How to Install More RAM on Your Computer

By Techwalla Computers Editor

Every year technological advancements encourage you to enhance your computer's efficiency. You must install more RAM and continually upgrade it so you can work with memory intensive programs that are rich in graphics. Size matters, especially when you are using several applications simultaneously. Here is how to install as much RAM as you need.

Things You'll Need

  • RAM chips
  • Screwdriver
  • Anti-static wristband or other grounding device

Find Out the Existing RAM

Step 1

Start your computer. Wait for Windows to load.

Step 2

Click on ''My Computer" and right click ''Properties." ''Systems Properties" should open

Step 3

Click on the ''General'' tab. View the physical memory to ascertain the total RAM installed on your computer. RAM is usually 32 MB, 64 MB or 128 MB in older computers. Newer PCs usually carry 256 MB, 512 MB or even higher RAM.

Step 4

Check the usage. Open the taskbar or press Ctrl + Alt + Del to open a pop-up window. Click on ''Task Manager."

Step 5

Press the ''Performance'' tab. Check the amount of memory each program on your PC uses.

Install More RAM

Step 1

Evaluate how much more RAM your computer needs. Check whether your computer has enough open slots to hold the additions. The new RAM should match the existing RAM's specifications and configuration.

Step 2

Shut down the computer but leave it plugged in to its power source.

Step 3

Disconnect all peripheral devices, such as the monitor, from the computer.

Step 4

Remove the computer cover.

Step 5

Ground yourself to the computer with professional grounding equipment like an antistatic wristband.

Step 6

Remove any cards or internal components to provide unobstructed access to RAM sockets. Your computer may have a 72-pin or 164-pin RAM socket depending on the year of manufacture.

Step 7

Refer to the documentation that came with the new RAM. Depending on the type of RAM you bought, you will need to install either the SIMM (single in-line memory module) chips or the DIMM (dual in-line memory module) chips. You may have a single 1GB chip or a pair of 512 MB chips.

Step 8

Pick up your SIMM or DIMM by the ends without touching the pins or chips.

Step 9

Find the notched end for adding SIMM. Turn the SIMM until it is parallel to the RAM card (or cards). Insert the SIMM into the socket at a 30-degree angle. If adding a DIMM, insert the DIMM straight in so it is perpendicular to the motherboard.

Step 10

Use slight pressure to keep a SIMM from backing out while rotating the module to an upright position, perpendicular to the motherboard.

Step 11

Make sure the small holes on each side of the SIMM fit into its holders.

Step 12

Feel the retaining clips lock the SIMM into the socket; close the side clips on a DIMM. Gently pull the module to ensure it is locked in position.

Step 13

Replace all internal components. Leave off the cover and reconnect the monitor, keyboard and mouse.

Step 14

Turn on the computer. Check the amount of RAM. Right-click the "My Computer" icon in Windows and choose "Properties." On a Mac, use the "About This Macintosh" command in the Apple menu. If the correct amount of RAM doesn't appear, turn off the computer, remove the SIMM or DIMM and reinstall. Reboot. This should verify the newly installed RAM.

Step 15

Shut down the computer and disconnect the peripherals again.

Step 16

Replace the cover and reconnect the peripherals. Your computer should now run smoother and faster with the added RAM.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure the cables do not bend between the case frames while screwing them back.
  • Use BIOS to test your RAM installation.
  • Refer to the computer guide if any problems occur. Call a technician if you can't solve an issue.
  • Use the proper tools for installation. Handle the additional RAM chip with care.
  • Do not touch, alter or remove any other components from the motherboard except the cables to clear the way to access the RAM socket.