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You’ve researched and subsequently hopefully bought the correct SODIMM(s) with which to upgrade your laptop but are left scratching your head over just where to install them? Why don’t laptop manufacturers just make your life easier by giving clear instructions instead of regularly acting as if too much to ask? Truth be told that’s something only they truly know the answer to, meanwhile let’s try and lift the strain off your shoulders by offering you some pointers in where to look, after all who needs their help anyway?
Underneath your laptop
The vast majority of laptops feature two memory slots which are located on the underside of your laptop, or if you wish to be technically savvy the back side of its motherboard. To check whether this is the case, simply turn your laptop upside down. You’ll likely spot several bay covers held down by one or more tiny screws. Depending on your laptop model these will hide the memory, the wireless card, graphics card and/or processor, or any such combination.
The bay containing the SODIMM’s is usually one of the larger ones so first perform a glance of your laptop’s underside and then once you think you’ve spotted one that might contain SODIMM’s put your small screwdriver to use. Not found the right one? Simply proceed via the same route until you find the right one. What if you’re still unlucky? Should this be the case, it’s time to move on to your keyboard. PG Slot
Under the keyboard
Select laptops that feature two or more memory slots may hide SODIMM’s under their keyboard. To unravel this mystery you will need to figure out which screw(s) hold the keyboard down so you can remove them to loosen it. Sometimes this will be one screw, at other times think along the lines of four or more. Unfortunately, it’s not always clear sailing and thus in order to remove the keyboard you’ll sometimes be required to first remove the palm rest and/or other screws that aren’t immediately obvious. One worthy thing to remember is to note what screws go where when it comes to piecing it altogether again. This is especially true if you’ve removed screws of various sizes and lengths. Once inside try not to nudge the flat cable that runs from your keyboard connecting with the motherboard.
After all the churn the above has likely caused, you should be rewarded with unmasking one or more memory slots. This will be certainly be the case for laptops that have two memory slots on their underside and one or more memory slot(s) under the keyboard. If the former slots were already occupied by SODIMM’s and the latter are not then install your new laptop memory upgrade here. If you’re still left wondering where the slots are then proceed onto the palm rest.
Under the palm rest
Your laptop isn’t making life easy for you is it? If you own a professional business model laptop then you’ve likely already located some of all the memory slots your laptop offers only to find they’re already preoccupied then try the following. Similarly to looking under the keyboard research how you can remove the palm rest area. In laptops that feature four memory slots the lower part of the chassis which houses the palm rest will detach separately to the upper section. As with the keyboard, the palm rest’s section mouse pad will be connected via a flat cable with your laptop’s motherboard, remember not to knock it thus risk damage. Unless your high-end business laptop already shipped outfitted with four SODIMM’s, the slots under the palm rest will be vacant.
Houston, I still can’t find my memory slots
If none of the above suggestions helped you locate the memory slots then it could be that your laptop model isn’t intended to be upgraded. This is particularly true in cheap laptops as well as the majority of netbooks. Such devices have their memory soldered onto the motherboard, which cannot be removed and thus replaced without specialist equipment. Should this be the case then unfortunately there’s nothing you can do. In such scenarios it might be a good idea to consider upgrading your hard disk drive (HDD) for a modern solid state drive (SSD). While virtual memory is by no means as high performance as conventional memory, even when simulated on a SSD, you’ll notice a much smoother overall user experience.
Houston, all my memory slots are already full
If after all the above your efforts go in vain only to discover all memory slots are already filled with SODIMM’s then there’s really no option than to remove existing SODIMM’s to make way for new ones. Before you embark on such decision however, check to make sure your laptop isn’t already running the maximum capacity it supports. In some cases this will hold true while not in others. Remember that although adding more memory than your laptop officially supports is at times possible and thus does enable stable operation, it’s not always this simple. To save yourself the inconvenience and potentially money loss don’t go assuming this to be true unless you understand the underlying hardware and its specifications.
Houston, is there any shortcut to knowing which slots are free?
In short, the answer is yes but that’s still only part of the full picture. While you can equally learn how many memory slots your laptop contains as well as which are currently occupied by SODIMM’s via software such as CPU-Z, AIDA64 etc., this doesn’t offer you any indication as to where they are physically located inside. As a result, while you’ll learn the valuable piece of information that is the number of memory slots present in your laptop, you will still need to look on its underside and/or under the keyboard/palm rest to discover their physical whereabouts.