Memory also known as RAM

Laptop memory RAM


A laptop memory also know as RAM (Random-access memory) is a temporary data storage. It’s a volatile type of memory. When you turn off the laptop, all the information stored in a RAM module is lost.

More memory installed into your laptop gives you a better (faster) performance.

You can test laptop memory with a free diagnostic tool called Memtest86+.

A type of memory used in laptop computers called SO-DIMM (Small Outline Dual In-line Memory Module).

Here are three most common memory types found in laptop computers:

1. SDRAM SO-DIMM memory has 144pins.

PC100 modules running at 100MHz.
PC133 modules running at 133MHz.

PC133 modules are backward compatible with PC100 modules.If your laptop requires a PC100 memory module, you can safely use a PC133 module but it will run at PC100 speed.

2. DDR SO-DIMM memory has 200 pins.

PC2100 (DDR266) modules running at 266MHz.
PC2700 (DDR333) modules running at 333MHz.

PC2700 memory is backward compatible with PC2100 memory. If your laptop requires a PC2100 module, you can safely use a PC2700 module but it will run at PC2100 speed.

DDR memroy modules are not backward compatible with SDRAM modules.

3. DDR2 SO-DIMM memory has 200 pins.

PC2-3200 (DDR2-400) running at 200MHz.
PC2-4200 (DDR2-533) running at 266MHz.
PC2-5300 (DDR2-667) running at 333MHz.
PC2-6400 (DDR2-800) running at 400MHz.

Faster DDR2 memory modules are backward compatible with slower DDR2 memory modules. For example, if your laptop requires a PC2-4200 memory module you can safely use a PC2-5300 module but it will run at PC2-4200 speed.

DDR2 memory modules are not backward compatible with DDR modules. The notch on DDR2 is located in a different position from DDR.

WHERE MEMORY MODULES ARE LOCATED.

In a laptop computer memory slots could be found in a few different locations, it depends on the brand and model of the laptop.

1. Both memory slots can be accessed from the door on the bottom.
2. One slot is located on the bottom and another one under the keyboard.
3. Both memory slots are located under the keyboard.
4. There is only one memory slot available for upgrades. The main memory is integrated into the motherboard.

HOW TO REMOVE MEMORY MODULE FROM THE SLOT.

Step1.

Release latches on both sides from the memory module with your fingers.

Release memory slot latches

Step2.

The memory module will pop up at a 20-30 degree angle.

Memory module pops up

Step3.

Carefully pull the memory module from the slot by the edges.

Pull memory module from slot


WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE BUYING LAPTOP MEMORY.

1. You are looking for SO-DIMM memory used in laptop computers.
2. Type of the memory used in your laptop:  SDRAM, DDR, or DDR2.
3. How many memory slot are available.
4. How much memory your laptop can handle.

Posted in Laptop parts
51 comments on “Memory also known as RAM
  1. Lera says:

    Removed two 512MB RAMs and installed two 1GB RAMs and now my laptop will not start at all??? I know it supports 2GB total. I removed new RAMs and installed old RAMs back, still no boot. Am I doing something wrong?

  2. Repair Man says:

    Lera,
    Make sure the memory module is installed correctly, all the way down into the slot. I think you just not installing it right.

  3. Lera says:

    Thank you!!!
    My laptop now working fine with new RAMs.
    You were right. I wasn’t installing them right.
    I have 2Gigs now!

  4. Repair Man says:

    You are welcome!
    I’ve done the same mistake myself.

  5. M.D. says:

    My lappy is old bought it in 2003.
    Specs says maximum RAM is 1GB. Is there any way to upgrade to 2GB???

  6. Repair Man says:

    M.D.

    Specs says maximum RAM is 1GB. Is there any way to upgrade to 2GB???

    If laptop specs says 1GB, most likely you cannot upgrade to 2GB.

  7. Nina says:

    I was getting blue screens after installed second memory. Returned it back to the store and purchased another one. Works fine now. I guess the first one was bad.

  8. Jose says:

    Buy only good RAM brands. I bought cheap RAM, didn’t work first time. Returned back to the store and bought expensive RAM. Works great!

  9. Andrew says:

    I plan to buy some more RAM for my Dell Inspiron.
    Looking at two brands: Kingston or Corsair. About the same price.
    Which one is better?

  10. Repair Man says:

    Buy only good RAM brands.

    I have had good experience with Kingston and Corsair. Both companies offer lifetime warranty for their memory modules.

  11. Repair Man says:

    Andrew,
    I think both brands are good, I’m using both of them and no problems so far. Also, both have lifetime warranty.

  12. faster RAM says:

    i don’t like kingston value ram. i had a 1gb card for only 2 months and i failed on me.

  13. Tamara says:

    Thank you. I have an older laptop with only one RAM card. The RAM card says it’s PC2100. I wanted to upgrade but couldn’t find another PC2100 card. After reading your article I bough a PC2700 card and installed it myself. The laptop works great with two different RAM cards installed. Thank you again.
    Tamara

  14. Repair Man says:

    Tamara,

    After reading your article I bough a PC2700 card and installed it myself. The laptop works great with two different RAM cards installed.

    You are welcome! PC2700 is backward compatible with PC2100.

  15. Robert says:

    So I have a sony laptop and I have recently been having trouble starting the computer up. I push the start button and the start-up lights remain on and it will not go to the start-up screen. Then it will stop loading and just stay like that. However, if when I first start it up I hit the button it will sometimes successfully start-up. I don’t know if something is loose inside or what it could be or whatever.

  16. Repair Man says:

    Robert,

    I push the start button and the start-up lights remain on and it will not go to the start-up screen. Then it will stop loading and just stay like that. However, if when I first start it up I hit the button it will sometimes successfully start-up.

    There could be a problem with the memory module, maybe it’s not making good connection with the motherboard. Try reconnecting the memory module. If you have an empty slot available, move the module into that slot and test the laptop again.
    Do you ave two modules installed? Remove them one by one and test the laptop with each one separately.

  17. lwebuga says:

    Hi
    My dell Pentium M laptop shows that my RAM is expandable, but the one am using is 506MB , but i want to fix the second empty RAM slot
    which type and capacity should i buy ?

  18. Repair Man says:

    lwebuga,
    What is your laptop model? All laptops are different and I can help you if you provide the model number.

  19. tbrandis says:

    I have a Dell D500 that will only boot up if you take one (it doesn’t matter which one) memory card out and reinstall it. It boots up and works fine. then you shut it down and it won’t boot up until you take one of the memory cards out and reinstall. I tried other memory cards and still the same thing.

  20. Repair Man says:

    tbrandis,

    I have a Dell D500 that will only boot up if you take one (it doesn’t matter which one) memory card out and reinstall it. It boots up and works fine. then you shut it down and it won’t boot up until you take one of the memory cards out and reinstall. I tried other memory cards and still the same thing.

    That’s a really weird problem. If you tested the laptop with other memory modules and it still does the same thing, the problem must be related to the motherboard. Can you boot the laptop if instead or reseating one one of the memory modules, you apply some pressure on the motherboard in the area of memory slots?

  21. Mohamad says:

    Hi, my laptop require DDr2 PC2-5300 (DDR2-667), I already have 1Gb on slot A (primary) , is that a difference if i install 2GB on slot A & 1GB on slot B or 1GB on A & 2GB on B ?
    Thanks for your help.

  22. Repair Man says:

    Mohamad,

    is that a difference if i install 2GB on slot A & 1GB on slot B or 1GB on A & 2GB on B ?

    There shouldn’t be any difference or change in the laptop performance.

  23. tbrandis says:

    I applied pressure to the motherboard and the computer doesn’t boot up any more. Even if I reseat the memory it doesn’t boot. This ones dead. I guess it’s time for a new motherboard or computer.

  24. Repair Man says:

    tbrandis,

    I applied pressure to the motherboard and the computer doesn’t boot up any more. Even if I reseat the memory it doesn’t boot. This ones dead. I guess it’s time for a new motherboard or computer.

    Yep, sounds like a problem with the motherboard.

  25. Moody says:

    A clear and concise summary mate. Good job on the article.

  26. Madeline says:

    Hi, I have a acer aspire 5100 laptop. The harddrive was packed to capacity and was running slow and would would freeze up, especiall y when using large size software. When trying to burn off some of my files unto cds to free up some space the system frozed. I had to take it off manually. Later when I turn it back on it booted up to the windows splash screen then restarted, and it kept doing that over and over. Could not enough memory [RAM] cause this problem. The harddrive seem to be running smoothly without any unusal noises. Also I was able to get into the BIOS, but it won,t start in safe mode or any other option. Won’t boot from the cd, so I tried reinstalling the OS, not reformatting it, [I’m trying to save my data]. that didn’t work either. I got a BSOD though. It said : STOP:0x0000008E(0xC0000005, 0xF7802CAD, 0xF73C47E4, 0x00000000] setupdd.sys- Address F7802CAD base at F77D6000 Date stamp 41107c8f. Could this mean that I need more RAM? Any help will be appreciated.

  27. Repair Man says:

    Madeline,

    I was able to get into the BIOS, but it won,t start in safe mode or any other option. Won’t boot from the cd, so I tried reinstalling the OS, not reformatting it, [I’m trying to save my data]. that didn’t work either. I got a BSOD though. Could this mean that I need more RAM?

    I don’t think so. When your laptop doesn’t have enough RAM it slows down, but should get any BSOD error.
    It’s possible that you have a hardware related problem.
    You have two memory modules installed into the laptop, right? Can you remove them one by one and test the laptop with each module separately. Can you boot the laptop when only one of the modules is installed? If you can, most likely the other module is bad.
    If your laptop fails to boot with either module installed, apparently it’s not memory related issue. It’s very unlikely that both memory modules fail at the same time.

    Try removing them one by one first.

  28. Gregory Day says:

    I was given a IBM Thinkpad T42p 2373, this laptop has no ram installed in it, in the bottom slot or the slot under the keyboard. I have 1 stick of 512 PC2700 sodimm out of a T51, my question is can I install it in the bottom slot or do I have to install it in the slot under the keyboard for the laptop to work? I’m only going to install one dimm since I only have one.
    Thanks.

  29. Gregory Day says:

    I was given a Thinkpad T42p 2373 w/out a hard drive in it and no recovery disk. Can I install a hard drive that has been cloned from a T52 2888 then update it from Lenovo’s website with the T42p drivers or am I going to have to load a fresh install of XP Professional and then update from Lenovo website. Also if I can’t use the data on this HDD how do I wipe out the T52 data on the cloned HDD to use it or when I load the the new OS it will be done automatically. I’m just really trying to see if the laptop is anygood, the person I got it from didn’t know. Thanks

  30. Repair Man says:

    Gregory Day,

    I was given a IBM Thinkpad T42p 2373, this laptop has no ram installed in it, in the bottom slot or the slot under the keyboard. I have 1 stick of 512 PC2700 sodimm out of a T51, my question is can I install it in the bottom slot or do I have to install it in the slot under the keyboard for the laptop to work? I’m only going to install one dimm since I only have one.

    You can use either slot.

  31. Repair Man says:

    Gregory Day,

    Can I install a hard drive that has been cloned from a T52 2888 then update it from Lenovo’s website with the T42p drivers

    I don’t know. You’ll have to try because it might work. I’ve done it before a few times.

    if I can’t use the data on this HDD how do I wipe out the T52 data on the cloned HDD to use it or when I load the the new OS it will be done automatically.

    You may choose to repartition and reformat the hard drive while installing Windows from scratch.

  32. kelvin lo says:

    if my laptop doesn`t have ram installed inside can the laptop switch on?

  33. Repair Man says:

    kelvin lo,

    if my laptop doesn`t have ram installed inside can the laptop switch on?

    If you turn on a laptop without RAM modules installed, you’ll get one of the following:
    1. The laptop will turn on but the screen will stay black.
    2. The laptop will turn on and start beeping.
    3. The laptop will turn on and after a while turn off.

  34. shankar lal says:

    i have laptop hcl k38.how can i install 16GB ram in laptop.

  35. repairman says:

    what is the problem if a loptop turns on but it will off and after a while turn off?..

  36. Repair Man says:

    repairman,

    what is the problem if a loptop turns on but it will off and after a while turn off?..

    What? Your question is not clear.
    Did you try reconnecting memory? Did you test your laptop with only one memory module installed?

  37. Dipankar says:

    I have compaq presario-V5000, its closing bracket key is not working, I want to know that how much cost will be to repair the key.

    Dipankar.

  38. Repair Man says:

    Dipankar,

    I have compaq presario-V5000, its closing bracket key is not working, I want to know that how much cost will be to repair the key.

    What is closing bracket key?

  39. Solution says:

    In response to #39, the Closing Bracket key is this:’ ] ‘ , he wants to know how much for another plastic piece with the ]} symbols on it, or the response part on the keyboard may be damaged?

  40. peter says:

    Hi, i have a packard bell laptop with model number (easynote PB32R00101) and i really need the drivers. Can you be of help. Thanx

  41. rakih182 says:

    what is the possible problem if a laptop turns on but after about 3 seconds the cpu fan will turn off but the computer still have the power light

  42. David says:

    please how can i know how many memory my laptop can carry?

  43. Repair Man says:

    David,

    please how can i know how many memory my laptop can carry?

    I can help to find out how much memory it takes if you provide the laptop model number.

  44. haider says:

    I have a T42, it has 1Gb(two 512M) ram, I want to upgrade it.
    Is it possible to
    a– use 1Gb and 512Mb ram combination PC2700 (DDR333) modules running at 333MHz.
    b– use 1Gb or 2Gb(one ram only) PC2-3200 (DDR2-400) running at 200MHz or PC2-5300 (DDR2-667) running at 333MHz.
    Will I get more speed with option ‘b’.

  45. Repair Man says:

    haider,

    I have a T42, it has 1Gb(two 512M) ram, I want to upgrade it.
    Is it possible to
    a– use 1Gb and 512Mb ram combination PC2700 (DDR333) modules running at 333MHz.

    Yes, you can use different size modules in different slots. If you use 1GB in one slot and 512MB in the second slot, you’ll get 1.5GB RAM total.

    b– use 1Gb or 2Gb(one ram only) PC2-3200 (DDR2-400) running at 200MHz or PC2-5300 (DDR2-667) running at 333MHz.

    No, you cannot use DDR2 memory in a laptop designed for DDR memory.
    DDR and DDR2 modules are different. A new DDR2 modules will not fit into DDR slot because it has a notch located in a different spot.

    In your ThinkPad T42 laptop you can use only DDR PC2700 memory modules.

  46. akinyode says:

    please, what is the difference between ddr1 and ddr2, hence a diagram illustration required

  47. Repair Man says:

    @ akinyode,

    what is the difference between ddr1 and ddr2

    The notch is located in a different spot. You cannot install DDR memory into DDR2 or DDR3 slot.

  48. justice says:

    i need some ur assistance that how can a system switch off… and how to back up a system and recovery it back……. and how gb of hard drive we have in a laptop system

  49. arifud says:

    HI,
    I HAVE A LAPTOP LENOVO 3000 N100.THE INSTALLED RAM 512MB.NOW I WANT TO UPGRADE IT.GIVE ME THE INSTRUCTIONs.

    ARIFUD

  50. Seema says:

    Hi,

    I require to upgrade my system. I have even purchased reqired Dolgix RAM from manufacturer’s directly. Is it easy to install it on my own by reading the insturctions or should I get hold of a technicain to do it?

  51. justin says:

    Where online can i get repair disks…

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