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MacBook Pro crashing question

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

So please move this if it is in the wrong forum, but I don't belong to any computer forums and figured someone here might be able to help me. I consider myself very knowledgeable with computers, but obviously don't know everything.


So a few years ago I upgraded the RAM from 4 GB to 8 GB on my Late 2008 MacBook Pro. I didn't put the two together at the time, but sometime after the upgrade (I think), I began to have crashing problems. For this threat, the crashes are always the following: when I open up my laptop, the screen either doesn't turn on or quickly flashes and returns to black, and the backlight goes on. The computer freezes, and then must be manually restarted. It was really a nonissue at first, and only happened every 3 months or so. This year it started accelerating (don't know why) and went from every month to every week to almost every other day. I read online that it might be the RAM, and had it swapped out last week. I thought that might've fixed it but unfortunately it crashed again this morning. I was wondering what else this could be? I have reinstalled the OS (Mavericks, latest version) from a backup a few months ago for an unrelated problem. This is the only issue I am having with this computer, it has been great other than this. I don't want to put any money into it (the RAM replacement was free) because I am getting a new Retina once they update them next.


Any ideas, questions or potential fixes will be strongly welcomed. This computer has really been babied. The only other upgrade was like 2 years ago I replaced the stock 320 GB 5400 rpm drive to a 750 GB 7200 rpm drive. 

post #2 of 9

I still think it is the RAM or a loose connector / board.


Try installing only one stick and make sure it is in the correct slot.  If that does not work move it to the next slot and so on until you get a positive result.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

I actually was replacing the RAM a few days ago and was nervous I didn't get it in all the way. It's tough with the cramped laptop. If it wasn't in all the way wouldn't the computer just not work at all? Also, the RAM replacement was two brand new sticks. If there is an issue with the RAM I would like to think it's with how they are seated, which is a possibility.

Edited by jeremy205100 - 5/24/14 at 6:15pm
post #4 of 9

It depends on how many pins are touching and how well.  I have built so many computers that this issue seems very likely RAM related.  That or graphics card if it has one.


Put it this way, did it work fine before the RAM swap?  If so then something you did during the process made it not function as desired.


You may want to double check that it is for sure compatible, but just go back in and try one stick at a time or put your old RAM in if you have it around.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

The original RAM upgrade was done like 2-3 years ago, it's definitely compatible. I will try reseating it and see if that helps. This computer has two graphics cards, an integrated and a discrete. I have it set to the integrated now, I am actually curious if setting it to discrete will fix this. When I first had the computer it had a flickering issue with the integrated graphics card, and I had the whole logic board (CPU, graphics cards, all that) replaced. So a graphics card problem isn't unlikely either. But I am sure the RAM is compatible, although reseating it, trying each stick, and then hunting down the stock while waiting to see if each fixes it seems like my next course of action.

post #6 of 9
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

I bought my memory from Crucial, and selected it by entering my specific computer, year and processor speed. So it is definitely compatible. Although it is possible that I didn't seat it securely the first time I upgraded and merely repeated my error this time. So I am going to open it back up and reseat it. 


I appreciate your help. If anyone else has any thoughts feel free to chime in.

post #8 of 9

Some people report success after running DiskWarrior 4.4, but most of the users with this issue appear to suffer from bad RAM.

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

I took the RAM out and put it back in. If it happens again I'll have to get a refund on the RAM and buy it elsewhere. I think the odds of getting two defective sets are too low, so it'll be the quality of the RAM from this company if it is the RAM.

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