Is your computer not as young as it used to be? Does the download take forever, or does the system crash every time you try to open more than two programs at the same time? Before taking out your wallet and buying a new computer, consider upgrading your RAM. You can double or even triple the speed of your computer for less than a hundred dollars. Installing additional RAM will enable your video applications and video games to run more smoothly.
Step 1. What is RAM?
RAM is a random access memory device in the form of small rectangular green boards with memory chips and integrated circuits, each of different sizes. These boards are commonly referred to as 'slats'. The RAM does not contain your data specifically, so removing or replacing it will not result in the loss of files. Think of RAM as the workhorses that access and retrieve your data. The more ‘horses’, the higher the speed of your data, the speed of the programs and the computer as a whole.
Step 2. First, find out how much RAM you have
To do this, go to START >> Control Panel >> System. A window titled "View Basic Information About Your Computer" will open. Below are the characteristics of your computer, such as System Type, Processor, and so on. Find the item "Installed memory (RAM)": it will show the amount of RAM installed on your computer.
Step 3. Next, find out how much additional memory you can potentially add
Unplug your computer and open the case so you can inspect the inside. Most computers only open on one side. First, take a look at the back of the case and find the screws that hold the side wall of the case. The screws can be larger on one side than the other and can be loosened with your fingers. If not, use a screwdriver. When all the screws have been removed, check the side covers of the case, which one opens. Lay the computer on its side, press down on the side panel with the base of your palm, and with your other hand grasp the tab on the back and try to pull in and back. It can be quite difficult, but the side panel should slide off.
Step 4. Look inside and find your RAM
You may need a flashlight. RAM is a series of green cards inserted into connectors that are parallel to each other. Find empty slots. Most computers have a limit on the amount of RAM that can be set. Modern computers in 2010 can have up to 16 GB, but models that are at least a year or two older can carry no more than 4 GB.
Step 5. Determine what kind of RAM you need for your computer
There is no such thing as ‘readymade’ RAM. Each brand and model of computer requires a different one. To find out what memory you need, look for your computer's model number (usually found on the front under the logo, or printed on the back). Make a note of the manufacturer's name and model number, and go to the computer store. Contact a consultant and they will find you what you are looking for. You can also google it on the net. (Google: MANUFACTURER NAME + MODEL NUMBER + RAM)
Step 6. Buy the right type of RAM
Back home with your new RAM, unplug your computer and open it again. Make sure it is completely de-energized. Never open your computer while it is plugged in, as you risk a serious electrical shock. When you have disconnected everything, lay the system unit on its side with the open side up. You are now ready to install additional memory.
Step 7. Do not touch the gold-plated parts of the RAM
Acid and all kinds of nasty things on our skin can oxidize the delicate gold coating and, in fact, turn off this ‘contact’. If you have a 1 GB board and you slide your finger over half of the pins, you might be missing out on 512 MB of processing power.
Step 8. Beware of static electricity
You can release static electricity that all people conduct. For this to happen, all you have to do is grasp a metal object that touches the ground and discharge any static charge you might be conducting.
How do you know if your computer has been subjected to static shock? As soon as you touch a part of your computer without a grounding strap, you may feel a slight tingle of electricity, like when washing or walking on a nylon carpet. Congratulations, you've just fried a piece of your computer. And don't say we didn't warn you
Step 9. Now it's time to install the RAM
If you need to remove the old RAM, pay attention to the edges of the "strips" where they go into the connectors. You will see small white ribbed latches. Click on them, one at a time, and pull them back from the RAM. The boards should unfasten and "jump" out. Do this from each edge, then grasp the "strip" with your thumb and forefinger along the edges (do not pull them by the middle, otherwise you can close the board) and pull it up to remove it.
Step 10. Insert the cards to be replaced in the reverse order
Make sure the white latches are wide open on both sides before inserting the memory. Installing the card into the connector can be quite tough. Do not be afraid to insert it with moderate force, but before pressing, be absolutely sure that the "strips" are turned in the right direction and will fall correctly into the connector. After that, insert the board: press it with your thumbs along the edges and press firmly. Press slowly and steadily without jerking. The fact that the memory is completely seated in the slot, you will know by the characteristic 'click' when both white latches are closed.
Step 11. Clean your computer from dust
Take a can of compressed air and blow the dust out of your PC. All computers suck in dust as they have a fan in the back that keeps the graphics card and processor cool. This problem is exacerbated if the cabinet is on the floor. By opening or turning on the computer, you spread dust and let in even more. This mot will end badly if dust gets on moving parts or settles in hot places. Never use a vacuum cleaner, as the suction force may be too strong and you could suck in wires and seriously harm your computer.
Step 12. Shut down your computer
Replace the screws on the rear panel and connect the power cables. Turn on your computer. Open the Control Panel and you will see that the amount of RAM has increased. Congratulations! You have successfully installed your RAM! Now you can enjoy faster performance, better multitasking, less frequent freezes and system crashes. Good job!
- Do your homework. A good site for this is the Crucial memory manufacturer's web page http://www.crucial.com/, as they have a “memory advisor” tool to help you find the amount and type of RAM for your computer. You can also buy RAM there.
- Go shopping. It's usually cheaper to buy RAM from online stores. Also, be aware that two "strips" of RAM with a smaller volume are often cheaper than one "strip" of the same size. Just check before purchasing if you have enough empty connectors to ensure installation.
- Avoid RAM known as "High Density RAM". Differences from low-density RAM are difficult to determine, in general, high-density memory is less compatible with motherboards, and it also has significantly lower performance compared to low-density memory. Large companies (for example, Gigabyte, Crucial, OCZ, Ballistix, Corsair) do not produce high-density modules. Only small companies do this.
- My new memory modules do not fully fit into the slot, no matter how hard I push them. Check carefully what kind of memory you are installing. Remember, you can't buy any RAM on sale and hope it fits! Take the old memory bar and carefully compare it with the new one. You may find they vary in size. Look at the gold-plated contacts at the bottom of the board, which are split into two strips of different lengths. If you try to install the board backwards, even if it fits, you will not be able to insert it completely.
- For example, the values of some signals:
- 1 long, 3 short - bad video memory or no video card
- Repeated signals - Memory error: damaged or improperly installed RAM
- 1 long, 2 short - Graphics card error: Damaged or improperly installed graphics card
- Finally: know yourself. If you are not sure that you can open the computer yourself, take the system unit to a computer store and have an appropriate technician do it. First, go shopping. If you are taking a computer to the store, take a friend who knows about computers with you. Just as with car repairs, some small computer stores may not be entirely honest about their prices. They can inflate the bill or add things you don't need, especially if you are obviously not computer savvy.
- Repetitive high / low CPU beeps - incorrectly installed or defective processor
- The computer does not start at all after installing new RAM, and just starts beeping with a black screen. This is partly scary, but you shouldn't worry. When the computer beeps, it tries to tell you what is wrong. Your computer needs RAM to start up, load drivers, and so on. If there is no access to RAM, it tries to tell you about it in the computer version of Morse code. Different lengths and frequencies of beeps can mean different things. But if this problem appeared immediately after installing a new memory, then it is almost certain that your memory is not fully inserted into the slot. Just double check your RAM. You can learn more about the "secret language" of computers. Search for "Computer Signals". A good website for this is
- Trouble-shooting. RAM is one of the easiest parts of a computer to install. But even experienced users can do something wrong. Here are some of the problems you may encounter when purchasing and installing RAM:
- High pitched beeps - CPU overheating: Check fans
- The computer displays "Blue Screen of Death" (English - BSOD, Blue Screen of Death) at startup or restarts indefinitely after flickering BSOD. Don't panic, breathe. You haven't lost all your files or broke your computer. This is simply a "bad memory" error that is easy to fix. This usually indicates that your memory module does not fit or is faulty. Most likely, this error can be encountered if the memory had a different owner and you bought it on Ebay. But the new RAM can also be faulty. You can also damage the memory yourself if you drop or get it wet, touch the gold contacts, or subject the board to static shock. Open the computer again and additionally check that the correct memory is installed. Press the modules firmly, check if they are correctly installed, inspect the latches, if they are completely closed. If everything is ok, shut down your computer, reboot and try again. If the error persists, calmly remove the new modules and insert the old ones. This should restore the normal functioning of the computer. Return the faulty memory to the store.