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Ask Max: My eMac freezes and crashes - this is a RAM issue?

Asked on 02/13/2009:

Hi Jacob,
I have an eMac and it's freezing up on me. I have to shut down and reboot in order for me to try in get into any program. I can't be on it for very log before it starts freezing up on me.

Can you help me with this?


There could be a few things potentially at the root of this problem but my first guess is that it is a RAM issue. A bad RAM chip would only trigger a crash when the system tries to write and read form that damaged part of the RAM stick. Depending on how many applications you open and what you are doing, your RAM will become fully occupied at different times. That is why it unpredictably locks up on you. If your eMac has two RAM sticks installed, I would recommend that you try to remove one and see if it still locks up. If it does, then put the pulled stick back in and then remove the other stick. Each time only starting up the Apple computer with one RAM stick Installed. Here is a link to the RAM removal and installation Procedures.

If you only have one RAM stick in the eMac, Start by removing that stick and then move it to the other, unused, slot. Start up the computer and see how it behaves. If the problem is still occurring then consider purchasing a new RAM stick. Even if it turns out to be a non- RAM related issue, you will still benefit from an extra stick of RAM installed.

If after all this you have eliminated the RAM as the culprit, I would next suggest that you look at doing an Archive and Install of the Mac OS from the Discs that came with your computer or the most recent Retail Install CDs you have.

Hope this helps,

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