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Powerbook 3400c RAM

Syntho

Well-known member
I'm a little confused on something. The 3400c has 16mb of onboard RAM as well as a slot for extra RAM cards. There were two 3400c machines I was looking into and both of them showed up as half of what they should be. Are these RAM chips prone to failure, or is there some sort other issue like an extension or something that prevents them from showing their full RAM size?

 

Franklinstein

Well-known member
So they report less than 16MB even without RAM cards? That's unusual. The entire range had 16MB soldered so that should be the minimum visible. What OS are you using? Does it report a memory problem at boot? Usually there's a message about "a problem has been detected with your memory" if there's an actual fault with the RAM. 

A lot of Macs will have garbled or no boot chime if the onboard RAM is bad but then, if there's good expansion RAM available, will boot and use the expansion RAM while ignoring anything onboard; conversely, if there's a bad expansion RAM module, the machine will often boot normally (though initial power-up may take longer than usual) and simply report less RAM than you expected because the machine is simply ignoring the bad module.

Also, while physically similar, the RAM for the 190/5300 doesn't work in the 3400. It's possible that there were some universal cards built but the majority will only work in one model or the other.

 

Syntho

Well-known member
These machines aren;t actually in my possession, it's just what I've been told. For example, if there is a 32mb extra card installed, the system info will say 32mb is installed, when I would think it should be 48mb. Maybe the RAM cards don't say the amount of memory that's on the card, but the amount that it brings it up to?

 

Franklinstein

Well-known member
No, you'd be right the first time: 32+16 would total 48MB of RAM. Maybe the person is reading available memory, not total? Maybe the card actually says 16 on it, or maybe it says something like 16/32 (for cards that are built with a variety of capacities using the same basic card) and they're assuming it's a 32? There's not really enough to go on here. Either way if it still says 16 with the card removed you'll be fine; you can always get a replacement RAM card if the one included is bad.

 

Syntho

Well-known member
I'm going to investigate once these machines are in my hands. I bought a separate 32mb card and will install it into one of the machines. The other one comes with a 32mb card installed, but I was told it only shows up as 32mb total, so I'll report back.

Also, I'm looking to replace the stock hard drive. Are these just normal, everyday IDE laptop drives inside of it? If this will work anything like my old Powermacs, the Mac OS doesn't like when you're using a non-Apple-branded drive or at least a model that's been approved. I think I'll also have to install drivers on it to get it to work. Those were with SCSI drives though, and seeing that this is IDE it may be different.

Are there any particular drives I should be on the lookout for?

 

Syntho

Well-known member
Here’s a supposed 32mb ram card. It shows only 32mb in total when it’s installed when it should be 48

5FCCCD98-D86C-477C-A2D4-961F02ABE7E1.jpeg

 
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Syntho

Well-known member
I think this is actually a 16mb ram card. I just noticed that at the top it lists the part number as KTA-pb3400/16. What confused me is at the bottom where it says PB3400/32. So it's probably working right.

 

Franklinstein

Well-known member
Yup, definitely just a 16MB card. If it were fully populated with RAM chips it would hold 32MB but since half of the positions are empty, it's only 16MB. It's easy to understand the confusion, though, given the labeling. 

 
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