How to Install Computer Memory

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

Installation of a computer Random Access Memory (RAM) module is normally done to either upgrade the existing memory modules of the computer or as part of the assembly process of the machine. Computer memory in general helps reduce the workload assigned to the computer processor by allowing data to be loaded into system memory. This is also done to effectively lessen the number of accesses done to the hard drive. According to some computer experts, adding or increasing the memory capacity of a computer system is a cost-effective way of speeding up and boosting its processing power. Computer RAM architecture in general varies according to the supported platform and based on the number of pins present on the physical memory module itself.

Materials Needed:
- Motherboard
- RAM module
- screwdriver
- anti-static bracelet (if available)
Step 1
The first step to installing a memory module in any computer system is to find out what type it is. Basically, for desktop systems, modules are SDRAM, DDR, and DDR2. For laptops, majority make use of SODIMM. These computer RAM modules cannot be interchanged or mixed because it may damage not only the module but also the motherboard. So, buy the correct RAM type for your machine.
Step 2
Since the operation of installing RAM is done inside the PC case, it is important to unplug the computer from the electric outlet. This prevents the possibility of electric shock and unnecessary grounding of the components.
Step 3
Unscrew the PC case cover and remove it to reveal the internal components of the machine especially the motherboard where the memory module will be attached to.
Step 4
Make sure that you are wearing an anti-static bracelet before you touch any internal components of the machine. In case none is available, hold the metal part of the screwdriver for approximately 30 seconds to negate any static electricity running on your body. This is done because static electricity can damage the computer components.
Step 5
After undertaking these security precautions, locate the memory slot on the motherboard. When replacing existing memory modules; unlock the latches at the end of the memory slot and pull out the RAM in a straight path to prevent any possible damage. When adding memory modules, unlock the latches for the vacant memory slot and make sure that there is no obstruction.
Step 6
Observe the orientation of the memory module so that the break in the RAM stick corresponds to the notch of the slot. Take care not to touch the chips on the memory stick so hold it by the sides only.
Step 7
Slowly insert the memory module into the slot by using the guides at the end of the memory slot. Carefully and slowly press on the top portion of the RAM module until it locks into place. Make sure not to exert too much pressure; otherwise, the RAM or the slot may be damaged.
Step 8
Plug the machine to the electric socket and power it up. Make sure that the read memory capacity corresponds to what is physically installed in the machine. If they do not match, repeat Steps 2 to 7.
Step 9
If the read RAM is equal to what is actually installed in the machine, turn off the computer system and unplug it from the electric socket. Close the PC case cover making sure that it is securely screwed on.
Step 10
Plug in the computer and power it up. Use as desired.