Installing RAM Memory - It's Not Hard
Adding computer memory is where you get the most bang for your buck when it comes to trying to speed up your PC. This little page may give you confidence to try it for the first time. PC memory is relatively cheap now and a computer RAM upgrade can make a noticeable difference if you try to run several applications at the same time.
You can find out how much memory you have in XP by going to Start and right click on My Computer. Now click on Properties and the System Properties window that opens will show your memory under the General. For Windows 98 just right click on the My Computer icon on your desktop and the drop down will give you System Properties and installed memory. It's pretty much the same for Windows ME and 2000.
Now that you know how much you have how do you figure what you will need. My rule has been to double it if I'm going to mess with it at all, but I have underestimated and had to come back with more. Then if you are short on slots some of what was added the first round will have to come out. I had a Win 98 PC with 64 MB of RAM and two slots. The first time I added 64 MB to the empty slot and thought the resulting 128 MB would be fine. Then later I had to pull both out and go with 128 in each slot for a total of 256 MB. Go for as much as you can afford within reason. Some machines can only utilize the increase up to a certain point. There is a lot of information on the web to help in the decision.
The Crucial System Scanner takes the guesswork out of upgrading your memory, and it will look in your computer and tell you exactly what you have and give recommendations for upgrades. I have used the tool and bought from them online and been pretty satisfied with the whole process. There price can be as good as your local walk in store, but as I've been told it pays to shop around.
You can also run the free Belarc Advisor for all kinds of details regarding what's inside your computer including memory. Get your model number and go to the manufacture's website and lookup the interior layout of your PC. It will also show you the easy to get the cover off if you haven't done that before. Print any notes you might need during surgery. Be aware of the warnings on static but don't get paranoid. I changed quite a few before getting a static wrist strap.