Tweak3D - Your Freakin' Tweakin' Source!
How to Upgrade Memory (RAM) in a Notebook / Laptop

Posted: December 8, 2005
Written By: Dan "Tweak Monkey" Kennedy

The advice contained in this article is free for use at your own risk. If you can't benefit from this article, please pass it on to someone who can and view our other articles. For technical support, visit the Tweak3D Forums.

Installation Process

Once you've set up your working environment, shut your notebook off and turn it over.
(note that this installation process applies to MOST notebooks, not all!)

Your notebook may be different. HP 1331se

Unplug the AC adapter if it's equipped and eject the battery. This can usually be accomplished using a button near the battery.

Examine the bottom side closely. Observe that there are several small screws holding various access panel covers in place. These screws are safe to remove, so feel free to carefully remove and see what's behind them. Icons may be etched into the plastic indicating what's behind the doors. One icon will probably look like a pile of three discs. This hides the hard drive. Another will be labled with tiny chips (which look like a rectangle with spikes on one side). You will also find wireless adapters, modems, and even CPU fans under plates sometimes.

Detailed disassembly guides for notebooks are available online. Check the manufacturer's web sites or Google if you require them.

Remove the screws on the cover containing the memory. Lift the cover off and put it aside. Be careful not to lose the screws during this process. As you learned in page 2, you may need to remove some memory in order to install your upgrade. Ground yourself on the nearest solid metal object (without getting up), or at least try to avoid building static prior to this step.

To remove the old RAM, gently pull the metal clips away from the memory on each side using your index finger or thumb from each hand. The memory will spring upward and out of its socket. If this does not happen, gently tug at the memory with one hand while pulling the clips away from the RAM with the other.

The memory will set at a 45 degree angle or so. This is the angle at which it must be reinstalled as well so be sure to observe this before pulling the memory outward at the same angle. It should come out with minimal effort. Remember not to touch the gold contacts and only handle the RAM by its edges.

Set the old memory aside and open your new RAM up. Ground yourself, then carefully handle the memory by its edges. Insert it at the same angle the other memory was removed. Pushing at this angle, make sure it's inserted far enough to see almost no gold contacts (unlike the picture above). This is the most common error new technicians make when installing notebook memory. Once it's been inserted that far, push it directly downward.

When you push it downward, it should click into place, locked at a flat angle instead of the steep angle from before. If it doesn't click into place, don't panic. Press gently downward on the memory from its edge while pulling the clips out of the way (the same as when you removed the old chip) to be sure it can clear them and lock into place. In some cases you may even have to bend them slightly. Once you've snapped the memory firmly into place, reinstall the cover you removed. You may need to push it down into place while securing it with screws. Now reinstall the battery and prepare to start it back up for the first time...

Verifying or Troubleshooting

  • News
  • Forums
  • Tweaks
  • Articles
  • Reviews