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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. Philippe R.
    January 30th, 2011 at 16:47 | #1

    Thanks a lot Shahzad
    You “saved my life”! I did not understand how to open the case on my LT2702H Gateway Netbook. I was guessing that the keyboard was to be removed, but I was not able to figure how. The tip was in those tiny tabs (in fact, there are 5 such tabs, and not only 2 on my LT27). Once the KB removed, the rest is easy. And my 2GB machine works just like I expected it should.
    Thanks again :-)
    Philippe

  2. January 30th, 2011 at 16:51 | #2

    You’re most welcome Phillipe. Glad to have been of help!

    The 2Gb makes quite a difference, and is worth the effort. Happy to hear that your machine is humming along now :-)

    – Shahzad

  3. SK
    February 3rd, 2011 at 14:54 | #3

    I have the same on as phillipe, How do I find out what kind of ram im usng? All I know is that its a DDR2 1GB ram

  4. February 3rd, 2011 at 15:26 | #4

    Hi Shajive,
    Try using CPU-Z. It gives you tons of information on your memory etc.

    You’ve probably got an ATOM N450 powering your machine though. The limitations of the max (and type of) memory that your machine will support will be mostly driven by the CPU. The motherboard (on which the CPU is soldered) may also have it’s own quirks.

    – Shahzad

  5. oliver
    February 16th, 2011 at 19:50 | #5

    @Philippe R.
    Hey Philippe,
    I am about to give this a go to, is the 2GB memory you installed for the LT2702 the same as that listed here? ie. 2GB PC2-6400 DDR2 SODIMM ?

  6. Jeff
    February 19th, 2011 at 13:22 | #6

    Thanks a lot, Shahzad! I was able to easily upgrade my memory in only 10 minutes on my LT25. Performance is a lot better with that extra GB.

  7. February 21st, 2011 at 00:11 | #7

    You’re most welcome Jeff. It makes a huge difference. I can actually run two different databases (postgres and mysql), tomcat, a search engine, open office and an ftp server simultaneously and the system works great with the 2GB.

    With a single GB, it was slow like molasses.

    Glad that you found this useful.

  8. Rob
    February 24th, 2011 at 08:29 | #8

    I ordered a 2GB sodimm for my GW LT27 – my question is: once you release the tabs (I have 5 also), will the keyboard pop out or will there be some light prying needed?

    Thank you.

  9. Rob
    February 25th, 2011 at 20:44 | #9

    Hi Shajive,

    I got my 2GB today for my LT27. I was able to get the keyboard started by clicking the leftmost tab (above the ins & del)and inserting a tiny flathead screwdriver in the corner and lifting to get it started. Then I ran a credit card along (under) the keyboard and clicked each tab (5). I had to bend the keyboard slightly to get it out because the tab by the esc key was not moveable. After that everything was a breeze.

    Thanks so much for posting these hints.

  10. Ryu
    February 26th, 2011 at 20:33 | #10

    I have been looking for this tip everywhere since few months ago but could not find it until now. Thank you for the detail info with photos.

    It was quite tricky to open the keyboard but after that is very easy.
    I accidently got the 2GB PC2-5300 ram but it still works fine. For you people who are wondering which ram is compatible with this Gateway netbook, mine was from Kingston. Actually, the 1GB preinstalled was also a Kingston too.

    There should not be much of a speed different between PC2-6400 based on what I read from Google. I recommend to go with the cheaper one. My system runs much smoother now. Cheers to you and thanks again Shazad!

  11. February 28th, 2011 at 11:29 | #11

    Hi Rob, Hi Ryu,
    I am delighted that this postings were helpful for you. Hope you are enjoying your more snappy and responsive laptop :-)

    Thank you for your hints. They will be useful for others who try and follow this path to improved netbook performance!

  12. harris
    March 6th, 2011 at 14:42 | #12

    hi,

    thanks for the walkthrought, I have the same computer and was also thinking of doing this. are you still running windows 7 starter? I have upgraded to windows 7 home premium via usb installation. also do you think if I was to just get a 2gb SD card and perminantly keep it in the slot for readyboost will that also serve the purpose?

  13. March 7th, 2011 at 10:20 | #13

    Hi Harris,
    I’ve got the original Windows 7 starter on the machine but in a much shrunk partition, just in case I need to use MS Office or make a presentation somewhere.

    The primary OS I use is ubuntu netbook remix.

    I did consider going down the readyboost route, but the Ubuntu OS did not have drivers (at that point, it exists natively now) for the SD card reader.

    The memory option is probably a more robust choice, and it frees you up to use the SD slot for other activities. However, this is my option, and your mileage may vary.

  14. james
    March 24th, 2011 at 09:50 | #14

    Hi,

    I am using Ubuntu NR on my lt 25 netbook. it runs great. however i noticed that even when running several applications at once i rarely use more than 500 – 600 mb of ram. so if i upgrade to 2gb, is this really going to make a difference?

  15. March 24th, 2011 at 10:25 | #15

    James,
    It made a huge difference for me. However, my needs are a bit more heavy, as I use the netbook for development purposes as well.

    However, as the old adage goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! :-) It’s good to know that you can upgrade it if you need to though. Otherwise if you are satisfied with the netbook as-is, there is no need to void your warranty!

    – Shahzad

  16. Vicki
    April 2nd, 2011 at 09:12 | #16

    I use my laptop for email/web surfing – but it is still slow. Will this speed it up quite a bit. I am bummed to void the warranty – but it isn’t as usable as I thought being so slow. Is there a specific type of memory I need for my gateway LT27?

    Thanks!!

    Vicki

  17. Gerry
    April 18th, 2011 at 06:21 | #17

    I found your article as the first item of a Google search and was exactly what I was looking for. Many Thanks

  18. April 18th, 2011 at 14:12 | #18

    Hi Vicki,
    If you make the modifications carefully, there will not be enough evidence left to have the manufacturer void your warranty. The type of memory I used is mentioned in the article. One of the commenter also suggested a different memory type for the LT27.

    Good luck. The RAM increase made a huge difference for me in terms of performance, as did getting a wireless mouse.

  19. April 18th, 2011 at 14:13 | #19

    You/re most welcome Gerry. Glad to be of help.

  20. April 21st, 2011 at 13:18 | #20

    i bought gateway LT27 netbook and i bought 2GB RAM TO UPGRADE, I INSTALLED THE 2GB RAM IN MY NETBOOK BUT THE SCREEN IS OFF , WHAT SHOULD I DO ? HELP ME HERE

  21. April 21st, 2011 at 23:36 | #21

    Have you tried putting the old 1 Gb RAM back? Does it work when you do that? In that case, perhaps the new RAM is not compatible. Otherwise, you may have disconnected something in the process.

  22. Terry W
    May 22nd, 2011 at 05:15 | #22

    Shahzad, thanks a lot. I follow the steps and have my LT25 memory upgraded. It made a big difference in speed. Great

  23. May 23rd, 2011 at 20:26 | #23

    @terry, I am delighted that this helped out. Thank you for the kind words. I really do appreciate them.

  24. James Lenaburg
    May 29th, 2011 at 12:58 | #24

    Shahzad, thanks so much for posting this. Picked up a new Gateway LT2712u yesterday, and upgraded the memory to 2Gb with some memory I had left over from my Lenovo W500.

    I replaced the standard 1GB GDDR3-1333 1GB 128MX8 1.5V SODIMM with a 2GB 2Rx8 PC3-8500S Samsung SODIMM. I know I could use a faster SODIMM (PC3-1333 rather than PC-1066) but this was a cheap upgrade that still works.

    James

  25. June 1st, 2011 at 21:53 | #25

    Hi James,
    Delighted that this helped you out. The extra RAM really makes a huge different. I hope that others reading through this list can use the specification you’ve provided.

    Shahzad

  26. June 2nd, 2011 at 21:38 | #26

    Thank you for correcting me on my article on the Gateway LT27. I have corrected it and have a link to this webpage on how to do the upgrade. Thank you!

    Lane

  27. chris
    June 13th, 2011 at 12:33 | #27

    @samson
    that same happend to me but when I put the original ram back in it worked fine again. The RAM I put in must not be compatible, I have LT2712u and tried to put ram from my HP DV7 that has Samsung DDR3 but didnt work.

  28. July 11th, 2011 at 22:02 | #28

    Thanks for this, Shahzad! I just bought an LT2802U, which I think is maybe a newer version of what you have. I was trying to figure-out how to pop the ‘door’ on the bottom, and was removing the underside screws and trying to pry the case open. :(

    Fortunately, I realized it wasn’t happening and did some more searching and came across your work with the LT25 series, which also doesn’t have any easily accessible ‘memory doors’ like the other Gateway netbooks did.

    Anyway, if anyone has an LT28, follow this procedure. Once you have the keyboard out, you’ll see several screws marked with “DOOR” — those are the ones you need to remove. Finally, there is a “DOOR RELEASE” thing that you stick the screwdriver in and push down — and you have to do it pretty hard. Make sure to hold the edge of the netbook up, so the panel can pop down, since if you have it sitting on the panel, there’s nowhere for it to go.

    Mike

  29. Sam
    July 22nd, 2011 at 03:52 | #29

    Shahzad, can’t thank you enough for that wonderful schematic instruction. Worked like a charm.

  30. JN
    August 6th, 2011 at 23:46 | #30

    For LT28 .. the goal of pushing the “DOOR RELEASE” is to open the bottom panel (backside) of the laptop (it has the feet).

  31. Jeff
    August 11th, 2011 at 12:36 | #31

    @micsaund
    I also have the LT28 model and I found 3 release tabs at the top of the keyboard but that seems to only release the top of the keyboard. I can not find other release tabs on the side or bottom. How did you get the keyboard off?

  32. August 11th, 2011 at 13:10 | #32

    Hi jeff,
    The LT25 (which I have) has release tabs on the side of the keyboard as well. Perhaps someone else who has the LT28 could help? I have the LT25.

    – Shahzad

  33. david
    August 11th, 2011 at 19:18 | #33

    The lt28 has only 4 keyboard release tabs accross the top row. above, del, f12, f8 and f4 keys. Then pull or gently pry the top up.
    I woulld not remove the keyboard nor touchpad cable as it is very easy to braak the black retaining clip. Then there are 5 screws to remove. the word “door” is printed near each one. Once you remove those screws push a screwdriver throuch the hole in the pannel to push out the back cover, then pry the back cover off carefully.
    Once again thanks Shahzad for starting this page, you have help a lot of people here.

  34. MADDY
    August 26th, 2011 at 11:12 | #34

    thanks dude

  35. August 26th, 2011 at 11:50 | #35

    You’re most welcome Madhav :-)

  36. Mike
    September 2nd, 2011 at 09:08 | #36

    Hey Shahzad,

    Thank you for your post! Without your help, I probably would have some broken pieces…Gateway help was absolutely useless when I inquired about a memory upgrade procedure on my LT2805u. You have helped many and I appreciate the time you took, especially with pictures!

  37. September 6th, 2011 at 04:56 | #37

    You’re most welcome Mike. Glad that these instructions helped you out.

  38. Tom
    September 8th, 2011 at 07:33 | #38

    Hi guys, my gateway is LT2802U, im not sure if i have to open the keyboard first to upgrade a 2gb RAM? how many tabs and where are they in the LT2802U to open the keyboard?
    Anyone can guide abit more detail with pictures on how to open the back? sorry im novice.
    Many thanks

  39. September 8th, 2011 at 10:30 | #39

    Hi Guys,
    I don’t own a Lt28, so if anyone has an answer to this, please do share it with Tom.

    – Shahzad

  40. Tom
    October 6th, 2011 at 06:51 | #40

    Guys, need your help now, how many screws I have to remove? picture is posted. do i have to remove screws on the bottom of the netbook (I saw 3). thanks.
    [IMG]http://upnhanh.sieuthinhanh.com/tmpimages/images/sieuthiNHANH2011100627840ntjinzkynj79367.jpeg[/IMG]

  41. October 6th, 2011 at 16:17 | #41

    @Tom
    Hi Tom,
    I basically pushed on the back circle you see to the left and the back came off. I did not remove any screws if I recall correctly…

    it was a long time ago though !

  42. Marc
    November 5th, 2011 at 12:55 | #42

    Thanks so much! My performance was frustratingly slow. This is the first time I’ve ever cracked open a computer and it all went extremely well. I had 3 more screws to get the back off, but it was intuitive. This was a terrific upgrade – for $15 bucks for Crucial memory. They did their job too – quick free shipping.

  43. AJ
    December 6th, 2011 at 17:29 | #43

    I have a LT2541u and bought this (http://www3.pny.com/Netbook-Performance-Pack-P2867C385.aspx) to upgrade it. I’m confused on how I can find out if this will work in my computer. The guy at BestBuy said is should work in my computer, but I don’t fully trust him (btw, I only paid $45 for it at BestBuy, on clearance). I also saw on Gateway’s support website that they recommend against upgrading the RAM, but 1 gig is far too slow for my taste.

    Any advice you can give me will be greatly appreciated.

  44. December 6th, 2011 at 23:04 | #44

    Hi AJ,
    The memory should work fine, and congratulations on getting it at a good price. Either DDR2 PC2-6400 or DDR2 PC2-5300 work great on the LT25s, and the processor is an Atom 450N, which supports both types.

  45. Clint
    December 16th, 2011 at 10:08 | #45

    Thank you, Shahzad, for your complete instructions on how to upgrade the memory. It was easy. I ordered 2GB from Crucial for $15. Doubling the memory in my LT2712U definitely made a difference. Everything loads much faster and works better. I had also been using a 16GB Ultra SanDisk card with Windows 7 ReadyBoost. ReadyBoost made a difference with only 1GB, but with 2GB memory, ReadyBoost works even better:
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/products/features/readyboost

  46. December 16th, 2011 at 10:31 | #46

    Hi Clint,
    I’m delighted that the memory made a difference. The little upgraded netbook has really been incredibly useful for me. I can take my computing device anywhere and start working.

    It’s an amazing replacement for a briefcase, and sure beats paper notebooks anyday!

  47. Mike Gordon
    December 26th, 2011 at 07:32 | #47

    I broke the little black retainer clip when reinstalling my keyboard cable on my LT2802. I am having trouble getting one. Any ideas or alternate fixes?

  48. Clint
    January 9th, 2012 at 15:49 | #48

    Hey, Shahzad, any idea where to buy the little rubber feet on the underside of these netbooks? None of the computer stores in my area have them. Thanks. Clint

  49. January 9th, 2012 at 16:07 | #49

    @Clint
    Sorry Clint, I’m not too sure. Perhaps Gateway or Acer would have an answer if you called them?

    Maybe you can rig something up from rubber from the arts and crafts stores (such as Michael’s here in Canada).

  50. Tom
    January 13th, 2012 at 14:02 | #50

    @Clint

    Just go to the dollar store and get one of them rounded rubber pads in the hardware aisle. I dont know what they are called exactly but it is a flat circle with rubber on one side and a sticker on the other side.

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