An Explanation Of Apple Mac Hardware Usage

Replace Computer Memory - Memory Types - Gold Teeth

In this section I will show you how easy it is to install (take out and reinsert) some laptop memory. And more precisely, I will be showing you how to remove two 2GB Memory Sticks, already inside my MacBook Pro Laptop computer, in order to replace them with two 4GB Memory Sticks. So at the moment I have the standard 4GB of memory installed, but will be updating the memory sticks so that I then have 8GB of memory installed.

After this reading this section you will realise that it's just a matter of unscrewing the bottom plate of the MacBook Pro Laptop computer (10 screws), taking out the two 2GB Memory Sticks, inserting two 4GB Memory Sticks and then screwing the bottom plate back on. It's that simple - Don't be conned into thinking it's a job for a brain surgeon because it's not, as you will see.

One scenario for wanting to change/upgrade your laptop's existing memory is when your laptop becomes slow and/or when you want to upgrade its operating system; from OS X Snow Leopard to OS X Mountain Lion for example. In the latter case OS X Mountain Lion requires 8GB (8 Gigabytes) of memory to run comfortably, therefore you would have to check your laptop's memory specifications and more precisely its Memory Slots specifications to see if they can both accommodate a 4GB Memory Stick.

You can find out your laptop's memory specifications by looking at its manual, by looking up its general specifications on the internet and by physically inspecting the memory sticks (by opening up your apple mac casing). Normally I would not recommend doing the latter but in the case of the MacBook Pro (Mid 2012) Laptop computer it's just a case of unscrewing 10 Screws in order to remove its bottom plate (cover) and expose the Meomry Sticks.

Before unscrewing the 10 Screws that hold the bottom plate (cover) of the MacBook Pro (Mid 2012) Laptop computer together you first need to MAKE SURE THE LAPTOP IS SWITCHED OFF AND DISCONNECTED FROM THE ELECTRICITY MAINS. When this is done you are ready to unscrew the bottom plate (cover).

Fig 1.0  The MacBook Pro (Mid 2012) Laptop computer exposed - The green area is the memory area

With the bottom plate removed and the laptop's components exposed you should identify the memory compartment. In the above example the memory compartment is situated on the right-hand-side of the laptop - It's the green area. The green is an actual memory stick, the top one. The two memory sticks share the same compartment whereby one sits on top of the other.

Each memory stick is held in place by two hard plastic spring-back/pincer clips, one on each side, as shown in Fig 1.1 below. To remove a memory stick you need to release (move sideways / slightly bend) each hard plastic clip, with your finger/nail only (not with a screwdriver), so that the memory stick then pops up and sits diagonally upright (Fig 1.3) instead of flat. You can release one clip at a time or use two hands (fingers/nails) to release both clips at once - The left clip moves (bends) to the left and the right clip moves (bends) to the right. Do NOT use a screwdriver just in case you accidentally scratch and/or damage something.

Fig 1.1  Each memory stick is held in place by two hard plastic pincer clips - One on either side of it.

Fig 1.2  Use your finger/nail to move (bend) the hard plastic pincer clip outwards (leftwards in this case)

The screenshots below show different angles of the top memory stick once it has been released from its hard plastic pincer clips - The memory stick has popped up, sitting upright (diagonally), but is still wedged into the memory slot; which is quite normal. It just means the memory stick is still held in place by the golden teeth (bottom edge) of the memory slot. So the next thing to do is completely remove the memory stick from the memory slot (Fig 1.6 below).

Fig 1.3  Left-Side View: Top memory stick has been released to expose the bottom memory stick underneath it

Fig 1.4  Left-Side-Front View: Showing a better angle of the exposed bottom memory stick

Fig 1.5  Front View: Showing more of the front-view angle of the released top memory stick

When the top memory stick is released it exposes any memory stick underneath it, as shown above. That bottom memory slot might not have a memory stick installed (inserted) depending on your memory configuration and where you bought your laptop from for example.

To completely remove the top memory stick, once it has been released from its clips, is simply a case of grabbing hold of it (from its top edge or side edges) and pulling it out of its memory slot at the angle it is facing (Fig 1.7). So if it has popped out diagonally (Fig 2.3 above) you should pull it out completely in a diagonal manner. In other words; Pull it out straight (straight diagonal) towards you as shown below. As you pull it out you will notice the golden teeth on the bottom edge of the memory stick.

The golden teeth are where all the electronic components of the memory circuit meet up. When the memory stick is inserted into the memory slot the golden teeth connect up with their adjacent teeth on the memory slot so that data can flow between the memory and the laptop. NEVER TOUCH THE GOLDEN TEETH because the salt and electric/static coming from your hand (fingers) could ruin (shock) the memory.....depending on what you read on the internet and who you listen too!

Fig 1.6  Grab hold of the memory stick from its top edge and pull it out, towards you, in a straight diagonal manner.

Fig 1.7  As you pull the top memory stick out its golden teeth will be exposed

Fig 1.8  The top memory stick has been completely removed - The bottom memory stick has now been released

In the example above I have completely removed the top memory stick and have also released the bottom memory stick so that it is sitting upright (Fig 1.8 above). Before I completely remove it I will show you what the bottom memory slot area looks like in terms of its depth. You need to understand that the bottom memory stick will come out at a slightly different angle to the top memory stick - The bottom memory stick will not have the same, generous, removal space (upright angle) as the top memory stick in other words.

Fig 1.9  A better view of the bottom memory slot in terms of the removal angle of the bottom memory stick

So the above is the way you completely remove a memory stick - You just release the hard plastic pincer clips either side of the memory stick to make it pop out and then pull it out towards you diagonally . It's that simple.


When it comes to installing (re-inserting) memory sticks you cannot put it in the wrong way. Why? Because, as you can see from the above examples, the golden teeth have a gap between them (so the gap has to slot into the gap-marker on the memory slot) and because the memory stick has two half-moon/arched curves on either side of it where the hard plastic spring-back/pincer clips go. Therefore, it is impossible to insert a memory stick the wrong way round.

Inserting a memory stick is the reverse action of pulling it out. First you align the golden teeth on the memory stick with the golden teeth on the memory slot, remembering the gap between the teeth and also that the memory stick has to be inserted in a diagonal manner (the same way you pulled it out). You then push the memory stick in so that 99%, if not 100%, of its golden teeth are then hidden. From there it's just a case of pushing down on the memory stick so that it clicks (snaps) into place.

It's quite normal for the golden teeth to stick out (show) a little due to the fact that not all memory sticks will fit perfectly, 100%, into a memory slot; due to manufacturing reasons for example (i.e. bad measurement).

Fig 2.0  Bottom Memory Slot - Insert (push in) your new memory stick at a diagonal angle and press down on it

Fig 2.1  Bottom Memory Slot - My new, bottom, 4GB Memory Stick has been inserted into the bottom memory slot

At this point I have inserted a 4GB Memory Stick into the bottom memory slot (above). As you can see; the half moon/arch on the side of the memory stick fits nicely with the round part of the hard plastic pincer clip. The round part of the pincer clip has a kind of wedge/holder on its side that holds the memory stick in place.

In the example below I have just inserted (pushed in) my second 4GB Memory Stick into the top memory slot; hence why it is sitting upright at a diagonal angle. All that remains now is to push down on it (as in Fig 2.0 above) so it clicks (snaps) into place and then screw the bottom plate of the computer back on.

Fig 2.2  Top Memory Slot - My new, top, 4GB Memory Stick has been inserted (pushed in) at a diagonal angle

When the computer is switched on again its memory specifications should be stating your new, installed, memory size of 8GB or whatever size of memory you installed.

Fig 2.3  8GB of memory is now installed inside my MacBook Pro (Mid 2012) Laptop computer

Fig 2.4  There is a 4GB Memory Stick inside each Memory Slot of my MacBook Pro (Mid 2012) Laptop computer

If you are going to upgrade your computer's memory you are better off shopping online for the memory sticks simply because Apple charge a ridiculous, "rip-off", price that in my eyes can never be justified. As an example: To upgrade from 8GB to 16GB via the apple store currently costs £180 whereas if you do it yourself via a memory purchase from the Crucial memory store it will only cost you £73.19 for example (2 x 4GB Memory Sticks).

To find out what type of memory sticks are inside your apple mac computer, and therefore what type of memory sticks to buy and upgrade with, I recommend using Crucial's Mac System Scanner.