How to install notebook memory

If you're looking for a way to drastically improve your notebook computer's performance, adding more memory can be the most effective, affordable way to do it. And it's easy to do on your own, believe it or not!

Here's how it's done. First, turn off your notebook, remove the battery, and unplug it. Then, open the case.

Next, ground yourself. This is essential because static electricity can damage your module and other computer parts. To make sure that you are working in a static-safe environment, briefly touch an unpainted metal part of your computer case. Plant your feet-don't walk around. If you do need to walk around, ground yourself again before touching any of the internal parts of your computer.

After this is done, you need to locate your SODIMM slots. Every notebook case is a little different, so consult your manual to find out where your slots are located and how to open that part of your notebook case. (Two of the most common places are under the keyboard and behind a back access panel.)

Next, you need to remove the memory you are replacing (if necessary). If you have an open SODIMM slot, skip this step. But if all of your SODIMM slots are full, you will need to remove one or more of your old modules before you can install the new memory.

  • Press down on the retaining clips on either side of the module.
  • Remove the module from the slot.
  • Do not use any tools in the removal or installation of memory modules.

Finally, it's time to install your new memory!

  • Take your module out of its packaging and hold it by the edges.
  • If you have more than one open slot, fill the lowest-numbered slot first.
  • Line up the notch in the row of metal pins at the bottom of your module with the key in the SODIMM slot on your motherboard. (If the notch doesn't line up right away, flip your module around and try it the other way. It doesn't matter which side of your module has the black chips or the stickers on it. The important thing is to line up the notch.)
  • Hold the module at a 45-degree angle to the slot and firmly push it into place. It can take 20 to 30 pounds of pressure to install a module. Press the top of the module down until it is lying flat against the motherboard and you hear it snap into place.

Also try to avoid touching the metal pins at the bottom of your module. You probably won't harm them if you do touch them, but it's better to avoid it if possible.

Before you close your case, turn your computer back on. You should see the new amount of memory displayed on your startup screens or in the properties for "My Computer" (if you use a Windows operating system).

If you have trouble with your new RAM, check these things first.

  • Check the power cords. Is everything plugged in properly?
  • Check the module. Did both side clips snap to hold the module firmly in place? Try removing the module and replacing it to make sure it is seated properly in the slot.
  • Small side clips should snap around the module
  • Check the wires and cables inside your computer. Did you accidentally bump one of the cables inside your computer while you were installing your module? A loose hard drive cable can prevent your computer from booting up properly. Make sure all the cables are firmly in their sockets.