El Capitan RAM issues?

Kilobyte Kid

El Capitan RAM issues?

I have an early 2011 Macbook Pro (8,2) with 16GB of Crucial RAM installed. Prior to my installation of El Capitan, I have never had any issues with the machine...However following installation of El Capitan, the machine has been randomly crashing and freezing up during the boot. The behavoir I have noted includes:

 

1. Progress bar to ~50%, screen freezes.

2. Progress bar to ~50%, screen changes to white screen then freezes.

3. Progress bar to ~50%, blue screen appears and then freezes.

4. Progress bar to ~50%, garbled video line appears on the screen, screen changes to white and then freezes.

 

In terms of the crashes while the OS is running, either the machine completely freezes, or I get the blue screen and the machine freezes.

 

To login to the machine requires constant reboots and potentially a reset of the PRAM (CMND, OPT, P, R). Unfortunately, there seems to be no pattern as to how to consistently get the machine to reboot properly (sometimes it reboots right away, sometimes it reboots in 30 min).

 

At first I thought this was an OS isssue (and it still may be), but writing to the Apple forums, a user suggested that this is a RAM related issue because the specifications of the Macbook Pro (8,2) are a maximum of 8GB installed. A reinstallation of my original 4GB of RAM, has, to date, corrected the issue (there have been no crashes or other related problems over 2 days).

 

My writing is not to attach/seek blame, it is to research if there are identified issues, and what the potential workarounds might be. While El Capitan does a great job of handling 4GB of RAM...I would prefer to have 16GB installed (or to know that 16GB is not going to work with El Capitan). Can anyone advise? Should I try different RAM?

 

 

10 Replies
Community Manager

Re: El Capitan RAM issues?

Hi billLTS,

 

Thanks for contacting us today. We haven't heard of anyone else experiencing this issue after upgrading their OSX yet.  It could be that this is a failing memory module causing the issue and that it became more noticeable when you upgraded to a more memory demanding OSX.

 

What is the full part number on the  memory module you have installed? This will be on the label and read something like CT8G3S1339M.16F, etc.

 

To help determine if the memory is faulty, you can use the Apple Hardware Test or Diagnostics.

You can find specific details on how this works and how to run it at the following page of the Apple website:

http://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT201257

 

You could also  try booting the MacBook Pro with a single module at a time.


Please let us know how you get on with this and if we can offer any additional assistance then do not hesitate to contact us.

 

YogiH, Crucial Moderator, US


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Kilobyte Kid

Re: El Capitan RAM issues?

YogiH,

 

Thank you for taking the time to reply to me. I can now confirm that this is not a memory issue with Crucial's memory in this machine as it has exhibted the same issues with the factory memory reinstalled. It took a couple of days for this issue to manifest again, but it is back and with a vengence it would appear.

 

In terms of the performance of my memory from Crucial (and your support). For the record, prior to these problems with the OS, my computer has run fantastically with zero problems. While there have been warnings about installing memory over specification (16GB in this case), I can say that I have never, ever had anything resembling a problem. Thank you for the great memory and the great support (getting back to me).

Community Manager

Re: El Capitan RAM issues?

 

BillLTS,

 

You're very welcome. I am sorry that you are experiencing the issues with the original RAM installed as well. You have already tried resetting the PRAM/NVRAM as well?

 

 


 

YogiH, Crucial Moderator, US


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Kilobyte Kid

Re: El Capitan RAM issues?

Yes, and it is impossible to tell whether this eventually boots the machine or not. Normally a reset of either, or both, will not remedy the problem -- it will simply boot after an unknown period of resets (sometimes a couple of resets, sometimes resets for a half-hour). The fora tell me that it could be an SSD problem, but again, I have not had these problems previously (through 2 years of usage)...and there are periods of time in which the OS works just fine (moreover diagnostics say that my drive is fine). Others have experienced similar problems in El Capitan with circa 2011 machines which tells me that this is could be something in the OS interacting with the logic board, perhaps even the AMD graphics chipset (which I have seen problems reported with the drivers). I'm really at the end of my rope with this and there's nothing coming from Apple. I appreciate you taking the time to offer additional suggestions.

Kilobyte Kid

Re: El Capitan RAM issues?

[ Edited ]

I have to chime in here with my similar experiences when upgrading to El Capitan. I feel your pain, because this has been driving me NUTS. I have a late 2012 Mac Mini fully specd out (at the time). 2.6 quad core i7, fusion drive, and then I maxed it out with 16gb of Crucial RAM - which worked perfect for the last 3 Mac OS's.  Then I upgraded to El Capitan and my Mac **bleep** the bed. Hard. I simply could not load El Capitan.  I could revert to an older OS, but EL Capitan simply would not load.

 

I could not figure out why this was happening. Bad RAM was the last thing on my mind. After weeks of trying to figure this out with many people, I caved and took it to the genius bar at my local Apple store last week. The tech I was working with ran it through every system check possible and confirmed the hardware was perfectly fine, no issues - yet they also could not get El Capitan to load. This became the problem of the morning, and soon multiple geniuses were gathered around my Mac Mini running different commands, and trying different tricks - but nothing worked.

 

They finally told me they needed to take it in the back and really go over it. 2 hrs later they called me back and said it has to be your 3rd party Crucial RAM. The absolute only way they could get El Capitan on the Mini was to remove the Crucial RAM, and load the OS from ANOTHER Mac in Target Disk Mode.  Then and only then did the OS load. Unreal. I asked them why was my RAM compatiable with the last 3 Mac OS's, but not El Capitan? They had no answers, but I understand where they were coming from - with the Crucial RAM out, they got the OS to load. They put the Crucial RAM back in and gave me the Mini back with a fresh El Capitan install.

 

I took the Mac home, and within a day, issues started again. Random freezing, crashing, processess not completing, it was beyong annoying because i have never had one single problem with this Mac until I decided to finally load El Capitan. Then an update to El Capitan came out on 1/19/16. I figured maybe the source of my problems would possibly be addressed with this update. I ran the update and the Mac crashed and never recovered. Remembering what the tech said about the Crucial RAM, I removed it and re-loaded the original 4gb of RAM that came with Mini when I bought it. I then had to start the Mac in Recovery Mode (it refused to boot any other way), erase the disk, and reload the OS. With the original Apple RAM, this entire process went through effortlessly the first time, and the Mac has be running flawlessly for the last 24 hrs. I have put it through the same paces that crashed the Mac once getting it back from my Apple repair visit, and not one single hiccup has occured (so far).

 

SO - CRUCIAL, not pointing any fingers here, because all I'm looking for are answers. Why does my 3rd party Crucial RAM work FLAWLESSLY with Mountain Lion, Mavericks, Yosemite....and then completley lie down and die with El Capitan??

 

I'm now faced with having to spend additonal money on new RAM, and I don't believe there is anything defective with the CRUCIAL RAM I have been using for the last 3 years. And my bigger concern is - If I buy new Crucial RAM, am I going to have these same issues with El Capitan? The Crucial RAM I had been running is:

 

(2 sticks) Purchased in 2013

CT8G3S 160BM.M16FED

8GB DDR3L - 1600 SODIMM MAC

 

Thank you

Community Manager

Re: El Capitan RAM issues?

Hi CRS-1,

 

I am sorry for the issues you've experienced with this RAM. As these are the only two cases we have heard of of this happening our guess would be that the memory was not being demanded as much in the other operating systems. Now that the RAM is being hit harder a  defect in one of the RAM modules that may have been there all along is now very apparent. I would advise trying each memory module one at a time to see if you can narrow down the defective memory module. We would also recommend performing a NVRAM reset. NVRAM (or PRAM in older Macs) stores settings about your Mac. If you are experiencing issues after a change in memory or hardware, resetting the NVRAM can resolve these.

To reset it, just follow these steps from the Apple Knowledge Base:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1379

 

Please contact us directly using the information in my signature for a warranty replacement if this is necessary after the NVRAM reset. These modules are under a limited lifetime warranty, so there is not reason to purchase them again. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns.


 

YogiH, Crucial Moderator, US


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Kilobyte Kid

Re: El Capitan RAM issues?

Thank you very much for your prompt response. I have already performed PRAM resets, and everything imaginable was tried during the Apple genius bar visit to resolve the issue. It seems that El Capitan simply does not cooperate with my Crucial RAM. Again, I never had one single issue through the last 3 OS's with this RAM. It wasnt until I did the El Capitan upgrade that the Mac immediately started crashing.

 

I am happy to hear the Crucial RAM has a limited lifetime warranty and I may be able to get it replaced at no additional cost.  I have contacted you via your signature through direct message, and I look forward to your response.

 

Thank you again, very much appreciated.

Bit Baby

Re: El Capitan RAM issues?

I have been having a similar problem. Mac mini 2012 i7 server with 16 gig Crucial memory. Randomly, about every two days, my computer freezes. I can still see the desktop and move the mouse but I can not use the menubar or launch any applications. Been working with Apple on this for months and we do not know why its happening. Computer passes all diagnostics. I'm in the process of downgrading to the original factory memory to see if this solves the problem. 

 

In my case this occurs with both El Capitan and when I go back to Mavericks. I think though that one of the operating system upgrades also upgraded the computer firmware which fixed some graphics and other issues but may have created something new also that we are experiencing.

 

Michael.

Bit Baby

Re: El Capitan RAM issues?

I will chime in with a similar experience.  Late 2009 iMac. I "upgraded" back in February the 4gb stock RAM by adding two more Crucial 4GB sticks (for a total of 12GB). I was kind of surprised at the little-to-no-difference in performance; i thouygh for sure I would see an improvement.

 

Over the ensuing couple of months, I started having intermittent random freezes, crashes, reboots, etc. From all symptoms it seemed that my hard drive had finally **bleep** out. I decided to take this opportunity to replace it with an SSD. I used the thermal cable senor and everything, according to all the posts on the topic i could find.

 

It took more than a month of trying to troubleshoot until I was finally able to get my computer back up and running. I also tried EVERYTHING - target disk mode, clean installs from USB & CD, recovery mode, wireless recover mode, etc. etc. etc. I was able to at one point to get it up & running long enough to backup from Time machine, but then it crashed again, and I got stuck in boot loops for days.

 

I finally found a post where the user popped out his memory and replaced the original RAM, did the install, then put the crucial memory back in. So as a last resort I tried that too -- although I left the Crucial memory OUT.

 

Bingo, I was able to re-install El Capitan. I may try to do the Sierra upgrade before putting the Crucial memory back in to see if that makes a difference. In the meantime, I will just enjoy a working computer for a bit, even at a lowly 4GB stock RAM...

 

In this day and age I find it hard to accept that someting labelled as "compatible" caused so many problems. I am hesitant to re-install the Crucial memory at all.