Wednesday, September 26, 2012

It’s Fixed!

by Meghann on September 26, 2012


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

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Beautiful. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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.


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.


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.


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.


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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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