For anything you want to do, the first step is always planning and chalking down the way to go about it and it is no different for upgrading your PC. The requirements and procedure is quite different for different operating systems. In every case, you first need to do your research, then the planning and then the final execution of the procedure.\
The first and foremost thing you need to do is check how much RAM you currently have on your PC to know whether and how to upgrade it. Let us begin at the beginning:
- Windows XP: Go to ‘View System Information’ on My Computer or ‘System’ icon in the Control Panel to find the General RAM info to start with.
- Windows Vista: Go to ‘System and Maintenance’ column under the Control Panel. There under the ‘System’ option you can find all the basic information about the ‘Memory (RAM)’.
- Windows 7: Go to ‘View Amount of RAM and processor speed’ link from the Control Panel or simply enter “RAM’ in the search bad on the Start Menu to ‘Show how much RAM is on this computer’.
- Windows 8: Go to the ‘Task Manager’ followed by ‘Performance’ to find the ‘CPU and Memory option’. In the Desktop Mode you can hover the mouse to the bottom right of the screen to get the Charms bar and go to ‘PC info’ under ‘Settings’.
- MAC: Things are easiest on an Apple device. Click on the top left Apple icon and go to the ‘About This Computer/Macintosh’ option for a line ‘Total Memory’ displaying the current RAM status.
You need to check for the features and the limitations of your device to go about the whole process. After the basic research you need to find out two things:
- How much total RAM the device can handle.
- What kind of RAM to install.
There are web resources to find this info about all the devices possible. The best are:
- Kingston Technology.
These system scanners will give you all the detailed info about how many RAM slots the device has and which ones are empty and which one has what.
Common upgrade options
Bulkier and older PCs are actually easier to upgrade. These are some simple methods:
- Installing more RAM: This is possible if the motherboard has more RAM slots. You can remove old sticks and install newer ones with more capacity.
- Installing an SSD: Replace the current hard drive with a solid-state drive and reinstall Windows if you haven’t made a copy of the operating system drive.
- Replace Optical Drives: Replace the optical drive with an SSD if you want to keep the internal drive. For this you need to ensure the SSD fits in the optical drive bay.
Your hands must not be wet and all connections must be unplugged while dealing with the CPU. In case of a laptop, consider ejecting the battery for safety and convenience.