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Powerbook G4 wont recognize ram in lower

Hello Community,

I bought a Powerbook G4 because it's cheap and I want to try a Mac. I've always been a PC user and still a PC user.

The Powerbook G4 that I bought won't recognize the ram in the lower slot. I wasn't tricked or duped, I bought the Mac like this.

I am wondering if this is something I can fix. I can repair PCs and I want to learn how to repair a Mac. Any suggestions on how I should start troubleshooting this Mac. What tests? should I or can I perform? Also, if you have links to online manuals, step-by-step instructions or videos I'd appreciate it.

I'll split up the points to those who can provide me with the most help.

Thanks in advance!
1 Solution
this is a common logic board problem on the PowerBook G4 system.

see all the info here http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2164?locale=en_US

see alternate solutions here http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20080226020954481

and here http://www.wegenermedia.com/alumramslot.html

Thanks for asking your question with the Experts Exchange.

There are several factors which could affect the functionality of a RAM slot for a Powerbook G4:
* Incompatible RAM
* Bad Ram
* Bad RAM Slot on Main logic board.

If you isolate the first two as not being a factor, then you are looking at a defect in
that RAM memory bank which is part of the main logic board, which means
you will either have to replace that main logic board, which from my experience as
a Mac tech with the Powerbook G4s, is a very expensive replacement, or you can
live with the prospect of 1 memory bank for your RAM for now.

I have seen these instances too often in my hands on experience, and there are not a wide range of options for if that memory slot has failed, because that is genuine hardware and not software related.

To support this information I am providing you, here is a link from Apple Support directly, addressing this as a known issue with several Powerbook G4 models.

You have not specified the exact model of Powerbook G4 you have, but if  your model falls along the lines of  the models listed on the Apple support page, I can tell you this was a serious issue, because at one time Apple even had a special Memory Slot Repair Extension Program where they were working diligently to correct this increasing problem.

Review PowerBook G4 Memory Slot Repair Program

Unfortunately this program ended July 24, 2008, but during the period of this program, Apple was repairing or replacing the main logic boards at no extra cost to the affected Mac users.
I know this may not help you get the issue resolved, but I felt compelled to let you know the reality of what you options you do have to address this hardware issue.

One final alternative I would actually recommend, is that you consider taking your Powerbook G4 to your local Apple retail store Genius bar or Apple-authorized service center and have a diagnostics performed on the main logic board, which includes the memory slots, and have them  test your RAM as. Most Apple service centers have a RAM testers onsite to check the integrity of a RAM card. At least this will give you a full understanding of just what the issue is with RAM not reading in that lower slot.

I hope this helps, please let us know if you have more questions regarding the affected RAM slot.



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