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-- Upgrading Ram on a Laptop
-- 8.09.2001
-- By: GideonX
-- Page: 1

   If you have been monitoring ram prices lately, you may notice a huge drop in prices all around.  Desktop and laptop ram prices have been at an all-time low.  With this great plummet, I thought I would put together a quick guide on upgrading ram on a laptop.  There are so many guides for desktop PCs, this will be a good refresher for a change.

   Many people use desktops, but neglect the needs of laptops (me being one of them).  CPU speeds are maxed out easily on a laptop, upgrading components are nearly impossible.  Since the laptop does have a very limited upgrade path, one of the easiest upgrades to do is the ram.

   To start off, you would need to obtain a SODimm module.  These SODimms have less pins (144) as compared to their desktop counter-parts (168 pins).  Read through your laptop manual carefully to determine the exact sized module your laptop can support.  Also try to obtain a small screw driver, it'll be needed to get to your ram modules.

   I will be using my Gateway Solo 5150 as a test bed for the ram upgrade.  It already has 32 mbs of ram on board, with a max of 256 mb extra supported for a total of 288mbs!  I will be using a regular PC100 64mb PC100 piece of ram for the upgrade process.  This piece cost me only about $15.

   If you flip your laptop over, most likely you will see a piece of plastic held into place by a small screw like the one pictured above.  This cover protects the ram modules underneath it.  To upgrade it, we will be need to open it up.

   The laptop that I had already had an extra 32mb module in it, but we will be taking that out for the faster 64mb PC100 piece.

 

   To install the extra module, just slide it into the bracket at a 45 degree angle.  Then push it down and it should snap together with the clips on each side.  If you don't hear the click or snap, just try it again.  Most likely you didn't seat the ram properly.

   To remove the extra ram module, just pull on the two clips on the side and the module should pop right out.  After pulling the other 32mb module, we were done with our upgrade.  A total of about 5 minutes spent.

   Booted the laptop up and went into the BIOS to make sure everything worked accordingly.  At 96mb (64mb + 32mb onboard), we were successful in our upgrade.  There you have it, hopefully this may save a few bucks for people who were just about to bring their laptops into CompUSA or Best Buy for an upgrade.  Let us know how your 5 minutes went!

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