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Issues with bottom RAM-slot MBP 2012

Hi guys,

I bought a used MPB 13'' Mid 2012 this week.

I got the system with 1 4GB RAM stick installed (in the top-slot) and the other slot being empty.

I bought myself 2x 8GB of RAM (Corsair Vengeance 1600Mhz DDR-3)

After putting in both sticks the macbook didn't start. No beeps, black screen, just 3 flashing/blinking lights at the LED indicator, with a 1 second pause in between the 3 flashes.

Put the old RAM back in the bottom slot, same problem.

Put the 8GB RAM back in the top slot, system boots normally with 8GB of RAM.

Pretty much tried everything after that, SMC reset, PRAM reset, loosening screws of RAM-bracket.

After that I tried to put 1 RAM stick back in the bottom slot, and tried to boot.

This time it booted, with black stripes flashing in the screen and the boot taking a very long time while the load bar was not progressing (hope this makes sense to read).

So I turned the system off, put the 8GB stick in the top slot and now working fine with 1 8GB slot.

Really would like the bottom slot to work as well, feels like i am out of options.

(Not going to replace the logic board for this problem)

Can anyone help, or has anyone had the same problems?

Thanks in advance!

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I have the same problem. It's some kind of bad contact problem with the bottom RAM-slot and I don't know how to fix it.

@nawo13 did you find a solution on your problem?

I have a mid 2012 MacBook Pro.



Even I had a same issue on my mac, using a rubber spacing between 2 rams has solved my problem with my MacBook book pro mid 2012, its purely because of ram slipping out of the slot. I have noticed, this happened because my mac which was kept my backpack fell down. so high grade backpacks are recommended.

Following Benyamins advice fixed this issue on my mid 2012 - thanks! I cut some stacks of sticky notes to match the correct height to flatten out the ram cards

@Martin Dybdahl @benyamin musakh Guys, please can you send me the Video of what you want to convey. I am already facing an issue with the upper RAM Slot as well. Maybe it is related to RAM loosing out. I am using MacBook Pro Mid 2012. My email ID is ayushsomani100.as@gmail.com. Thanks in advance.

This is an old post, but on 99% of Intel based motherboards (aka logic board), 3 beeps or 3 successive flashing lights means bad or missing memory. Regardless of the name on the computer.

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Sounds like you have either the wrong RAM module (spec) or the systems firmware is not up to date (I would be surprised if it's not already at the correct level).

With the 4 GB module in place with the system working lets first try checking the firmware. Follow this Apple T/N: About EFI and SMC firmware updates for Intel-based Mac computers. Make sure its at the listed level or newer.

If the firmware is OK, give us the part number of the Corsair you ordered and take a good image of the labels on one of the modules as well as the memory chips so we can read them and post them here as an answer.

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Thanks for the reply.

Firmware is up to date (as expected)

RAM-module is Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2x8GB) 1600MHz DDR3

System (MBP Mid 2012) needs 1600MHz DDR3 RAM.

I think the problem is not the module, also tested it with the old RAM (that worked fine in the top slot) and tested it with Crucial Apple RAM 4GB (that worked fine in top slot and failed in bottom slot)

Then the RAM slot is bad. Jump down to Mayers solution as thats your only hope. Otherwise you'll need a new logic board.

before you change the logic board you can try some distance holders between ram bracket holder and top case ... the ram slot can be good, but the ram bracket holder looses contact to the mainboard. I had exactly the same issue.

It doesn't sound like that, Dan.


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Mayer 's tip is really good!

At this model the RAM bracket holder often looses contact with the bottom side on the logic board (side you can not inspect without dismounting the mainboard). This leads to freezes, reboots, stripes and display errors.

Re-soldering the bottom side of the RAM bracket holder is quite a challenge and often you will need to replace the whole mainboard (>400 USD !!!).

Option 1: you can use only one slot (the top one usually).

Option 2: If you want to use both slots (instead of only one - either top or bottom), you can try to put some distance between RAM bracket holder and top case.

I solved this problem with a short strip of an old credit card. Put it between the RAM bracket holder and the logic board to help press up and a strip on the holder so the cover presses down. If you shake or bang your MacBook Pro or just type on the keyboard, the RAM bracket holder will not loose contact to the modules.

Here’s a picture of the first test. With this place holders no freeze, no reboot, ... :

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As I said: it is a quick fix and take care to find the right distance - do no damage your logic board in the process.

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댓글 15개:

This did not help with a MBP with bottom ram slot issues I bought off Ebay. It's getting returned to the jerk who sold it!

Tried didn't work for me. You placed the contacts (plastic strips) pushing up underneath the RAM bracket as well right?

Yes, I put the strips underneath the ram slot bracket to push up, and strips on the top to push down off the back case (just as in the picture). The laptop had been dropped and the solder joints on the bottom slot are different (inferior) than the top slot, there's really no hope if this method doesn't work. It is a good idea though, just didn't work for that laptop. I don't know what had been subjected to, but, I was able to get my $ back. I should add, this method did make it a little more stable, but once the laptop was moved, it would often crash. The lower ram slot did hold the ram stick firmly, so I don't think the styrene ball trick would have worked.

Thank you very much for this idea, I have not seen this anywhere else in my search for fixing the bottom ram slot. I guess I got lucky because this completely fixed my laptops freezing and beeping without sacrificing half my ram.

Thanks again Gludie!

Thanks a lot, it solved my issue!

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Hey everyone, after having this problem, i found out the problem might not be the soldering at all. read on...

I have a MBP 15" early 2011, had the logic board replaced in the apple program for the video chip, after that, i started to get kernel errors once in a while, all was pointing to RAM, but could never actually find a defective stick and tried many, after a while of seating and reseating the sticks and a fresh install os the macOs it stopped for almost a year with no problems i thought i was done; only to begin crashing, powering off and beeping this week.

i've been reading forums about this problem and after watching this video


I'm having exactly the same problem as this.

So I took it apart again, and what did i find... apparently, as i said, and for everyones happines it migh not be the soldering at all!!

It seem the CLIPS that hold the stick closest to the keyboard are worn and do not have enough pressure so they do not hold the ram in place all the time, a little bump and the RAM stick springs up like half a milimeter and the problem appears.

What did i do? Got a 1.5mm (.60 cal) piece of flat styrene about 3mm wide and 7 or 8 mm tall, put BOTH RAM sticks in place and with a little plastic tip/spudger push down the stick closest to the keyboard so the clip can make its full travel inward and insert the styrene pieces one in each side in the slots between the clip and where the screws for the bracket are and then push them towards the RAM contacts to make pressure inward so the clips are pressed firmly against the sticks (you wont be able to remove the sticks without removing this styrene pieces).

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I did this, the MBP started with no problems, i can now shake it and won't freeze and/or beep at all.

I'll try to make a video or at least a photo guide showing what i mean and post the link (it will be my first YT video so be nice hahaha) so it shows the fault and fix clearly.

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Hi :) any update on the YouTube video or the photo guide?

Part 1/2

The santiagogdelatorre solution, above, worked for me like a charm. Thank you Sir.

2012 MacBook Pro (non-Retina 13-inch 9,2 MD101LL/A)


Symptoms shown in these videos, which would occur within seconds of powering on the machine.



The symptoms occurred whenever I had a RAM card in the rear slot. No symptoms occurred with only a single RAM card in the front slot (empty rear slot).


Running continuously with normal use for 4 days with both RAM slots filled, zero issues so far.


RAM Configuration


I found during testing:

1. This machine will run with EITHER a single RAM slot filled, or both slots filled.

2. When using both slots, the size of the RAM cards can be DIFFERENT. For example, I'm now running 10GB RAM = 2GB in rear slot + 8GB in front slot.

3. This machine supports up to 16GB RAM. The RAM must be 1600MHz DDR3.

Part 2/2

Implementing the Fix


As shown in the red circle in santiagogdelatorre's photo (above), there is a narrow air gap between the the clips which secure the RAM cards in their slots, and the logic board which surrounds the RAM cards. Purpose of the fix is to fill this gap, thus securing the clips in place.

I used strips of old credit cards as "filler" to insert into the gaps. I layered 2 old credit cards of different thicknesses to fit into the gap. The correct "snugness of fit" is that the strips don't fall out by gravity if you flip over the machine, but you can easily pull them out with a tweezer. To make fillers of the correct size, I cut the credit cards into ~1" x .25" strips that fit into the gaps and, with both RAM cards in place, I inserted the strips into the gaps. Then I marked the correct "depth" of the strips with a sharpie, and trimmed the top off leaving 1/16" protruding, to remove them with a tweezer if needed. This fits inside the cover of the machine, no problem.

THIS FIXES THE PROBLEM. I used hard plastic instead of styrofoam. I had this problem whenever I moved my laptop from my car to work and back home, I would get the 3 beeps. That showed me that it was a physical issue. That led me to believe that holding the ram in would solve it, and it did. Since doing this fix I have not had the issue, not even once. It has been 2 months now.

I cut sections out of a thick zip tie. Then inserted one on each side of the ram holders, pretty much where this person put the styrofoam.

PROBLEM FIXED ...Thank you SOoooo Much Santiagogdelatorre you are a champ..God bless you... :)

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Sounds like the original owner had the same issue. After you do what Dan says, if it is still doing it.

Try this: We've had reports that loosening the RAM bracket holder screws a quarter turn each has worked.

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Tried and didn't work.

Worked for me on MBP 13" 2011. Possibly doing a solder reflow via oven heat method would me a more permanent fix.

james ovenflow, really? what temperature for how long? How are you going to isolate the spot you want to reflow. I'm pretty sure the overflow will fix your board permanently as inoperable.

Worked for me.

My issue:

Bought two new 8gb ddr3 1333mhz to upgrade my mbp mid-2012 8gb ram. The old ram was one sick on the upper slot. When I replaced it with the two new ram sticks I got the ram error of 3 beeps, 5 seconds of silence, then three beeps again, this indicates that a ram stick failed integrity check.

After some testing I saw that having a memory stick in the bottom slot is what caused the failure. Whenever both sticks were inserted or only one in the bottom slot, a failure occurred, didn't matter which stick was inserted into the bottom slot. The only time a memory error didn't occur was when there was no stick in the bottom slot and only one stick in the stop slot, regardless of what stick.

Therefore the problem should be with the RAM contacts, the bottom slot, or the ram bracket holder.

After loosening each of the ram holders screws a quarter turn everything worked properly without any errors.

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I tried the credit card solution but I wedged the plastic in between the two ram slots and that has fixed my problem! Well for now…. I was testing the slot by applying pressure to multiple spots and nothing has crashed!

Running 2x 8GB sticks like a charm now.

Will update if anything acts up.

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how did you manage to insert it there? did you loosen the screws?

I am asking because my original solution is no longer working for me, so i'm thinking of other solutions.

@santiagogdelatorre Yeah loosen the screws up and try to wedge it in between.

Thanks!!!!! This work fine for me. Problem solved!!!

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I had the same issue with my Macbook Pro mid-2012 13-inch. The symptoms would gradually progress like this:

  • after taking laptop out of my, it would be frozen (black screen, breathing light stuck to 'on')
  • when picking up the laptop while open, screen would display those horizontal stripes / blocks
  • shortly after that, it would progress to the three-beeps situation and not being able to find the RAM
  • there were side effects, like a confused Wifi and MS Outlook crashing its identity, but those were symptoms not causes

After taking it to the repair folks, it would often work without problems again for a long time, even though they had no clue what the cause was. Strangely, taking the RAM sticks out and plugging them back in was not always effective. Or not for long. But sometimes it was.

I was so happy to read Santiagodelatorre's analysis. *That* finally made sense to me. And his solution seems to work for me too.

At the end of the RAM clips, there are little round protrusions that fit in a round opening in the side of the RAM stick. But those are not actually what holds the RAM sticks in place. You need to look even more closely for small plastic 'wings' that extend from those round protrusions.

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Photos in a public Google photos album.

(Note on the photos: there are two photos that are almost similar. Except in one, the RAM stick is being held down below the plastic wing, whereas in the other, that's not quite the case. Hard to see, but very real)

Those wings (same material, same color as the rest of the clips) are meant to be flat at the bottom. So that the RAM stick rests against them: flat surface to flat surface.

As you can see in the photos, these wings have become degraded: they're not smooth like the rest of the plastic parts of the RAM clips. It almost looks like the plastic is just falling apart by itself. It doesn't look like wear and tear. Perhaps the sticks get too hot for the plastic.

In my case the protrusion on one side was no longer perfectly flat at the bottom. This was the wing for the bottom RAM stick. Since the RAM sticks are actively pushed upwards and the wing wasn't quite on top of the RAM stick, the stick would gradually push the clip aside, and thus the stick would move upward just a little.

Presumably that causes the memory problem.

This is why shocks (like the laptop receives when I put my bag down) would cause the problem to start. And why the problems gradually got worse. And why there are moments, near the end of that cycle, where the laptop will work fine while flat on a surface, but will crash as soon as I gently tilt it away from me.

I solved the problem similarly to Santiagodelatorre, except with a bigger segment of cut-up credit card, and only on one side.

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Solved! Had all the same problems. The display would be covered with checkerboard test patterns or the computer would beep on boot indicating bad memory. Other times it would boot fine, then freeze up. I even found that if it did boot without beeping and displayed a normal screen, if I squeezed the left front of the bottom case just to the left of the track pad, the screen would show the same test pattern blocks and then hang.

So I followed what was tried above and found that by folding up a 3x3 sticky pad and trimming it to the proper width (same as the memory mod.) I was able to press it between the back edge of the bottom memory module thus forcing it forward into the memory slot. Now my machine boots every time with no beep, no more artifacts on the display and I can squeeze it as hard as I can without duplicating the previous display issues.

It all comes down to a weakened bottom memory module retention clip. By pressing something, anything non-conductive at the back of the simm module to keep it pressed forward in the slot all is good again.

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I used this technique and it is currently working, ... Thanks for all the guidance,

I folded a post-it three times and slide it behind the lower module pushing it forward, I then added the upper module sliding it past the paper, both modules are now a little tighter into the slots, ... I will pay close attention to temperature and look around for other non-conductive materials, ... a touch worried about the paper burning,

I substituted the folded post it with the same concept spacer but made from layered heat resistant, non-conductive electrician's tape ... This fix is still working for me,

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Hello everyone. I had quite the same problem. Bottom ram did not work. I did try to place plastic strips on the bottom and the edges and worked just for one day (?). Next day it did not work again. I did try to unscrew a quarter of the ram brackets but that solution didnt work.

So when i connect the computer power while i press the on/off button, it turns on, but the loading bar doesnt complete and the system reboots itself.

I run a macbook pro 17 inches i7 with 2x8gb ram.

any ideas?

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This is not an answer, it's a question.

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I had an issue where movement would cause ram error and sometimes computer wouldn't boot it would just beep 3 times. I managed in isolate it to the bottom slot on 13" 2012 MBP. My computer was 10 years old so had accumulated a lot of dust and dirt over the years. I tried the spacers suggestion above without success so I tired the full overall approach. I completely dismantled MPB and removed the logic board so that I could clean it. I lot of dust and dirt had accumulated on the bottom side which compress air (e.g. from bike pump) cleared. I also noticed that there are lots long pins under a plastic cover for the bottom RAM slot (which connects into PCB behind the top ram slot) and there was lots of dust stuck between these. I carefully cleaning with plastic pointer and Electronic Cleaning Solvent.

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After re-assembling (ensuing keyboard ribbon cable with completely mated) the issues seem to have gone away.

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Had the same problem with a 2012 13" MacBook Pro. Bottom slot has a bad connection to the logic board. With both RAM slots, in use the symptoms are as follows: displays stripes on LCD, freezing, reboots often, 3 beeps, etc. The computer will work fine if only the top memory slot is used. The only other solution is a logic board replacement.

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I had this same issue happen with my mid 2012 macbook pro a1286. The issue turned out to be the apple serial number sticker on top of the ram slot bracket. For whatever reason, this is a layered sticker with foil, and I guess that the sticker had maybe shifted or degraded slightly with time and heat and shorted the ram contacts. I ended up removing the sticker entirely, laying down some heat resistant Kapton tape in its place, and putting the serial number sticker back on top of that to be sure there was no chance of the sticker shorting the contacts again. Problem solved.

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I basically solved the issue by doing the below, basically, cutting up an old credit card, doubling up on each side and inserting in-between the clasps for the memory on either side. My daughter was able to use the laptop for about an hour before it crashed again. I might need to move it around some more to pack it in, but I am certain that this is the issue and this is the resolution to that issue.

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It is odd that it still crashed even with the modifications, I am thinking I need something to add pressure to the front of the memory. Had I a 3D printer, I would make my own wedge custom to what is there.

Perhaps try the credit card in a different location. Look above at the other pictures, they have the shim in a different location, but still holding the same piece of plastic in. This solution worked for me 100%. I did the fix one year ago and have not had the issue once since then.

It's odd, it only resets when we run Steam, which I am thinking is because it is graphics processor hungry. After running that for a few mins, the whole thing beeps and craps out, just like the memory was loose.

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I had the same issue in my MacBook Pro mid 2012, It was working fine when I insert only one RAM in the top slot but when I insert RAM in bottom slot it was restarting improperly again and again, Then I loosen the screws surrounded the RAM slot a little bit and it’s working fine now.

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Thank you so much..I fixed my MBP RAM problem with this method...

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Thank you Gludie. Managed to fix my macbook pro 2012 with this hack. 24 hours and no issues so hopefully solved.

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OK here’s my 2 cents…read a bunch of these comments, finally decided to just replace the RAM, took out 4 GB, replaced with 8GB. Installed RAM………bummer, same problem: loss of cursor control, 3 beeps, repeat, weird lines on display, auto shut down. Tried holding top RAM down gently while operating, no go. Finally, just removed the bottom RAM, left top in , good to go so far.

One very strange clue was that if I moved the MBP at all, it was instant loss of everything, so I knew it was mechanical. In one iteration, the moment I used the left click, it failed instantly. Apparently, replacing the bottom RAM slot is out of the question, but how to make it stay in contact is essential to the issue. The loosening of RAM mount screws is something to look at. I also think that holding the bottom RAM at the right angle may be an option as a work-around. That may be achieved by using a piece of dense foam above it or under it to alter the angle of insertion, I’m trying that next.

2010 MPB A1286

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Hi everyone, I have the same mid 2012 macbook 13” with both RAM memories mentioned above and with the same problems. I have done each and every possible tips mentioned by all with same results, it works fine and then fails and starts with three beeps.

Worthless to say it works beautifully with only one RAM at the top slot. I fixed a big problem that caused it to restart when you picked the laptop with the left hand by inserting one or two credit cards below the RAM slots and the bottom.

Finally with both RAMs installed I can use the mac normally for a long time without any problem, but when I let it sleep some times it would turn off by itself and when trying to turn it on again the three beeps will appear or the strips then I keep the start pressed to turn it off and again I try to start it and it would normally.

Bottom line, I can live with this problem or buy an 8gb RAM at the top slot to compensate for the speed.

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@psims Im going to try this. Sometimes, my mid-2012 13” MBP turns on but man, I better not even look at that thing or move it ever slightly or press hard on the touchpad or keyboard because it will freeze, turn off, and do the three beeps when I try turning it on. I just took it apart yesterday but minimally and did some cleaning and stuff and put it back. It turned in and was working but when I pulled out this USB stick, it turned off and I get three beeps again.

To confirm, do these three beeps have anything to do with the disc reader on the left when flipped upside down or is it the RAM cards that people keep referring to here? I have a bone stock MBP.

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3 beeps = bad RAM. CHANGE OUT THE RAM. Or just remove one or the other to see if you have bad RAM respectively.

I changed both 4gb RAMs with 2 new 8gb and this things is soooooo much faster. I think one of the RAMs was bad and I was only working with 4gb RAM. Thanks man!@iheartmacs

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Here is video how a guy fixes the problem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Zf_ADyj...

All above answers were kinda helpful, but still had the problem from time to time. What I did, was similar to a solution from the video above, but I haven't removed motherboard, I've just inserted 1/4 of plastic card under the bottom slot (for like 0.5cm) and then inserted memory cards. So far so good.

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