I don’t know if you’ve read it already, but I just did a piece on RAM (Random Access Memory). I thought I’d follow-up with this tutorial on how to upgrade your Laptops RAM. Most of us have one time or another upgraded our Desktop Computer (if not, I’ll tell you all about that in a later article). But have you ever tried to do so on a Laptop ? Or, have you backed off, on account of – it’s so tiny, and therefore must be tough to do ? Well, actually it’s just as easy – or easier even. Here’s how…
Most Laptops have two slots for R.A.M Chips. Netbooks (’cause they are so tiny) usually have one. In this article I’m upgrading a 10″ Netbook. The procedure however is exactly the same on a larger computer, with more slots available.
Essentially, what you need to know, is the Make and Size of the existing R.A.M. If in doubt, I suggest you remove the Chip before buying a new one. Bring it with you to make sure you purchase the right type. As you know R.A.M Chips are NOT interchangeable.
R.A.M Chips are essentially a little card with tiny transistors on it. Let’s take a quick look at it shall we ? On each side, you’ll find a notch. These hold the chip in place. On the front end you will see a divider. This divider, prevents you from inserting the chip the wrong way. Basically, making it foolproof.
Step 1. Turn the Laptop Over…
Step 2. Locate the R.A.M Cover
On most Laptops the little door covering the Chip is located on the back. Some laptops however, hide them underneath the keyboard. IF that be the case, you will find a latch, hidden just above the top key row (in between the key and edge). Press that in and gently remove the keyboard. Once the cover is removed you will see one or two R.A.M slots. At least one of them contains a R.A.M chip. On each side of the chip there are two levers. Gently press them away from the chip to release it. Now. This is where you bring the Chip to your dealer. Leave everything as is, then come back when you’ve purchased your new R.A.M. NOTE! Read the “last tip” section below, before going shopping. Also NOTE! While the R.A.M is removed from its dock, the computer is rendered useless and will not be functioning. So Don’t even try that.
Step 3. Insert New Chip
Okay, Welcome Back! Did the shopping go well ? Good ! If your laptop has two available slots, insert the old chip into its original socket and the new one in the other. Here’s how: Locate the front hatch and look into the socket to find the divider. Insert the chip into the socket and gently press down until you hear a click. That’s it. If you cannot make it click into place, you’ve managed to insert the card the wrong way (which of course, is literally impossible).
Step 4. Good to Go !
Now, re-attach the cover and fasten it. Insert the battery and you should be good to go. If your Laptop was sluggish with a slow boot – you will most definitively experience an instant improvement.
A few last notes!
- Some older Laptops might need you to enter the BIOS in order to access the added chip. But most modern laptops, have plug and play functionality which will handle this quite well on its own.
- IF your Laptop has two R.A.M slots, I suggest you buy TWO new R.A.M chips instead of just one. This will ensure that the chips cooperate perfectly with each other and that you get the most out of your upgrade. If you are on a 32-bit system you may get as much as 4GB of RAM at your disposal (even more on a 64-bit system).
- [Update] If you add as much as 4GB of RAM to your 32-bit system, you will come across what many believe to be a bug in Windows. When you check System properties after upgrading your RAM, Windows does not show 4GB of RAM available, only 3,25 something. This is because the 32-bit architechture cannot access more than 4GB as TOTAL. Which means that the RAM located on your Graphics Card will overlap with your Computer RAM. Therefor what should have read 4GB + 750MB, is displayed as 3,25GB. In other words, Windows show you the total amount of RAM minus the overlap. Both RAM partitions are being used, so you do get 4GB of RAM available. Not just according to Windows.