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Upgrade Laptop Memory

Adding more System Memory (RAM) will make your Laptop run faster and smoother while it allows you to open more applications at once.

Before upgrading the Memory of your Laptop, you must first determine what type of RAM it uses and and how many memory slots it has. You can do this by consulting your Laptop manual or looking inside your Laptop or by visiting the Crucial website at: and run their system scanner which will scan your computer and tell you the type of RAM, amount of RAM, number of memory slots in your Laptop, and the maximum amount of memory that you can install in your computer. It will also give you the price of replacement memory modules.

Laptop Memory Module compared with Desktop Memory Module.

Replacing RAM is one of the few upgrades that you can perform on a Laptop. You will notice that Laptop memory modules are physically smaller than the equivalent desktop computer memory. Laptop memory modules are also called SO-DIMM (Small Outline Dual in-line Memory Module).

As with Desktop computer memory, there are different types of Laptop RAM such as SDRAM (Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory), DDR SDRAM (Double Data Rate SDRAM), DDR2 SDRAM, and DDR3 SDRAM. Despite the memory modules of each kind of RAM being physically the same size, they are not compatible with each other. Each of these memory modules has a notch in the contacts which is placed in different positions so that it is impossible to match the wrong type of RAM with the Laptop's memory slots.

Upgrading your Laptop RAM
1. Be aware that upgrading a Laptop could void your warranty.

2. Back-up all of your important files.

3. Make sure the power is unplugged and remove the battery from the laptop.

4. Follow anti-static procedures, and have your tools at hand.

5. Locate the memory slot(s) and remove the cover. The memory slots are usually found in a compartment underneath the laptop which is held in place with some small screws. Some Laptops have a memory slot located under the keyboard which has to be removed. (Refer to your Laptop manual).

6. If all your memory slots are populated with existing memory modules then you will have to replace them with higher capacity memory. You can remove an existing memory module by releasing the spring-loaded retaining clips either side of the module which will lift the module up at an angle so that you can slide it out.
Laptop Memory Slot.
Empty Memory Slot
Laptop Memory Slot populated with memory module.
Populated Memory Slot
7. Make sure to hold the new memory module so that you do not touch the contacts and insert it at an angle into the memory slot then push it down gently so that it clicks into place. Repeat for all the memory modules that need to be installed.

8. Replace the memory compartment and screw back into place.

9. Replace the battery back into the laptop.

Once the memory has been upgraded and the computer is back together and powered up then you need to check that the computer can see this new RAM. There are various ways to do this including:

1. When you boot the computer then you may see the POST (Power On Self Test) which will count up the RAM.

2. If you enter the CMOS set-up page by pressing a certain key during the initial start-up sequence (sometimes ‘DEL’, ‘ESC’, F1, or F2 etc). It should display the amount of RAM installed on your computer.

3. In Windows you can click 'Start' > Right-click on 'Computer' and select 'Properties' which should display your RAM.

4. Download the small CPU-Z utility at which should display your RAM in detail.

If after installing your new memory modules the computer refuses to boot or it doesn't display the correct amount of memory then you may need to re-seat all of the memory modules. You can also try removing one memory module at a time and then rebooting to locate the problem.

You should be aware that if you are using a 32-bit operating system then you will only be able to use up to 4GB (actually about 3.25GB of useable memory) of RAM regardless of how much more you have installed. If you intend to install more than 4GB of RAM then you need to be using a 64-bit operating system.

You can find out more information on different kinds of RAM, memory speeds, and timings in the Desktop RAM section of this website.