Upgrading RAM on Macbook Pro medio 2009

by Teh KillerBee 8. June 2013 13:37

Hello!

Exams are now (almost) over, and I thought it was time for a short post, first post in a while - life has kept me very busy and studying electrical engineering is very time consuming.

I was doing an upgrade of my friends Unibody MacBook Pro (2.66GHz), medio 2009. We were going to upgrade the ram from 2x2GB to 2x4GB, since one block went bad earlier.With the bad block inserted, the mac would always fail to wake up from sleep and removing the bad block solved the issue. Obviously 2GB ram wasn't enough, so a RAM replacement was needed.

Turns out after both blocks were inserted, only one of them were detected, resulting in a total RAM amount of 4GB. We didn't understand why only one was discovered, this version of the MBP was supposed to support at least 2x8GB 1067DDR3 RAM. We also went for "Corsair MAC" branded memory, so it was supposed to work just fine.

We tried swapping and reaseating but nothing helped. As usual, we started googling the problem and it turns out we aren't alone with this issue. Most forum posts suggested it was related to a faulty motherboard/logicboard. A few suggested an EFI firmware update would solve the problem, but we were already running with the latest 1.7 update, so sadly that couldn't be the issue. We also reset PRAM (Command (⌘), Option, P, and R), but that didn't help either.

After a few more searching, we stumbled upon an interesting thread, with someone having a very similar issue:

Dissapearing ram and sleep issues - also with an Unibody MBP mid 2009 (The thread says version 5.5 is, maybe this is a mistake?)

THE SOLUTION:

The user [QuadTurbo], from the forum linked to above, suggested the following. It sounded quite silly at first, but we tried anyways:

I believe I have found a DEFINITIVE solution to an identifiable problem. I have a Macbook Pro 13" 2010, with 8 gb ram. In the last 6 months, I have had Bank 1 (4 gb) disappearing on me intermittently. In the last two months, I had consistent loss of 4 gb of ram, especially after restart. When I start cold (after 24 hours), it recognizes 8 gb, but if I restart, it recognizes only 4 gb. I would stick the macbook in the freezer for 10 min. Of course, I get 8 gb.

[...]

I opened everything and LOOSENED the four screws around the Ram HOLDER.....
8 gb ever since!

I believe with time, the awesome heat from the macbook pro eventually warps the circuit board. My macbook was just under 3 years old and started to have this problem. The four screws holding the ram holder in start to tighten up with heat and somehow it does not recognize one bank. That's why when I freeze the macbook, it gets the other bank back. By loosening the screws, it allows the circuitboard expansion with heat.

Guess what... That solution worked PERFECTLY - all 8GB ram were now detected! I would have never expected a few screws would solve such a strange issue.. Maybe it is not only an issue with the 5.3 series of UMBP?

Please let me know if this issue can help you!

//Johannes

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Electronics | Firmware | Hacks | Hardware

Upgrading Netgear WG602 access point to DD-WRT

by Teh KillerBee 27. January 2012 22:49

Hello everyone!

As usual, blog posts from me have been scarce, there have not been much time for keeping the blog up to date. Cry

Anyways.. I got two Viasat branded Netgear WG602 V4 access points for free, and quickly found out they support my favourite custom firmware, [DD-WRT].

I thought it was going to be a straight forward TFTP firmware update, but this was not the case. The two accesspoints were configured to act only as a wireless ethernet bridge, but I needed two wireless AP's instead - with custom security settings and SSID's of course!

Connecting to the router through ethernet was a big problem though since I could not get access to the administration page, normally located at 192.168.0.227 for this kind of access point. The SSID was also hidden and WEP encrypted, so connecting this way would be time consuming.

I did however, find a good solution to access the router at 192.168.0.227 and finally upgrade the firmware using TFTP. Following downloads will be needed to upgrade the firmware:

- DD-WRT firmware. You can find the newest firmware at the DD-WRT site. Remember to check your WG602 version first!

- A TFTP utility. I used the windows TFTP2.exe utility from the [TFTP guide at DD-WRT]

This solution should not be different from non Viasat branded WG602's:

  1. You will need to power down the AP and disconnect it from ethernet.
  2. Then configure the TCP/IP settings for your ethernet card using IP 192.168.0.1, Subnet 255.255.255.0 and no gateway settings set. Make sure no firewall settings will block for connections used in this case. Remember to CLOSE the network card settings first. If you are already using this subnet for eg. your wireless network you will have to disconnect first from this network, so keep this page open, in case you loose internet access!
  3. Connect the WG602 directly to the ethernet card (i.e. no switch or hub and one cable) with the computer on and WG602 off.
  4. Turn on the WG602
  5. Make sure the AP starts up completely before attempting to log in or TFTP to 192.168.0.227.
  6. You should now get a login prompt. Use the default user and password ("admin"/"password") unless you have changed this.
  7. Change or observe settings if necessary.

Pictures of the original settings are shown below. Interestingly enough, the "hidden" SSID is, in my case, "Netgear_ViaSat" with WEP password "MH1234dfHR4321"

 

 

You should now be able to upgrade the firmware with the TFTP utility. You may want to check the [TFTP guide]. Keep in mind, I used windows 7 x64 bit without any trouble updating the router.

  1. Use the same TCP/IP configuration as shown above
  2. Shut off the router, but keep it plugged in the PC.
  3. Start TFTP program on IP 192.168.0.227, but use at least 20 retries.
  4. Turn on the router and QUICKLY start the upload process
  5. TFTP utility should attempt to "clear flash memory". Nothing should happen at this moment, and the utility should skip to attempt 2/20 retries. If it does NOT skip though and starts flashing the new firmware, do NOT disconnect power but continue to step 7. Otherwise, continue to step 6.
  6. Quickly disconnect and then reconnect power to the router while the utility is trying to clear flash memory. The TFTP utility should now upload the firmware.
  7. Once it flashes and you receive the Success message. Wait for a full 2 minutes while the new firmware flash configures itself.Do NOT disconnect power to the router. This is a very good time to grab a cup of coffee! Smile
  8. After the 2 minutes do a [Hard reset or 30/30/30] on the router, then configure at 192.168.1.1 (DD-WRT's default IP address). Remember to change your IP to 192.168.1.X, or you wont be able to see the AP! The default DD-WRT username/password is root/admin.

You should now be a proud owner of a DD-WRT powered router Cool

Notice: If you are going to use the WG602 as an wireless accesspoint connected directly to a different router, you will need to make a few changes to make it all work. These changes are all covered in this [DD-WRT guide].

If you want to use the AP as a wireless bridge instead while using WAN port as switch, this guide will be very helpful: [Client Bridged, DD-WRT guide]

Blogengine 2.5, yes please!

by Teh KillerBee 13. August 2011 20:31

Hey!

I have been using blogengine 2.0 for a long time now, but never updated to the latest 2.5 - despite it being out since 27th of june this year. Well today was the big day, and I upgraded without much trouble - actually I only transferred the App_data folder and thats it! I have not transferred my plugins yet, so I have yet to discover any bugs there haha. I even got a new theme! More...

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IRL | Rant | Software

My experiences with D-link support - DIR-855

by Administrator 12. August 2011 23:31

Hey all!

Wow I barely made the 2 comments pr. month milestone this time! Surprised

Anyways, like always I tend to get free hardware all the time, and last time I got an interesting router from a friend, an D-Link DIR-855 dualband (2,4+5GHz) gigabit router WITH OLED display too (version A2 Europe, as seen in the picture) Sadly this beast only worked partially - there were no wireless transmission at all. As all people with faulty routers should do, I started out updating the firmware to the newest, 1.21 EU - nope, didn't help either.

The thing is it had the "Init failed" error (as shown in the picture). I'm not sure if this is a common thing with D-link routers, but some googling showed me similar problems with the DIR-655 router. More...

Updates, updates & updates!

by Teh KillerBee 14. July 2011 22:33

Well time for a new update me thinks!

I have mostly been busy finishing up HTX and graduated a couple of weeks back so now THAT is finally over! I did make some cool technology/mechatronics projects for my graduation, I'll post pictures and such soon, so stay tuned! I thought I would have more time for blog posts now that I have got holiday, but that is certainly not the case, after all it is very time consuming to relax all day Wink. Hah hah jokes aside, I have actually been busy the last couple of weeks and I have had quite a few projects going on, so expect to hear more from that later Wink

I have had time to finally finish up my android on TYTN2 guide aswell and will post that soon, but sadly the phone have had major hardware problems (including charging problems, missing SIM card, and SD card not recognized). All those problems got me into buying a new phone, the Samsung Galaxy SII and I must say alot have happened since I got the TYTN2 back in 2008! Good thing is this phone have got USB Host amongst other great features, so it would make a good "brain" in some sort of automated vehicle.. Well more on that later, but you havent heard the last from the SGS2 - thats for sure! Smile

Well thats all for now, hopefully I'll be able to update more frequently from now on Cool

//Teh KillerBee

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IRL | News

About me

I am the ~20 year old Johannes, a computer geek from the small scandinavian country called Denmark, self-taught in programming & electronics.

Some of my interests are hacking & working on different projects (both hardware & software) and also electronic music in various forms. Electronics engineering is also a great interest of mine, and hopefully I will be able to make a living at this in the future Smile

I will use this blog as a way of telling you about the different projects and problems I work with every day while (hopefully) entertaining, helping and maybe inspiring you in the process Cool

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