How Hard is it to Upgrad My Memory?

Discussion in 'Compaq' started by Von Fourche, May 23, 2005.

  1. Von Fourche

    Von Fourche Guest

    I have a five year old Compaq with 128MB of memory (shared with video

    It has Windows ME installed so you know that It's crashing like crazy.

    Before I spend the money on a new computer I thought I would look into
    upgrading the memory.

    So: how hard is it to take out the old memory and install new memory?
    I have never cracked open my computer case before. How easy is it to really
    mess up a computer while changing memory?

    My computer is a Presario 500 Series - model number - 5B2284.

    I just went to that site and punched in my model number.
    They have 256MB or ram for $76.00 I would buy two of these, right? Open
    the case, take out the two RAM things, and replace them with the two new RAM
    modules. Correct?

    Would I have to update any software or mess with the BIOS?

    If all it involves is a few simple steps then with good instructions I
    could probably do it.

    Von Fourche, May 23, 2005
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  2. Von Fourche

    Ben Myers Guest

    1. Unplug the computer from the wall whenever you work on anything inside the
    2. No BIOS changes are necessary. Modern motherboards auto-sense the amount of
    memory and report it to the operating system.
    3. No software changes are required either. Windows actually uses whatever
    memory is available on the system without any fuss.
    4. Memory modules are held in place by pairs of plastic clips. They are easy to
    remove and install. Only if there are lots of cables blocking access to the
    memory is there any difficulty... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, May 23, 2005
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  3. Von Fourche

    steverush1 Guest

    The BIOS will take an inventory of memory as part of the
    power-on self-test procedure, without needing any attention from
    you. Likewise, modern application software requests memory from
    the operating system and adapts to what it gets. Anything that
    runs in 128 megabytes will run, and may run faster (because it
    will make less use fo the swapfile), in 512 meg.

    Swapping memory is no big deal. Get the case open, usually by
    removing a few screws or thumbscrews at the back, locate the
    memory modules, pop the old ones out and insert the new ones.
    The only tool you may need is a scrwedriver, and maybe not even
    that If you're lucky and the case has spring latches or
    thumbscrews. The memory modules are held in their sockets by
    latches at each end. You have to release both of them to get a
    module out, preferably both at once. There are at least two
    arrangements, difficult to describe in enough detail, but
    Crucial will probably provide an illustrated instruction sheet.
    Altogether, it's about like replacing a tail light bulb in a

    The memory package will have warnings about static electricity,
    but touching the inside of the case before you reach for the
    memory is usually enough to discharge any static you may have
    picked up. Precautions like a grounded wristband are necessary
    only in very dry (as in get zapped whenever you reach for a
    doorknob) conditions. It's also a good idea to leave the
    machine plugged into its grounded outlet. The line cord
    terminates inside the power supply box, so you can't accidently
    touch a hot terminal.
    steverush1, May 23, 2005
  4. Von Fourche

    steverush1 Guest

    Good advice in the general case, but PC power supplies have the
    line terminals inside the power supply enclosure, where you
    aren't going to accidentally touch them. That's why some
    authorities recommend leaving the machine plugged in, to
    maintain the case ground connection as a static drain.

    Of course, the computer has to be off. Memory is definitely
    *not* hot-pluggable.
    steverush1, May 23, 2005
  5. Von Fourche

    Ben Myers Guest

    Wait a minute here! With modern ATX power supplies, as long as the computer is
    plugged in to the wall, there is current flowing through the motherboard! You
    mean to say that it is OK to install memory in a "hot" motherboard? No way!

    Similarly, if one is working on the memory of a notebook computer, unplug it
    from the wall AND remove the battery. Notebook motherboards have gotten fried
    when someone attempted to add memory while the battery was still in the

    Back in the dark ages of AT-style power supplies, it was perfectly fine to leave
    the computer plugged in while working on the inside of the chassis... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, May 23, 2005
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