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Upgrading Memory–Installing RAM

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004 by | Filed Under: Hardware & Peripherals, System Tune-Up Help, Uncategorized

How do I upgrade memory?

Memory is usually an easy one. Here’s how to do it, step by step.

Note that the procedure is only slightly different on computers using older RAM (72 pin EDO type). Usually these machines are 233 MHz or less.

1. Check the manual that came with your computer to find out how much memory your particular machine can upgrade to. It won’t do any good to buy a gigabyte of RAM and then find out that your computer will only upgrade to 512 megabytes.

If you don’t have your manual or you’ve lost it (like me, I lose everything but weight) do a search on the Internet. You can get the specifics for any computer through the computer manufacturer’s web site.

2. To work on a computer, you must first ground yourself, (static electricity is murder to the components in a computer.) The easiest way to ground yourself is to touch the metal part of your computer. (That’s why they put the metal there :-)

Unplug your computer – you can just unplug the power cord from back of the computer if that’s easier.

Take off the case cover (This is another area where your computer’s instruction manual would help. Note that the cover should come off easily. If you’re stuck and find yourself thinking about using a hammer to remove it, you may be doing it wrong.)

If you don’t have any open memory slots in your computer you’ll need to remove an old chip before you install a new one. To do so, just push the clamps off memory chip that is in there, (the chip will almost fall out in your hand.)


3. Now we install the new one. Hold chip by the two side edges and line up notches. The chip will only go in one way because of these notches.


4. Push firmly on the edge of the chip to insert it in the slot, (the book says push gently, but I have found out that gently doesn’t work. It has to be firm pressure; please do not tap with hammer or anything, just push it in.) If possible, try to put your hand on the opposite side of the mother board for additional support. If you push memory in and the board bends too much, you could cause tiny fractures in your motherboard.


5. The way to tell if you have it in all the way is the clamps will pop into place in the slots on the side of the chip and lock in.


6. Put the cover back on the computer, plug it in, and power it on. Right-click the My Computer icon. Under the general tab it will show you the total amount of memory.

7. If it doesn’t show the true amount of memory you just installed, go through steps 2 through 6 and check to make sure the chip is in the slot properly. Once in a great while a chip will get in crooked but not very often.

8. Turn the computer back on and check the general tab on system properties. It should say the right amount of ram now.

~ Helen Huff

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