Thanks for the reply. I sprayed some condensed air in the "bad slot" earlier but haven't checked for any bent pins. Unfortunately it seems I'm stuck with only one working slot, just my luck
 
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Thanks chscag I can give that a try....I think I ran into that post as well. Are you talking about the screws that hold the plastic framing of the RAM slots on top of the logic board or are these screws reachable by taking the logic board out?
 

chscag

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I'm not sure which set of screws he adjusted but I know that he had to remove the logic board to gain access. And if I remember correctly it was also a 2009 MacBook Pro like yours.
 
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I will have to give it a try. It might be a lucky break on his part but doesn't hurt to try.
 
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hey just an update. I ran the apple hardware test twice tonight and it didn't find any issues. Not sure how extensively it can test the RAM slots but it could be a software issue.

Any ideas on a place to start for troubleshooting on the software end of things?
 

pigoo3

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Any ideas on a place to start for troubleshooting on the software end of things?

Sure. Use an external hard drive. Erase & reformat it...then install a fresh copy of the Mac OS (nothing else). Then boot the computer from it.

- If the ram slot in question is still not working...you've got a hardware problem.
- If the ram slot in question is working...then you have a software issue with the computers internal HD.

* Nick
 

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If you get the 3 beeps from the computer when booting while the RAM is in that slot - it is not a software issue. Frankly, have never seen nor heard of any software issue that could cause RAM to be unrecognizable in only one slot. For it to even be considered a software issue, the machine would have to boot up to the point where it was trying to load the OS from the drive - and even then, while rare, it could still be hardware.
 
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Makes sense as well. Just trying to figure out how to pinpoint the problem if the apple hardware test didn't show anything.

Are there any other alternatives to narrowing down the cause of this? The logic board seemed to get a clean bill of health which could mean it could be caused by the actual RAM slot?
 

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Makes sense as well. Just trying to figure out how to pinpoint the problem if the apple hardware test didn't show anything.

In my opinion the Apple hardware test software available to us "common folks" I don't think is that comprehensive (detailed). The software Apple techs use I'm sure is MUCH better…and would probably either indicate a general logic board failure (the ram slot)…or maybe it's even good enough to actually say "bad ram slot".

To be honest…I think that you're looking for a miracle.;) You've done a bunch a great testing so far…and the logical conclusion of that testing is the computer has a bad ram slot.

You could try one more thing (just in case). This would be a super long shot…but what the heck. Try an SMC Reset:

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201295

If this doesn't do it…I think that you need to start accepting things (this computer has a bad ram slot…that only a replacement logic board will cure). And since a replacement logic board would be a pretty expensive investment on an older 2009 MBP…probably not worth it.

- Nick
 
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I'll give it a shot and yes looking for a miracle haha.

I'll soon accept my fate but wanted to exhaust any options I have. Probably caused by overheating with age seems to be the likely problem.

I wasn't sure how extensive the hardware test was, even with the extensive test selected which took a couple hours to complete.

Luckily I don't experience any problems with my mac other than a Sleep fail from time to time but not experiencing any crashes and it isn't unusably slow so I can at least be lucky for that
 
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Also, one last question:

Should I just remove the other 4gb slot out of the bad slot or do you think it will make the system slower?
 

pigoo3

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I would take it out. If the slot is not working…then it's not working. Or if something should be wrong with the slot…removing the ram will prevent any possible damage to the ram.

- Nick
 

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