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HP Notebook PCs - Memory Specifications and Upgrading RAM (Windows XP, 2000, and 98)

This document explains memory specifications and provides step-by-step instructions to upgrade the Random-Access Memory (RAM) on a HP Pavilion or Compaq Presario computer. Upgrading the memory inside the computer helps the Central Processing Unit (CPU) process information faster, and improves system performance. Read all instructions carefully, at least once, before attempting memory installation.
note:
This document contains procedures that are technical. The person performing the procedures should have computer experience working with both hardware and software.

Step-by-step instructions for installing memory

Try not to rush out and purchase memory modules until knowing the type of memory used by the computer, how much memory the computer can hold, and if the computer has empty memory slots. The following will be needed before installing memory:
  • A Phillips screwdriver.
  • HP strongly recommends the use of an anti-static wrist strap and a conductive foam pad.
  • A clear, flat, stable work surface over an uncarpeted floor.
  • Disconnection of all external devices connected to the computer.
  • Disconnection of the power cord.
  • Removal of the battery pack.
  • A printout of this document for reference.
  caution:
Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) can damage the sensitive components. Do not remove memory from its protective packaging until you are ready to install it. Wear a wrist-grounding strap.

Step 1: Find the memory type and amount used by the computer

Refer to the computer's User's Manual for the type of memory the computer uses and the maximum amount of memory the computer can hold. If the User's Manual is not available, see the Product Specifications document for your model.

Step 2: Find out how much memory can be added

Use the following steps to find out how much memory is currently installed and how much can be added:
  1. Open My Computer.
    • In Microsoft Windows XP, click Start and right-click My Computer.
    • In Windows 98 and Me, right-click My Computer.
  2. Select Properties and then click the General tab if not already selected (see Figure 1).
  3. Subtract the amount of RAM currently in the computer from the maximum amount of memory the computer can hold. This is the amount of RAM that can be added. For example, in the figure below, the computer has 192 MB of RAM. If the maximum amount of memory the computer can hold is 512 MB, then 320 MB is the amount of RAM that can be added.
  4. Divide the maximum amount of memory that the computer can hold with the number of memory sockets on the motherboard. Usually, this is the maximum amount for each memory socket. For example, if the computer is capable of holding a maximum of 1024 MB (1G) of memory and the motherboard has four memory sockets, it would be safe to install nothing higher than a 256 MB memory module in each socket.
    Figure : Amount of current memory
    note:
    The amount of current memory displayed in the System Properties window may be less than the actual amount of memory in your notebook. This is because some notebooks reserve several megabytes of memory for the graphics chipset.

Step 3: Remove memory

Use the following steps to remove a memory or continuity module:
  1. Turn off the computer.
    • Windows 98 or 2000: Click Start, Shut Down, and then Shut Down
    • Windows XP: Start and then Turn Off.
  2. Unplug the AC adapter, if present, and remove the battery.
  3. From the bottom of the computer, remove the screw holding the RAM cover, and remove the cover.
    Figure : Memory cover
  4. Spread the retention clips on each side of the memory expansion board.
      warning:
    To protect a removed memory expansion board, place it in an electrostatic-safe container.
  5. Remove the board by pulling it away from the connector at a 45-degree angle.
    Figure : Memory

Step 4: Add a memory module

Use the following steps to increase the computer's RAM, install a RAM module in the expansion slot on the bottom of the computer.
  caution:
The computer's chips are extremely sensitive to static electricity, and can be permanently damaged by it. Handle the RAM module only by its edges. Before installing the memory module, discharge the body's static electricity by touching the metal shielding around the connectors on the rear of the computer.
  1. Turn off the computer.
    • Windows 98 or 2000: Click Start, Shut Down, and then Shut Down
    • Windows XP: Start and then Turn Off.
  2. Unplug the AC adapter, if present, and remove the battery.
  3. From the bottom of the computer, remove the screw holding the RAM cover, and remove the cover.
  4. Align the keyed (notched) edge of the board with the keyed area in the expansion slot. Insert the board into the slot at a 45-degree angle until it is seated.
    Figure : Adding memory
  5. Push the front edge of the board down until the retention clips snap into place.
  6. Replace the cover.
    Figure : Replacing cover
  7. Insert the battery.
note:
Windows 98 only: When increasing the computer's memory to more than 512 MB, the computer will not be able to hibernate unless the size of the utility partition on the hard disk is also increased.

Step 5: Test the memory

  1. Turn on the computer. If the computer does not start properly, go to the next section Troubleshooting memory problems.
  2. The memory test should briefly run when the computer restarts. Restart the computer several times to make sure that the memory works properly.
  3. If the memory count fails to complete, stops before reaching the total amount of memory, or counts more than once in consecutive restarts, troubleshoot the memory problem or replace the new memory module with another memory module.

Troubleshooting memory problems

Try the following items if the computer cannot start or has memory errors (including beeps) when the computer first starts:
  • Remove the new memory module and clean the groove in the socket that the module sits in. Use a can of compressed air with a straw-type extender and safety glasses.
  • Re-seat the new memory module by repeating Step 2 through 5 of this document.
  • Make sure that other cables inside the computer are not partially out of their sockets. Reseat any cables that are dislodged.
  • Replace the new memory module with a different one. Make sure that the memory is the right type and compatible size of memory. You can remove and reference from the memory module that originally came installed in the computer.

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