RAM 16GB Upgrade Troubleshooting

I installed a 1TB SSD HB 2.5" and it worked like a charm. Then I installed the 16 GB RAM upgrade and nothing. No beeps, no chime, just a black screen and the fan might be running, hard to tell.

Back to the original 4 GB RAM and starts up like a charm. High Sierra and all else is up to date. Tried running the EFI updater available for my machine and got message that it's not supported by my system.

Took out one of the 2 GB sticks and put in one of the 8 GB sticks. Started right up and system info says it is running 10 GB RAM. Took that 8 out and put in other 8 and same result. Runs great. So the RAM I bought is not bad and my RAM slots both work, but it won't run with both 8 GB sticks.

Anyone encounter this too and if so is there a way to get all 16 GB of RAM to work?

  • Model Name: MacBook Pro
  • Model Identifier: MacBookPro7,1
  • Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
  • Processor Speed: 2.66 GHz
  • Number of Processors: 1
  • Total Number of Cores: 2
  • L2 Cache: 3 MB
  • Memory: 10 GB
  • Bus Speed: 1.07 GHz
  • Boot ROM Version: MBP71.003F.B00
  • SMC Version (system): 1.62f7

If you need more system info to provide help, don't hesitate to ask.

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Any luck with this? I have the same exact problem!

Sadly some systems will only go to 10 GB.

I’m afraid not. After a weeek of trying everything under the sun, I gave up and decided to be happy with 10 GB and a boot up time that is faster by a good 5 minutes.

Exact same problem :(


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I have the same firmware and versions and mac as you and I was able to install 16gb ram. I had the same issue you are describing at first when I tried to install 16gb ddr3 ram running at 1333mhz . I then bought 16gb ddr3 ram running at 1066mhz and it works fine. Are you sure you didn't get the wrong mhz?


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From EveryMac: Standard RAM: 4 GB Maximum RAM:16 GB*

4 GB of RAM pre-installed as two 2 GB modules, no slots free.*Originally, both the official and actual maximum RAM was 8 GB. However, as ++confirmed++ by site sponsor OWC, if running OS X 10.7.5 or higher, updated with the latest EFI, and equipped with proper specification memory modules, this model can support up to 16 GB of RAM.

PC3-8500 DDR3 - 1066 MHz

So as we can see your system is able to run with 16 GB!

Lets see if upgrading your OS to a higher release fixes this. Starting in Mavericks and going forward Apple now updates the firmware only via the OS update process.


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@shoppingamc is already running High Sierra, so the firmware should already be up to date, I would think.

The firmware is not reflecting that. I'm suspecting the drive was updated independently of the system so the system didn't get updated.

Oh that's right. But it is working with 10GB, wouldn't it max out at 8 if it was running the old firmware?

Once installing High Sierra didn't help the situation, I searched for EFI Firmware updates at Apple Support. The following is a list of what I found, downloaded, tried to run, and the messages I got:

MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.2

"Can't be opened because it is from an unidentified developer"

MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.3

"This computer does not need this update"

MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.7

"Can't be opened because it is from an unidentified developer"

MacBook Pro EFI Update 2.1

"This software is not supported on your system"

MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 2.3

"This software is not supported on your system"

MacBook Pro (13-inch Mid 2010) EFI Firmware Update 2.5

"Can't be opened because it is from an unidentified developer"

I still have my backup from the hard drive I replaced, which was running Sierra. Is it at all plausible that going back to Sierra would allow me to get one of these updaters to work?

These are the older ones ;-{

Apple has not maintained the list or offered details on the versioning since this Apple T/N About EFI and SMC firmware updates for Intel-based Mac computers. So it's a bit of a crapshoot.

Now the fun! You need to convert the hex to dec to compare your systems major version is 63 (3F) the list is 57 (39) 6 releases different yours being newer than the list my 2012 15" MacBook Pro is 218 (DA) - 211 (D3) from the list 7 releases different.

I was comparing my MacBook Pro which is running HS and has a newer rev. of firmware. Even still yours is not going to be the same as mine as you have an older Core2Duo CPU based system (32 vs 64bit). But, look at the swing of versions. I would have expected a few more versions than mine.

The only way to tell for sure is to find a second system like yours which is working with 16 GB of RAM to compare.



Double check to make sure that your new RAM is the correct speed for your computer. Your Mac uses PC3-8500 RAM. You may have bought faster, newer RAM, such as PC3-12800. This RAM is technically backwards compatible with your computer, but it forces the bus to run at the faster speed, which it can't do. I'm having trouble finding the Apple support article about this, but it works like this: The bus can only run at the 1067 MHz speed of the RAM it was designed for. The computer will only run at the speed of the slowest RAM module installed. If you have PC3-8500 RAM in both slots, that's great, that's what the computer was designed for. But if you put PC3-12800 RAM in both of the slots, the bus will try to run at the speed of that faster RAM, which it can't do. With one slow RAM module in one slot, and one fast one in the other slot, the bus will run at the speed of the slower one, which it's supposed to, and then slow down the faster RAM so that it can also work (this is currently how I'm running my 2009 white MacBook).

Pretty sure it should give off some warnings though, so it's weird that it's not.


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RAM from the ifixit upgrade kit has the following label:

8GB, DDR3, PC3-8500, 1066MHz, 200 PIN

The computer is running better and faster with 10 GB, but since I bought the kit (ifixit didn't have individual 8 GB RAM in stock) I doubt they will let me return just one of them if I can't get them both to work together.


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shoppingamc was there ever a solution to this? I am having the same exact problem with my wife’s Macbook Pro.

I'm unable to solve this exact same problem. Purchased two 8GB RAM chips (upgraded to SSD as well) for my 13 inch mid 2010 macbook pro. I'm running High Sierra v10.13.6. The most recent OS supported.

Like others in the thread I am only able to get to 10GB RAM (2GB & 8GB chips). While I am very happy with the performance of the computer now, I have several questions I hope to get answered here:

1) Since I know I have the correct chip set purchased from ifixit, Is there a solution to using both 8GB chips for the full 16GB RAM I am unaware of?

2) Will upgrading to Mojave (unsupported for my mac) solve the EFI/firmware issue which I believe is preventing me from using both 8GB chips? (I get the same messages as commenter shoppingamc while trying to upgrade EFI/firmware manually). OR a way to just update the EFI/firmware?

3) Should the ifixit website be saying this macbook pro supports 16GB RAM if many of us are having problems/unable getting 16GB RAM to run?

I'm wondering if your systems all have an older version of the PCH which doesn't have the upper address lines working. Thats the only thing that makes sense if your firmware is up to date.

Sadly, I haven't needed to upgrade the RAM on any 2010 models for quite awhile,

The MacBook Pros that can’t upgrade all the way seem to be a subset of a subset that is pretty small while the majority of mid-2010s upgrade just fine, so not saying the upgrade works on a 2010 would be inappropriate. Ifixit might want to add a short warning note to the upgrade kit product description informing mid-2010 owners that they might only be able to get to 10GB.


Thank you Dan & shoppingamc. I doubt many people are still upgrading mid 2010 MacBooks. But your feedback is appreciated and hopefully this may help someone else.

Your feedback has helped me accept that I must in fact have a machine in that subset of a subset that can’t upgrade to 16GB. Besides being stuck with an extra 8GB RAM chip, I have been very happy with the upgrade. And I have come to understand a few things I’d like to share.

One point of view is that 16GB RAM is overkill in this machine and would present an undue/unnecessary burden on the battery anyway. And while it is said you should not mismatch your RAM, I found the reason for this is that mismatching your RAM will generally reduce clock speed/performance by about 10%. But since I’d only have 8GB max with matched RAM, I should be getting better performance from my mismatched 10GB RAM chipset than an 8GB RAM setup that is matched (4&4).

So I will also just be happy with my 10GB of RAM. Perhaps down the road I’ll install Mojave and see if the Mojave upgrade “force pushes” the EFI/firmware to allow the full 16GB RAM. But since by any metric the upgrade has been a huge success it will not be until a time when Apple stops support for High Sierra and am more or less forced to install Mojave.

I’m scared installing Mojave will cause other issues not worth it since the machine is now performing so well. I haven’t seen this recommended anywhere and it’s just my hunch this may work. I am very happy with the results as is and think I’ll just leave well enough alone for now…


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I was able to take my Mid-2010 MacBook Pro up to High Sierra and it runs fine.

Even though I bought the Upgrade Kit, iFixit let me return the one RAM module I couldn't use, so go ahead and ask if they will let you return it.



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