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TOPIC: After new RAM is installed...

After new RAM is installed... 22 Mar 2016 19:36 #7091

I bought Atomic last week and used it to check the RAM in my MacBook Pro 17" (late 2011). There had been a couple of instances (random times) when the MacBook had suddenly quit and rebooted and I thought perhaps that the RAM that was installed might be at fault. So, I figured that Atomic might be able to clarify things for me.

The test got through the first 3 tests without problems but then had a failure as the Checkerboard test was being run. Since I had already had the sudden quits a few months earlier, I decided to just replace the RAM. The amount I was replacing was 2 chips at 8 GB apiece (16 GB total).

The new RAM arrived today and I installed it. I am running on it now as I'm typing this query. The new RAM is from Crucial.

So, given the above, I was wondering if there is any special protocol for using Atomic with newly installed RAM. Is it best to wait and let the new RAM warm up to its new environment before unleashing Atomic's tests? Or, is it the case that Atomic can be used at any time after new RAM has been installed...even immediately after? If it is the case that it is best to let the new RAM "settle in" to its new surroundings, what timeframe would you recommend?

Thanks for any info you can share on this inquiry!

- David
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After new RAM is installed... 22 Mar 2016 19:45 #7092

Thanks for your clear and detailed report.

You can run the ATOMIC tests immediately, but I suggest restarting in single-user mode and running the tests before launching any applications. The strategy is to minimize the amount of RAM that is in use by the operating system and applications, so that more of the memory can be tested. A unique feature of our tests is that they can test RAM that has been allocated to a process but which is not being used by it.

I would run the tests again overnight when the MacBook Pro is at the higher end of its temperature range, something you can easily get to by playing a YouTube video or a DVD.

Crucial has a good reputation, so as long as the installation was done properly and you had a wrist strap or other ground wire to prevent static shocks to the RAM or circuit board, I would not expect to find any problems.
MicroMat Inc
Makers of TechTool
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After new RAM is installed... 22 Mar 2016 20:32 #7093

Thank you for your quick reply!

I just got through running the default suite of tests in Atomic. I can report that this time the MacBook Pro managed to make it through all 5 tests with a PASS grade!

So, hopefully that means that all is now well.

A note regarding my installation effort: I did not have a wrist strap available so the precautions I did take was to do the install on a kitchen countertop while standing on a dry rubber shower mat (which was itself laying on top of a tile floor) so as to eliminate ....as much as possible....generation of static. I also made sure to have metallic objects nearby for me to touch (to try to discharge any static buildup) before handling any of the RAM chips. I also endeavored to touch the RAM chips only on their edges as opposed to touching any of the chip surfaces.

I realize that this was not the best of conditions for installation of RAM, but I had done it this way in the past and not had any problems. However, I do agree that it would be safer if I had a wrist strap available. I think I will look into getting hold of one of those should another occasion come up where RAM needs to be installed.

PS: I always recalled the old science class experiments where they had you shuffle your shoes across a thick carpet and then go touch a metal door handle. Instant miniature lightning bolt zap (aka electrical shock)! Argh! This recollection is why I opted to stand on a rubber mat on a plain tile floor so that I could minimize the generation of static electricity.

- David
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After new RAM is installed... 22 Mar 2016 21:42 #7094

One more comment:

To refresh my memory (no pun intended!) about how to install RAM on my MacBook Pro model, I visited the OWC (www.macsales.com) site to check out their "how to" videos. They had one for a model very close to mine and it can be found here: eshop.macsales.com/installvideos/macbook...unibody_early11_mem/

As you can see from that video, there is no evidence of a wrist strap being used during the install. So, maybe that is an oversight on their part too. I do agree that use of a wrist strap is a prudent precautionary measure. I just need to get hold of one for the next time I find myself needing to install some RAM.


- David
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After new RAM is installed... 22 Mar 2016 22:22 #7095

Thanks for the detailed explanation of how you tried to avoid damaging the components with static electricity. Many people do not know that the spark you can see if you walk across a nylon carpet in low humidity and then touch a door knob can be 20,000 volts.

According to this page, hard rubber has a mild ability to attract electrons:


I am surprised that the OWC video shows no wrist strap. Years ago, when TechWorks was one of the leading retail vendors of RAM, every chip came in a static-proof bag with a barcode, and every order had a free wrist strap.

Micromat began by repairing hardware. The two things that took the longest to appreciate through experience were how easily components are damaged by static, and how much variation there is in the voltage supplied by a wall outlet.
MicroMat Inc
Makers of TechTool
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After new RAM is installed... 22 Mar 2016 22:46 #7096

Hmmmm....well, I had always thought that rubber provided a decent amount of resistance and would act as an inhibitor so far as electrical charges were concerned. Oh well...live and learn. I guess I should have just stood on the tile floor and forgot about the rubber mat.

I guess you could call my work area a "poor man's clean room". ;)

Regarding your mention of wrist straps coming with orders....many years ago I placed an order for RAM from an online site (don't recall which one it was) and they also provided not only the RAM chips but also a free wrist strap. That thing may still be hanging around here somewhere, but it would probably take an archaeological dig to uncover it! Guess it would be simpler to just buy a new one from someplace online.

Anyway, thanks for the info you provided. I will post here again if any other question comes up regarding this subject.

- David
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After new RAM is installed... 22 Mar 2016 23:42 #7097

You are welcome.

I have a few things that fall into the "archaeological dig" category myself. I have a "missing items" list that once had about a dozen things in it, and is now down to one small lamp and a set of small books.
MicroMat Inc
Makers of TechTool
Last Edit: 22 Mar 2016 23:44 by micromattech3.
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