How to Add More Memory to my Computer

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

Additional memory on a computer can be used to make the system run faster. It can also be used to update older machines without completely upgrading. As long as the computer can handle the added memory, the system runs faster and can handle more processes.Memory is also known as Random Access Memory (RAM).

Materials Needed:
- Computer
- screwdriver
- RAM chip
Step 1
Check how much memory the system already has via System Properties. This will let users know if the computer can handle added RAM. On a Windows XP computer, simply access the Control Panel. Click on the 'System' icon to open a program window. The RAM of the computer is listed in the 'General' tab.
Step 2
Check how much RAM the computer can handle. This can be done via the brochure for the motherboard. Users can check what kind of memory chip is compatible with the computer. They also need to check the amount of RAM that can be accessed with each slot and the number of slots the motherboard has.
Step 3
There are websites online that allow users to check how much memory can be added to the computer. The computer brand, model name, and model number are needed to check the RAM initially included in the system. Users can then check the greatest amount of added memory the computer can handle without crashing.
Step 4
Choose the RAM to add. There are several kinds of RAM available nowadays. Most modern computers use DDR or DDR2 RAM. These are double-data-rate memory chips. Make sure the RAM you choose is compatible with the hardware already added to the system. The RAM can then be purchased online or from computer hardware stores.
Step 5
Open the computer. If dealing with a desktop computer, open the CPU. If dealing with a laptop, the entire device needs to be opened. Make sure the computer is unplugged before doing so. Most cases can simply be opened using a screwdriver. Make sure the screws are set aside properly so that they can’t get lost. It is best to work in a well-lighted and clean area so that parts will not be lost.
Step 6
Attach the memory card. If the correct memory card was purchased, the RAM should easily snap on to the slots on the motherboard. When encountering difficulty in connecting the card, do not force it. Check to make sure that the card and the slot are aligned properly. If the card still cannot be attached, make sure that the card is compatible with the motherboard.
Step 7
After the memory card has been connected properly, close the case. Make sure everything was returned to its original state. Use all the original screws removed when it was opened.
Step 8
Check if the computer detects the newly installed RAM. Turn on and boot the system. The system should detect the new hardware automatically. Check if the available RAM of the computer has increased.