So basically this is all your fault, VISTA
March 17, 2008 12:32 PM   Subscribe

What should a bone-novice know about installing extra memory in a laptop, a Toshiba Satellite A135-S2386?

The Toshiba Satellite was a nice cheap buy, but it really doesn't have enough RAM for all the crap it won't let you uninstall or take off startup, much less all the programs I want to run. I bought another 256 MB card, under the impression that it would be relatively easy to pop it in there and get going again with more RAM.

And maybe it is, but then, maybe it isn't. I don't know. Not a clue what I am doing. I don't dare open it up without knowing: what damage could I do, besides static or dust? Will the memory card just pop into place, or do I delicately fit it into position? With my bare hands? Should I hear a "click"? Which side is up?

There doesn't seem to be a tailor-made Internet guide for this particular model. But is the particular model's build important or not? The user manual does not encourage self-sufficiency -- it tells you that you mustn't open the thing up yourself, which surprised me when I turned to it, since I know everyone does it anyway.

In short: HALP.
posted by Countess Elena to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
Page 49 of your user guide has a nice step-by-step guide to installing extra RAM.
posted by Psionic_Tim at 12:38 PM on March 17, 2008

Oh dear, how embarrassing. I didn't look to the official online guide for help after seeing that the manual said not to open the computer!

Thanks very much!
posted by Countess Elena at 12:48 PM on March 17, 2008

I'm not much of a hardware person, but here's what I do know:
- Are you in a place where there's lots of static electricity? You might want to invest in an anti-static grounding wrist strap if you are - static electricity can fry memory. (This isn't usually a huge concern, but we all get unlucky sometimes.)
- There's no "click," but you'll know when it's in. There's a moderate amount of resistance when you're trying to slide in the module, but then it goes in rather satisfyingly. There can also be a quiet grinding sound when it goes in, like two uneven, hard surfaces sliding against each other. Don't be alarmed by this, it's normal.
- As for which side is up, just look at the other module; they always go the same way.
- Don't touch the contacts!
- Like most other laptops, that machine has two slots for memory. If you have 512MB now, it's either all jammed into one slot, or spread across the two slots with two 256MB modules. If it's the latter, your new card won't be of any help: you'd be taking out one of the 256MB modules to put in your new 256MB module. But it's worth opening up to see anyway.

Good luck!
posted by svolix at 12:59 PM on March 17, 2008

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