Installing Memory in a Laptop

By | September 27, 2017

One of the easiest ways to improve the performance of your laptop is to install more memory (RAM). Most laptops only have 2 slots for memory (SODIMM) and use a smaller more dense memory than desktop RAM.

Always turn the laptop off before performing this procedure and make sure you use a non-magnetic screwdriver to remove any screws to access the memory slots. Check your manual to determine where your memory slots are located. There are two primary areas where the memory slots are located; behind a cover on the underside of the laptop or behind the keyboard. If you are unsure of how to remove the keyboard you may want to have a qualified computer technician perform the upgrade for you.

You also want to make sure you ground yourself before installing your memory module. Briefly touch an unpainted metal part of your computer case before handling the memory as static electricity can damage your module and other computer parts. It is also recommended that you work in a static-safe environment (avoid carpeted areas).

If both your memory slots are being used you need to remove one or both modules (if you are installing 2). Press down on the retaining clips on either side of the module and then remove it from the slot. Do not use any tools in the removal or installation of memory modules. Then take your new module out of its anti-static bag and hold it by the edges. If you have more than one open slot, fill the lowest-numbered slot first. Line up the notch in the row of metal pins at the bottom of your module with the key in the SODIMM slot on your motherboard. (If the notch doesn’t line up right away, flip your module around and try it the other way. It doesn’t matter which side of your module has the black chips or the stickers on it. The important thing is to line up the notch.) Hold the module at a 45-degree angle to the slot and slide it into place. No more than 1/16″ of the gold contacts should be showing when the module is properly seated in the slot. Hold the module at a 45-degree angle to the slot and firmly push it into place. It can take 20 to 30 pounds of pressure to install a module. Press the top of the module down until it is lying flat against the motherboard and you hear it snap into place. Never try to force the memory into the slot as by doing so could damage the memory or the laptop. If it doesn’t install with minimal pressure, take the memory chip out and try to install the memory chip again.

Before you close your case, turn your computer back on. You should see the new amount of memory displayed on your startup screens or in the properties for “My Computer” (if you use a Windows operating system). If everything works correctly, you are done and you can close your case.

John Halleron, President of OnCallTech and OnCallTechnologies, has been in the computer repair related industry for over 10 years servicing residential and business computer repair needs. His passion for ensuring excellent customer service and quality work has gained his company recognition throughout Central Ohio and all surrounding areas. For more information, go to