So my faithful little Dell Inspiron 700m laptop finally waved the white flag in the face of burgeoning memory requirements from many  programs that shall remain nameless, rude programs, Microsoft saying What The Hell to a zillion instances of the same program, and ramping memory leaks from other commonly used programs.

If I leave my computer for a while, that whole glacial crawl thing happens, and I finally got sick of apologizing for the wait when attempting to show pictures to my family.  Horrible.

So, how much memory can you put in an Inspiron 700m?  I didn’t realize it would be a difficult and contentious question.

This isn’t really a mystery but an answer to the question which isn’t well socialized on the internet.

DESPITE what the service manual says,

  1. This computer can handle up to 2GB.
  2. This computer has 2 banks/slots for memory modules.
  3. Each slot can max out at 1GB.

The PDF service manual and most references online relay that the SINGLE memory slot is accessed from the bottom of the computer after taking of a rectangular cover.  No problem.

But why doesn’t the service manual mention the second memory slot located under the keyboard?  Boggles my mind.

Several websites advertising RAM don’t mention it either.  In fact, some “experts” state that only one slot exists.  Sigh.

So here’s the deal.  The computer generally shipped with 1G configured in two 512 MB modules.  To upgrade, buy 2 1GB modules.

To install, I finally found an accurate online version of the service manual that’s updated to include instructions for updating BOTH upper and lower modules.  Pictures are included, so use this reference.  And it’s not that hard - even though you have to remove the keyboard, replacing both takes 10 minutes (25 if you take time to clean the cat hair from between the keyboard keys).

To see how your computer’s memory is configured, and to learn a LOT MORE about your computer, I use Belarc Advisor - Free PC Audit tool.  It analyzes your system and reports back all hardware (including how many memory banks and memory sizes), peripherals, software and license numbers, comprehensiveness of your virus protection and Windows update status.  Nice tool for any computer.