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How to Add or Replace Memory

After you've figured out the kind and type of memory you need to put into your computer, and the configuration of RAM chips, the hardest work is done. But you still have to open the case, take out the old memory, and put in the new. Here's how to do the final steps in a memory upgrade.

Locate the Memory Sockets

Memory sockets are long sockets with some or all the sockets occupied by memory modules. First turn off your computer, unplug it, ground yourself or wear an antistatic wrist strap, and remove the case.

Figure 3.10

Remove the SIMM Modules

In order to upgrade memory, you might have to remove existing SIMMs. The SIMMs hold on to the memory slots by metal holders or plastic tabs on each side of the SIMM. if they're held in place by plastic tabs, gently press both tabs outward and the SIMM is released. a good way to do this is to use two small flathead screwdrivers—use them to press the tabs outward until the SIMM is released. if instead there are metal tabs holding the SIMM in, you can use the small screwdrivers, although it is often easier to use your thumbnails.

Figure 3.11

Install the SIMM Modules

Locate the notch on the SIMM; it enables memory to be installed in only one way. Match up the notch to the module. You usually tilt the SIMM at a 45-degree angle, push gently until it goes into the slot, and then tilt it upward to an upright position. Often you hear a small click as it fits into place. For other SIMMs, press them straight in first, and then down at an angle. The bottom of the SIMM should completely fit into the slot and should be perfectly level before pulling or pushing the SIMM upward from the 45-degree angle.

Figure 3.12

Remove the DIMMs, SDRAM, and RIMM modules

DIMMs generally are easier to remove than SIMMs. DIMMs have tabs on each side, often made of plastic. Push down on these tabs at the same time, and the tabs push the DIMM out of its socket. SDRAM and RIMM modules are removed similarly, except in some instances a RIMM module might have a terminator that attaches to the motherboard. If it does, remove the terminator.

Install the DIMMs, SDRAM, and RIMM mMdules

DIMMs have two notches on the bottom that match the DIMM socket. Align the slots properly with the socket. Press down evenly across the top of the DIMM until the tabs on each side of the DIMM slip up into place. SDRAM and DIMM memory is removed similarly, except that in some instances with RIMM modules you will have to attach a terminator to the motherboard. check your documentation.

Figure 3.13

Turn On the Computer

Your computer might automatically boot into the CMOS screen, and the BIOS will automatically recognize the new memory. You have to exit the CMOS screen for the settings to take effect, and your computer might then reboot. If, when you first turn on your PC, you get an error message, bring up the CMOS screen, and the BIOS will automatically recognize the new memory. Exit the screen and save the CMOS settings for them to take effect.


Watch Out!

Be sure that the memory you buy matches the kind of memory that your computer can accept.

Don't buy slow RAM you might save a few dollars, but you slow your system down.

If your computer requires proprietary memory, you have to buy special memory for it, usually from the manufacturer.

Be sure that when you plug the RAM modules in, they're fitted snugly into their sockets; otherwise, they won't work.


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