MacBook Core 2 Duo RAM Replacement

Featured Guide

Featured Guide

This guide has been found to be exceptionally cool by the iFixit staff.

Mid 2009 2.13 GHz model is the only A1181 MacBook that uses PC2-6400 RAM.

Accessing the RAM in this computer is straightforward and requires minimal disassembly.

The Mid 2009 2.13 GHz model is the only A1181 MacBook that uses PC2-6400 RAM.

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Edit Step 1 Battery  ¶ 

  • Use a coin to rotate the battery-locking screw 90 degrees clockwise.

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Lift the battery out of the computer.

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Edit Step 3 Memory Cover  ¶ 

  • Unscrew the three evenly-spaced Phillips screws from along the rear wall of the battery compartment.

  • The screws are captive to the metal memory cover so you cannot lose them.

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Rotate the L-shaped memory cover so it clears the battery compartment opening and lift it up and out of the computer.

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Edit Step 5 RAM  ¶ 

  • Pull back on the metal lever and slide the RAM chip out from its compartment.

  • Unlike the iBook line, the MacBook has two RAM slots.

  • When installing RAM, be sure to push the chips in firmly or else the computer will not register them.

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

For more information, check out the MacBook Core 2 Duo device page.

Required Tools

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Coin

$2.95 · 1 In stock

Related Products

PC2-5300 2 GB RAM Chip

$34.95 · 24 In stock

PC2-6400 2 GB RAM Chip

$34.95 · 11 In stock

Recommended Tools

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Comments Comments are onturn off

another great tutorial ~ this was very easy, took maybe 10 minutes max, and now i have a noticeably faster computer. i agree with the previous comment that you need to push the new ram in rather firmly.

andreahull, · Reply

Success! Fifth time was the charm! I tried to move up from the original 2x1Gb RAM configuration in my MacBook 6.4 Ghz Core 2 Duo to 6 Gb RAM (1x4 Gb + 1x2 Gb, all from iFixit). Followed instructions exactly after grounding myself several times etc, put the 4Gb module on the left and 2 Gb on the right but got the dreaded "three beep." Tried re-installing w/ the 4Gb module on the right--no joy. Tried re-installing old 1+1; no problem, so obviously I was seating the modules correctly. Fourth time: Just installed the new 2 GB and left on of the old 1 Gb--success! The 4 Gb module seemed to be the problem. Tried one more time--attempt number FIVE. Put the 4 Gb back in for the third time (in place of one of the old 1 Gb of course--SUCCESS. I heard a different click this time too. Anyway--I now have six times the RAM I originally had installed--Yea! Thanks, iFixit! Now, I'll work in my iMac!

dbrogren, · Reply

Ok - I took your lead and started trying all the different combinations I could create and finally one just worked. So don't give up people - just use process of elimination and you will find the right combo! I did try one new, one old 3 different ways before it took.

Nellie,

I am trying to replace the original RAM (1GB on each side) with two new 2GB chips on each side (the PC2-5300). I keep getting the 3 beep response with both or just one new chip. When I put the old ones back in everything is fine. Any suggestions?

Nellie, · Reply

someone told me that the macbook 2,1 could take 4 gb ram but only make use of 3 gb.... ?

can someone verify if this is true ?? and is it then posible to combine 1gb and 2gb of 2ddr pc5300 ?

Mads Larsen, · Reply

Bought two CORSAIR 2GB 200-Pin DDR2 SO-DIMM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) memory sticks, insert, power up and good to go! Went from 2 gig to 4 gigs on my wife's Macbook. Been stable for 2 weeks now.

After reading the comments here, it seems like many people are trying to pair up odd memory stick configurations (2 gigs + 1 gig, 4 gigs + 2 gigs, etc). From a PC/Windows perspective, this wont work and it seems to be a problem on Mac's, especially ones that use Intel hardware. Do yourself a favor, just buy two new sticks of the same configuration (1 gig, 2 gig, etc) from the same company (Corsair, Rosewill, Patriot, etc).

russcrandall, · Reply

perfect - my son had dropped his mac which must have dislodged the ram. Fixed in 5 minutes, once I found a screwdriver fine enough to unscrew the metal band. Thank you very much

eanne94, · Reply

This is so easy, I don't know why I was squeamish about doing it before! The hardest part was trying to find my tiny screwdriver, lol... (Which, if you have a screwdriver for your glasses, it will work just fine!) I'm so glad it was so simple to breathe new life into my laptop!

petra1685, · Reply

This was super easy. My computer is noticeably faster now after replacing a 1GB card with a 2 GB. Make sure you push it in all the way though!

Dan, · Reply

I used this guide plus the Thermal Paste guide to resolve my MacBook RRS (Random Restart Syndrome) issue. My MacBook would randomly restart after the fan kicked into high speed. When I removed the heatsink I discovered an an irregular patch completely free of thermal compound of about 15-20% of the area on one of the processors. I removed and re-applied the thermal paste. I ran a memory test utility overnight that previously caused a restart after a couple of hours, and the probelm seems to be solved. TIme will tell.

ServiceDocs, · Reply

This guide was seriously helpful, so thanks for putting this together. I found a thick ribbon of dust/muck whatever between the fan outlet and the exhaust port that was almost as dense as felt. My fan must have been fighting like crazy trying to pass air through that blockage, which explains the high temps and excessive fan noise. Wish I'd done this sooner...

Thanks again!

skraggle, · Reply

Just R&R'ed the fan in my black MacBook Core 2 Duo tonight. Took me 30 minutes tops and I was taking my time. These instructions are SPOT ON! Great job ifixit.com! Two thumbs up!

Follow the instructions exactly as you see and have a piece of paper taped to the table next to you that you can outline all the screws you took out so you know where they go back in. I expected this to be a LOT harder, but it was one of the simplest repairs I've ever done to ANY computer!

mikeutter, · Reply

Piece of cake--or should I say gum. If you don't have a magnetized screwdriver, load up a stick of gum and chomp on it until it's needed then use a bit to retain screw on the driver. And if you should tear the black tape, or if the silver tape won't stick any more, just bubblegum it together. The instructions were clear and correct, which made for a very simple repair.

Mike Woodruff, · Reply

My battery does not pop out when after step 1. Any idea why, and how do fix it?

Calvin, · Reply

Quote from Calvin:

My battery does not pop out when after step 1. Any idea why, and how do fix it?

Will not drop out even if you turn it upside down?

skraggle, · Reply

Somehow, now my isight camera doesn't work and the light is always on. Cannot figure out what I did wrong.

josefsalyer, · Reply

Somehow the plastic disc with the slot for a coin got dislodged from the case, and I can't seem to get it open now. Any tips/links on how to open this without the aid of the plastic disc?

Peter Wood, · Reply

i broke my disc off as well. I used two toothpicks to rotate the thing. hi tech.

howard bederman,

please pay attention that screws are native to metal pieces otherwise you are going to be a stupid like me trying to unscrew unsuccessfully until I reread the guide

manochu, · Reply

Lay the screws out in a ”timeline” like a circle, Then when you reassemble just start from the end of the “timeline”

decristoforo, · Reply

When installing RAM, be sure to push the chips in firmly or else the computer will not register them.

bigoldbigtree, · Reply

I couldn't do it. I can't insert it back again. It doesn't make the click noise when I plug it back.

Aren't there missing steps? The last step is removing the memory. For me is not obvious how to perform and I'm afraid of damaging the computer.

Angel, · Reply

I cannot reach the metal levers in order to pull them out and expose the RAM slots.

Clark humphrey, · Reply

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