How to Upgrade RAM Memory

Anybody can upgrade RAM memory; all it takes is a little patience, a few tools and a clean workspace. Want to make your computer run faster? Upgrading RAM is a cinch, so here's what you do:

Make sure you know what to get when you upgrade RAM memory.
Before you begin shopping for RAM, make sure you know what kind of RAM you need to get. Not all RAM is the same, and it's not backwards compatible, so consult your motherboard manual to determine what type of RAM to use.

Prepare your workspace before adding more RAM.
You need a clean, dust-free and static-free workspace when you're upgrading RAM. Clear off a table or counter, and wipe it down thoroughly to ensure it's clean and dust-free. Wear an anti-static wrist strap to ensure you don't inadvertently damage your system with static electricity. Once you've got a clean and static-free workspace, you can begin the process of adding more RAM.

Power down, and open the system.
Power down the system, and unplug the power cord. To make it easy to work on your system, you can disconnect all your cables from the back, but, if you're worried about reconnecting it properly, that's not necessary to the process of upgrading RAM.

Open up the system, and look for the existing RAM modules. They'll be in slots directly attached to the motherboard. You may need to move cables and wires out of your way to access the RAM; be careful not to unplug any of those cables, or make sure you plug them in again correctly when you're finished.

Take out any RAM you're replacing.
If you're replacing RAM, you'll need to remove the old RAM. Gently push down on the tabs at each end of the RAM stick that hold the RAM module into the motherboard. When you push those tabs down, the existing RAM should pop up, and then you can safely remove it. Pull straight up to remove the existing RAM.

Gently seat the new RAM in the slot.
When you put the new RAM in the system, it's designed to fit only one way. Match the groove or notch in the RAM module with the groove in the RAM slot of the motherboard, and make sure everything lines up. When you've got it lined up properly, gently push down.

You should feel a pop as the module slides into position, and the tabs at each end of the module may automatically flip into place. If the tabs don't do this automatically, you'll need to insert them into each end of the RAM module. Be very careful and gentle during this step, as it is possible to snap a RAM module or damage your motherboard if you press too hard.

Replace the cover and power up the system.
Once the RAM is firmly seated and the tabs are holding it in position, replace any cables you disconnected, and then replace the cover on the system. Plug in the power and any other cables you disconnected from the back, and power on the system. Your new RAM should be all ready to go.

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