OS X Updates Damaging PowerBooks Lower RAM Slot (Updated)

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Date: Thursday, December 29th, 2005, 14:44
Category: PowerBook

Engadget has an interesting article on Mac OS X updates disabling or even permanently damaging the lower RAM slot in PowerBooks. It goes like this: after you update to Mac OS 10.3.9, 10.4.0, and 10.4.1 the PowerBooks’ lower RAM slot spontaneously goes bad.

The current operating assumption is that the update actually makes the firmware controller or possibly the chipset get all wonky, which, in turn, may disable the lower memory slot (permanently).

It’s a pretty serious claim and the lawyers are already working themselves into a lather over it.
I haven’t experienced any such problem with my PowerBook G4 1.5GHz and I have two 1GB SO-DIMMs installed, but I’d be interested in hearing from people who have. Sound off in the comments if your lower RAM slot has gone bonky after an OS update.
UPDATE (2006-0131):
Apple has addressed the RAM slot issue with the PowerBook G4 Memory Slot Repair Extension Program.


Engadget has an interesting article on Mac OS X updates disabling or even permanently damaging the lower RAM slot in PowerBooks. It goes like this: after you update to Mac OS 10.3.9, 10.4.0, and 10.4.1 the PowerBooks’ lower RAM slot spontaneously goes bad.

The current operating assumption is that the update actually makes the firmware controller or possibly the chipset get all wonky, which, in turn, may disable the lower memory slot (permanently).

It’s a pretty serious claim and the lawyers are already working themselves into a lather over it.
I haven’t experienced any such problem with my PowerBook G4 1.5GHz and I have two 1GB SO-DIMMs installed, but I’d be interested in hearing from people who have. Sound off in the comments if your lower RAM slot has gone bonky after an OS update.
UPDATE (2006-0131):
Apple has addressed the RAM slot issue with the PowerBook G4 Memory Slot Repair Extension Program.

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5 Responses to “OS X Updates Damaging PowerBooks Lower RAM Slot (Updated)”

  1. Lameass ambulance chasers! There’s no way software will destroy hardware, it is obvious that these lawyers are taking advantage of users who don’t know any better and have hardware failures then try to blame software for it. Just because two events happened in the same month does not mean the two are connected.
    Trevor

  2. My TiBook 400 lower memory slot recently went down as well, although I cannot link it to a software update. Currently running 10.4.3.

  3. Uh, Trevor. I’ve got a quick bit of fact that ruins your theory.
    Firmware. It’s software. It can ruin hardware. Since apple don’t tell you when they’re installing firmware updates on your machine anymore, how do you know that you’re firmware hasn’t been updated and that’s caused the problem? I’ve seen all sorts of hardware end up dead just because of dodgy firmware. It never allows you to screw up twice though, which is always handy.

  4. I might as well add my voice to the ranks of those who have lost their lower RAM slot on a PowerBook G4 1.5GHz. I had never heard of this problem before but after having installed the 10.4.4 update and noticing a huge slowdown I decided to see if someone had stolen my RAM over the holidays. Apparently, I suffered not from stolen RAM, but from a stolen RAM SLOT.
    The prospect of losing my computer for even 3 days horrifys me.

  5. Hi everyone:
    Just wanted to reply to the comments about whether there was a possible lawsuit to pursue. There is, but I don’t know much about it or how it works. The website has all this info, and you have to decide whether or not this is for you.
    The website is
    http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/case/apple_powerbook_classaction