Bad Ram!

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Damn Bad RAM.

If you’ve followed this blog at all, you’ve probably read about some of my Mac problems. Apple was kind enough to replace my completely f’ed up Dual 2.7Ghz G5 with a shiny new Quad 2.5Ghz G5. But, as the previous post mentions, it has not been without its share of frustration as it crashed and crashed and crashed. It was crashing so often now that I was at the breaking point and had deciding on bringing it in to Apple for a look see as to why its going bad.

This may sound odd, not wanting to bring the computer in for service, but I have my reasons. The last time I brought my machine in for service I was without it for a total of 20 days. That, AND that the G5 is a heavy piece of computing machinery. Having to hook up and unhook up all the cables each time and take the machine to the car, take to Apple and drag it all over the place – well, it got to be mighty annoying. So, instead of doing anything I just adjusted. I was saving every 5 minutes, (a good procedure anyways), and I was always on the lookout for a crash. It was like a caffeine buzz that wouldn’t go away. I never knew when the system would crash, and it always seemed to crash when I least expected it, and when I most needed it NOT to crash. I know, when I least expected it sounds silly too, as I just said I always expected it. But, I found pockets of hope – hey it hasn’t crashed in two days…BAM. God-DAMN-it. As much as I knew it was going to crash, when it did I was infuriated.

One application that I’ve come to need and depend on is Apple’s Aperture. My main use for it is exporting of web page photo galleries. Well, that and image management. But its the web export that just ROCKS. Anyway, after a recent shoot I needed to post the images up for the client to see that same night. I load all my images into Aperture and select a website export. There were about 200 or so shots, and on export the machine crashed hard. I tried this 3 times before I went to the MacBookPro as a backup machine. Loaded all the images on the MBP and within 30 minutes (the images file sizes were huge – so conversion took some time for the over 200 shots) I had my web pages. That was the last straw. I was sick of having adapted to accepting daily crashes as part of life. Tomorrow I was bringing this machine back.

But – before I did I wanted to do some research on the Quad G5 to see if others were experiencing similar problems. Oddly enough, Apple’s support site is relatively useless, but the discussion boards are where it’s at. There are some pretty vocal people on those boards. And as it turns out, I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t the only one with this issue. Finding out yer not the only one with any problem is quite a breakthrough. It validates you in a way. As in “I’m NOT crazy, or AS crazy, as everyone says! Woohoo!” So, while reading the posts, all the responses form the Apple approved responders said that 90% of the time bad RAM was the issue.

Frankly, I didn’t believe em. When I had received the new Quad, it came with 512MB of RAM. I added 4GB of RAM from another company. So I found this application – Rember – that would run exhaustive rests on the RAM. It would just take all night to run through the tests. I set it up to just keep running the tests over and over.

When I woke the next day I found test failures. that meant that I had *GASP* bad RAM. Well holee cow. So, I ran down to Fry’s, bought 4 x 1 GB chips and replaced all the RAM that was in the machine. I am happy to report that my machine has not crashed ONCE since that day, and that was like 3 weeks ago.

The moral of the story? I need to do my research earlier into the problem phase. That, and quit blaming Apple. they were right this time.
Who knew?

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