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Upgrading Memory (RAM)

This document pertains to HP and Compaq notebook computers.
Upgrading memory helps improve system performance. By following the step-by-step instructions in this document, you can successfully upgrade random-access memory (RAM) for all HP and Compaq notebook computers. While the graphics might not match your specific computer model, the steps will work.
Read all instructions carefully before attempting memory installation.
Do not purchase memory modules until you know the type of memory used by the computer, the maximum amount of memory the computer can use, and the memory slot configuration.
The memory in some notebook models cannot be replaced or upgraded.
Finding the product number of your HP notebook PC
To order replacement internal components such as memory, you must know the exact product number of the computer. For many HP notebook computers, the product number and serial number are printed on a label on the bottom of the computer. Also, the product number and serial number are printed on the outside of the shipping box that you received when you purchased the computer.
Product number locations can vary, and there are numerous methods to find the product number of your notebook. For more assistance locating the product number, see How Do I Find My Model Number or Product Number?.
Figure : Product label
Image of product label with the product number highlighted
A general family name, for example may be imprinted on the case near the keyboard or on the frame around the display screen, but this does not provide sufficient information for ordering replacement parts.
Finding memory information for your computer model (amount installed, maximum supported, and type of memory)
Important memory upgrade information is located in the specifications document for your HP notebook computer. To find product specifications, browse to the Product Information category on the support page for your computer model. Alternatively, you can search for your product specifications by doing the following:
  1. In the Search field (or Questions or keywords field) at the top of this page, type your computer product number, a space, and the word specifications.
    For example:
    RQ877AS specifications
  2. Click the link on the search results page that matches the product specifications for your computer model.
  3. Refer to the Memory section within the product specifications document for memory information specific to your computer.
  4. Among the information listed, make a note of the following items. It will be useful when purchasing memory and when performing the next steps.
    • Amount of memory installed - The current amount of memory installed on your computer. Refer to Verifying how much memory can be added to verify the amount of memory currently installed in your computer.
    • Maximum memory supported - Subtract the amount of memory already installed from the maximum amount supported by the system to determine how much memory to purchase. You can also buy the maximum amount allowed and replace the currently installed memory. Once you know the maximum memory for your system, check Maximum memory supported by operating system to see how much memory your version of Windows will support. Use the lower of these two numbers as your maximum memory.
    • Type of memory (including speed) - HP recommends purchasing the same type of memory (same size, speed, and manufacturer) for each slot. For the best performance, purchase the fastest memory the motherboard supports.
    Due to the variety of possible configurations, some motherboards might not be able to properly configure memory if the array of small outline dual in-line memory modules (SO-DIMMs) contains a SO-DIMM that is not from the same manufacturer, has a different CAS latency value, or has a different density value (high and low used together). Make sure all SO-DIMMs have the same part number, are from the same manufacturer, and meet the basic memory requirements for your motherboard. If not, make sure that you can return the memory if it is not recognized by the system after you install the new memory.
Determining where your memory is located
Memory is located in the memory module compartment located on the bottom of most HP notebook computers. Some HP notebooks are designed with the memory module compartment under the keyboard. If the memory module compartment for your notebook is located under the keyboard, HP recommends that you contact an HP authorized support provider for assistance ordering and replacing the memory.
Verifying how much memory can be added
Prior to upgrading memory, you need to verify how much memory you currently have installed to determine how much memory can be added. Use one of the following sections to find the exact memory configuration and how much memory can be purchased and installed.
Choose one of the following sections to verify the amount of installed memory, depending on whether the computer is turned on or off:
Installing memory
Most HP and Compaq notebook computers are designed so that additional memory can be added using a Phillips screwdriver. Use the following steps to install memory in your computer. After reviewing the steps, if you are not confident in performing the installation yourself, contact an HP authorized support provider for technical assistance.
If someone other than HP installs or upgrades the memory, any damage caused by the memory and/or by a person trying to install or upgrade the memory is excluded from coverage under the product warranty. The customer assumes all risk and liability for damages for any such installation or upgrade.
These steps will work for most notebook computer models. To find steps for your specific computer, enter your computer model number and replace memory into the search field at the top of this window. For example, if you have an HP Mini 210-3000, you would search for 210-3000 replace memory. If you cannot find a memory replacement procedure for your computer model, check the User Guides.
Step 1: Remove electrical power
To remove all power from the computer and prevent accidental damage to the electronic components, do the following:
  1. Turn off the computer by pressing and holding down the Power button for about 30 seconds.
  2. Unplug the AC adaptor from the notebook.
  3. Slide and hold the battery release latch to the unlock position.
  4. Use your finger to lift the battery up and out.
Step 2: Insert the memory
Follow these steps to insert the new memory:
  1. Turn the notebook over and place it on a firm surface.
  2. Use a Phillips screwdriver to remove the cover on the memory module compartment.
      Figure : Memory module cover (your cover may be different)
      Image of memory module cover detached from the computer and showing retaining screw locations and direction of removal
    1. Retention screws (2)
    2. Direction to remove compartment cover
  3. With the cover removed, and before you touch the memory, ground yourself to discharge any static electricity.
    To ground yourself, and discharge any static electricity, place one hand on the case of the computer and touch the other hand to a metal surface or grounded object, such as the metal part of a lamp.
  4. If you need to remove memory before installing the new memory, release the memory using a small wooden tool, or fingernail, to spread the clips holding the ends of the memory in place.
      Figure : Memory module removal
      Image of memory module showing direction to move the retaining clips and the direction to remove the module.
    1. Direction to pull retention clips
    2. Direction to remove the module
    To prevent damage to the memory module, grasp the memory module by the side edges. Do not touch the metal contacts.
  5. Place any removed memory modules in an anti-static bag for protection.
  6. Remove the new memory from the protective anti-static bag and hold the memory by the side edges.
  7. Place the gold contacts into the connector (bracket) and gently, but firmly, press the memory into place. The clips will click when the memory is properly seated.
      Figure : Notch alignment and memory module insertion
      Image of memory module notched edge showing module alignment and direction to insert and seat the module
    1. Notch alignment
    2. Direction to insert the module
    3. Direction to seat module
  8. Replace the cover and tighten the retention screws.
      Figure : Memory module cover replacement
      Image of the memory module cover showing the direction to insert the cover
    1. Two slots in the opening
    2. Retaining screws
Step 3: Replace electrical power
Replace the power and turn on the computer using these steps:
  1. Plug the connection from the AC adapter into the notebook, and then connect the AC adapter to a working power supply.
  2. With the computer turned off, push the battery into the base enclosure until the retention clips click into position.
  3. Turn on the computer and allow it to reconfigure and recognize the additional memory and improve performance.
What to do if problems occur after installing memory
If the computer does not start or Windows does not open after replacing the memory, or if there are beeps or blinking Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) near the Caps Lock or Num Lock keys, try the following steps:
  • Remove and reseat the new memory module by following the steps in the Installing memory section.
  • Remove the new memory module and clean the groove in the socket that the module sits in. While wearing safety glasses, use a can of compressed air with a straw-type extender to clean out any dust or particles in the grove.
  • Remove the new memory module and try starting the computer again. If the computer starts, make sure you purchased the right type and compatible size of memory. For more information on purchasing the right type of memory, refer to Finding memory information for your computer model and Verifying how much memory can be added. You can use the memory module that originally came installed in the computer for reference.
  • If possible, make sure all memory modules in your configuration are from the same manufacturer and have the same part number.
  • If the computer still does not restart properly, remove the replacement memory, reinstall the original memory, and verify that the computer can operate in its original configuration.
Maximum memory supported by operating system
Use the tables below to determine the amount of memory supported by the version of Windows installed on your HP notebook computer.
  • Memory upgrades for Windows 8 Editions
    Windows 8 has a minimum memory requirement of 1 GB RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit). Information about the maximum amount of memory is not available at this time.
  • Memory upgrades for Windows 7 Editions
    Windows 7 has a minimum memory requirement of 1 GB RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit). The maximum amount of memory depends on the edition used:
    Edition of Windows 7
    Maximum addressable memory
    Starter (32-bit or 64-bit)
    2 GB
    Any 32-bit version of 7 (except Starter)
    4 GB (approximately 3.3 GB available for use)
    Home Basic 64-bit
    8 GB
    Home Premium 64-bit
    16 GB
    Enterprise 64-bit
    192 GB
    Business 64-bit
    192 GB
    Ultimate 64-bit
    192 GB
  • Memory upgrades for Windows Vista Editions
    Windows Vista comes in a variety of editions. All versions of Vista have a minimum memory requirement of 512 MB (1 GB to take advantage of certain premium features, such as Aero graphics). The maximum amount of memory depends on the edition used:
    Edition of Windows Vista
    Maximum addressable memory
    Starter (32-bit)
    1 GB
    Any 32-bit version of Vista
    4 GB (approximately 3.3 GB available for use)
    Home Basic 64-bit
    8 GB
    Home Premium 64-bit
    16 GB
    Business 64-bit
    128 GB
    Ultimate 64-bit
    128 GB
  • Memory upgrades for Windows XP
    Windows XP comes in 32-bit or 64-bit version. The maximum amount of memory depends on the version used:
    Version of Windows XP
    Maximum addressable memory
    4 GB (approximately 3.3 GB available for use)
    128 GB
Memory module frequently asked questions
Select a question to learn more about memory modules and their requirements:
Buying memory
HP recommends purchasing memory directly from HP, an authorized HP dealer, or from a reputable computer parts supplier.
You can purchase computer memory from most local electronic stores and online shopping sites such as Crucial or HP, for example. Many of the online sites partner with HP to automatically suggest the correct type of memory based on the model of your computer. Before purchasing memory, make sure you know how much memory you need and what type of memory is compatible with your computer.


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