Question about Upgrading a Laptop

Started Oct 13, 2012 | Discussions thread
Jim Cockfield
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More on trying an upgrade to 2x4GB for 8GB total...
In reply to Jim Cockfield, Oct 13, 2012

If you decide to spend that much money to see if you can upgrade to 8GB (by replacing the 2x2GB in it with 2x4GB so you'd end up with 8GB), I'd make sure the vendor you buy it from will accept returns.

It looks like some of those kits are 667Mhz with a latency of 5, or 800Mhz with a latency of 6.  Your laptop works either way with 2x2GB kits.  So, if the BIOS updates added support for 4GB modules, chances, a kit like that would work.  I'd probably stick with this set for $164.99 if you decide to try it (as those specs with 667Mhz PC2-5300 probably more closely match the memory that HP originally shipped with it, only they're larger 4GB modules):

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148275

Also, I see that someone with an HP DV9700 said it worked in that laptop (which is also limited to 2x2GB for 4GB total according to both HP and Crucial) if you look at the feedback for it), and they were able to use a 2x4GB kit like that for 8GB total.

I'd make sure to update your BIOS to the version shown in my last post for a better chance of it working (there is little doubt that it would *not* work with the original BIOS, so you'd need a newer one for sure for a better chance of the larger modules being recognized, as they were not being sold when that system was first produced, which is why the specs show it limited to 2x2GB total).

That's also a lot of money for 8GB of memory.   Keep in mind that newer laptop models use DDR3 versus DDR2 now, and you can buy 2x4GB for under $50 with a new laptop model (whereas you're spending several times that much for a 2x4GB kit of DDR2 like that to give you 8GB total).

Again, there's no way to tell if it would work without trying it, as officially, your model only supports 2GB modules (with two of them giving you 4GB total, as you have now), and I have been unable to find anyone that's tried larger modules like that in your laptop model searching through customer feedback of that memory type.  But, it's possible the last BIOS update added support for larger 4GB modules (as you see that from time to time with BiOS updates for older models).

Jim Cockfield wrote:

Now, manufactures do make 2x4GB of 1.8 Volt PC2-5300 and PC2-6400 SODIMM modules.

You'll see some kits like that here:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007609%20600006176%20600000401&IsNodeId=1&name=8GB%20%282%20x%204GB%29

But, HP says it limited to 2x2GB total in it's specs:

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01490775&cc=us&destPage=document&lang=en&lc=en&product=3747924&tmp_docname=c01490775

Crucial also says it's limited to 2x2GB on it's page for it:

http://www.crucial.com/store/listparts.aspx?model=Pavilion%20HDX9494NR

And, I could not find anybody that's tried using 2x4GB in your model searching through reviews of laptop memory.

But, HP did have a BIOS update for it dated January 2011.  Get that here (and it should also install OK from Win 7, even though it says Vista, since the underlying kernel is the same with both Vista and Win 7):

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/softwareDownloadIndex?softwareitem=ob-91708-1&cc=us&dlc=en&lc=en&os=2100&product=3747924&sw_lang=

So, it's possible the last BIOS update included support for larger 4GB SODIMMs (the BIOS would need to be able to recognize the larger modules).   Sometimes BIOS updates come from the chipset manufacturer that HP and similar vendors are using, and they sometimes include updates to support newer memory modules, CPUs, etc., even though HP may not be aware of everything that the BIOS updates have in them.

The only way to find out for sure if a later BIOS updated added support for larger 4GB SODIMMs would be to update your BIOS to the latest version and try a set of 2x4GB and see it it's recognized (or not).

But, you'd be taking your chances, since it was only designed to use 2GB SODIMMS to begin with, and I have not found anybody that's tried larger 4GB modules in one (and you'd want to try a matched pair of 4GB modules as in one of those 2x4GB kits for a better chance of it working, to find out *if* the last BIOS update included support for larger modules).

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