How to upgrade your laptop RAM.
It’s easy.

O.K. Since about 3 people read my post on how to replace your laptop battery, you’ve made it abundantly clear that you want ALL THE COMPUTER REPAIR POSTS I CAN MUSTER. To go straight into the garbage.

To that, I say, suck it. Too many people just throw out their old computers once they start to slow down or sputter a bit. Out they trot like moneybag people, sneezing, coughing and farting money, to buy a new computer. I’m all for buying something new when you need it, I’m all for spending money. BUT if you can fix something, especially something as expensive as a computer, why not fix it and spend that extra money on something else? Like a trip to Mexico. Or new gym shorts. Or nasal spray. Anything.

Amazon even has a book on how to talk to your cat.

cat-talk

 

 

 

 

In fact they have at least 10 books on how to talk to your cat. So if you want to waste your money at least waste it on something that will have a lasting positive impact on your home life.  Assuming you are quietly going insane, your spouse and children will all start to treat you like the special person you are.

Now.  Onto the boring computer stuff you all hate.

What the hell is RAM?  Ram is Random Access Memory.  Good.  Now that that’s cleared up we can move on.

Oh.  Still confused?  Your cat wouldn’t be.  O.K.  I’ll break it down.  RAM is temporary memory.  It’s the place stuff on your computer is stored when it’s working.  So if you’re working on a big program like Photoshop or Excel, those programs use the extra memory that RAM holds.  The more RAM you have the faster those programs and your computer will run.

What that means is if you get BIGGER RAM it can hold more stuff and your tired, slow computer will run faster.  It also means that because the storage is only temporary, while your computer is working, you can remove and replace your RAM (while the computer is off) without having to worry about losing anything on your laptop.  Things like recipes, or resumes, or nudie pics.

Which will then be swooped up to the mysterious iCloud  in the sky where they will be promptly ignored by sleezey hackers because no one cares about a nude photo of you if you aren’t famous in some way.  They may however, be interested in your secret cookie recipe.

O.K.  Onto the actual lesson in upgrading your RAM.  If you missed it, you need to go to this post to read about how to remove your laptop case.

Step 1: Remove your laptop case and battery

 

Step 2:

 

Identify your Ram.  There it is, right there!  This particular laptop only had a total of 4 GB of RAM.  2 cards, with 2 GBs each.

 

ram1

 

The RAM just pops right out.

 

ram-2

ram3

 

Step 3:  After pushing the release latch, pull the first RAM card out.

 

ram4

 

Then pull the second card out.

 

ram5

 

Admire your shiny new RAM.  I upgraded my computer from 4 MG to a total of 8 MG of RAM (two, 4MG cards)

ram6

 

Step 4:  Replace the RAM. The new RAM just slips right into the slot the old RAM came out of.

 

ram7

 

ram8

 

ram9

 

ram10

 

That’s it. You’re done.  Put your battery back in, your case back on and dust off your hands because you have a cat that’s been waiting patiently to discuss Russian literature with you.




50 Comments

  1. Brian says:

    Hi Karen,
    Great article for the DIY’er. Replacing RAM and upgrading to an SSD drive is a great way to extend the life of a laptop. There is one thing I noticed was missing and that is to be aware of static electricity. One little zap and your new memory is ‘toast’. It is why they are packaged in those little shiny black envelopes. Touching a metal appliance that is plugged into a wall outlet is one way to discharge the static from your body before you start the task. There are anti static wrist straps as well. Look forward to your posts.

  2. Hira says:

    Karen, after reading your post, I got my husband on board to upgrade the RAM on my Macbook. He got really ambitious and also upgraded my hard drive to SSD…which is geek-speak for a really fast laptop. My 5 year old Macbook now feels almost new!! :) Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Karen says:

      Excellent! Sometimes it just takes a little kick in the pants. :) Congratulations on your almost new laptop! ~ karen

  3. Vanessa says:

    You inspired me to upgrade the RAM in my 2011 macbook pro, and I must say, I feel like a complete badass now. Cheers Karen.

  4. Sam says:

    You must be a Canadian version of me lol. My friends think I’m mad when I take computers apart to add RAM in one breath and then whip up some gluten free brownies in the next. I do all my own DIY (no bloke around), though I’m passing along my skills to my 14 year old son alongside my (nearly) 12 year old daughter. I think you might be funnier than me though so I’m not introducing you to my kids, though I talk about “my friend Karen” who does “stuff like this” quite often lol xxx

  5. Jody says:

    Semi-geeky fan checking in, great post Karen. I have been doing this for a long time. I have upgraded RAM and harddrives and changed my op sys from XP to Win 7, although THAT one just about did me in! One thing to add….as you upgrade, be sure that your motherboard can handle what you are upgrading to. Someone else mentioned checking out those obscure specs on your computer and that is true. I have an old dinosaur Dell desktop about 12 yrs old(which I still prefer over my laptop) and I have maxed her out and one of these days will have to FIND a money bag to replace her.

  6. Kim says:

    Is it possible to do this to an iPad? Your instructions are so clear!

  7. Jill says:

    I love these posts! I’ve added RAM myself for my Mac and my daughter’s. Once it’s out of warranty – I say open it up and give it a go.
    Just back up first.

  8. judy says:

    This comment is sorta relevant but not about Ram. Yesterday I picked up the laptop to read all of the blogs that I subscribe to and check the PC banking and Microsoft decided it didn’t like the password I had been using for years? The little ogre then demanded that I answer weird questions like exactly when I bought it etc. In other words questions that I probably couldn’t have answered shortly after I purchased it. AnyHoo After much aggravation -Eureka! I have a rescue disk -I will fetch that sucker out of the China Cabinet-A piece of furniture that is only opened during the Holidays- and the disk will restore order and tranquility to my existence. Was it there? of course not! So I drag out the old laptop and fire it up to go to the Microsoft site and change the password- and ghosts and demons rattling chains appear and warn me that my Norton has expired and I will now be infected with the plague,Ebola and soon Die. Try to remember any of the passwords from the old machine-nada- and to cut this short. Be prepared! I suspect you all are cause you all sound smarter than Einstein but if I saved any of you from my yesterday I have done a good thing.

    • Karen says:

      Judy – And THAT is why I switched to a Mac years ago. Had a PC for years and ALWAYS had those sort of problems. Plus viruses etc etc. You never get any of that nonsense with a MAC. EVER. I can honestly say I’ve never spent one minute trying to figure out some bizarre problem or emergency with my Mac and when I had a PC it seems I had some weird thing like what you described above once a month at least. ~ karen!

    • Tracey says:

      Oh that sounds scary Judy.

      Which is why I won’t replace my battery, or upgrade my RAM. However, I now understand why my computer is slow and I will upgrade it, and have the battery replaced by the nice people at Future Shop.
      If it costs more than what I originally paid for the thing, then I will get a new laptop….and probably a Mac.
      But I’m intimidated by change and I need my computer for work.
      When I see the guts of your laptop Karen, I get the HeebeeGeeBees. I do greatly appreciate the posts though. A little knowledge is better than none at all. Thanks

  9. Dahn says:

    Nice post. I am totally going to change my RAM. Now if you can figure out how to get an underlight to see my keys easier in the dark, that would be awesome. Just awesome.

  10. Nancy says:

    Hey, Karen! All right. I’m not a Mac person. I like real tools. (*) I did read your first post on replacing the battery completely and I can appreciate your attention to detail and I hope all the others who own Macs bookmarked it because it was a fab post. So is this one. I’m just not interested since the guts of my computer are a tad different than yours. My husband who never throws ANYTHING away and replaces stuff on my computer like the display, thought you did a fab job, too, but he’s not into Macs either, he’s just into me. At least I think that’s what he said.

    You are doing a great service to a lot of your readers and I say long as you’re filling a need, keep up the great work. I’m just more into chicken poop than Macs.

  11. jainegayer says:

    I feel enpowered!! Thank you, Karen!

  12. Mark says:

    Battery replacement and increasing RAM are good ways to speed up computer. Also doing regular scans for malware and spyware will also help remove unwanted items. Which in long run will help with computer’s run speed.

  13. Carol says:

    I LOVE that you post all this stuff!!! It’s incredibly easy to do these cash consuming jobs ourselves rather than take the laptop in to a shop or trash said laptop! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    Signed Carol,
    Just another faithful reader who is usually too lazy to comment but is eternally grateful for the time and energy you share with us lackies ;)

  14. Barbie says:

    THANKS Karen! I was waiting for this one to do the whole job at once….changing battery and then the RAM. You totally ROCK!
    I was thinking maybe I just needed to switch all photo’s to an external hard drive…but want all my pics conveniently in one place. Do you think this is the best way for me? I mean with all my photos slowing things down, or should I go ahead and just do the external HD? Opinion plz!! ??

    Since I am going the “nice girl” route (since I really like my neighbors and don’t want to steal theirs) I will order it all from Amazon. Can you tell me how much $$ I am looking at? I suppose I could just go to amazon and look for myself right? Going now! :)

  15. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    That’s what I had my son for..to fix my computer..although I think I could do this one..

  16. Ruth says:

    I did read the last post but I don’t remember whether I commented or not. Truth is… hubby does computer repair from home in his spare time, so this is all familiar territory for me (maybe even more so for the 8 year-old assistant son).

    By the way, now that Cuddles is all better… how are the new chicks?

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