How to Install a Desktop or Laptop Computer Memory (RAM)
When planning to upgrade your computer memory, there are many memory type to consider such as DDR 1, DDR 2 and DDR 3 always check your motherboard manual for the type of memory it support. Always take note that memory types are not forward or backward compatible with other type of computer memory, for example DDR 1 is not compatible with DDR 2 nor DDR 3 or vice versa. DDR 2 compatible motherboard should be installed with a DDR 2 memory type and not DDR 1 or DDR 3.
To check your current computer memory configurations download RAMMon and install it on your computer be sure to download the correct file compatible with your current windows system configuration such as 64bit or 32bit windows check out How to know if you’re running 32bit or 64 bit Windows Operating System to guide you on how to know if you’re running a 32bit or a 64bit windows operating system. If you need to know more about computer memory, check out computer memory link to know more. When buying a computer memory to upgrade your computer take note of your current system ram type, maximum transfer speed, maximum bandwidth and memory capacity you need this information when buying pc memory especially if you want to achieve a dual channel configuration.
How to Install the Memory
1. Power Off Your Computer:
Power off your computer and unplug the power cord from the wall socket, remove the computer casing cover by removing the two screws at the back of the computer casing some computer casing don’t have screws you have to unlock it and slide the cover, refer to your computer casing manual on how to remove your computer casing cover.
2. Laptop Computer:
For laptop computer shutdown windows using the shutdown button at the start menu and close your laptop lid. If you used the laptop for a few hours let it cool for 5-10 minutes and then remove the laptop battery and unplug the power adapter from the laptop, this is to protect the component and the motherboard itself, never install a memory while power is applied to the laptop this will damage the RAM or even the laptop. Look for the memory icon at the back of your laptop some laptop brand might not have this icon, when you find this icon this is where the memory is located. Remove the 2-3 screws to open, check your laptop user manual for more information.
3.Remove Any Static Charge From Your Body:
You can do this by using an anti-static wrist strap and connecting it to a non-painted metallic part on the computer casing. If you don’t have an anti-static wrist strap you can touch a non-painted metallic part on the computer casing before touching any component. Always remember not to touch the gold plated pins or its IC chips on any computer component you are installing and always hold them by its edge.
4. Locate The Memory Slot:
Locating the memory slot is easy, for desktop computer it is usually beside the processor you might need to disconnect some cable if you need more space to work on. As you may have noticed memory slots are color coded most of the time 2 blue and 2 black or 2 black and 2 yellow this will depend on the brand of your motherboard. These color coding are used to indicate that they are on the same channel, so if you have 2 memory module and are planning for a dual channel configuration you have to use two identical memory module with the same ram type, transfer speed, bandwidth and memory capacity and installing them on the same color slot such as blue to blue or yellow to yellow refer to your motherboard for your motherboard memory slot specifications, for laptop this configuration don’t apply.
5. Install The Memory:
If you are adding additional memory, locate an empty slot and insert the new memory chip, Align the notch of the memory chip against the notch of the memory slot on the motherboard and gently push down the memory chip till the clamp locks in. If you can’t insert the memory chip properly there are two main reason why it can’t fit, first it could be that you are inserting the memory chip in reverse try to reverse it and install it again, the other reason could be that the memory type you are inserting is not supported by the motherboard, for example you are inserting a DDR2 on a DDR3 memory slot or vice versa recheck the memory specification you are installing.
6. Rechecking Everything:
Recheck everything, check that the memory chip(s) you have just installed are properly installed and locked in. plug all unplug cable that you have previously removed.
7.Checking If Memory Is Installed Properly:
Power on your computer, to check if the installed RAM is recognized properly by the system watch out for the Power-On-Self-Test (POST), and look for the total memory detected. The total memory should be your previous installed memory plus the memory you have just installed, if your previous memory is 2GB and you add another 2GB then your total memory should be 4GB. You can also check it when you are inside windows click on start >> right click Computer and selecting properties. For memory more than 3GB you have to have a 64-bit Windows operating system to be able to see the full 4GB, if your Windows is a 32-bit operating system it will only show a total of 3GB or less.
8. Completing the Installation:
If everything looks great and you see more rams than before in the windows system properties then you made it you can now close the computer casing and test if installing the new memory speed up your computer, always remember that not only the memory will contribute to the over all system performance, the processor, hard drive and graphics card should also be taken into consideration