RAM Memory - How to upgrade your computer RAM..

Community Help: Upgrading RAM Memory - Steps to take to upgrade memory on your computer.

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RAM memory is actually very easy to upgrade. Normally if there is a problem upgrading your computer system, it usually one of 3 things shown below.

1) The most common problem is that slot 0 must have the largest memory stick in it. Now this sounds complicated but it isn't. This simply means that if your computer has 4 open slots for memory, the first slot needs to have the largest memory stick. For example if you have a 1 gig memory chip and a 512 meg chip (for a total of 1.5 gig), the 1 gig stick must be in the first slot, called memory slot 0. Now if you are putting 2 memory sticks in, and both are 1 gig sticks, then it doesn't matter as they are both the same size.

Some examples of how memory slots work.

Some computers have 4 slots for memory, others have 2 slots, etc. If your computer came with 2 gig of memory, and you have 4 slots, then normally that means the computer maker has put 4 512 meg sticks in it, as smaller memory sticks are cheaper. (So 4 512meg sticks = 2 gigs. Rather then putting 2 1gig sticks in it to make 2 gig, and leaving 2 open slots, they go the cheapest route instead and fill all 4 slots by using the smallest memory sticks they have). You may need to open your computer first to find out what your computer has for open memory slots, or as I would recommend, just run a software program from the internet that will tell you what you have open and what kind of memory is currently in your computer. It saves you the trouble of opening your computer. It doesn't matter what size memory sticks are used as far as performance goes, it only matters what your total memory is in the computer, although leaving slots open is nice, as that way you can add to it without discarding any current memory. For example, if you have 2 total slots on your computer and each has a 256meg chip in it (to equal 512 meg total), and you wish to upgrade to 2gig of RAM .... then you would remove both current memory sticks and put in 2 new 1gig memory sticks. Now you have 2 256meg sticks that are wasted, you could always put them on ebay and resell them, certainly you would find a buyer for them but you wouldn't make much on it. These types of items are always selling on ebay because many people have older computers that they want to upgrade, and ebay is a good place to find these things cheap. Its always nice to see that you can reuse memory your computer already has without wasting any. An example would be if you are upgrading to 2gig of memory, and you open your computer and see only 1 slot taken and filled with a 1gig memory stick. Then you just add 1 more 1gig memory stick and you don't have to waste or remove any current memory.

2) The second most common mistake is using an incompatible type of memory. New memory is always coming out, so if you computer is 3 years old, make sure you know what types of memory are compatible. The simplest thing to do is get the same exact type that is currently in your computer! You can get this from your manuals, google it and find exactly what type your computer has, or even take a memory stick out and look at it or take it with you if you are buying in a local store.

3) The 3rd most common mistake is that the memory is not pushed in tight when you put it in or you may not have it in straight so its not in tight. It should "snap" or "click" into place. You don't have to bend metal to put it in, about 20 lbs of pressure is more then enough if you are unsure. Most memory slots have a little wire or plastic clip on the edges of the memory stick, just use your fingers to lightly pull those aside and the memory pulls out easily. The same rule applies for putting memory in the computer. You may want to use your fingers to slide those clips out a bit, so you can slip the memory into place. The clips on the end should clip back over your memory stick if you have it in correctly, if they won't close back on your new memory sticks, then use your fingers to slide them back over the edge. If they won't close then your memory may not be in quite far enough, you shouldn't have to force anything but a little pressure is fine.

Putting memory in is actually pretty simple. You can of course pay someone $80 or $90 to do this for you, but I would surely recommend trying yourself first rather then paying for something this simple. Of course it may seem confusing if you have never seen the inside of a computer before, or you are very unfamiliar with memory or hardware, or any of this. The best thing to do in that case is to ask someone you work with or a friend to help you install the computer memory, as once they show you then you will see how easy it was, and the next time you upgrade memory then you can do it yourself. A couple other things to remember, ALWAYS UNPLUG the computer before opening it. This part is common sense. The other thing is that you should touch something metal on your desk or elsewhere before touching the computer. Static shocks can cause damage to internal computer parts, so just be sure to touch something metal first before touching the computer pieces within your computer, as this way you won't static shock anything including your memory sticks.