Released June 2012, Model A1278. Intel processor with Turbo Boost, Up to 512 MB DDR5 Video RAM

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Ram failure when moving -> Problem with Ram sockets! What to do?

MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2012 (2.5 ghz)

Hello,

Thank you for reading my question.

I have a MacBook Pro Mid 2012, a month ago it started with the beep code and I reseated the Ram. The Macbook worked just fine again.

Some days later I had to transport the MacBook in my hands while it was on and I saw some graphic failures on the display and the system froze.

I had to restart it and everything was fine.

It happened about 10 times the last days/weeks. When the failure occures it´s always when I´m applying force to the housing of the MBP.

Now, I think I figured out whats the problem:

The Ram socket on the downside has a connection problem when im applying force to the housing or the socket itself.

If I use the other socket there is no problem. I also tested the other Ram module. It is the socket.

After all this trying and figuring out what it could be I still don't know what to do now.

Do you know this failure? and what could I possibly do to fix it and use 2 RAM modules again (now Im only using 1 because of the bad socket).

Regards,

Alex

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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2 Answers

Chosen Solution

Sadly, there is little you can do to fix this your self. It sounds like you isolated the problem down to the socket which is part of the logic board. The only option here is to replace the logic board which is expensive!

The other direction here is to live with the single RAM module and get a bigger module to offset the other sockets missing memory. That is of course one that still will work in your system.

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Hello Dan,

thanks for your answer.

Perhaps I will try to resolder the pins for the Ram socket. Hopefully the logic board will survive :P. I will have a look at the backside of the logic board and the contacs of the ram socket.

Because I have 8GB modules the remaining 1 module would perhaps be enough for normal office work. But I think i will try to fix it.

Regards,

Alex

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I'm not sure you have a cold solder joint here. I suspect the plastic housing is warped or damaged so the contacts aren't able to hold contact to the module. Good Luck, just the same ;-}

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I've got exactly the same problem. Reading around there seems to be at least a few people who have crashes when carrying the laptop (holding it on the left-hand side - which applies pressure to top of the RAM slot). I wonder how many people have had this problem and never realized it.

Bottom slot is damaged for me too.

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Interesting theory... Only problem is your hand is not resting on the RAM sockets. When you cup your hand holding the laptop under your arm or even picking it up and you are supporting it in the middle of the edge. Your hand is cupping the battery under the palm rest or from the hinge side the fan unit. The other fact here is the RAM modules are parallel to the bottom cover not at an angle and the socket its self is quite beefy so there is little strain on it. The issues I have faced is the size of some of the modules are shallow (thickness wise) so they don't make good contact to the contacts. I've also seen overly thick modules which bend the contacts to the point they don't work with correctly sized modules. Over the years this issue has mostly disappeared. Todays modules are more consistent in size.

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That's not how I pick the laptop up. I scoop my fingers underneath the bottom cover to support it. If I'm only holding the laptop with the left hand while I walk from place to place (entirely possible, especially with a toddler in the house) my fingers press very close to the RAM and support the entire weight of the laptop, with everything to the right of that point creating a bending moment. It's definitely causing the bottom cover to dish and press onto the plastic strip above the RAM bays, and pressing on this plastic is causing the issue (I've checked with the bottom cover off).

As to the why, I suppose it's possible I've cracked a trace from the RAM slot. It's also possible that heat has melted the solder at a contact point or warped the plastic of the bay. I (was) running 16GB and I think it runs a fair bit hotter than 4GB. I wouldn't be surprised if that was the reason this has happened. The user above was using 16GB too. I first noticed the problem when the computer was running hot.

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We have quite a few 16GB setups and haven't encountered this. It's possible the overheated system was a factor. Who's RAM where you using? Was it the older modules which had high profile chips or the newer flatter SMT chipped ones? I do think the older ones did run a bit warm but only if you had a lot of stress on them. I don't think that would do it. What type of apps are you running?

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Kingston N3C/8G

I'm not aware of a newer, flatter style, so they're most likely the old ones.

The heaviest program I'm running seems to be WINE. Other than that I do (very occasionally) use Pixelmator and often use Skype (which also causes the laptop to run warm and it was during use of this that the problem first occurred).

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Every couple of years the processes used to create smaller, more powerful & use less power CPU's is also used to create newer memory chips which are also much smaller and use less power (creating less heat). Here's a link to Intel's product info page while it won't address the memory chips it give you an idea on how much change has occurred over the years currently Intel is at 14nm and it was only eight years ago they were at 24nm almost 50% reduction! This year 12, 14 and 16nm technology is being talked about for the next iPhone/iPad SoC Apples current A8 chip uses 20nm today. While I realize this again has nothing to do with RAM chips the same technology is being used with them. Sadly RAM chips are not well documented for me to point out as well as CPUs and SoC's.

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