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More Firmware Update "Lost RAM" Reports
- OS X ASP Reports Some Dimms "Incompatible":

Published: 3/24/2001
Last Updated: 6/29/2001

Firmware Update on iMac G3/233 (Mezzanine Slot): A reader with an iMac G3/233 noted after applying the firmware update (older 1.1 or 1.2 update I assume) his Mezzanine slot iProRAID card is no longer recognized. (Only the rev A/B iMac models only had the mezzanine slot connector for addon cards.). There is no going back in firmware version as Apple's updaters will not install an older version.
RAM Check/First Aid Util: If you've not already applied the firmware update, use Glenn Anderson's DIMMCheck utility ( http://www.mactcp.org.nz/DIMMCheck.sit (no longer there - use dimmfirst aid) to test to see if the ram you have is compatible. He's also posted a dimm first aid patcher (http://www.mactcp.org.nz/DIMMFirstAid.sit ) that many readers have said helped restore unrecognized ram after the update. His home page for dimmfirstaid is www.mactcp.org.nz/dimmfirstaid.html
(Note - his comments there on 512MB dimms being compatible with Beige G3s, etc. is Not Correct. They will not be fully utiltized/recognized, 256MB is the max dimm size for the Beige G3, AIO G3, B&W G3, G4/PCI (yike) and iMac 233-333MHz models as they use the Motorola XPC/MPC-106 memory controller which even Apple notes has a limit of 16 chips/dimm and cannot fully address ram chips denser than 128Mbit.
Therefore 256MB per dimm (128bit chips x 16) is the max dimm size fully recognized in those mac models. 512MB dimms will not be seen/fully utilized in those macs, as any mac ram dealer that knows macs will tell you. Readers have verified this years ago. Also if buying 256MB dimms for those macs - make sure they are not the common 8 ram chip/256Mbit chip based dimms - which will be seen as only 128MB per dimm instead of 256MB. Just a FYI/reminder on the limits of those mac's memory controller noted elsewhere on this site and by apple in specs/dev/tech docs in the past.)
Here's one sample report on dimmfirstaid fixing the problem (missing CL3 timing in the Dimm's SPD):

" Mike,
... I thought I would tell you that I just ran Glenn's "DIMM First Aid" program that he sent me after I sent him the result of DIMMCheck. It worked flawlessly with my missing 256MB module. He's done a great job in helping many of us who lost DIMMs after the firmware upgrade. I'm happy to have my 1GB of RAM back on my Dual 500 G4.
-Jay "

The other option is to see if your ram dealer will replace any 'unrecognized dimms'. (OWC's ram info pages say they guarantee their RAM is compatible for instance.)

The 6AM Saturday update on 3/24/2001 noted several readers reported some of their DIMMs (or SODIMMs) were not recognized after the firmware update. I've received even more reports of this since this morning. My PB G4/400 updated fine and both my 256MB SODIMMs were recognized, but not everyone was that lucky with desktops or portables.

One reader that "lost" RAM noted that OS 9.1's System Profiler showed only 2 dimms installed, but OS X's System Profiler showed 4 dimms installed - with 2 listed as "not compatible".

OS X ASP report

Reader Comments (Most recent first):
For a refreshing change from the many earlier reports of "lost" RAM and other issues (see below), reader Michael Kramer wrote that he saw an improvement in Firewire performance after applying the firmware update on his G4/AGP mac. (Noted in June 29th, 2001 News Page.)
(Older comments follow based on experiences after the initial release of the firmware update several months ago)

This reader noted a utility to check your RAM before the firmware update (See below this update for a reader's comment on the util and a fix that worked to restore "support" for a previously unrecognized dimm. Also see the links at the top of this page to download the "DimmFirstAid" utility.)

" Well, Apple has finally sent a quasi answer to the recent firmware update and missing RAM issue. Please see the link below;

Also, this response came from the Power Mac Moderator of Apple's Support Discussions;

    " Firmware Update Answer
    (msg # 116.: Posted 12:00pm Apr 3, 2001 CST)
    Posts: 118

    "The Apple 4.1.7 and 4.1.8 firmware updates incorporate a number of fixes that dramatically improve system stability and performance. The update also includes a new check that validates whether the installed memory in the machine is compatible. This check was added to help alleviate random crashes and stability issues. The new memory test disables memory DIMMs that are found to be out of specification and DIMMs that cannot be determined to be compatible. As a result, some third party memory that was recognized by previous versions of firmware may no longer be recognized after the updates."
    Apple Support Discussions"

A utility to check your RAM before running the update can be downloaded at;

[Note - may be www.mactcp.org.nz/DIMMCheck.sit now and see above for the later "DimmFirstAid" utility that may be able to reprogram DIMMs that don't have CAS3 timing in the SPD chip.-Mike]

The following is a message from the author of the utility;

    "At the weekend I tracked down the problem with a PC100-222 DIMM in my PowerBook G3 and firmware 4.1.8, and fixed it. The information in the Serial Presence Detect (SPD) EEPROM on the DIMM did not conform with the PC100 standard, in particular, there were no settings for CL3 mode, only CL2 mode. I was able to fix this by getting the specs for the chips on the DIMM (from the web site of the chip maker), and reprogramming the SPD EEPROM with settings for both CL3 and CL2 mode. The DIMM is working just fine now.

    The SPD EEPROM can be reprogrammed from software, but I will need the details from some more problem DIMMs and more details on other hardware before I can put together a program that anyone can use to do this. I have a program called DIMMCheck available from my web server. It dumps the contents of the SPD EEPROM and it should identify problem DIMMs. If people with problem DIMMs can run this, copy the results, paste it to an email, and send it to dimms@mactcp.org.nz, I will see if I can put together a fix this weekend.

(Update: Later today a reader reported that Glenn sent him a patch for his unrecognized dimm that worked-Mike

I ran Glenns DIMMCheck program and sent him the results of the program. I also sent him the make of the RAM. He emailed me back a DIMMTool program that worked like a charm. He had already diagnosed this same RAM with someone else so he had it already.. I ran the program.. rebooted ...and gained back my lost 128 Meg DIMM in my G3/500 Pismo.
I am very happy.

Thanks to Glenn for his efforts on this issue.-Mike)

After all of this and it appears that there will be no revised/fixed firmware update coming from Apple, my only suggestions are to;

1. Run the utility checker (noted above).

2. Even if all RAM passes the utility, remove all extra RAM from your computers, leaving only the Apple factory RAM. (Some reports I have read seem to think this may help, it definitely could not hurt to try this step!)

3. Run the firmware update.

4. Reinstall your extra RAM, and cross your fingers!

Cheers! (sort of)

If this really is the reason (no CL3 timing, even in a CL2 DIMM), then why can't Apple add a CL2 check, rather than have so many of its customers "lose" RAM from this update. If the fact that a 222 (CL2) timing dimm has no CL3 timing info is really the cause for disabling the dimm, then I assume Apple is running all dimms at the same timing as the slowest one installed. (As was done on early SDRAM based Macs but I had hoped this was changed in the latest models.)
Personally I can't recommend anyone install this update - since there's no going back. See the reports below the RAM ones here for other issues some have reported after the update. Right now there's more risk than reward in my opinion from this update. (Although I did update my PB G4/400 and G4/500 Dual with the update fine [two Transintl 256MB 222 SODIMMs and 2 OWC 512MB 222 DIMMs respectively], there's been too many problem reports for me to recommend it in general. (I've received many more emails than I can read or post on this issue - this page has just a sample of them from the first few days after the release.)

My Experiences with the Firmware Updates: I've updated two machines - a PowerBook G4/400 and a G4/500 dual (gigabit ethernet). Both machines had a pair of exactly the same dimms (same mfr and size/type/CAS speeds). Both updates went fine. The PB G4 had two Transintl 256MB 222 SODIMMs, and the G4/500 DP had two OWC 512MB 222 dimms. Both systems show all RAM recognized after the update.

This page lists of all feedback (good and bad) so far on the firmware update. RAM related comments are listed first, and other issues (rare) noted at the bottom of the page.

(most recent reports first)

Improved Firewire Performance Noted After Firmware Update: (from the 6/29/2001 www.xlr8yourmac.com news page)
The firmware update was said to provide "improvements to Firewire target disk mode, network booting, gigabit networking (on systems with gigabit hardware), and system stability". Reader Mike Kramer just applied the update to his G4/450 AGP system and noted improved firewire performance:

" After all the warnings, etc., I broke down and FINALLY updated my G4 firmware. I have a 450AGP. I checked RAM before and after (1.5GB from OWC), and it's all there. I was interested in seeing if FW performance improved, since the newer G4 533s achieve higher FW speeds with the same drive when I use it in the DV editting suite.
In a word, WOW.

I was getting writes of about 5.5-6MB/sec on both my OWC (compucable) portable 20GB (hitachi 4200rpm) and my OWC (macally) standard sized 80GB (Maxtor 5400rpm). I was getting slightly better reads with the large case drive, of 7MB sec, while the portable had reads at or below 6MB.

After the firmware update (4.1.8f5):
Portable (20GB): read 8.7MB/sec, write 7.6MB/sec
Larger (80GB): read 8.7MB/sec, write 7.1MB/sec

That's an AMAZING improvement, and on par with the speeds (for the portable) I was getting with the G4 533s. As always with me, these are real world speeds copying very large files and folders of DV files. I take the file or folder size (380MB for the file, 1.8GB for the folder) and divide it by the number of seconds it takes. Then I average the two numbers, though they were all within .2MB/sec this time. Before the update, the speed fluctuated within .5, so looks like FW is faster AND more consistent.

I have even achieved speeds of 5.5MB/sec copying from the portable 20GB to the larger 80GB, which is pretty damn good I think, compared to before.

And none of these drives have been optimized, defragged, whatever. They are both 75% to 80% full, as was the internal ATA/66 7200rpm Maxtor drive I was using. I would imagine that if the drives were clean, the speed might even go up more.

I will see if this combined with the QT5.0.2 fixes the batch capture FW issues I was having when capturing from the DV deck to a FW drive.
Mike Kramer"

Note that Mike's rates will seem low compared to ATTO's pure benchmark rates, which are always many times higher than you'll see in timed real world file copy tests. (This was shown in a previous Firewire review of the OWC elite case tested with 4 Macs in benchmarks and real-world file copy tests.)
If you've not applied the firmware update, I suggest you run DimmCheck or DimmFirstAid first to check your installed RAM. These utils are linked at the top of this page.

(4/13/2001 update)

" Here's some info:
I updated my firmware and found I had the missing RAM problem. Specifically, I had the original 128 meg PC100 322 DIMM as well as 2 (Rocky Mountain RAM) 128 meg PC100 222 DIMMs, and after the firmware update only the original 128 megs showed up.

I then did some testing, and out of over 2 dozen DIMMS, all of the PC100 322 worked, and non of the PC100 222 worked. Also, I tested with some PC 133s and they all worked. So it seems to me that either the 222 DIMMS don't work with the firmware update, or perhaps the 322s only work because they were in the first slot when I did the update. I think I'll test that theory later on another Mac...
Thomas L. Carey
Macintosh Systems Manager
AccuWeather, Inc. "

Note - not all 222 dimms fail - my 222 SODIMMs (pair) in my PB G4 are fine after the update as are some G4/AGP owners with 222 DIMMs (i.e. OWC, etc.) - but not all. See reports below for other experiences.

" Hi Mike
I installed the firmware update this morning on my Cube. I wish I had checked your column first.

I still have the 64Mb stick that shipped with the machine. The 512 stick that Tekserve (their brand)installed had been working fine for several months. Not any more.

The specs for my non working DIMMs are: dual sided, Infineon 64X64 100-222

System Profiler shows no memory in the second slot.
The Apple Hardware test shows: bad module.
I have tried the memory check off-fix, no luck
also tried the pram zap, replace chip method, nada again
Stay on it,
Larry "

" I just applied the Firmware update and lost 128Mb of RAM. Here's the info:

* PowerMac G4/450 (Sawtooth, single processor)
* One 128Mb DIMM of Apple supplied PC100 322 RAM (still works)
* One 128Mb DIMM of Ram from OtherWorld Computing PC100 222 (doesn't work)

Mick Foley "

" Mike,
Apple's latest firmware update for the Pismo laptop went without a hint of trouble for me. Further, there is no missing RAM (thank heavens) and the computer is in great working order. The extra 256 MB that I bought from Other World Computing was OWC's own (i.e., not some name brand), but it obviously meets the new firmware's criteria just fine:
(he sent an ASP screenshot showing both dimms recognized)
And BTW, your site is invaluable to me. I support it with frequent hits and repeat purchases from your sponsors. PLEASE, keep up the great work.
Bill K. "

" Hi, Mike:
Long time no talk.
I have a G4/400 AGP with 764MB of CAS 2 Ram in it. None of it is apple's. Two 256MB Dimms are from Transintl, and one from Macsales (OWC). All of the ram is there; none has disappeared. RAM performance, according to Gauge Pro is pretty much the same.
Gene S. "

" Mike,
I never realized that there was so many problems with the firmware update! I just applied the update yesterday to my PowerBook G3 Pismo and didn't see any changes. I ran Apple System Profiler to make sure if the RAM chips were being read. Sure enough the Apple 64 MB and the 256 MB low profile 222 DIMM I purchased from Boundless Technology was being read. No problems at all.
Attached is a pic of ASP on 9.1.
Ron S. "

Not everyone had problems (I didn't on a PB G4) but a shocking number did.

" Followup on my iBook Microtech RAM:
I ran the Apple Hardware Test CD that came with my iBook (which has previously reported this RAM as functional) and now it lists the 64meg DIMM as "bad RAM."

I removed the DIMM and placed it into a Rev B iMac, and it works fine in there. Very frustrating.
Adam M. "

" I have a G4/533 with an extra Micron single sided 128mb module, and everything went fine, no missing ram here.
Roman C. "

G4/350 Sawtooth. Everything as per factory config except CPU (upgraded to single G4 400) and RAM.

RAM consists of:
1) 256MB module DM50-554 Data Memory System (www.datamem.com)
256MB PC100 32X64-8 CL2 UR SDRAM PC/G4 & IMAC 350 & 400DV
All G3/G4 Models

2) 256MB module DM50-554-1 Data Memory System (www.datamem.com)
256MB G4 PC100 32X64-8 CL2 UR SDRAM G4 SawTooth MotherBoard,
CUBE, Dual Processor and iMAC SL (ONLY)

3) 128MB Micron on Micron PC-100 SDRAM 2-2-2

Module 1) was not recognized after the firmware upgrade.
SC Lam "

" 256MB
2 sided
Trans Intl

768 total installed (-256) Derrick "

" Hi Mike:
I ran the 4.1.8 firmware update and haven't had a problem with my added RAM chip.

top slot
purchased from MemoryToGo
ID: CAP169-256MB
-- b.t. corwin "

This reader reported a postive effect of the upgrade:

" Mike,
I have a early pismo Powerbook that would not except any 512MB chips at all. I have tried many brand of chips in my personal Powerbook. All would give errors and a hard crash the system upon startup. After the firmware update, I decided to trey the same 512MB chip that would not give my machine even 30 seconds of it time and it is working great. Thank goodness because that chip has been sitting here for about 3 months without a place to reside.
-- (Nick) "

" My 256 MB DIMM is double sided (I guess?? There's chips on both sides anyway). The on-board chips are from Toshiba. The DIMM itself was purchased from Transint'l a long while back for a Yikes model. I haven't tried this DIMM back in the Yikes Mac yet.

Haven't tried booting from the "bad" DIMM alone.

On a related note, I'm afraid to update the firmware in my Titanium 400 MHz. I have 128 MB (3-2-2) installed at the factory. I added a 256 MB (2-2-2) from OWC without checking first that the Apple System Profiler lists the factory 128 MB as 3-2-2. Will this difference cause strange errors and crashes? I am believing so since I get a strange "address error" when I boot up on occasion, and overall my system doesn't seem stable at all (frequent reboots in a day).

I have since pulled Apple's 128 MB from my Titanium, and I'll see how the OWC 2-2-2 256MB DIMM does on its own.
Thanks for your help,
Greg "

" Hello. My iBook 466 no longer recognizes my Microtech brand 64mb SO-DIMM after the firmware update. It is a 222S module and is single-sided. It had worked fine since the day I bought it along with the iBook.

My only consolation was that I had planned to replace it with a 256mb module anyway. How can we specify RAM that will work with this firmware in place?
Adam M. "

There really seems to be no "sure thing" for this update.

" Mike,
I installed the firmware update on my G4 Cube 450. Here are my RAM chips (system now only recognizes 192MB):

64MB DIMM - Apple stock DIMM
128MB DIMM - PC100 2-2-2 Acme DIMM from Macgurus - purchased early 2000
256MB DIMM - PC100 2-2-2 Acme low profile DIMM from Macgurus - purchased Feb 01

The 256MB DIMM is the one not recognized.
Is there any way to back out of a firmware update? [No.] I suppose there might be by booting with the programmers button .

I have my ear to the Apple tech support discussion forum concerning this topic. Here is the link to that forum for any interested readers: http://discussions.info.apple.com/WebX?50@@.eed8fbd/23!login=true

I have to believe the memory is still available to the system but not showin the up on any of the reporting apps. I did try TT2 Pro. It too only saw the 2 small DIMMs.
Chris M. "

" I have a 350Mhz AGP G4 with 64Mb of Apple installed RAM. I installed two PC100-222S 128MB and one PC100-22S 256Mb DIMMS of Micron memory. I did the firmware update with no problems, all 576Mb of memory shows up in System Profiler (OS 9.1).
Larry "

Again this makes me wonder if a mix of 322 and 222 is a factor (many of the original dimms I've seen in new systems are 322, where much of the added ram is 222)

(3/24/2001 and earlier reports follow)

" Mike,
Both of my "missing" RAM DIMMs are double sided, 8 chips per side. The label on each DIMM says "16x64 PC100 222." The manufacture is Infineon, both purchased from a local store that is now out of business.
Mike C. "

" Mike,
I ran the G4 firmware update last night and didn't notice until this morning when I saw your site that 256MB of RAM is no longer showing up on my G4/450 dual. My machine has all slots filled with a total of 576MB of RAM. All that's showing up now is the original apple 64MB and a PC 133 256MB. The two that aren't showing up now are two 128MB PC 100 2-2-2 DIMMS.

Mac OS 9.1's apple system profiler reports that I only have two DIMMS installed,

Mac OS X's shows that all four slots are filled but the two slots that contain the 128s say "Not compatible."

Enclosed is a screen shot of OS X's system profiler.
(shown above) -- Mike C. "

" Ran FW update on G4 500 DP with 768 MB, 3 256 PC-100-222S sticks, first is Apple supplied, other two from OWC. All memory is recognized, no weirdness with the update. Now if that damn Fedex truck would just get here...
(forum post) "

" No problems on my PowerBook(Firewire) with two OWC 256mb (2-2-2 speed) SODIMMS installed!
Jeff S. "

" Hi Mike.
Unfortunately it looks like I'm a victim of the loss of RAM after the firmware update. I just got my OS X disks in the mail and set off to install it on my TiBook 500 (with 2 256MB DIMMS in it). I first diligently downloaded and installed the firmware update and now the TiBook won't book! [boot?-Mike]

The light flashes on and off a few times, but I never hear the startup sound. I'm going to try putting the DIMM that Apple shipped back in it and see what happens, but unfortunately its at the office, so it will be a few hours before I get around to that. I'll let you know how it comes out.
Mike C.
System Administrator "

" Last night I installed the Firmware 4.1.8 update to my PowerBook G3 400mhz (PISMO). When I bought it at ClubMac, I had the free 128mb upgrade they installed so I had a total of 192mb of memory. After installing the update, only the original 64mb was recognized. I am not sure of the speed of the upgraded memory.
Christopher Messineo

(I asked for ram details and he wrote)

I am not sure of the brand, but the 128mb module is detected by TattleTech. According the TattleTech factory installed 64mb is a PC100-222-622 SDRAM. The module ClubMac installed when I bought my PowerBook is a 128mb, PC100-222-622 SDRAM. I updated the firmware under MacOS 9.1

This is the exact output of TattleTech:

    RAM Size = 67,108,864 Bytes (64.0 MB)
    [ Key->size,type,volts,pins,width,speed,part#,mfg date,ser# ]:
    + Module 1 = 64MB, PC100-222-622 SDRAM, 3.3v, 168,
    128, 8.0ns (2-2-2), 8LSDT864LHG-10EC5 , 0/0,
    + Module 2 = 128MB, PC100-222-622 SDRAM, 3.3v, 168,
    128, 8.0ns (2-2-2), , 15/FF, -1

I hope this helps narrow it down. "

Since both dimms were 222 according to the above - that means the theory on mixed 322/222 doesn't hold up.

" I can unfortunately confirm problems with the PowerMac G4 AGP firmware updater... after updating the firmware in my G4/400 I "lost" my extra 128 MB of memory.
Christopher "

" Same problem - missing 256 MB RAM in PB G3, working for months.

(he later wrote)

I believe the 256MB was from TransIntl.com, and not low profile (not certain here). ...they are from a PB G3 500 MhZ.
I just talked to an Apple guy, who basically told me that I should return the RAM. Nice, huh?
Alan "

My two 256MB SODIMMs (low-profile) in the PB G4 are from Transintl and they are recognized with the firmware update in the PB G4.

" I have the same Problem,
I have had a Cube for several weeks now with one onesided 128 mb DIMM and a singlesided 128 mb DIMM and the standart 64 mb one that shipped with the cube. Now after the firmware update the doublesided one is not recognized anymore, no matter what slot I put it into.

Greets from Berlin,Germany Jens Schmidt "

" Hi Mike:
I installed the firmware update on my DP 450 G4, and I 'lost' my second 128MB of RAM. The ram that's not being recognized is 128 MB PC100-2-2-2 dual sided. Could the thread be that the RAM that's not being recognized is dual sided?

Anyway, with the price of RAM at rock bottom, I'm going to see if I can get a single sided stick of RAM > 128MB from my friendly neighbourhood computer store (a.k.a. PeeCee weenies).

On the flip side, the computer seems zippier!
John "

Not all double-sided dimms are the problem - a reader in the forums noted his 512MB PC100 dimms from OWC were fine after the update. (they're double-sided dimms)

" After installing the update, I noticed my computer running a bit slower. After seeing your article, I noticed that I have lost 256 MB's after installing the FW update. I have the original 64 and 2 additional 128MB DIMMS. My computer only sees the original 64. It is a G4/400 AGP.

(he later wrote)

Actually, I was mistaken, so I'll update...

The original DIMM was a 256MB Module - Double-Sided, 222 Latency Zapping the PRAM didn't help.

However, and I can't believe I am going to say this, but thank god I have a PC.

I removed the 2 128MB Double-Sided, 222 DIMMS from my PC and put them into the G4/400 and everything was back to normal. The PC, of course, recognized the single 256MB DIMM that I removed from the Mac.

All 3 were double sided, All 3 were 222 rated, All 3 were PC 100. Just different manufacturers. (I don't know from where though)
Aaron B. "

" I just updated my G4 400 (AGP) with the new Apple G4 Firmware (4.18f5) The machine have 1*128 MB Apple Memory (322) and 3*128 MB Memory modules (222)
The memory is all available as before under 9.1 and OS X (4K78)
The memory is memorycard technologies (PC 133)

Some readers have reported problems with booting OS X after updating the firmware, but I haven't got any problems of any kind...
JaViS "

" Hi, I just sent you email about RAM issue with my Cube 450mhz. The Cube does not recognize all my double sided RAMs. Only, it recognize single sided RAMs that I have. I tested this with all combination of my RAMs. I have two 64MB(single), one 128MB(single), two 128MB(double), and three 256MB(double) RAMs.
Jae "

" Mike,
I, too, have lost a 128 meg chip in my g4/agp... And this isn't cheap RAM either... Crucial.com RAM. I had 320, now back down to 192. I assume (read-hope) that apple is working on a fix for this...
(he later wrote)

Yeah, it's double-sided, 222, and I have the original 64 megs that apple supplied me with, 128 megs that clubmac gave me, and the unrecognizable crucial.com RAM...

(he later wrote)

Yeah, it's double-sided, 222, and I have the original 64 megs that apple supplied me with, 128 megs that clubmac gave me, and the unrecognizable crucial.com RAM... "

" Mike,
Its seems that Apple put more stringent standards for the RAM in their computers with this 4.1.8 update But which allows faster RAM access. If the RAM is outside of a certain tolerance it will not be read, I understand even 3% is too much of a deviation for it to work from specs.

We need a program to test the RAM before the update if you hear of one let us know! Im not going to apply the update until I know I wont suffer RAM loss on all my Macs thas can use it.
Frank Farwell "

If they changed the RAM timing/requirements, a heads-up (warning) on this would have been a good thing to note, since you can't go backwards in firmware versions.

" Hi Mike:
Further to the note I sent you earlier, about 'loosing' a DIMM after the 4.1.8 firmware update, here's a follow up.

I went to the local PeeCee place and bought a PC133 128MB RAM stick (they were out of stock of PC100) for $100 Canadian, which was double sided as well. However, there were only 4 RAM chips on each side of the DIMM.

I brought that home and installed it, and it is recognized.

The old [128MB] DIMM that was not recognized was PC100 and had 8 memory devices on each side, for a total of 16.

Hummm... Interesting... could the problem be with a certain density of RAM chip?

I'm glad I'm not the engineer who has to figure this one out!
All best
John "

The 8 chip dimm that worked used 128megabit chips, the 128MB dimm that had 16 chips used 64megabit chips. However there weer some 256MB dbl-sided dimm problem reports and I suspect they also used 128mbit chips.

" I successfully updated my dual G4, 450 MHz Power Mac last night with the latest firmware from Apple. After that, it no longer sees my 256 MB, PC100 (2-2-2) DIMM. This DIMM had been working fine for months.

I ran Apple's Hardware Test CD and the tests report "bad memory." I tried reseating the DIMM and moving it to different slot without any luck.

Any suggestions?
Greg "

If the RAM worked fine before the firmware update, then I doubt the RAM is bad. You can't flash backwards either .

" The firmware installed fine on my DP 500 with two 512 MB 222 SDRAMS from OWC.
I haven't noticed any improvement in Gauge Pro. On my machine, I've seen huge (and unexplainable to me) swings in Gauge Pro from 220 to 260. It usually settles out around 232 - 236. Perhaps others noting the improvements haven't noticed the swings before?
(forum post) "

" I have a Power Mac g4 sawtooth 400mhz, and cannot get the firmware update to work. I'm able to run the installer, get to that short tone, but it starts up again, I get a message saying it was unsuccessful.
Nate T. "

"Remind me never to actually run the firmware updaters from Apple.
I just ran the iMac Firmware Update 4.1.7 and I now can't see the 256MB DIMM that's been in my iMac for serveral months. I can only see a single 128MB DIMM.
Warn the masses.

(he later wrote)

It is a iMac DV 400 (lime), with 128MB DIMM and 256MB DIMM, both purchased from Data Memory Systems. --
T. Payton
HolyCow! Productions

Another reader didn't mention his system details but commented:

" Anybody beside me lose any memory with this update. I have 896 MBs of RAM; 2 double sided 256 MB sticks, 1 single sided 256 MB stick and 1 single sided 128 MB board. I lost both double sided boards, and now only have 384 MBs of RAM. Aint that Ducky?
Lou "

For those with problems, If you know the details on the dimms that didn't work send me the info (ram chip brand, timing (222/322/333), total number of chips, double sided, etc.) Also check to see if running all the same timing (all 222 or all 322, etc. if you can) helps, or if the unrecognized dimm alone will work (no other ram installed). At least one reported noted all 222 dimms were not immune to the problem however.

Other Firmware Update Problems Reported: Other than RAM, problems with the update have been rare so far. Here are the reports I've gotten on issues seen other than the missing RAM:

" I didn't loose any RAM, but my sound completely disappeared under MacOS 9.1 on my Pismo laptop after the firmware update until I removed the extra 64MB RAM and restarted. After I verified that the sound was back, I shut down and put the RAM back in. All works fine now!
Chris White,
Manager Information Systems"

" Yesterday I updated my system from 9.0.4 to 9.1. I have a first-generation 450 MHz G4 AGP/Sawtooth desktop, rev. 2.6 CPU, 384 MB. After that, I installed the new firmware update. All of my RAM was factory installed by Apple, so I wasn't too worried.

However, after changing _both_ of these aspects of my system, sleep now fails to work at all. I cannot be sure that this happened after installing the firmware update, but my "gut" tells me that this is so. I could be wrong, though. My gut has lied to me before.

Now when I try to put my machine to sleep, either by hitting the front power button or hitting the sleep command in Finder's "Special" menu, the screen goes dark. But it is not "off," it just seems like the screen is displaying black -- or something. The screen's power light stays green (I have the original G4 (graphite) 17" Apple Display, non-USB), and the tower's power light stays illuminated as well. The machine is then frozen, and I can't awake it or even turn it off -- gotta yank the power cord! Ow!

Maybe if you post this message somebody else can "second" this report. Has anybody noticed sleep dying after updating to 9.1 on a machine with a similar configuration to mine? What about after updating the firmware? This is kind of annoying, as I leave my machine in sleep a lot of the time. Any possible solutions would be _greatly_ appreciated. And I'm sorry I can't say for certain whether sleep stopped working after the OS update or the firmware update. Oh well -- this is what I get for updating my system in multiple major ways in one day, with little or no testing between updates. heheheh...
-Nick G. "

I suggested he try zapping the pram (maybe resetting the PMU would be next if that didn't help). If anyone else has seen this or solved it, let me know.

" Hi Mike,
Hope things are going ok.
Just thought I'd pass this along. Before the happy Mac icon appears, I get this message (see attachment). FWIW, I'm using a G4/400 AGP and haven't installed OSX yet.

error message

I'm missed my flight to Maui today, so I've got a little time to waste. Can't wait to for X's Aqua in Maui (install once I'm there - tomorrow) :) I'll be using Airport w/G4-PB, so that should be interesting out there.
take care, -Ryan "

TIP: Two readers noted that setting your Monitor refresh rate to an integer number (ie 75Hz not 74.x Hz) solved the above problem.

" Hello, I'm DJ.HAN. I am korean mac user. So, I can't write englsh well. Sorry.
I report to you my curious experience with G4 firmware update.

I updated the G4 firmware update yesterday(My G4 is G4/400 AGP/ATI 128 Pro/320MB RAM). update is very successful. G4 can recognize all of DIMM without error.

But I have experience trouble next booting time. The system was freeze with message 'Illegal Instruction Error' when Icon Parade! I was Zap the Pram, and reboot. but I can see same error. I was zap the NVRAM, and reboot... but the OS wasn't boot normally.

Finally, I unplug all of firewire devices and USB devices except mouse and keyboard(I have USB tablet, and firewire CD-R, sony DVMC-DA2). Then reboot... is successful!

I format the HDD, reinstall OS 9.1, and reconnect my devices. In this time, there was no error.

I don't know what is the problem. Now, the all of devices is working correctly.
Thanks, Good Luck!

" hi
i lost no ram with my power mac g4/400( agp), but are having some other problem.
when booting up with my monitors integrated usb hub connected to the mac, open firmware hangs with following error message

GET_CLASS_DESCR for Hub error0 ffbd8c90 g
DEFAULT CATCH!, code 300 at %SRR0: _

booting up with monitors usb-hub not connected is ok, also booting up with usb-hub connected, but monitor switched off.
c. jesberger "

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