Important: Electrostatic Precautions!
RAM modules are sensitive to ESD and therefore come packaged with anti-static shielding. It is therefore important to keep the memory sticks sealed inside the packaging until they are ready to be fitted.
To complete the steps in this article you will need a Philips screwdriver and an anti-static wristband.
1) Unplug PC & Take Off Side Panel
Unplug the computer from the mains and lay it on its side on an even surface so that you can remove the side panel. This will give you clear access to the inside of the computers chassis (most side panels will easilty slide off once two small screws at the rear have been removed).
2) Attach Anti-static Wristband
It is advisable to wear an anti-static wristband in order to protect the memory and other components from electrostatic discharge (ESD).
3) Remove Existing RAM Modules
The existing RAM modules will be easy to identify - they are usually thin green PCB modules (approx 7 inches long) that are slotted into the motherboard and secured with a plastic clip at each end. Use the new memory modules that you have purchased as a reference if you are unsure (the existing modules will look almost identical).
The modules can be removed by pressing down on the plastic clip at both ends of the RAM module - this will release the module so that it can be removed clear of the motherboard.
4) Fit New Modules
The fitting procedure is the reverse of the removal procedure mentioned above. First, align the memory modules with the slot on the motherboard (ensure the modules are the correct orientation- they only fit one way due to the presence of a groove mid-way along the module). Push the module firmly into the slot (this will effectively lock the module in place). Don't be afraid to apply some pressure so that you hear an audible "click" when the plastic clips snap into place on at the ends of the RAM stick.
5) Finish & Power On
Once you have successfully fitted the new RAM memory modules you can now re-attach the side panel of the computer and re-connect it to the mains. You should now be able to power on the PC and boot into Windows as normal.
6) Test The Memory!
Even brand-new momory can occasionally be faulty so thoroughly test the memory integrity to make sure you have error-free RAM. There are free software tools that enable you to do this if you search Google (a good one is Memtest).
By following the steps in this article you will now have performed one of the easiest hardware upgrades for your computer, but one that will give you a significant boost in performance.