HOW  TO  INSTALL  (INSERT  /  UPGRADE)  AND  REMOVE  (REPLACE)  MEMORY

In this section I will show you how easy it is to install/upgrade (remove and reinsert) some laptop memory, located underneath the laptop. It is only a matter of unscrewing the memory compartment's cover, pulling out the memory sticks, inserting some new memory sticks and then screwing the memory compartment's cover back on. It is that simple - Do not be conned into thinking it is a job for a rocket scientist or brain surgeon, because it is not; as you will now see.


One scenario for wanting to change/upgrade your laptop's existing memory is when your laptop becomes slow and/or when you want to upgrade its operating system (i.e. from Windows XP to Windows 10). In the latter case Windows 10 requires 4 GB (4 Gigabytes) of memory to run comfortably, therefore you would have to check if your laptop has two Memory Slots (so that each memory slot can have 2 GB of memory inserted). These days modern laptops always come with two memory slots.

FIND  THE  CORRECT  TYPE  OF  MEMORY  STICK

You can find out your laptop's memory specifications by looking at its manual, by looking up its general specifications on the internet, by using Memory Scanner Software, by inspecting it (physically looking around its casing, to see where a memory compartment cover would be located) and by looking inside the laptop (advanced). You should not need to inspect the laptop internally as most laptops these days have their memory compartment cover situated underneath the laptop and not inside it (not directly under the keyboard for example like years ago).

Replacing Memory Sticks Explained

Fig 1.0 - Crucial Memory - Their memory scanner software is detecting the memory in my laptop

Replacing Memory Sticks Explained

Fig 1.1 - The memory scanner has correctly identified my installed memory type, slots and capacity.

Regardless of the number of memory slots your laptop has the first thing you need to do is DISCONNECT THE LAPTOP FROM THE ELECTRICITY MAINS and then take out or disconnect its battery (if possible), so that the laptop has no power. When this is done you are ready to unscrew the cover of the memory compartment.

UNSCREW  THE  MEMORY  COMPARTMENT  COVER

In this example the memory compartment cover is situated underneath the laptop and is very recognisable because of its shape (i.e. it is the only cover (area of space) that could house the memory) - Sometimes you may have to open a couple of covers in order to find out which one is housing the memory (i.e. one cover might be covering the Hard Drive but looks big enough to house two memory slots whereas another cover might look too small but is in fact housing two memory slots).

Replacing Memory Sticks Explained

Fig 1.2 - Locate your laptop's Memory Compartment, underneath the laptop, and then unscrew its cover.


When you have taken the screws out look for a lip/grip/handle on the cover that allows you to lift up/remove the cover. In Fig 1.1 below I have a lip on the cover that allows me to lift up and grab hold of the cover in order to remove it (Fig 1.2). It s similar to taking the cover off a toy's battery compartment.

Replacing Memory Sticks Explained

Fig 1.3 - Find the cover's lip/grip/handle so you can lift up the cover....

Replacing Memory Sticks Explained

Fig 1.4 - ....in order to pull it out and remove it.


With the cover removed you should, hopefully, find two memory slots and depending on your laptop's memory specifications only one memory slot might be occupied. For example: If your laptop states it has 4 GB (4 GigaBytes) of memory that 4 GB of memory could be split between two memory slots (containing 2 GB of memory in each slot) or just be using one memory slot (4 GB of memory in one slot). Each piece of memory (memory stick) should have a label on it stating its GB size or MB size (older laptops).

In this example the very old laptop has a total of 512 MB (MegaBytes) of memory, with 256 MB of memory in each memory slot (Fig 1.3 below). Newer laptops usually have two memory slots whereby one is empty and one has 4 GB of memory inside it; with the laptop being upgradable to use a maximum of 8 GB (4 GB in each memory slot).

Replacing Memory Sticks Explained

Fig 1.5 - An old laptop with two memory slots - Each memory slot containing a 256 MB memory stick.

As well as the two memory slots you might also find another slot inside the memory compartment. If so it will more than likely be the Graphics Memory slot or the Modem slot, and may have a wire coming from it, but this kind of slot is normally located under the keyboard and not inside the memory compartment. Either way you can/should ignore this type of slot.

Replacing Memory Sticks Explained

Fig 1.6 - An extra slot, but not a memory slot


HOW  TO  REMOVE  A  MEMORY  STICK

Each piece of memory (memory stick) is held in place by two metal spring-back/pincer clips, one on each side, as shown clearly in Fig 1.5 above and Fig 2.0 below. To remove a piece of memory you need to release (move sideways) each clip so that the memory then pops-up and sits diagonally/upright instead of flat (Fig 2.1). A good way to do this is to grab each clip, using the nail on each of your index fingers, and then pull/move the clips outwards (the left clip moves to the left and the right clip moves to the right).

Replacing Memory Sticks Explained

Fig 2.0 - Use your finger nails to pull/move the metal clips outwards, so that the memory stick....

Replacing Memory Sticks Explained

Fig 2.1 - ....pops-up and sits diagonally/upright instead of flat.

Replacing Memory Sticks Explained

Fig 2.2 - The memory stick popped-out and upright (from a different angle)

As you can see, with the memory popped-out and sitting upright it is still wedged into the memory slot. This is quite normal. It just means the memory is still held in place by the golden teeth (bottom edge) of the memory. So the next thing to do is completely remove the memory from the memory slot.

The golden teeth are where all the electronic components of the memory circuit meet up. When the memory (memory stick) is inserted into the memory slot the golden teeth connect up with their adjacent teeth on the memory slot so that data can flow between the memory and the laptop. NEVER TOUCH THE GOLDEN TEETH because the salt from your hands and the electric/static coming from your hand could ruin the memory.


To remove the memory completely first grab hold of it, at the top of it (Fig 2.3), and then pull it out of the memory slot at the angle it is facing (Figures 2.4 and 2.5). So if it popped-out diagonally (Fig 2.1 above) you should pull it out completely in a diagonal manner. In other words: Pull it out straight (straight diagonal) towards you as shown below.

Replacing Memory Sticks Explained

Fig 2.3 - Grab hold of the memory stick and then pull it out....

Replacing Memory Sticks Explained

Fig 2.4 - ....towards you, in a straight diagonal manner.

Replacing Memory Sticks Explained

Fig 2.5 - The memory stick has been removed completely.


HOW  TO  INSERT  A  MEMORY  STICK

When it comes to installing memory (inserting a memory stick) you can not put it in the wrong way. Why? Because, as you can see from the above examples, the golden teeth have a gap between them (so the gap has to slot into the gap-marker on the memory slot) and because the memory stick has two half-moon/arched curves on either side of it where the metal spring-back/pincer clips go. Therefore, it is impossible to insert the memory the wrong way in.

Inserting a memory stick is the reverse action of pulling one out. First you align the golden teeth on the memory stick with the teeth on the memory slot, remembering the gap between the teeth and also that the memory stick has to be inserted in a diagonal manner (the same way you pulled it out), and then you push it in so that 99%, if not 100%, of the teeth are then hidden - It is quite normal for the teeth to stick out/show a little due to the fact that not all memory sticks fit perfectly, 100%, into their memory slot.

Replacing Memory Sticks Explained

Fig 3.0 - Grab hold of the memory stick, align it with the teeth gap and then push it in.


With the golden teeth now hidden the memory stick should stand up, diagonally, all by itself (as shown in Figures 2.1 and 2.2 above). All you need to do now is push down on the edge of the memory stick (Fig 3.1 below) so that the memory stick clips into place (Figures 3.2 to 3.5).

Watch the two metal spring-back/pincer clips as you are pushing down on the memory stick and listen for the click sound as the memory stick's arched curves clip into place with the two metal spring-back/pincer clips - This is the sign that you have inserted the memory stick into the memory slot correctly.

Replacing Memory Sticks Explained

Fig 3.1 - With one finger, gently push down on the memory stick....

Replacing Memory Sticks Explained

Fig 3.2 - ....watching the two metal spring-back/pincer clips as you do so.

Replacing Memory Sticks Explained

Fig 3.3 - Listen for the click sound as the memory stick's arched curves....

Replacing Memory Sticks Explained

Fig 3.4 - ....clip into place with the two metal spring-back/pincer clips.

Replacing Memory Sticks Explained

Fig 3.5 - The memory stick has been inserted correctly.

Do not worry if during the insertion of the memory stick that the golden teeth come out/stick out a little as this is quite normal.

NOTE WELL - Although many laptops (and tower/desktop computers) have easy-to-open and/or easy-to-access memory compartments and covers, like in the above example, so many do not. My new ASUS X553MA, bought in September 2015, for example is really the opposite of the above. You have to take the whole laptop apart just to change its memory - See this YouTube Video, to see what I am talking about! Rule of thumb: Always ask the shopkeeper how easy it is to change the memory yourself, read online reviews and watch YouTube Videos about your laptop before buying it.