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Upgrading Laptop Memory

written by: Berry van der Linden•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 9/30/2009

Have you thought about switching out the memory in your laptop but are concerned with how hard the job might be? In this article, I will show you how step-by-step, making the upgrade on your laptop's memory simple.

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    The Beginnings

    Before you even buy the memory for this upgrade, make sure the memory you have selected is the right memory. The best way to do this is by visiting and finding it on this website. See Image.

    The tool on will help you select the right memory for your laptop. You could buy your memory at Crucial, Newegg, or anywhere you want now that you know what memory you need and how much to get. The manufacturer advises how much memory can go into the laptop - 2GB, 4GB, 8GB - so buying more is not advised as the laptop will simply not support it.

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    Crucial WebsiteCrucial Website II
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    Where is It?

    To gain access to the laptop's memory you don't have to open it up all the way. Most laptops have a little compartment that holds the memory. As an example here is a picture of my 6 month old Toshiba A205-S5825 (left) and my wife's older Compaq V2000 (right). Also depicted is the screwdriver or one like it that you'll need. The final picture is an example of a memory module.

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    Laptops & Screwdriver

    ToshibaCompaqScrewdriverMemory Module
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    Remove the Old Memory Modules

    Before doing anything be sure to touch something metal, so you're not holding a static charge. Discharging this inside the laptop would be a bad idea.

    Replacing the memory is not that hard. All you have to do is loosen a screw or two. Note that the Compaq has three screws. Then, you'll have access to the memory compartment.

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    Where Are The Screws

    ToshibaCompaqCompaq 2
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    Now lift the memory by loosening these clips.

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    As seen in the picture below, the memory will lift up.

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    Now pull the first memory module out. If you bought a matched memory pair, then you also have to replace the second memory module. If there is only one memory module, then you would only be replacing that one.

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    Placing The New Memory

    If you walked around, then touch something metal again.

    Take a look at the old memory. Do you see a notch cut out of the module? This is to make sure you don't install the memory the wrong way. The new module will only go in one way. If you meet resistance do not force it. Stop and pull it out to make sure the notch lines up with the slot. See to right with yellow arrow.

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    The Notch

    Notch In ModulePush In
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    Now close the compartment, and switch the laptop on to make sure it works. That's it - you have upgraded your memory. If you run into any problems, then post a comment on my blog. I'll help you figure out what went wrong.

Laptop How To

This series of articles explains how to do simple upgrades on your laptop yourself.
  1. Upgrading Laptop Memory
  2. Laptop How To: Upgrading or Replacing Your Hard Drive