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It’s Fixed!

by Meghann on September 26, 2012

Finally!

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You have no idea how happy I am to see those 8 GB of memory.

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Beautiful. ;)

Let me explain…

Remember how my computer was driving me crazy yesterday? Well, it’s been super slow like that for a while. When I bought my MacBook Pro back in 2010, I upgraded the size of the hard drive, but not the memory. So as my hard drive started to fill up (I currently take up 300GB our of 500), my computer started to move at a snail’s pace, unable to process everything on 4GB of RAM without calling uncle. I noticed the problem back in December and actually ended up buying the 8 GB of RAM I needed off of Amazon not too long after.

Only I chickened out as soon as it arrived in the mail. The process of installing the memory required taking off the entire back panel of the my MacBook Pro and I knew I was going to mess something up in the process. I thought about taking it to the Apple store and paying for them to install it, but was afraid they would turn me away when they realized I didn’t buy the RAM from them. I also tried talking Derek into doing it, but he was just as afraid of opening my computer up as I was. Plus, there’s this whole long story of when I tried to install new RAM in my old MacBook and I somehow bought the wrong one and had to make two trips to the Genius Bar to get it all sorted out.

So months went by, the new RAM sat on my desk staring at me untouched, and my slow computer began to slowly drive me to go insane. I think the last straw finally hit this morning when I was on a conference call with someone I’m doing freelance work with and it took me more than ten minutes to load the page so we could share screens. After that embarrassing episode, I decided enough was enough and, if I did ruin my computer, having to buy a new one didn’t sound like that horrible of an option.

Before I did anything, I did make sure to save everything on my external hard drive just-in-case anything happened.

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I felt better knowing everything was backed-up, safe and secured.

Then I watched two YouTube videos (the guys made it look so easy, of course I could do this!) and read the step-by-step instructions on the Apple site 3 or 4 times. I should probably note here that I also had dozens of bloggers/friends/Mac using acquaintances tell me that installing the memory would be a no-brainer. Anyone could do it, they told me. Anyone.

Ha! Obviously they don’t know me well enough.

I started by removing the screws one at a time. My first little glitch came when I ran into a screw that refused to budge. I seriously spent a full 20 minutes trying to get that sucker loose. Finally, I ended up lifting up the panel as much as I could to try and loosen the screw up. After about three times of doing that, the screw finally gave in and let me pull it out.

Once the panel was off, I located the old memory cards and used a little elbow grease to remove them. They both popped off with only some minor resistance. Putting the new cards in was going to be the tricky part.

I tried to be as gentle as I could when installing the first one, but gentle wasn’t going to cut it. These babies needed to be pushed and forced in (or so I thought). I ended up pushing and forcing a little too hard. It went in, but I discovered later that it went in wrong. It was actually when I was installing the second one (which took me almost 30 minutes to get in the slot!) that I heard a “pop” and realized I did the first one wrong – there was no pop and no springy give. Crap.

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I took the top one out and then tried for the bottom (so I could reinstall it correctly now that I knew how it was really supposed to go in). No dice – it wasn’t budging. The card was wedged in at the bottom and there wasn’t even enough room surrounding it to force my fingernail under it to pop it up. Crap. Crap. Crap. I tried for a good 30 minutes trying to unstick it, but it wasn’t moving. Then I wondered if it really mattered if it was in correctly or not. I decided to put the top card back in and see what happened.

I re-installed the top card, screwed the bottom back on, and flipped it over.

Nothing.

Oh, there was an annoying beeping noise, but that was it.

This is where I admitted defeat and figured my last resort would be making an appointment with the Genius Bar. I figured they might mock me and I’d have to pay for them to do it right it, but I was more than fine with that (I deserved to be mocked and at this point I would pay any amount of money just to have it fixed). Luckily I was able to make an appointment through my phone for an hour from then. I loaded my MacBook Pro and headed to the mall.

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You know, for how crazy the Apple store always is, I have to give them props for being organized. I found a person in blue who was able to check me in even though I was 15 minutes early. She directed me to a table, told me to wait there and that a Genius would come find me.

There were three large tables full of people waiting, so I figured I might be there awhile (especially since I was early). Nope. I had just sat down when a Genius came up behind me and ask if I was Meghann. Damn – that was fast.

He asked me what my problem was and I embarrassingly re-told the whole story of how the memory got stuck while I was attempting to change it myself. I thought he was going to be look down on me for messing up something that I’d been constantly told “even a monkey could do that,” but he didn’t. He was actually really, really nice about it and didn’t comment about the story at all. Instead he simply asked if I had the memory (the bottom one was still stuck, but I brought the top one in a separate bag). When I handed it to him, he made a comment that I bought the brand he prefers (victory!), then he told me he had to take it to the back to mess with it. He was very positive, which made me very positive.

I waited for about 5-10 minutes (all the while playing on my phone) and when he returned he told me everything was all set. He even gave me props for attempting to install the memory on my own (victory!). I guess it was wedged in pretty good, but he was able to pop it out with a plastic wedge. He turned it on, did a quick diagnostics test, then sent me out the door. I thought I would have to pay a fee or something, but he never mentioned it – he just told me to have a good day. Basically, Geniuses rock.

I left the Apple store pretty much skipping with glee. I stopped at the nearest Starbucks to check everything out, and it all seemed to be in working order. I’m telling you – the upgraded memory is like night and day! Why, oh why, did I wait so long to install it?!? This is already sooo much better than what I have in order. It’s actually fun to play on my computer again. :)

So, yes, I had a minor set-back (and learned my lesson to never try installing memory myself again), but everything worked out in the end. I’d say that’s a good day. :)

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Courtney @ Journey of a Dreamer September 26, 2012 at 10:54 pm

ahh I love the apple genius’ , they really are smart! Glad you’re back in working order!

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2 Sam @ Better With Sprinkles September 26, 2012 at 11:06 pm

Well, I’m impressed with you for trying :-p Whenever I’m having a computer issue I just hand the laptop off to my boyfriend – he’s the computer guy in this relationship.

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3 Hayley September 26, 2012 at 11:11 pm

The Apple Geniuses are amazing. I went in with a completely shattered iPhone a couple years ago and the guy went in the back and gave me a completely new phone “under the table” for free. Only problem was a year later when I went in to get an upgrade, the phone that I was registered under was no longer the one I had….I pretended like I had no idea why that would be haha

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4 Chelsie @ Balance, Not Scale September 26, 2012 at 11:21 pm

They’re definitely called geniuses for a reason!! Glad to hear that you’re gleeful again! :) A slow computer definitely makes me super cranky (it’s usually the fact that I’ve forgotten I have something downloading in the background … oops!!)

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5 Jena September 27, 2012 at 5:41 am

This made me laugh – definitely something I would do. Computers freak me out; so sensitive & I would for sure mess it up. I don’t have a Macbook, but I have an iPhone – I’ve been to the Apple store once and they were really really nice. I dropped my phone & shattered the glass & the guy was so nice he replaced my phone for free… Thank goodness! It was only a few months old at the time & I didn’t have insurance on it.

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6 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More September 27, 2012 at 6:12 am

After working for the company for about 3 years, I just have to say, hearing your positive comments about the way a store is run, is always happy to hear. So many people get overwhelmed by the madness (and trust me, I GET IT!) but I always love to hear positive stories (even though I don’t work there anymore). lol

And yay for a fixed computer! Whoo!

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7 Cait @ Beyond Bananas September 27, 2012 at 6:24 am

I know a lot of people who say the customer service in the Apple Stores is awful, but like you, Ive had good experiences and have never had to wait long!

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8 Lauren September 27, 2012 at 7:30 am

I think I would have a mental breakdown if that happened to me! Thank GOODNESS you got it fixed. The inside of a computer is like the inside of a human being to me. I would be beyond lost. ;)

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9 Hope @ With A Side Of Hope September 27, 2012 at 7:36 am

You are brave trying to fix your computer yourself! I don’t think I would have even attempted that. So glad your computer is working again! :)

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10 Beth September 27, 2012 at 9:09 am

I’m impressed that you tried. I’d be too scared. LOL! Great to see you last night at random. Hope you had an awesome swim!

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11 Natalie @ Free Range Human September 27, 2012 at 9:24 am

Glad it all worked out! A slow computer is so annoying!

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12 Carolyn September 27, 2012 at 9:27 am

I’m also impressed you tried! Although I am the girl that made an appointment at the Genius bar for her iPhone 3GS because it was running super slow, and it turned out I never actually closed an app. Ever. EMBARRASSING.

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13 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats September 27, 2012 at 9:42 am

I’m glad you got it worked out so quickly! I spilled water on my computer right before finals last year… and lost my computer for a week and EVERYTHING on it (aka from the whole semester) permanently. Didn’t do so great on finals…

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14 Rebecca September 27, 2012 at 9:43 am

I’ve had nothing but good experiences with Apple – which is why I have a iPhone, iMac, Macbook and an iPad. My battery died on the Macbook two years ago and even though my Apple Care was over and done, they replaced the battery for free.

My 2007 macbook RAM was much easier to replace than yours – but I had the same issues in the beginning with replacing it :-)

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15 Emily N September 27, 2012 at 10:36 am

Glad your Mac is back in working order.

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16 Bethany @ Accidental Intentions September 27, 2012 at 12:32 pm

I’m admittedly a very biased Apple fan, but I’m a huge fan of Apple stores and their customer service. I’ve never had a bad experience there. They’re so wonderful.

Also, A+ move backing up your computer before messing with the memory. External hard drives are lifesavers!

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17 Katie September 27, 2012 at 4:34 pm

I went to the Apple store a few weeks ago and asked them if it was time to buy a new one since mine was so slow (also bought in 2010) and they were kind enough to tell me where to buy my upgrade ram (crucible.com) and told me I could install it myself (agree, so scary), gave me a local place that would install it, as well as told me I could come in and they would supervise me doing it.
I have a techy boyfriend who did mine, but glad you got yours going!

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18 Kristi September 27, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Do you have the apple care on your computer. I nnd to take mine in for the isight camera but dont have the care warrenty, and dont want to pay a lot of money.

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19 Meghann September 28, 2012 at 10:11 am

I did, but it expired over the summer (my macbook pro is over two years old now)

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