RAM Upgrade

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Guide Information

Guide Title: How To Disassemble The "Shadow Case" and upgrade the internal RAM slot

Created by: Compman55

Contact: <email>compman55@aol.com </email>


Summary

How to upgrade the internal RAM in your laptop.

Applies to

  • Arima: W730-K8 based laptops
  • eMachines: m2350, m2352, m68xx, m64xx
  • Gateway: m520, 74xx, 72xx
  • Targa: Visionary 811
  • Voodoo: Envy M:860, and many other models not listed here.


Tools Needed

  1. #1 magnetic Phillips screw driver
  2. Small flat head screw drivers
  3. Credit card or other type of stiff card
  4. Small flashlight , LED works the best
  5. (2) Desktop PCI slot covers
  6. Cardboard to make template
  7. Towels or other soft cloths
  8. Rubber surgical gloves, wash after putting on!!!
  9. Black Electric Tape


Before Getting Started

Tampering with any internal components excluding, external ram slot, DVD drive, and hard drive will void your warranty. So you will be taking a moderate risk. There are ways the manufacture can identify if you have been inside. Hopefully this guide will help reduce this risk. The tools listed above are mandatory to do the procedure correctly.


Procedure

  1. Test each RAM module in the external slot to make sure it is not faulty. Download memtest86 from http://www.memtest86.com
  2. Make certain environment is very clean, and free of static.
  3. Remove battery, and ac power source from laptop.


Figure 1: Cover with electric tape of your choice.
Figure 2: Bend the second cover so that it resembles this. Also cover with tape after bending.
Figure 3: Draw up a template so that you know where every screw goes. They have color coded thread locking sealant on every screw, and to reduce the risk of voiding the warranty, keep them the same way as they came out!
Figure 3a: Some screws are marked with colours.
Figure 4: Start off with the lid in the closed position.
Figure 5: Remove all 4 screws indicated in red. These are color coded and need to be kept in order. The two middle ones are blue, the end ones are red.
Figure 6: DO NOT USE FLAT HEAD SCREWDRIVER!!!! It will put marks in the plastic. Press very hard in the dead center of the silver hinge covers and at the same time pull upwards. Use caution not to break the tabs, if it will not unlatch you are not pressing hard enough.
Figure 7: Fully open the lid of the laptop very slowly and make sure hinge covers do not snap back in place. You may need to wedge a screwdriver in each gap to prevent this. Next you will want to cover the end of your flat screwdriver with tape and pry in between the hinge cover and LCD housing. The areas circled in red are the least likely place to show scratching. Once you get those loose, pull up on the left hand side of the cover and slip a credit card under the bezel working your way to the right hand side. Hopefully it will release the tabs without breaking. Once loose, flip it upside down and release the tab on the ribbon connector, then pull the ribbon out of the PCB paying attention to the direction it goes in.
Figure 8: Next, remove the (2) screws circled in red that hold the keyboard down. You will need to be very gentle and lightly wiggle it out. It will be very frustrating so take your time. Once you get it loose, fold it upside down on the palmrest area, do not unplug it from the motherboard unless you feel it is necessary.
Figure 9: Next you will need to remove the (4) screws circled in red, being careful not to mix them up. Use caution not to leave fingerprints on this plate when reinstalling!!!!
Figure 10: As you can see in this picture the RAM slot is half covered with the card reader. For those folks who have no warranty, I recommend further disassembly which I will not cover at this time because I believe there is more risk in voiding the warranty. It is however, humanly possible to do so without further disassembly.
Figure 11: First release the right latch, and then you will need to use the unbent PCI slot cover to disengage the hidden latch. Once unlatched, you will need to wiggle it out to the right side. Be careful not to damage the RAM slot contact wires. Once you remove the old one, position the new module on top of the slot and gently slide it back so that the front drops down in the slot evenly. This will be very time consuming and very tedious.
Figure 12: Now, being the card reader is in the way, you will not get the full 45 degree tilt required to seat the module in the slot. Now you will have to use the bent PCI slot cover to "lightly force" the module into the slot. This is the hardest part and will take a lot of eye-hand coordination, so do not slip! If the new module refuses to snap in but the old one does, you may need to file a slight bit of PCB material off of the corners of the RAM module to allow it to seat. Just the corners should do!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After it is evenly seated, and ONLY after you make 100% sure, press the module down until it clicks. Using a flashlight make sure it is still even. Next cover the exposed circuits with a cloth paying attention not to jam the cloth in the cooling fans, and then set keyboard upright. Then plug in your AC power source and power on the laptop. Enter the system bios and verify the ram is registering correctly, and if so, power off and reverse procedure to assemble. Now is a good time to blow out the system with compressed air, or canned air. Oh and BTW, did you know that canned air is nothing more than r134a refrigerant used in 1994 and up automobiles?

Figure 13: If you did this correctly, you should see this!!!!!!!!


Conclusion

This guide was designed for the average user with basic computer skills for the purposes of upgrading and maintenance. The two most popular upgrades are a 7200RPM hard drive, and 2GB or RAM. Feel free to email me with any questions you may have. Feedback is always appreciated, any of your ideas are also welcome.


Photo Sources

http://www.ebcym.com/laptop/laptop.html

http://www.wereshark.com/m6805/

And of course some of my own.