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A bad Powerbook memory

Over the years I’ve slapped extra RAM into various machines (PC and Mac) without problems. Well, except for one Dell where I ordered the wrong chips, which wasn’t very smart. However, I’m rapidly losing patience with my 15″ Powerbook after *months* of unsuccessful memory upgrades. I’ve tried repeatedly to upgrade the RAM to 1Gb using Crucial and Kingston chips – the correct ones, based on both firms’ memory finders and Apple product number equivalents – and on each occasion it’s been a disaster. Booting up means a 99% chance of a Kernel Panic, and in the 1% of occasions when it doesn’t go tits-up on boot it freezes solid once all the desktop icons have appeared. I’m only able to write this because I’ve reverted to the OEM chips once again.

Doing various web searches I’ve discovered a possible fix (tweaking Energy Saver settings – it doesn’t work) and lots of people saying “yeah, it’s a problem with the 15″ Powerbooks, they’re really fussy about the RAM”. But does anyone actually know how to fix it without paying Apple’s comedy prices, or am I doomed to an eternity of ordering chips, testing them, sending them back, getting replacements, sending them back… until I go mad, smash the Powerbook to pieces and order a Dell Inspiron instead?

Any bright ideas would be appreciated…