2012 13″ MacBook Pro – RAM slot Failure

Applies to:

  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012)
    These models were sold until the end of 2016

Component affected:

  • Board (RAM slot)

Symptoms:

  • Graphic distortions
  • Freezing
  • Sudden restarts
  • Beeps at startup

Apple Repair program:
This issue has never been acknowledged by Apple.

The Problem:
This MacBook Pro has two RAM slots. One of these slots suffers an issue where the pins connecting the slot to the board become detached or the solder weakens causing a loose connection.

Putting pressure on the palm rests or lifting the mac with one hand on either side can bring out the symptoms but often enough users will experience issues with the Mac just sitting on a desk.
Apple has been aware of this problem for a very long time, at least since early 2013 and possibly even since late 2012. Rather than changing the board design right away, Apple added padding to the bottom case interior to apply more pressure on the RAM slots.

Hoping this would keep the pins in place but this failed. Down the road a second, thicker, layer of padding was added but this failed to address the issue as well.

Finally Apple changed the design and put large pads on the end of each pin to have more surface contact with the board.

The two layers of padding still present. Unfortunately this failed to address the issue as well. The result is a flawed board design that was sold from June 2012 – October 2016 (December 2017 or January 2018 when old stock ran out likely).

The Fix:
These machines are incredibly robust and reliable once this issue has been properly addressed. If you have soldering skills and the right microsoldering equipment, you can scrape away some of the board traces and reattach the loose pins to the board again with more solder which will keep the pins in place. You can also contact a company that offers board repair services.

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