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My MBP will sometimes drop 4 of the 8G of RAM I have after recovering from sleep or a reboot. One (or more) restarts later I'll have all 8G again. Is this a memory stick going bad? Could it be something worse?

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Yes it could easily easily be a bad connection on the ram chip or just bad connection of the RAM stick with connector on the motherboard. Try to clean RAM connectors with a gum eraser first.

To test memory under load you may also use Memtest86+ CD if your MBP is Core 2 Duo one or Apple Hardware Test from included CD if yours is "Core i" one.

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How does one clean the RAM bays with a gum eraser? The slots are very tiny. I might go in there with compressed air. –  xanadont Dec 7 '11 at 20:25
    
@xanadont I told you to clean connectors on RAM sticks, not on the slot end. –  iskra Dec 7 '11 at 20:43
    
Oh, that's not clear, you might want to refer to them as the prongs on the RAM. "Connectors" sounds like the receiving end of it. But, word, I'll give that a try and also compressed air. Is there any way to diagnose if the bay is going bad? –  xanadont Dec 7 '11 at 20:55
    
@xanadont If there is a way to diagnose that I believe it involves some special equipment. –  iskra Dec 7 '11 at 21:05

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