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How to replace computer RAM

Updated on February 11, 2013
1Gb desktop RAM module
1Gb desktop RAM module

The RAM memory is one of the most important components of a computer. You can give your old computer a totally new life by upgrading your RAM memory.

It may look very difficult for a newbie to replace a RAM module, but it's really a very easy task. I hope this tutorial will help the reader to save some money.

If you are a newbie, please read this tutorial twice before starting the work ;-)

Step 1: you must know what type of RAM memory your computer contains, because you may replace your actual memory module only with the same type modules (DDR3 modules will not work on DDR2 based systems and so on). If you don't know your memory type, crucial.com will help you. They provide an online scanner that will report you all the data you need to know about your RAM (and many other useful information).

If you need to get more knowledge about RAM memory, check this.


Step 2: once you have your new memory module, unplug your computer from the electric outlet and remove the outside panels to get inside.

Inside desktop
Inside desktop

Step 3: Push the right lever to the right and the left one to the left so it will look like below (look at the empty slot). The memory module should pop out its slot.

Memory slots, secured with levers; notice the empty slot
Memory slots, secured with levers; notice the empty slot

Step 4: put the memory module in the slot and press softly but firmly until the lever clicks and closes the module.

When done, mount the cover and plug in your computer.

Memory slots with levers; one is opened - the empty slot, and the other is closed over the memory module
Memory slots with levers; one is opened - the empty slot, and the other is closed over the memory module

Final notes:

-be sure the memory module you put into your computer are from trusted sources; a defective RAM module may have negative effects over your computer;

-manipulate the memory modules with care, they are fragile; wash your hand before manipulating modules and avoid touching the circuits;

-if you put two or more RAM modules into your computer you may experience BSODs, unexpected restarts, video corruption or other bad behavior. This means not all the RAM modules are compatible with your computer or between each other. Remove modules one by one to find the trouble one.

-some systems will recognize the amount of memory changed and will prompt you to go to BIOS to make some settings. Modify BIOS settings only if you know what you do.

Both RAM modules are in place now
Both RAM modules are in place now

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