Acer Aspire One: adding RAM

Find out how to access the Aspire One’s memory slot

  • Here is the removed solid-state drive. It’s 8GB in capacity.

  • A black clip holds the keyboard’s cable in place. This can be popped up by using your fingernails. In the same manner, don’t forget to remove the touchpad cable below it.

  • The Linux version of the Aspire One ships with 512MB of RAM (you can check out our full review here. However, there is a free SO-DIMM slot for you to add a DDR2 module, but it can be tricky to get to it as there is no access panel underneath the unit. To get the RAM slot, you have to take apart the entire unit. Start with the keyboard, as there are screws beneath that need to be removed in order for the One to come apart. The keyboard is held by five notches on the cover of the chassis, which we’ve highlighted in red. A thin, flathead screwdriver needs to be used to push these notches back in order to unclip the keyboard.

  • You can see the CPU and Northbridge chipset if you remove the cooler, which is held by three screws. Once you’ve added RAM, re-trace your steps to put the unit back together. The downside is that if the RAM you install is faulty you’ll have to go through the whole disassembly and reassembly process again.

  • In the red highlighted area is the wireless module. This is held to the unit using one screw. It also has two antenna cables attached to it. Carefully use your fingers to detach the antenna cables, then unscrew the module. It will spring upwards and you can slide it out.

  • Here’s the keyboard on its own. It’s slightly bigger than the Eee PC’s keyboard, and a little more comfortable to use.

  • The solid-state drive (SSD) is highlighted in red. Two screws hold it in place, and it’s attached to the motherboard via a cable. A black clip, similar to the one that holds the keyboard’s cable, holds the SSD module’s cable in place. This cable has no slack, so you need to unclip it and then remove the screws to remove the module. The left-most one can be difficult to get to as it the motherboard impinges on it slightly.

  • With the motherboard exposed, you can see there is no RAM slot in sight. However, you can see the built-in RAM chips, which reside just below and to the left of the keyboard and touchpad connectors. The RAM slot is underneath the motherboard, which means more unscrewing.

  • After you’ve removed the solid-state drive, disconnect the red and white cable from the centre of the motherboard that goes to the speakers, and remove the sole screw that holds the board in place. This will allow you to lift the motherboard up. However, the cable that connects the LCD screen is still attached (in the top-left corner). You can lift the board while this cable is still connected, but keep it in mind when you lift the board as you don’t want to rip of off (it does provide a little slack).

  • With all the screws off, the next step is to prise apart the top part of the base. It’s held to the bottom part by clips, but these easily come apart if you run your finger along the sides (where the red line is in the photo) and front of the chassis. Once it’s unclipped, lift it upwards to remove it.

  • Here is the underside of the panel once it’s removed.

  • This is what the underside of the motherboard looks like. You can see the empty RAM slot in the centre. Above the RAM slot is the Intel Atom CPU and the Northbridge chipset. These are hidden by the active cooling device, which is the only moving part in the Aspire One.

  • With the keyboard off, the screws underneath need to be removed. There are six screws in total, which we’ve highlighted in red. Use a small Phillips-head screwdriver for these, but be warned: they are tight. A small screwdriver with a thick handle will be necessary in order to get good leverage.

  • Here are both sides of the removed module. It’s an 802.11b/g module from Atheros.

  • There are also screws on the bottom of the unit that need to be removed. As well as the ones we’ve highlighted in red, there are three in the battery compartment that need to be removed, too. The top-most two screws in the photo reside under the rubber stops. Remove these to get to the screws, which are slightly longer screws than the ones used to hold the rest of the body together.

  • Next up, you’ll need to remove the right-most board, which houses the audio ports and the SD memory card slot. Three screws hold it in place, which we’ve highlighted in red. You need to remove this because the solid-state storage device is held to the chassis by two screws, and one of these screws is located under this board.

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