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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Apple Pulling Third Party RAM

Apple Pulling Third Party RAM
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jstein
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Mar 26, 2005, 10:58 PM
 
In the past few weeks there has been numerous threads on RAM in our community. So in our never ending quest to get the best performance from our PowerBooks here is something else to consider.

At the beginning of February my 15-inch alpb was sent in for repairs at that time my spacebar was not working correctly. When I received my pb in the usual quick fashion that Apple Care provides. Upon opening the box I was greeted by the Third Party Letter basically stating that my memory was the caused of the problem that I was having.

Okay now my laptop was working fine when I sent it off besides the issue with my spacebar now all of sudden it is my RAM that is causing the problem, yeah right. After a quick call to Apple the Apple Service Care rep. stated that the samething was done to his PowerBook when it was sent in for repairs and there was nothing wrong with the RAM. To be on the safe side I made a call to Kingston to do a swap for new memory and when it arrived I installed it everything appeared to be fine.

For the most part I thought it was me, until my business partner was complaining how the RAM was pulled from his PowerBook when it was sent in for repairs. After his encounter I took it up upon myself to do a search and this is what I stumbled across something that you want to keep in mind before you install 3rd party RAM in your pb.
From macintouch:
Apple Pulling Third Party RAM

David Roach
Recently I've had two experiences with AppleCare, one for my Powerbook and one for my Power Mac G5. For both machines AppleCare removed the memory that was in the machine and gave it to me in a separate bag saying that the memory was "bad."

I've used the memory in the Powerbook for almost 3 years now with no problems whatsoever. Since getting back this "bad" RAM I've run memtest on the Powerbook for a week straight with zero errors.

I called Apple back to ask about this and was told that if it is not Apple RAM it won't work right. I thought that was a pretty silly thing to say...


Vince Loden
Interesting to note you mention about AppleCare not covering non-Apple RAM. In the last six months I've seen 3 Macs with RAM gone bad, and it's always been the Apple RAM gone bad!


MacInTouch Reader 1
I run an Apple Authorized service center, and on occasion, we need to send laptops into Apple for various reasons...

I can verify the fact that if non-Apple RAM is installed in a machine, it is Apple policy to pull the RAM and send it back with a nasty note. This happens 100% of the time.

In many cases, they pull the memory, send the unit back to us, and the problem has not even been addressed. The most insane case was a PowerBook G4 that had a broken hinge. You guessed it, bad RAM caused the problem. It is now policy to remove non Apple RAM before sending any unit to Apple for service.

If you want to read more stories like this here is the link to the article
I have no problem with Apple wanting everyone to use RAM provided by Apple. However, the issue that I do have if there is really a problem with 3rd Party RAM for some reason let us know up front before everyone goes out and purchases RAM from a 3rd party vendor....
( Last edited by jstein; Mar 27, 2005 at 02:33 AM. )
     
ibook_steve
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Mar 26, 2005, 11:45 PM
 
What I don't understand is why anybody sending in their machine to Apple wouldn't pull any third party mods they have done to the machine, including third party RAM. Heck, if it's just the space bar and I had Apple-installed RAM, I'd pull it too just so it didn't get lost in the shuffle.

The point is that anytime you send hardware back to Apple, send it back to them as close to the shipped config as possible, not to mention back up all your important stuff. I can totally understand why Apple is doing this. This is RAM Apple has not tested so there is no proof that any problem you have isn't associated with it. Just send it back without the third party stick in. Simple measure.

Steve
     
jstein  (op)
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Mar 27, 2005, 02:42 AM
 
Originally posted by ibook_steve:
What I don't understand is why anybody sending in their machine to Apple wouldn't pull any third party mods they have done to the machine, including third party RAM. Heck, if it's just the space bar and I had Apple-installed RAM, I'd pull it too just so it didn't get lost in the shuffle.

The point is that anytime you send hardware back to Apple, send it back to them as close to the shipped config as possible, not to mention back up all your important stuff. I can totally understand why Apple is doing this. This is RAM Apple has not tested so there is no proof that any problem you have isn't associated with it. Just send it back without the third party stick in. Simple measure.

Steve
Steve I understand your point and I cannot speak for everyone else but I always back up my important information before sending my laptop off. Now this whole issue with the RAM 3rd Part or not is somewhat different but even it is not how does not removing the RAM explain this statement...

From Macintouch.com
MacInTouch Reader 1
I run an Apple Authorized service center, and on occasion, we need to send laptops into Apple for various reasons...

I can verify the fact that if non-Apple RAM is installed in a machine, it is Apple policy to pull the RAM and send it back with a nasty note. This happens 100% of the time.

In many cases, they pull the memory, send the unit back to us, and the problem has not even been addressed. The most insane case was a PowerBook G4 that had a broken hinge. You guessed it, bad RAM caused the problem. It is now policy to remove non Apple RAM before sending any unit to Apple for service.
Also people that lease their computers are to quick to open their computers up for certain reasons as well...
     
all2ofme
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Apr 1, 2005, 04:20 PM
 
If that's true about them pulling non-Apple RAM then that's outrageous. That would make me really, really, cocking angry.
     
mbryda
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Apr 1, 2005, 05:14 PM
 
That's odd. We just sent the wife's iBook to Apple 2x the past 2 weeks and both times I left the 3rd party RAM in. Both times they left it alone and fixed the issue (1st was a bad hinge and 2nd was bad Airport) without incident.
     
ibulldog
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Apr 1, 2005, 07:02 PM
 
I sent my 15 inch PB, purchased in April, 2004, in to have the keyboard and screen replaced. I received the identical letter from Apple stating the issues I was having was a result of faulty 3rd party RAM. Indeed.

Something fishy is happening in certain areas of AppleCare, I'm certain. To wit, (and I won't drag you into the details) do yourselves a favor and log into the Apple discussions and take a look at some of the issues people are having, and, more importanlty, the types of responses they are receiving.

My most recent inane comment from an Apple specialist when I called about another problem keyboard on my machine (I've had it replaced three times already): "I suggest you operate your machine on a flat, even surface that allows for proper cooling. Ugh. Off to the local Apple store I go.
     
Wiskedjak
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Apr 1, 2005, 07:42 PM
 
ummmm .... Apple makes RAM?

Isn't all RAM third party?
     
Wiskedjak
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Apr 1, 2005, 07:48 PM
 
Originally posted by ibulldog:
Something fishy is happening in certain areas of AppleCare, I'm certain. To wit, (and I won't drag you into the details) do yourselves a favor and log into the Apple discussions and take a look at some of the issues people are having, and, more importanlty, the types of responses they are receiving.
AppleCare seems to becoming more about profit margin than about "care". Having worked for an Apple reseller for several years and watching the slow degradation of AppleCare while the simultaneous increase in Apple pushing the sale of AppleCare I've decided to stop buying Apple until they start producing products that are guaranteed to last longer than a year.
     
porieux
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Apr 1, 2005, 07:56 PM
 
...
( Last edited by porieux; Oct 2, 2006 at 07:56 AM. )
     
StonedRose
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Apr 1, 2005, 09:30 PM
 
Just sent my PowerBook off...Totally overheated and died. No tone, no boot to HD. I puled and swapped ram to test. All pass. However, in the "Ship-To" box that you send off to dispatch..It clearly states....Leave all RAM (including) 3rd party.....

-SQ
     
powerbook911
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Apr 1, 2005, 11:08 PM
 
This is rather silly. A lot of us are probably using bettery memory than Apple uses. After all, Apple just buys cheap memory that works.
12" Powerbook G4 1.5 GHZ, 1.25GB RAM, 80g, Superdrive
17" iMac Core Duo 1.83 GHZ, 1.5GB RAM
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iPod Shuffle (512 MB)
     
Wiskedjak
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Apr 2, 2005, 12:43 AM
 
Originally posted by StonedRose:
However, in the "Ship-To" box that you send off to dispatch..It clearly states....Leave all RAM (including) 3rd party.....
That way they can blame the RAM
     
dennett
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Apr 2, 2005, 12:53 AM
 
I got the same letter last month when my 2.5 year old PowerBook Ti went in for monitor issues. I still haven't put my old RAM back in, too lazy I guess...
     
Lancer409
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Apr 2, 2005, 01:45 AM
 
i just shipped my 12 inch powerbook off (brought it into the san francisco apple store so i guess THEY shipped it off) and the female genius asked me about the ram. i found myself stammering and asking if i shoulda taken my ram out first. it was 1.256btw. she said it was fine to leave it in, she just wanted to make sure i get back the same ammount of ram =). I found it wierd that she asked me for the password to my machine. Do they plan on looking through my computer?

Luckily for me, it's a hinge issue (sticky hinge) so hopefully they dont pull out my ram and try to tell me the ram made the hinge stick (haha). I am surprised that they would ask me for my password though. Why do i feel so insecure about that...

No trees were killed in the sending of this message. However, a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
     
mad4macs
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Apr 2, 2005, 05:29 AM
 
About the password... yes, you're being weird about it
In all repairs, the machine is booted to the desktop to insure that it works.
What would your response be, if you were to get a non-working machine back from a repair center? You'd likely be screaming bloody murder...

(and tech's REALLY don't give a flip about your data)
     
Lancer409
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Apr 2, 2005, 06:18 AM
 
Originally posted by mad4macs:
About the password... yes, you're being weird about it
In all repairs, the machine is booted to the desktop to insure that it works.
What would your response be, if you were to get a non-working machine back from a repair center? You'd likely be screaming bloody murder...

(and tech's REALLY don't give a flip about your data)


what if you had loads of personal information. passwords .. etc. my mailbox alone has all the passwords to every website i've registered to, as well as some bank information. i guess i'm being wierd about it but ... (and for a hinge issue)


she explained it the same way.

No trees were killed in the sending of this message. However, a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
     
slboett
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Apr 2, 2005, 12:26 PM
 
Two recent PowerBook repairs resulted in the RAM being pulled by Apple. One came back with the RAM in a static bag, the second one they forgot to ship the RAM back, but FedEx'd it overnight.
Nothing was implied about the RAM being bad, but they obviously pull it to avoid it altogether.
I don't see an issue as long as they don't BS ab out my RAM (which I always test) being bad - especially when the issue had nothing to do with RAM.
I do think though that maybe someone like my Mom might have paid someone to put RAM in, that would suck because she'd have to do it again...
Not sure why they'd leave it out unless it is definitely bad...

SB
     
grimley
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Apr 2, 2005, 05:34 PM
 
ihad them pull BOTH sticks out of my 15" after a logic board failure. I just put them back in. Though if I send it back again, I will put the Apple 256 stick it came with.

If you are sending in a computer to fix, I would either back everything up and erase, or encrypt the info you don't want people looking at. it's not strange that they would want to test it out by booting into the machine.
     
killabyte
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Apr 2, 2005, 06:13 PM
 
Apple pulled both sticks of my RAM...twice. It was a logic board failure. Pretty ****ing ridiculous if you ask me.
     
Gavin
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Apr 2, 2005, 07:20 PM
 
The point is that they are lying about it.

I just got my iBook back after sending it in for a faulty graphics board recall. It had a little bag containing my ram stapled to an invoice which said the ram was bad. The report implied that the ram was the cause of my screen going black. Absolutely not true. Not only is the ram perfect but it was purchased from and installed by an Apple reseller in the first place!

They did replace the faulty parts as well so the machine works fine now. Again I'm guessing about what was done to it because the cryptic invoice was the only information given. It seemed to say that some parts were replaced.

There was no explanation of exactly what was done to the machine or what was tested, or even a 'thanks for using apple'. I get more info from Jiffy Lube.

Anyway, all's good and the machine works fine again but that really pissed me off.

As to the idea that no one is looking at your data, you have to assume the opposite.

You have to assume that your data is not safe. First, they may have to wipe the disk and reinstall the OS to fix your box. The instructions mention this.

Second, identity theft is very profitable. Snooping is fun. It only takes one bad guy in an otherwise honest organization.

They ARE going through your pictures, they are reading your mail, they are making copies of your keychain, they are looking through your data for credit card numbers and passwords, etc. Browser cookies might let them into your bank. They may even be adding spyware for later.

Sure, most of the time it won't be a problem. But you could be that one poor schmuck who spends the next 6 years on the phone with the police, the credit reporting company, your bank and everyone else. You could be the sad bastard who has to explain to his (ex)wife why her naked pix are on the internet.

Wipe it clean.
     
Wiskedjak
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Apr 2, 2005, 07:46 PM
 
Originally posted by Gavin:
They ARE going through your pictures, they are reading your mail, they are making copies of your keychain, they are looking through your data for credit card numbers and passwords, etc. Browser cookies might let them into your bank. They may even be adding spyware for later.
Don't be silly. Bad people don't work for Apple!
     
NeilCharter
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Apr 2, 2005, 09:19 PM
 
I had a wake from sleep issue and a latch problem on my powerbook.

In talking to the Apple phone support I had reproduced the software issue with 3rd party ram in and out.

I finally sent it in for repair and Apple wiped the system and pulled out the 3rd party ram saying it was bad.

This problem probably wasn't caused by the Ram going bad, but I contacted the vendor who made the Ram and got it replaced for free.

So if this has happened to you, don't fret too much. You can get a new replacement fairly easily. It's a bit of a hassle, but hell you will get new Ram out of it.

Haven't had a problem with the new ram or wake from sleep.

Saying that, the latch stopped working properly again after a week.
If I had a signature, it would look something like this
     
goMac
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Apr 2, 2005, 09:33 PM
 
I sent in my Powerbook for a bad latch.

It came back with a new modem, the hard drive erased, and the same bad latch.

Needless to say I avoid AppleCare now.
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Once you wanted revolution, now you're the institution, how's it feel to be the man?
     
Gorloth
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Apr 2, 2005, 09:48 PM
 
You should do the Mac extended hardware test to test the ram. I do mine every three months.
     
turtlebud
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Apr 3, 2005, 01:24 AM
 
Originally posted by ibook_steve:
What I don't understand is why anybody sending in their machine to Apple wouldn't pull any third party mods they have done to the machine, including third party RAM. Heck, if it's just the space bar and I had Apple-installed RAM, I'd pull it too just so it didn't get lost in the shuffle.

The point is that anytime you send hardware back to Apple, send it back to them as close to the shipped config as possible, not to mention back up all your important stuff. I can totally understand why Apple is doing this. This is RAM Apple has not tested so there is no proof that any problem you have isn't associated with it. Just send it back without the third party stick in. Simple measure.

Steve
Well, my reason would be because I sold the original RAM that came with my powerbook (two 256 mb sticks) to replace them with two 512mb sticks. I'm a little afraid of what might happen if I had to send my powerbook in. Would they pull out both sticks of RAM and send it back with none installed? (and the 3rd party datamem RAM in a bag?)
     
chrisford
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Apr 3, 2005, 11:59 AM
 
Hi all -

Just to chime in to say that I've had the same experience others are reporting. My 12" PB developed a hard-drive error of some sort (progressing from kernel panics to an inability to boot). I tried the usual suspects (reinstall a number of times, etc.) before arranging an Apple repair.

My machine was sent back (un-repaired) with a note telling me that my third-party RAM was at fault. When I 'phoned to query this (RAM stopping install?) I was told that this was their policy.

This is my first experience of Apple repair (oddly, in over ten years of Mac ownership, I've never had a fault that a reinstall wouldn't cure) and isn't entirely positive.

I can understand that Apple has no obligation to correct any hardware errors stemming from third-party products but I would have expected the Apple hardware technicians to test the drive once the RAM was removed. The current situation is a little bizarre: I told the Apple rep that I'd remove the RAM and have them collect the machine. They agreed that this would be acceptable.

Odd.

Chris
     
Lancer409
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Apr 3, 2005, 09:33 PM
 
they just better not send me my laptop all scuffed up, with a bad hinge, and my ram taken out .. with a note telling me the ram screwed up the hinge

No trees were killed in the sending of this message. However, a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
     
asxless
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Apr 3, 2005, 10:11 PM
 
I really, really don't like being without my PowerBook for evan a day or two. So I would never even consider giving AppleCare ANY excuses that the problem was due to 3rd party RAM or software, etc.

Thankfully in over a decade of PowerBook usage, I have never had to send a PowerBook into AppleCare, but if I did I would...

* Remove all 3rd party RAM
* Backup my hard drive to a external FireWire drive
* Wipe the internal drive (back to a single partition)
* Restore the OS, etc from the DVD back to the original state on delivery.
* Apply any OS updates available.
AND
* I would confirm that the problem still exists in this 'pristine state'.

Then, and only then, would I put the PowerBook in the box.

-- asxless in iLand
( Last edited by asxless; Apr 3, 2005 at 11:27 PM. )
     
porieux
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Apr 4, 2005, 12:47 AM
 
...
( Last edited by porieux; Oct 2, 2006 at 07:55 AM. )
     
Gavin
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Apr 4, 2005, 05:47 AM
 
Originally posted by Wiskedjak:
Don't be silly. Bad people don't work for Apple!
Neither do the techs who fix your computer.

outsourcing, shhh.....
     
   
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