One of the easiest hardware upgrades to improve the performance of your computer is add more RAM. I already showed you how to find the correct type of RAM your computer needs. Now it’s time to demonstrate how to install it on a laptop or ultrabook.
Here’s a look at how to add RAM to an IBM ThinkPad X120e. Remember, every system is different. Accessing the motherboard will vary. If you’re not sure how; check your computer’s documentation or manufacturer’s website.
This will give you a good idea of the process of adding RAM to a Netbook or Laptop.
Note: Before opening your case or handling the memory modules, I highly recommend an anti-static wrist strap. This grounds you so you’re not generating static that can damage the RAM module or complex components in your system. Put the strap around your wrist, and then connect the clip to a grounded source. There are different types you can purchase – most are under 10 dollars.
Photo Credit: Karl-Martin Skontorp
First starting with a Lenovo ThinkPad X120e. I’m adding a 2 GB stick of RAM into an empty slot.
For netbooks or laptops, completely power the machine off. Turn it over and remove the battery too.
Now unfasten the screws to get into the case.
Carefully pull off the back plate. Make sure not to bend any part of the case. Otherwise, you’ll have a heck of a time getting it back on.
At this point, I’ve removed the battery, removed the back, located where the memory slots are and grabbed my new memory module that I’m ready to install.
Now find the location of the current memory slots on the motherboard. In this system, there is only one memory module with two slots.
Then place the new memory stick in at an angle and push it down and secure it with the small clips on each side. The memory stick only goes in one way. Make sure the notch on the module is lined up correctly. It doesn’t take much force to slide in the new RAM stick. If you find it isn’t going in easily, don’t force it! Take it out and makes sure everything is lined up correctly.
After the new memory is in, before putting the case back together, I like to power on the laptop and make sure the RAM is properly installed and recognized by Windows. During start up, if you hear just one beep, everything is cool. If you hear a series of beeps, you need to power off the computer and reseat the memory.
If everything is recognized, replace the back panel.
Then put the battery back in.
Now plug in the power cord, boot your computer and make sure everything is functioning properly. Use different apps and features, you’ll notice that Windows and applications run faster.
About six years ago, I was increasing the RAM on my IBM ThinkPad and ended up with a bad stick of memory. After five minutes of launching my XP system, it would completely power off. No BSOD – Just completely shut down. I removed the new stick and everything worked correctly again. I returned it to the company I bought it from, and they happily replaced it.
If you want better performance out of your Netbook or Laptop, adding RAM is cheap and easy. Remember, 32-bit versions of Windows will only recognize 4 GB of RAM and 64-bit Windows will recognize more.