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Adding Memory – Part 3

Now that you’ve told us some basics on adding memory to our computers, how do we actually get it in there? You promised you would tell us!

You’re right, I did promise you that and if you know anything about me, you know that I always keep my promises! So, that’s exactly what I’m going to do for you today. If you read yesterday’s newsletter, you know that I started a three part “adding memory” series. The first part was figuring out if your computer really does need more memory and the second part was finding out what kind your computer needs, along with knowing where you can buy it from.

Now, the third part (that I know all of you have been patiently waiting for) is actually getting that new memory into your computer. You know, installing it all by yourself. I know that probably makes some of you nervous, but you don’t need to be. It really isn’t as hard as it may seem. Let’s take a look at the basic steps and go from there. When you’re finished, your computer will have more memory and it will be able to run at its optimal performance once again. Here we go!

Part 3

The first thing you need to do is make sure the area you’re going to be working with is free of dust. You can either vacuum the area or even just wipe it out with a soft piece of cloth. Next, you need to power down your computer. Turn your system off, unplug everything and disconnect any peripherals you may have hooked up to your PC. Once you’ve done all that, you may continue on.

Go ahead and remove the cover panel of your unit. You will then be able to see inside your computer. (Cool, huh?!) Next, be sure to ground yourself by touching any piece of metal inside your computer. This will discharge any static electricity that may be running from you to the computer. If you don’t do this, you’re putting yourself at risk, so please be safe!

The next thing you’re going to do is locate where the new memory sticks you have will go. There should be some empty slots or clips that are meant for additional memory sticks. Now, where those slots will be depends on how old your computer is. You’ll either have a single in-line memory module (SIMM) or a type of dual in-line memory module (DIMM). More than likely, you’ll be working with the latter of the two, which will probably be a 168 or 184-pin model.

Once you’ve found the slots, hold the memory stick by its edges. You need to be careful when you’re doing this to make sure you don’t touch any of the pins. When you feel ready, insert the new RAM into one of the empty slots. You’ll want it to be perpendicular to your computer’s motherboard and parallel to the already existing memory stick. With a SIMM, insert it into the open slot with an angle of about 30 degrees. You can then move it around until you feel it or hear it click into the right position. On the other hand, with a DIMM, there are clips on each side that will secure the memory stick in position.

When you’re confident that you’ve got the RAM stick in the correct place, you can put the cover back on your computer and then connect everything again. Then power up your computer and make sure it recognizes the new memory. There should be a confirmation box of some sort that pops up for you. If your computer doesn’t seem to recognize it, you may need to turn everything off again and reinsert the memory stick. You need to make sure your computer recognizes it, because otherwise, your computer will go on working with the same amount of memory as before. (And that would just be a complete waste of your time and money!)

See, that wasn’t so bad, was it?! With a little time and patience, it is a rather simple procedure. But, if you’re not 100 percent confident that you can do it yourself, please ask someone else for help. Asking for help is easier than dealing with additional computer problems down the road. Now, I hope you can go on and enjoy your new memory and your faster computer. Yes!

~ Erin