How to Upgrade Your Laptop's Ram Memory

Spending more time staring at your computer screen waiting for programs to load than actually using them? Having nightmares about that irritating hourglass cursor? If your laptop's speed or performance just isn't up to snuff anymore, it might be time to consider a RAM upgrade.

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First thing you'll want to get a handle on is exactly what kind of RAM your laptop needs and how many open slots you've got, if any. There's a few ways to do this - you can consult the laptop manual, open up the laptop and have a look, or perhaps the easiest way is to run some software on your system that will tell you what you've currently got in terms of RAM, and what your total capacity and configuration is. Visit crucial.com or another site to run an auto-detect script that will tell you all you need to know.

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Once you've figured out what type of RAM you need, you'll need to figure out how many Mega or Gigabytes you want to add. It's a simple equation - more RAM equals better performance and more dough to be shelled out. Laptops usually don't have a ton of RAM capacity, so if you can afford it and it's practical for your needs, you might want to consider maxing out your capacity.

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Next, go ahead and purchase your RAM - this can be done online at vendors like Crucial or through brick and mortar retailers like Best Buy.

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Once you have your RAM in hand, you're ready to install. First, disconnect your laptop's power cable, then remove the battery and ground yourself to discharge any static buildup.

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Consult your laptop's manual for the location of the RAM slots. Generally, there should be a removable panel on the bottom. You'll probably need to remove a few screws with the jewelers screwdrivers.

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Gently remove any old RAM chips to be replaced if necessary.

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Press the new chip into the slot and lock into place, following the included instructions. Never force the chip.

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Put the cover back on, put the battery back in, boot up and you should be ready to go.