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I own a late 2007 white MacBook. It’s the plastic 13″ model which sadly has been killed. I bought it in early 2008. It has started to yellow out of course. It’s original battery died on me not too long ago, and the MagSafe charger is starting to quirk out. In sum, it’s the first Mac computer I owned and it’s been awesome.

In the 3 or so years of owning it though, I’ve gotten by just fine with it’s 1GB of memory. But Lion came out and one of it’s minimum requirements is 2GB. I went ahead and checked the specs over at Crucial.com. Supposedly it goes up to a maximum of 2GB. The recommended memory type is DDR2 PC5300. So I went out and bought two 1GB PNY sticks, the only brand that the nearest Best Buy’s are currently carrying, and make sure they’re DDR2 PC5300.

I get home, remove the battery, and unscrew the L-bracket thingy. Guess what? The machine turns on but doesn’t boot. No chime. Just a black ominous screen. I reinsert the memory sticks and nothing. I put one of the original 512MB sticks with a PNY stick and the Mac boots. I go into System Profiler and it registers 1.5GB. I reset PRAM, SMC, and anything that I could think of that’s resettable. Nothing. The thing won’t boot without it’s original stock memory.

My hunch at first was that there’s something about the PNY brand that make them incompatible with Mac’s, even though the packaging of the memory has the Mac Finder logo. So I borrowed one of the sticks from my wife’s Sony Vaio, which by the way are DDR2 PC6400 and are 2GB sticks each. I try with both of them and it didn’t boot of course. I put back a 512MB stick with the 2GB stick, and lo and behold, it boots and registers 2.5GB.

I did some online searching and found that officially the late 2007 MacBook’s support up to 2GB, but unofficially it supports 4GB. The best info I could find was this forum site which would explain my issue. What I ended up doing was exchanging the memory for a 2GB stick. A PNY DDR2 PC6400. Everything is working fine. I still haven’t purchased and downloaded Lion though.

I hope this helps out people out there with the same or similar problem. There’s not a lot of good info out there for why exactly this would happen.