Upgrading the RAM on a MacBook

I'm upgrading the RAM in a white 2007 MacBook (2.2 GHz Intel Core Duo), replacing the two 512 MB chips with 2x1GB PC2 5300 667Mhz SODIMM DDR2 RAM, to max out the RAM at 2 GB. I picked up the 1 GB chips at MicroCenter.

The only tool required is a small Phillips head screwdriver; I used one from my glasses repair kit.

To upgrade the RAM, start by removing the battery from the back of the computer. There's a handy diagram on the bottom of the battery compartment that I must admit I couldn't understand until I watched this helpful video: How to Install Memory into the Apple MacBook.

I recommend checking out the video because it covers a lot of little tips that make the whole endeavor go much smoother. Note that the Philips head screws in the bracket you remove are captive; in other words, you can't unscrew them entirely from the bracket, which means you can't lose them unless you misplace the entire bracket (a nice design touch; thanks Apple).

Not mentioned in the video, but important to remember any time you are handling RAM chips:

  • Always discharge any static electricity you may have accumulated on your person before you grab a chip by touching some metal, preferably on the computer. In this case, there's plenty of metal in the battery compartment; just touch it before you pop the chips out.
  • Always handle the RAM chips by their edges; don't grab the circuit board area, and don't touch the metal contacts along the edge that seats into the memory slots.

After I swapped in the new RAM, I replaced the battery, flipped the MacBook over, and turned it on. As soon as the Finder loaded, I went straight to the Apple menu and selected About This Mac to confirm the computer was recognizing the entire 2 GB. All set!


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