How to Upgrade RAM Memory of the Lenovo IdeaPad S12 Netbook – a Complete Guide


A computer memory upgrade is often the best way of increasing overall computer performance, and upgrading netbook memory is often one of the easiest computer upgrades. Do you want to get a little more power out of your Lenovo IdeaPad S12  Netbook? Upgrade that 1GB of RAM to 2GB (Intel Atom) or 3GB (Via). It will speed up opening new applications, running multiple applications at once, and switching between software applications (multi-tasking). Here’s a complete and easy guide on how to upgrade your Lenovo IdeaPad S12 ‘s memory.

Purchase the right memory.

Keep in mind there are 3 different versions of the IdeaPad S12 on sale. The 3th version with NVIDIA ION / HDMI was the last version which was released.

A. Intel Atom based machines with the Intel Chipset 945 can’t access more than 2GB in total and the system has already 1GB (667MHz) soldered onto the motherboard. The user manual of the IdeaPad S12 suggests that there’s already a SODIMM module pre-installed in the RAM slot under the access door, but the slot is actually empty, so you just have to add a 1GB PC2-5300 667MHz  or PC2-6400 800 MHz SODIMM memory module. A faster module is backwards compatible, so a PC2-6400 SODIM will work, but it will NOT make a difference in speed. Recommended brands include, but are not limited to, Crucial, Corsair, Kingston, Patriot, and Viking.

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  • Crucial 2GB Single DDR2 667MHz (PC2-5300) CL5 SODIMM 200-Pin Notebook Memory Module CT25664AC667
    This is by far the most popular Netbook memory replacement at the moment.
  • Crucial 2GB Single DDR2 800MHz (PC2-6400) CL6 SODIMM 200-Pin Notebook Memory Module CT25664AC800
  • Corsair VS2GSDS667D2 2GB (1x2GB) DDR2 667 MHz (PC2 5300) Laptop Memory
  • B. VIA Nano ULV 2250 based systems can handle 3GB of RAM in total, but you’re Ideapad S12 might not work when adding 2 GB into the empty slot without upgrading the BIOS first! You can find the BIOS upgrade (release date 2009-08-07) HERE.

    After the upgrade you can put a 2GB 800 MHz or 667MHz DDR2 SODIMM memory module into the empty slot (see examples above).

    C. S12 models with NVIDIA ION Graphics (and the Intel ATOM Processor N270) can handle 3GB of RAM in total. The netbook ships with either 2GB or 3GB pre-installed. 1GB of RAM is soldered onto the motherboard. The 2GB Models can be upgraded to 3GB; the 3GB models however can NOT be upgraded, due to hardware limitations. After the BIOS upgrade you can replace the 1GB memory stick in the memory slot with a 2GB 800 MHz or 667MHz DDR2 SODIMM memory module (see examples above).

    The procedure to add the memory is described below.

    1. Shut down the computer completely.

    2. Power off your Lenovo IdeaPad S12 if it’s on. Also, unplug the AC power adapter.

    3. Prepare your IdeaPad S12 by placing it upside-down on a flat surface with some form of soft padding. Static electricity can damage your module and other computer parts. Make sure that you are working in a static-safe environment. Remove any plastic bags or papers from your work space.

    4. Remove the battery. This will prevent you from accidentally shorting anything on the system board during this process.  The spring battery lock keeps the battery pack secure. When removing the battery pack, this spring lock must be retained in the unlocked position.

    5. Discharge residual power by pressing the power button.

    6. Be sure to ground yourself. Touch something metal (like a tap) for a couple of seconds and you should be fine.

    7. The memory is secured in a dedicated compartment. Remove the Memory/PCI Mini ExpressCard slot compartment cover.
    a.     Remove the screws that secure the compartment cover, using an Electronics Repair Screwdriver Set

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    b.     Remove the compartment cover.

    8. Most memory will be sold in a piece of hard, clear plastic. Gently remove the new module from the packaging by pressing on it from the plastic side. Avoid bending the module or applying too much force to the packaging. When you remove the SODIMM memory module from its packaging hold it by the edges, try not to touch the gold colored contacts as this can damage the memory.

    9. Turn the module so the teeth are facing the SODIMM slot and the sticker is face down. It’s impossible to put the memory module in backwards thanks to the notches which “key” it with the slot. Insert the notched end of the SODIMM into the socket. This is important; you want to stick in the new memory module at a 45 degree angle. Press the SODIMM firmly, and pivot it until it snaps into place and the metal retaining clips clasp into the grooves on either side of the module.

    10. Make sure that it is firmly fixed in the slot and does not move easily. If the memory does not fit easily, take it out and try again. The module should be seated so that you don’t see any of the gold contacts.

    11. Test it. Before you close your case, replace the battery. When the battery pack is inserted, it will automatically lock. Turn your computer back on. The BIOS automatically detects the amount of memory in the system and configures CMOS accordingly during the Power-On Self-Test (POST) process. There is no hardware or software (including BIOS) setup required after the memory is installed. You should see the new amount of memory displayed on your start-up screens or in the properties for “My Computer”. You can also Hold F2 during startup. The BIOS Setup Utility screen will open and the System Memory item shows the total amount of memory installed in your netbook.

    12. If everything works correctly, you are done and you can reinstall the memory compartment cover. If you have any problems, go to step 14 for troubleshooting tips.

    13. Troubleshooting. If you have trouble with your new RAM, check these things first. Check the power cords. Is everything plugged in properly? Check the module. Try removing the module and replacing it to make sure it is seated properly in the slot. If you’re still having difficulties with your RAM, check the Crucial FAQ section. You may find an easy solution for your problem.


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