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Sep 4, 2010

Upgrade Your Laptop's Memory

So my boss was griping that his Toshiba laptop takes forever to boot. I inspected it for spyware, excessive startup programs, and the other usual suspects, but everything checked out.

Then I remembered that the machine is about three years old and wasn't a powerhouse to begin with. So I checked the RAM. Bingo: it has only 1GB. Windows Vista needs at least 2GB to run smoothly.

Upgrading a laptop's RAM may sound like a big deal, but it's actually the single easiest upgrade there is. The only challenge lies in determining how many RAM modules your system currently has and what kind they are.

To find out, turn off your system, unplug it, remove the battery, and flip it over. You should see at least one panel that can be removed with a small screwdriver. Consult your manual if you can't find the one covering the RAM sockets--or just open them all. Here's what you're looking for:

Most laptops have two sockets. If only one is occupied, just buy a module that exactly matches the existing one and drop it in. That'll effectively double your RAM.

If both sockets are filled, you'll have to replace both modules. There are countless how-to guides online that can help you further. I just wanted to let you know that if your laptop seems sluggish, it may be because it needs more RAM. Thankfully, it's a cheap and easy upgrade.