The appearance of the Apple firmware upgrades released yesterday for late 2008 MacBooks, MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs was welcome news to me and other owners and many applied the upgrades immediately. I was one of those in that crowd and my experiences with trying to run my MacBook with 4 GB of memory were followed by many who also reported problems. Last night I grabbed the updates and applied them to my MacBook hoping I would be able to run with the 4 GB of memory I had purchased.
I left the MacBook running all night after popping 4 GB of memory in at 4 pm my time yesterday and it ran fine all night which gave me hope that the firmware patches had indeed fixed the problem. Prior to the firmware update my MacBook, like many are reporting, would get system freezes frequently every time 4 GB was installed. It would run fine with either 2 GB or 3 GB of memory installed, even using one of the RAM sticks that compromise the 4 GB loadout that fails.
This morning the MacBook was still running fine with no freezes and I was starting to feel pretty good about the fixes but that didn’t last long. Just a while ago my MacBook froze up while sitting idle, exhibiting the same errant behavior that plagued me before the update and that has been reported by many in the Apple support forums. It appears that Apple still has some work to do to fix these system hangs which I have proven with my own testing only occurs when >3 GB of memory is installed. I hope they get this nailed, there are many of us who would like to run 4 GB in our MacBooks and MacBook Pros. It’s important to note that failures are being reported whether Apple-supplied memory or third-party memory is used. The consistent factor is that the new Macs often cannot handle 4 GB of memory. Note that I haven’t seen any MacBook Air owners complaining of this problem but then I haven’t really looked for any.
It’s important to note that Apple never said these firmware updates would address this 4 GB problem. They didn’t say much of anything about what they fix but there are quite a few owners that were seriously hoping the patch would address this problem. I’m sorry to disappoint those of you affected.