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How can I tell if a RAM chip from old laptop will work in new laptop?

This is a discussion on How can I tell if a RAM chip from old laptop will work in new laptop? within the RAM and Power Supply Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. My newer laptop has 4GB ram and can be very slow at times and well, I just found my old

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Old 06-26-2018, 10:43 PM   #1
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My newer laptop has 4GB ram and can be very slow at times and well, I just found my old laptop that I forgot I kept. There is no hard drive in it so I can't boot it up to see exactly which kind of ram chip it is. Is there a number or something on the chip itself that will help identify it?

I want to put it into a Gateway NE56R41u Windows 10 (latest update) 64-bit system. There is one unused ram slot inside.

All I know about my old laptop is it is a Compaq. I can post a serial number if that is useful here.

From google searches, all I could find was "Try it to see if it works," well I'd like something more confident than that.


Edit: If I have something that works, why bother spending $40-$60 on a new one? ya know
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Old 06-26-2018, 11:30 PM   #2
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boot into bios on your old laptop .. you don't need a disk drive for it to power on and access bios ..

from within BIOS you will be able to see how much RAM is installed ... no point in putting a 2GB RAM in place of a 4GB ..

to see if they are compatible check to see where the cut out is on the edge connector after removal.
to see what RAM it is .. remove from laptop and look for the label that tells you what it is .. also you can google the code written on the chips themselves.

in fact you could put a bootable Linux cd rom in the tray and boot from that if you have one or some sort of system diagnostic cd

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Old 06-28-2018, 06:11 AM   #3
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All I know about my old laptop is it is a Compaq. I can post a serial number if that is useful here.
There's no model number on the notebook?

How old is the old notebook?

Unfortunately, the BIOS will only tell how much RAM is installed, not what type. The Gateway uses DDR3 RAM. If the Compaq uses DDR2, don't even try. The slots are not even physically compatible. If you force the wrong type RAM in the slot, you will damage the slot (and likely the RAM too) permanently.

According to the specs and Crucial for the Gateway, it supports up to 8GB DDR3 in a 2 x 4GB configuration. If me, I would just bite the bullet and buy all new 2 x 4GB to ensure total compatibility and dual channel operation.

Even if your Compaq is using DDR3, it is not likely it has the same specs as your Gateway RAM so no guarantee it is compatible with the Gateway motherboard/chipset, or the existing Gateway RAM, or that it will run in dual channel mode.

At the very least, pull the Compaq RAM. Determine if DDR2 or DDR3 as seen here. If DDR2, there is no point in even thinking of trying it.

Before even thinking of touching the RAM in either computer, pull the batteries and unplug the chargers. Then touch bare metal inside the case to discharge any static in your body. Then touch the RAM in the edges - never the electrical contacts.
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