How To Use Memory From Old Computers

Many computers have user friendly hardware that can be easily tinkered around with when required. In most cases there isn’t much space on the hardware devices to work on, but the installation of the hardware can be still done successfully. However, if you are going to install your new computer with the memory of an older computer then you must first make sure that the new computer has a compatible memory card; otherwise, your efforts will be wasted because the new computer will not be able to utilize or read the memory of the older computer.

In most cases, the motherboards are designed to support memory in pairs and the memory has to go into specific ‘memory slots’. Computer memory works better when it is installed in pairs. If for some reason you are unable to install the memory correctly then take the help of the user manual.

Some computers might require the addition of a different type of memory slot for the motherboard to read it correctly. Get down to the real work only after checking on these factors first.

Let’s take a look at the step-by-step process of installing an old memory card on your new system.

1. Go to the ‘My Computer’ icon on the desktop and right click on the icon. Select properties from the drop down box that appears. It will take you to system properties window.

Go to the second last line of the information statistics. It will give you the quantity of RAM in your system. Make a note of this amount.

2.  Shut down the computer correctly. Remove the battery charger from the laptop if you are working on one. There should be absolutely no supply of electricity to the computer/laptop. Now carry the computer and its bearings including the CPU to a spacious place where you can work comfortably. Take off the CPU case and place the screws in a small box or a bowl to ensure that you don’t misplace them.

The computers should be placed on a flat and hard surface to ensure that they aren’t damaged in any way. It is also recommended to wear an antistatic wrist strap. If you don’t have an antistatic watch then simply rub your hands over the surface of the CPU case before putting your hands inside the CPU.

3. After you have opened the CPU case, check the inside of the CPU for RAM. This device is not hard to miss; it is a thin and green colored chip that is around 6inches in length and 2 inches in height. RAM is connected to a slot with its both sides attached to the slot.

Now check whether you have space to fit in the memory card from your old computer. In the absence of an empty slot you won’t be able to install the old memory card. However, if the new RAM has low capacity than the old RAM then it can be replaced successfully with the old RAM.

If the RAM is being added to a laptop then you will be able to locate the memory within a small door-like compartment. You will have to open the screws of the compartment to access the RAM.

4. Now look at the user manual of your new computer to check the type of RAM your new system has. Check whether it is DDR2 or DDR3. It would be also useful to keep the user manual with you while doing the installation as you will require more information about your new computer to complete the installation successfully.

Remember, you cannot use DDR2 memory card on a motherboard that uses only DDR3 memory card. Checking for compatibility with the motherboard is very important. Your user’s manual will give you the information about the memory card that the motherboard supports. Physically you can distinguish one card from the other by looking at their sides.

5. Remove the lid of your old CPU case. Pull out the RAM from the CPU carefully after unclipping it from the slot. Ensure that you perform the removal of the RAM gently otherwise you just might damage it. Place the RAM on a paper and use a dry and clean cotton cloth to dust it. This RAM is ready to be placed in your new system.

Remove the clips from the empty slot of your new CPU. Place the old RAM on the slot and gently push it to set it in the slot. If you do this correctly, the clips will automatically attach themselves on the RAM and you will hear a soft ‘click’.

Your new system has enhanced memory which is now ready for use.

Close the CPU case and turn on your computer to check whether the memory has been installed correctly or not and if the computer is able to read the new memory card correctly.

Turn on the computer and return to system properties. The total memory that you have just installed on your computer should match with the quantity of RAM given in the system properties. If the RAM has been installed properly then this should give you a correct reading; otherwise, you will have to open the CPU again to ensure that RAM is in its proper place and installed correctly.

Tips on Installing Old RAM in New System

•    RAM gives a better performance if the memory sticks are placed in pairs. However, some motherboards might have the arrangement for placing the memory into specific slots as well.

If your new system does not read the memory correctly then you must check your user manual to see what kind of system your new motherboard supports. You might be required to place memory in either slots or in pairs depending on the motherboard.

•    Two memory sticks of different speeds can be used in pairs; however, memory will perform better if sticks of same speed are used to form pairs. It is not advisable to mix and match two different types of memories like DDR2 and DDR3.

•    While working on the computer hardware it is important to ground yourself or you might damage the computer through static electricity. It is not recommended to sit on chairs or sofa while working on the hardware.



Anubha Pandey