Laptop Memory Installation Guide

If your laptop is running slow and sluggish and programs are taking a long time to load, or freezing up then you may need a memory upgrade, or RAM. It is amazing how an increase in RAM memory can speed up a laptop, especially for gaming, video, photos and Internet browsing.

Doing a memory upgrade is a very simple job, and while some may elect to call a technician, in reality most people can do it themselves and save an average of $50-$75 in labor costs. It is basically a card that is inserted in a slot and does not need any manual configuration; the laptop will automatically detect the new storage space.

Tasks Prior to Upgrading Laptop Memory

The most important thing to do before considering a memory upgrade is to check your laptops manual and look for the necessary laptop memory upgrade information. Every laptop computer has a certain amount of open slots, maximum memory capacity, which will render any upgrades beyond that useless and a specific model of RAM upgrade. Similar to desktop computers, you can purchase and install additional memory for your laptop but it is crucial to make sure to get the right memory card for your laptops, they are not universal. If you no longer have your laptop manual you can call the manufacturer or check their website for a copy of the manual for your computer.

Upgrades are limited in small or compact computers. When you plan to buy additional memory for your laptop computer, you have to know the maximum memory capacity that can be handled by your laptop. You can find this information with the product manuals. Once you determine the maximum RAM capacity on your laptop, you can then check to see how much memory is actually installed all ready. Check the Windows system information or the memory report that is provided upon boot up.

Memory upgrades come in a variety of sizes, some in MB, such as 256MB or 512MB and some as high as 1GB or 2GB. Typically 512MB of memory is standard and the lowest you ever want to have. 1GB is plenty and will greatly accelerate your laptop especially for gaming, video, and DVD functions. Also, if you wish to use Microsoft Vista, then the recommended memory is 1 GB.

Laptop Memory Cards

There are different types of memory cards available and you should choose the right memory that is compatible with your laptop, as well as the maximum allowed storage space. For example, some laptops only allow for 1GB total RAM, and each slot can only handle 512MB, so you could not purchase a 1GB memory card, you would need to buy 2 512MB cards that total 1GB, or if the laptop all ready has 1 512MB, you would purchase an additional 1 512MB card to make a total of 1GB.

The types of Memory used in laptops are SDRAM (Single data rate Synchronous RAM), SODIMM (Small Outline Dual Inline Memory Module), DDR SDRAM (Dual Data Rate Synchronous RAM) or memory modules that are proprietary. Again, make sure to check your laptop manual to see which one you need. Most retailers of laptop memory have wizards that let you select your laptop brand and model and provide you with the correct memory model.

The memory cards are inserted into assigned slots in the laptops; usually there is a minimum of two slots for extra memory on laptops. Again, make sure to check the manual to make sure how many slots you have open and the capacity of those.

Installing Laptop Memory Tips

1. Take care when handling the memory card.
2. Power off the laptop when installing memory
3. For accessing the memory modules easily, some laptops have removable panels at the bottom.
4. Use a screwdriver to open the panel.
5. The memory modules are seated in the slots and locked with small clips at the strip ends. If you are swapping out an existing memory card then remove the existing memory by pulling the memory modules gently after unlocking the strip clips. If you are adding a memory card then just locate the empty slot.
6. Place the new memory module firmly into the slot and clip the module at both ends of the strips.
7. Close the panel of the laptop back in place with a screwdriver. The laptop should automatically detect the new memory storage capacity on your laptop.

By: JR Lang

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