Saturday, December 3, 2011

Acer AspireOne RAM upgrade

This morning My friend Les from our local LUG gave me a 1Gig stick of Laptop DDR2 Ram so that I could upgrade my Acer AspireOne Netbook PC. This is one of the early Netbook models and comes with 512Ram on the mother board and an expansion slot to add a further 1Gig Ram. It also has an 8Gig SSD drive and usual 1.6Gig Atom CPU.

The main issue is that you have to almost disassemble the PC to get to the expansion slot as it is situated on the underside of the motherboard, I have done this in the past and added a 256mb ram module as that was all I had at the time but this upgrade would give the maximum potential to the Netbook. You can see how to dismantle the PC at:

Well all went well and I installed the new memory and resembled the PC and It seemed to be working well, Boot time has reduced by about 40% and it is now far more responsive. However when I got home the PC would not connect to my home WiFi and after fiddling with the WiFi switch for a while I realised I had probably forgotten to reconnect the areal to the WiFi card. So after a further strip down to inspect this and find this was the case I reconnected the areal and all now works fine.

The moral here is if you do pull things apart make sure that you reconnect all the working bits as you are putting it all back together again.

On a more general note, it would have been better if the PC had been designed with a little more thought to allow access to the memory slot from the bottom of the PC case. I love the Acer and It has done me good service in the 2 and a half years I have owned it, but you should not have to pull a Netbook apart just to upgrade the memory. To give them credit I think Acer recognised this and later models are far simpler to upgrade.

While I'm here I recently put Lubuntu 11.10 onto the Acer. I can report that If you are not a fan of Ubuntu 11.10 with the Unity interface and need an OS that will run smoothly on lower spec hardware then Lubuntu seems to be a good choice. I've had it installed on the Acer for nearly a month now and I'm quite impressed. I have installed all the extras needed to get all the multi media working and it now does everything I need of a portable PC. With the extended battery I'm now getting a reported 9 hours battery life, a good hour more than with other Linux distro's.

To give me the office software I need I've added Impress from the Libre office suit, but stuck with Abiword and Gnumeric for word documents and spreadsheets as these require less resources.     

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