Is it possible to fix laptop memory slot failure with a guitar pick? Yes, it is. You will not fix the memory slot itself, but you can work around the problem. :)
Today I received a Toshiba Satellite Pro 4600 laptop with the following complaint:

The laptop starts and works properly, but recognizes only one of the two memory modules installed. The laptop has two 256MB RAM modules installed, but registers only 256MB.

 

Two memory modules

First of all, I removed the memory cover to find out if both memory modules are installed correctly. The laptop had two 256MB Kingston modules installed and they were seated properly.

256MB memory detected

When I started the laptop and entered the BIOS setup menu, I found that only one of the two memory modules is detected and the laptop registers only 256MB (262144KB) of RAM instead of 512MB (524288KB).
Just a side note. In the computer world 1MB=1024KB. That’s why 256MB=262144KB and 512MB=524288KB.

I tried reseating both memory modules but it didn’t help.
After that I tried installing both memory modules in both memory slots one by one and here’s what I found. The laptop worked absolutely fine when both memory modules were installed into the slot A, but failed to boot with both memory modules installed into the slot B.
Apparently, there is nothing wrong with the memory modules and the laptop has a faulty memory slot B. The memory slot is permanently soldered on the motherboard. If one of the slots fails you’ll have to replace the whole motherboard or use the laptop with only one working slot.
Buying a new motherboard for this older laptop wouldn’t make any sense because it’s too expensive, but the laptop is still in a good working condition except the faulty memory slot B, so I continued playing with that trying to find the solution.

press on memory module

I noticed that the laptop start normally with the memory module installed into the faulty slot if I slightly press on the module with my thumb. And this gave me an idea.

guitar pick

This guitar pick is going to fix my laptop. :)

install guitar pick

I installed both RAM modules back into the slots and then placed the guitar pick over the module in the slot B as it shown on the picture.

close memory door

I thought if I close the RAM door it will press on the guitar pick/memory module and it will have the same effect as pressing on the module with my thumb. And it worked!

512MB memory detected

Both memory modules were detected properly and the laptop registered all 512MB. After “the fix” I tested memory with Memtest86+ and the laptop passed the test.
I wouldn’t call it the best solution for fixing a faulty memory slot but in some cases it will work.

By the way, I didn’t charge the customer for this “repair”, he knows what is going on and how I “fixed” his problem.

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62 Comments

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  1. 52
    Dee Says:

    Thank you so much!! This worked for me and my beloved old Gateway laptop :-)

  2. 51
    cj2600 Says:

    Joseph,

    Probably this is the memory slot failure.

  3. 50
    Joseph Says:

    Hi, I tried this 10-15 times on my memory chip in the memory bank under my Dell D610 Latutude laptop. However, it did not work. Do you have any other possible solutions on why it is not recognizing memory? I already have 1 GB in the memory bank under the keyboard which is working fine. HELP !!! Thank you

  4. 49
    laura Says:

    amazing thank you so much been doing my head in for too long now :(

  5. 48
    cj2600 Says:

    @ arvind,

    battery shows charging for few sesonds but not charge in compaq presario cp700

    Is it still working when connected to the AC adapter?
    This could be bad battery or motherboard problem. You cannot tell without testing the laptop with another working battery.

  6. 47
    arvind Says:

    battery shows charging for few sesonds but not charge in compaq presario cp700

  7. 46
    CWW Says:

    thx. this fixed the same problem i had on a brand new ASUS notebook computer. feel better knowing that i am not the only one with this problem.

  8. 45
    vishal Says:

    Thanks dude you rock….
    I had the same problem with my toshiba L300…and tried this trick and it worked….thanks a lot….

  9. 44
    basshnter1 Says:

    This trick worked for me on an old dell dimension 8500 laptop.
    Would only recognize one memory slot before and both work.
    I play guitar and used Fender mediums if that makes any difference.
    :0)

  10. 43
    Tara Says:

    OMG… AWESOME!!! IT WORKED! I used a plastic business card that I cut to fit..:) Me so happy… hehe!

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