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How to Install RAM

Add speed and power to your computer by adding more memory.


  • : Working with electricity is dangerous. Be extremely careful and, if you have any doubts, contact a professional.
  • Step 1: Check your owner's manual Check your owner's manual to see what kind of RAM your computer uses, how much it can hold, and how many memory slots it has.
  • Step 2: Find out how much RAM to buy Find out how much memory you have now, in order to calculate how much you can add. On Vista, choose Computer. On XP, open My Computer and select View System Information. On a Mac, click About This Mac under the Apple icon menu.
  • TIP: On some computers, memory cards must be installed in pairs of equal size.
  • Step 3: Wear your anti-static wrist band Put on your anti-static wrist band before continuing. Read the instructions to be sure you're using it correctly.
  • : Make sure you are properly grounded. Static electricity can seriously damage both the new memory and your computer's motherboard.
  • Step 4: Turn off and unplug Turn off and unplug your computer.
  • Step 5: Open the case Open the computer’s housing. Most laptops have a panel on the bottom to access the memory.
  • Step 6: Find the memory slots Look for the memory slots on the motherboard. Check the existing memory to figure out how many and what size new memory cards to add.
  • Step 7: Unwrap the RAM Take your new RAM out of its package. Hold it by the edges and do not touch the pins.
  • Step 8: Install the RAM Open the clips on the memory slots and gently snap the new cards into place as directed by the owner's manual.
  • Step 9: Replace the case Replace the housing or access panel. Check the amount of memory again to confirm that the new RAM is working properly.
  • FACT: Did you know? A bit is a single binary digit or unit of data. A byte is eight bits. A nibble is four bits, or half a "bite."

You Will Need

  • Your computer's owner manual
  • An anti-static wrist band
  • A screwdriver
  • The right RAM for your computer

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