Installing a new memory module or replacing an old component isn’t rocket science. As long as you understand the theory behind installing new RAM, actually doing it becomes a simple exercise in system maintenance.
Preparing your workspace
Memory modules are highly sensitive technical components. Prepare yourself and your workspace accordingly:
- Ensure that your workspace is clean, dust free and uncluttered. Remove anything that isn’t required for the procedure, especially magnets or any other object that can carry an electrostatic charge.
- We recommend ESD compatible tools when working with hardware.
Electrostatic discharges during RAM installation can be best avoided by wearing ESD gloves or an ESD wristband. These will ensure that any electrostatic build-up is harmlessly discharged from your body to earth. In organisations where working with highly sensitive items is the order of the day, special floor coverings and protective clothing are required. At home though, the use of ESD tools and anti-static gloves or wristband is perfectly adequate.
Installing the memory module
Open the housing of your PC and locate the RAM slots – consult your motherboard manual if you’re unsure!
Once you’ve made sure that no electrostatic discharge can affect the module, you may remove it from the packaging. If you’ve purchased more than one module, remove and install them one at a time. Always hold the modules by the sides; never touch the components on the modules or the golden contact plates.
Furthermore, you should never stack the memory modules. This can damage them and render them unusable.
The installation of memory modules into laptops is different to the installation into desktops, workstations and servers. Please consult an appropriate guide if you’re planning to install memory!
Installing SO-DIMM-Modules into mobile devices/laptops
Hold the SO-DIMM-module by the sides and slide it into the correct slot at the appropriate angle, golden contacts first. Insert the module carefully until you can no longer see the golden contacts and the module is snug in its slot. Ensure that the notches on the sides line up with the rest of the locking mechanism and then gently push the module flat until the clips lock it into place.
If the module will not seat correctly without the use of force, remove it and start again.
Installing DIMMs into desktop PCs, workstations and servers
Open both of the holding clips, at either end of the RAM slot, by pushing them outwards until they are fully extended away from the RAM module.
Hold the sides of the new memory module in both hands, gently place it into the slot. Ensure that the notches on the sides and bottom (where the contacts are) line up with the slot layout. Now gently press down until the module slides into the slot. When it is properly seated, the holding clips will automatically close and lock the RAM in place.
Finally, close up your computer and ensure the housing is properly secured.
A short review of the most salient points:
- Only perform hardware installation in a clean, dust-free environment, shielded from electrostatic discharge. Never place memory modules on the floor or use the floor as your workspace.
- Wear an ESD wristband or gloves to avoid passing any electrostatic build-up to the module.
- Don’t stack modules. Remove them from their packaging and install them individually!
- Do not expose modules to electrical charges, do not bend or twist them.
- Handle each module by its sides; do not touch the components or the contacts.
Never stack or handle multiple modules.
- Always store modules in their protective packaging.
More information on these subjects can be found here:
The Do’s and Don’ts of installing memory modules (PDF) Samsung
Wikipedia-Article on electrostatic discharges