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Tips for Upgrading Your Laptop Computer Memory

Although laptop and notebook computers are less expandable than desktops, you can still upgrade their performance so they can run today's demanding software. A laptop computer memory upgrade is an inexpensive and easy option that will provide a huge speed increase.

Can Your Laptop Upgrade?

The first step is to verify that your computer can accept more laptop computer memory. While most laptops can, your computer may already be running at full capacity. You may have already asked for the maximum amount of memory when you originally purchased it. If that's the case, you'll have to find other ways to improve the performance of the computer.

Check the manual to see how much laptop computer memory your machine can take. If you either didn't get a manual or don't still have it, look on the hard drive. Many laptops have a copy of the manual in My Documents or in a dedicated directory on the C: drive. You can also check the manufacturer's website either for a downloadable copy of the manual or for system specifications.

Once you know the capacity, check how much memory is installed. The easiest way is to right click on My Computer and select properties. You will see the amount of computer memory (RAM) already installed.

Installing The Memory

If you've installed memory into a desktop computer, installing laptop computer memory is pretty similar. In fact it's easier because the memory is more accessible than trying to reach down between the power supply and the video card without touching anything.

Unplug the laptop before working on it but also remove the battery. There's no reason to take chances of an accidental shock that could injure you or damage components. Put the laptop on its face and look on the underside for a panel covering the memory cavity. Unscrew it and lift it away to reveal the existing memory.

Locate an empty memory slot. There will probably be two slots and one will already be occupied. Cut open the anti-static bag that carries the new memory and touch a metal object to discharge any static electricity. Normally it's best to touch the computer case, but replacing laptop computer memory generally doesn't expose any metal part of the case.

If you've never installed laptop computer memory it can seem a little awkward. You slip the memory stick into the slot at an angle then push down on it until it snaps flat. Don't force the insertion. If it won't go in, take a look to be sure you aren't putting it in backward. Memory for computers is designed to go in only one way.

Once you are done, screw the cover plate back on, replace the battery, plug the computer in and turn it on. Double check My Computer as you did before to ensure that Windows sees the new memory. As you can see, this is a simple upgrade that adds years to a laptop's useful life.


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