Install the Memory- STEP 7 of 21 in the Build Your Own Computer Series

Chuck Lunsford

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You should now install your memory modules. You need to make sure you have the right kind of memory for your motherboard, but you should have taken care of this already.

On older machines, there are a few installation guidelines to follow. The memory banks will be outlined in your manual. On most machines you will find SD ram memory modules(168)pin, DDR double data rate memory modules (184)pin or DDR2 double data rate memory modules (240)pin.

Most systems use 168-pin SDRAM or memory of newer formats such as DDR/DDDR2. On these systems, memory can be installed in just about any combination and can even be installed stand alone. So, this is the good news for those of you using modern technology. The only memory placement you will need to concern yourself with is single or dual mode. Newer motherboards have four slots for memory. The fist two slots are referred to as slots A and the second two slots B. If you plan to install two sticks of memory the best configuration would be one stick in slot A and one stick in slot B. If you get lost refer to your owner’s manual. The manufacturers are great about visual guides to assist.

Let's get on with it:

1. Decide which slots you are going to use and orient the memory module over it. The module will be keyed in such a way that it will only go in the correct way. So, find the small notch or notches in the memory slot and align the module so that that notch will be inserted into the gap in the module itself. Easy.

2. Install the Module. With SD (168-pin), you need to look for two notches. The force need to insert this module is minor. DO NOT FORCE IT. If it doesn't slide in with minimal effort then back away and try again. You can compare it to the force of turning your cars ignition. Lock the module in place. Obviously, memory doesn’t just sit in the motherboard. When it is module is inserted correctly, you should see the little plastic or metal clips snap into place, thereby holding the module in place.

3. Done. Now just repeat these steps for each of your memory modules. When you are done, double-check your work. Shinning a flashlight on to your work area may also help with verifying memory module alignment.

Chuck Lunsford is an owner and developer of He offers advice on how to get design and build your own personal computer. Visit his website and learn more about building your own computer .


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