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Upgraded Gateway LT25 Netbook RAM

I wanted to have access to a machine that would fit in my backpack. Laptops were out, as I don’t want to lug around something heavy, and the iPad was a bit too underpowered for my needs and was lacking the keyboard. I was going to run Ubuntu Netbook remix on it anyways, so the Apple OS was not a great draw for me.

I decided on the Gateway LT25, which is essentially similar to an Acer Aspire One.

It comes with 250GB (more than enough space) and a celeron-like (but power-conserving) Intel Atom processor, and has a 6 cell battery, which means that it would last me most of a day’s work (even if I did not have access to power, or was moving around).

The only thing I did not like about it was the limited RAM. 1GB did not cut it for me. It was also a big sluggish due to the paging taking place when I ran my DB, webserver and firefox.

So I decided to do something about it, and ordered a 2 GB RAM stick.

The RAM I ordered was the Mushkin 2GB PC2-6400 DDR2 SODIMM for Notebooks. However, any PC2-6400 memory should work with the Atom N450 processor. More than 2GB probably will not be useful, and in any case, the CPU will be the bottleneck at that point.

Upgrading the Memory

To upgrade the memory, you have to open the netbook (essentially voiding the warranty). It’s a lot simpler than it appears when you start it. I’m writing this point up, with a few picture, to make it easier for the next person attempting this.

Please place a pillowcase or some other cloth under the laptop when carrying out the operation, otherwise you will scratch your laptop’s exterior casing. You may also want to either use a static-protection wrist-strap, or touch the metal on your sink to protect your system’s sensitive electronic components from electrostatic discharge damage.

Step 1: Remove the battery.

Flip the netbook over, and remove the battery.

It is held by two clips on the back. Move them towards the outside of the case, and the battery should be easy to pop out.

Step 2: Remove the keyboard

Turn the netbook over again (the right way) and open the lid so that you can see the keyboard. Using a credit card, push the little tabs in that are holding the keyboard in place. Don’t use a screwdriver as you may end up scratching your case (or damaging something or another). I’ve marked the location of the clip (tabs) in red circles in the picture below:

Step 3: Release the screws holding the back plate in place

Thre are four screws holding the back plate in place. You’ll need a jeweller’s screwdriver to remove these. This is smaller than your everyday screwdriver, and is used for things like jewelery and eyeglass frames.

Step 4: (Optional) Remove the keyboard data cable

I removed the keyboard data cable, which is probably something that you don’t need to do. You pull the little white plastic clip slightly out and gently slide out the data cable. This would allow you to remove the keyboard entirely.

Step 5: Remove back plate

Push a pen (or the screwdriver) through the hole to push out the back plate. The back plate should pop out, and you can then flip the netbook over and remove the back plate entirely.

Step 6:Remove the Existing RAM

The RAM is in the slot on the top left. Gently pull the tabs away from the RAM and the chip should pop out. Make sure that you have drained any electrostatic discharge before attempting this step (touch something grounded, like your bathroom sink’s tap’s metal part). You may want to keep track of the notch at the bottom of the chip, to ensure that you replace the new RAM in the same place (using the same orientation).

Step 7: Insert the new RAM

Gently slide in the new RAM unit, and pop it into place. The tabs should securely hold the RAM in place.

That’s it, you’re done. Put everything back in the reverse order, and boot up the machine.

Go into the bios (by typing F2 at startup) and the machine should have automatically picked up that it has 2 GB now.

  1. Nicholas
    January 21st, 2012 at 09:05 | #1

    I have the LT27, Atom N455. Memory shown is 1GB DDR3. What would be a compatible memory upgrade? Thanks much.

  2. Anonymous
    February 4th, 2012 at 17:42 | #2

    After step 2, where you push the tabs in, how do you lift the keyboard?

  3. Clint
    June 20th, 2012 at 13:15 | #3

    Hi, Shahzad. Would it be worth the trouble to upgrade to a higher version of Windows 7 so that more memory could be put in? Do you know if more than 2 gigabytes of memory is possible with the one slot? Thank you.

  4. Clint
    June 20th, 2012 at 16:05 | #4

    Forgot to ask, can the processor possibly be upgraded? Anything else to speed this little LT27 up? Thanks again.

  5. June 20th, 2012 at 17:23 | #5

    Hi Clint,
    It’s probably not worth it to upgrade the OS. The processor is soldered on, so that option is not available.

    The only other option I’d explore is to swap out the hard drive for an SSD disk. However, if you really need something more powerful, it may be time to get a laptop with more capability. You can get some really good deals for 400 – 550 nowadays.

    – Shahzad

  6. Clint
    June 22nd, 2012 at 20:01 | #6

    Thank you Shahzad. That is what I had guessed. I use my LT27 for backing up pictures each day from my cameras when I travel to foreign countries. It is just the right size to fit into my carry on and is powerful enough to enhance underwater pictures quickly with Photoshop Elements. I bought it slightly used from a kid for $130 and cannot justify an SSD disk for double or more. The LT27 does all right for what it is and how it’s used.

  7. Tony
    July 24th, 2012 at 22:22 | #7

    thank you Shahzad for taking the time to post this and also the helpful comment!! I have a LT28 and have no problem following the steps. The tricky step is taking keyboard after pushing the tabs. Suggest start in the top right corner and use something really really thin/small screwdriver to slowly lift the keyboard up. Also the door screws are all marked M2X74 (something like that) and there are roughly 7-9 of them.

    Thanks again!

  8. jim
    January 27th, 2013 at 16:02 | #8

    what is max ram ican install in the lt25.
    does it have 2 cards or one?

  9. January 29th, 2013 at 10:17 | #9

    Hi Jim,
    The max memory for most Atom processors is 2GB.

    There are some newer ones that support 4GB, but you model maxes out at 2GB.

    There is only only RAM slot, and be sure to purchase the laptop version (which is difference from the desktop version of the RAM).

  10. Clint McAuliffe
    March 9th, 2013 at 13:00 | #10

    I’ve seen that I can upgrade from windows 7 Starter to Windows Home Basic for about $20 which will handle 4 GB or RAM. I realize the Home Basic would only use 3.5 GB but wouldn’t that be worth the trouble to get even more speed out of my LT27? It would be less expensive than a new notebook. Thanks for your advice. Clint, Bend, Oregon

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