An HP laptop showing the system requirements for an HP ENVY 34.

Upgrade the memory and storage in your HP laptop or desktop PC

When you find that your current HP system is sluggish when multi-tasking, or unable to work with large files sizes without caching to storage, you may decide it’s time for a memory upgrade. Adding RAM to HP laptops and desktops is the easiest and most cost-effective way to breathe new life into them. Additionally, adding extra storage (or replacing existing storage options with superior alternatives) can do wonders for a system’s speed.

Advantages of RAM upgrades for HP computers

RAM and storage upgrades offer many boons to HP laptops, desktops, and other systems.

  • General performance: a computer that is slowing down can get some extra pep with new memory modules or an SSD.
  • Machine longevity: a laptop or desktop with a few years on it can find a new lease of life with a memory or storage upgrade, saving the user money they’d otherwise spend on a new system.
  • Boot speed: more memory means startup processes are handled faster, saving users time.
  • Multitasking: extra memory supports users that want their machines to handle a combination of high-intensity tasks, such as rendering and editing, or gaming and streaming.
  • Productivity: for certain tasks, like programming or graphics rendering, a memory update can accelerate the pace of work.
  • Gaming latency: high-quality RAM has lower latency, so the computer can operate faster since needed data is accessed faster.

Upgrading your HP computer

Depending on your HP system’s model, the process of adding memory or storage will vary, but typically it follows a similar pattern.

Step 1: Problem identification

What usually happens first is that a user will notice an issue with their computer. It might be that the computer’s physical memory can’t keep up with a memory-hungry program like Photoshop, or its hard drive is bottlenecking your workflow. Just because you identify a problem doesn’t necessarily mean your system requires a hardware upgrade, though. There are other measures you can try first.

Step 2: Exhaust alternatives

If pursuit of the more straightforward solutions for your system’s issues has led to no noticeable improvements, the next step is finding and installing a suitable upgrade.

Step 3: Research upgrades

As important as finding that your computer needs an upgrade is figuring out what kind of upgrade will fix the issues it has. Kingston’s Memory Assessor is perfect for this, determining both how much memory a system has and how much it could benefit from.

Step 4: System model identification

A hand on a touch screen

You will need to know your HP computer’s model before you can find the right RAM to work with its processor. HP’s naming conventions for models include systems such as the:

  • HP Envy All-in-One 34-c1045t
  • HP Pavilion 27-ca2055t AiO PC
  • HP ZBook Firefly 16 G10 Mobile Workstation PC

The model number can usually be found on your system’s product label. This will usually be found on one of its faces other than the front. On some products, though, it may be found inside a battery compartment or behind an access panel.

If this is not successful, accessing the system information is also an option. Windows users can press Windows + R to open the Run dialog box, then enter the command msinfo32. A window containing system information will appear, with the line System SKU, featuring your computer’s model name and number.

screenshot of the Configurator results of an HP model PC
Your results will likely resemble this.

Step 5: Find system specifics

When you enter your system’s model number into Kingston’s Configurator (look for the Search by System/Device box), it will return either a list of variations, or the specific model, along with the brand name. When you choose the right option, there will be a lot of additional technical data, but the information you are likely most interested in is located in the memory section:

  • Your model’s standard-issue memory
  • The maximum amount of memory your system can use
  • Your system’s memory bank schema (how memory sockets are configured on its motherboard)
  • Whether or not your system’s memory can be upgraded or expanded
  • If your system’s factory-configured memory cannot be removed the Configurator will recommend memory and storage options compatible with your system, along with links to purchase, such as Kingston’s approved resellers. In some territories, you may have the option to purchase directly from Kingston.

Step 6: Install your upgrades

When you obtain the memory and/or storage with which you want to upgrade your HP computer, you should follow one of the numerous video or text guides that Kingston has produced that demonstrate how best to install your new hardware.

  • It’s important to create a backup of your system before embarking on any kind of upgrade. It’s a precaution in the unlikely event something bad happens.
  • After completing your backup, turn off your computer and, if it’s a laptop, unplug it from the power adapter and remove any detachable batteries.
  • It’s a good policy to discharge any remaining power in your desktop or laptop system by holding down the power button for five seconds after unplugging it/removing the battery.
  • Choose a suitable surface to work on. Static electric discharges could damage components you’re installing or removing. Avoid fabric surfaces, such as carpets or rugs. Keep pets away from your workspace. Be sure to touch a separate piece of metal before you begin working, or preferably, wear an anti-static band to discharge any static electricity that could damage RAM and other components inside the system.
  • Unscrew the case/cover, putting all screws in a safe place, such as a plastic baggie.
  • Your machine may have its storage bay or memory sockets covered by a cooling shroud or metal plate, which will also need to be carefully removed.
  • You won’t need to force the SSD into the storage bay. If you purchased an SSD compatible with your system, it will plug in easily.
  • Modules are usually held in place by a clip that can be pushed on either side to release the module from the socket. Make sure to only touch the outer edges and pull it out slowly.
  • For installations, line up the module so the notch on the bottom correctly aligns with the socket. DIMMs plug in vertically, while SODIMMs slide in at a 45-degree angle. With the notch on the module aligned, press firmly on the top left and right sides to secure it in place. It may help to gently rock the module back and forth until it secures. When the DIMM is correctly seated, the clips on the socket’s edges will engage and hold it firm. However, for SODIMMs, it will be necessary to press the module down flat until the clips engage.
  • If you’d like more guidance on how best to install your memory modules, we have detailed guides to help: How to install memory in a desktop PC & How to install memory in a laptop.

Step 7: Reboot and check

Your computer will need a little extra time to identify the new memory, and you may receive a message that the amount of memory has changed. If you changed the storage, the computer will now be booting from the new drive. You should clone the contents of your old drive to your new one, if you want to retain your files. Kingston offers cloning software with its SSDs that you can find here.

Troubleshooting memory installation

Memory errors or boot failures after memory installation can be tackled with these efforts:

  • Reseat the new memory module
  • Clean the socket for the memory module with a can of compressed air
  • Check all cable connections and reconnect those that were not secure or disconnected
  • Contact Kingston Technical Support for assistance


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