Should I upgrade my ram myself? + antistatic questions

Should I install my ram myself or pay to get it installed?

  • Pay to get ram installed

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aj287772

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 18, 2015
43
0
So I just got my 8gb 4x2 crucial ram for my macbook pro 2012 mid, but now I am contemplating if I should buy the equipment myself and do it or go to a store. I looked at a video and it seemed fairly easy but the one thing that makes me nervous is all these cautions about static and destroying my components in my laptop. I would like to do it myself instead of paying money to get somebody to do it because one store said 50 dollars another said 100 dollars and that seems a lot of money for just installing ram. Maybe if I can get some questions better I will feel better. Do you think I should buy any equipment to take out and install my new ram? I was thinking about getting a antistatic mat and wrist strap. Is this needed? also when I get the wrist strap where do I put the little alligator clip? People say put it on bear metal but I don't know what that is. Is it the silvery layer on the outside of my mac right now? Also is a granite table good to do this on? Also should I get anti static spray? should I wear a shirt when doing this because I don't want to make static. Sorry I don't have much experience but I would hope to not let someone else do this and make myself do this to save time/money/ and gain experience. What do you guys think? Also I heard something about grounding a cord and stuff like that not sure what that means I feel like I can never get a good answer when just looking it up on the internet. Also anyone know where I can buy these items? Best Buy Staples? Thanks to all in advance. :)
 

acastic

macrumors regular
Jan 6, 2004
114
14
So I just got my 8gb 4x2 crucial ram for my macbook pro 2012 mid, but now I am contemplating if I should buy the equipment myself and do it or go to a store. I looked at a video and it seemed fairly easy but the one thing that makes me nervous is all these cautions about static and destroying my components in my laptop. I would like to do it myself instead of paying money to get somebody to do it because one store said 50 dollars another said 100 dollars and that seems a lot of money for just installing ram. Maybe if I can get some questions better I will feel better. Do you think I should buy any equipment to take out and install my new ram? I was thinking about getting a antistatic mat and wrist strap. Is this needed? also when I get the wrist strap where do I put the little alligator clip? People say put it on bear metal but I don't know what that is. Is it the silvery layer on the outside of my mac right now? Also is a granite table good to do this on? Also should I get anti static spray? should I wear a shirt when doing this because I don't want to make static. Sorry I don't have much experience but I would hope to not let someone else do this and make myself do this to save time/money/ and gain experience. What do you guys think? Also I heard something about grounding a cord and stuff like that not sure what that means I feel like I can never get a good answer when just looking it up on the internet. Also anyone know where I can buy these items? Best Buy Staples? Thanks to all in advance. :)
I've build a number of gaming pc's as well as changed RAM in a few MacBooks. Never used a static mat, wrist strap, etc and haven't had a problem.
 

brand

macrumors 601
Oct 3, 2006
4,363
395
127.0.0.1
I think it really comes down to how comfortable you feel performing the upgrade yourself. No one on MacRumors should be making the decision for you. Especially when everyone that answers will be answering from their perspective and experience.

Keep in mind the in the end you are responsible if something goes wrong.
 

aj287772

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 18, 2015
43
0
I've build a number of gaming pc's as well as changed RAM in a few MacBooks. Never used a static mat, wrist strap, etc and haven't had a problem.
yes I understand that. Would you happen to know any answers to my question? Do you think I need the antistatic items?
 

brand

macrumors 601
Oct 3, 2006
4,363
395
127.0.0.1
Do you think I should buy any equipment to take out and install my new ram?
No.

I was thinking about getting a antistatic mat and wrist strap. Is this needed?
No, but it is recommended. The only time I ever really used them was in college while getting my degree.

when I get the wrist strap where do I put the little alligator clip?
On a grounded surface.

Also is a granite table good to do this on?
Yes

Also should I get anti static spray?
No, do not purchase this.

should I wear a shirt when doing this because I don't want to make static.
Yes, it won't matter either way.

Also anyone know where I can buy these items?
Newegg or Amazon.

Best Buy Staples?
Not likely.


Hopefully that helps you to make a more informed decision. Best of luck if you do choose to install it yourself.
 
Last edited:

aj287772

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 18, 2015
43
0
No.

"On a grounded surface."

what does that mean? I looked it up but got a scientific answer. Is that when you touch something in your laptop to make the static in the computer the same as your body? and how would you do this? where would you touch?
 

brand

macrumors 601
Oct 3, 2006
4,363
395
127.0.0.1
what does that mean?
I usually just use something that discharges static electricity. Most things metal usually work.

Is that when you touch something in your laptop to make the static in the computer the same as your body?
Basically the same idea.

where would you touch?
You will have already touched the bottom panel when removing it and should be good by the time you reach the internal components.
 

aj287772

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 18, 2015
43
0
You will have already touched the bottom panel when removing it and should be good by the time you reach the internal components.
never mind thanks should I touch the tools to it swell?
 
Last edited:

christarp

macrumors 6502
Oct 29, 2013
453
436
Not gonna lie, you're really overthinking it. I've done so many computer internal swaps at this point that I take no precautions anymore. Though it's probably smarter to do that.

What I would do is just take your socks off, touch something metal that's grounded, and then proceed to take the panel off and do the swap. It's really simple and easy to do yourself and the likelyhood that you're going to damage something is extremely low (even without doing anything). I've yet to damage anything in the 15+ years that I've been messing with the insides of computers.
 
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aj287772

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 18, 2015
43
0
Not gonna lie, you're really overthinking it. I've done so many computer internal swaps at this point that I take no precautions anymore. Though it's probably smarter to do that.

What I would do is just take your socks off, touch something metal that's grounded, and then proceed to take the panel off and do the swap. It's really simple and easy to do yourself and the likelyhood that you're going to damage something is extremely low (even without doing anything). I've yet to damage anything in the 15+ years that I've been messing with the insides of computers.
So what should I touch that's grounded? Should I just touch the grey aluminum on the bottom of the laptop that you take the screws out of? Is that metal?
 

christarp

macrumors 6502
Oct 29, 2013
453
436
I would just touch a few metal bits around your house and then touch the metal casing of the laptop and you should definitely be good to go.
 

gngan

macrumors 68000
Jan 1, 2009
1,824
70
MacWorld
Did 2 swap and never done anything about the static. No issue whatsoever. You are over reacting.
 

T5BRICK

macrumors G3
Aug 3, 2006
8,086
2,055
Oregon
So what should I touch that's grounded? Should I just touch the grey aluminum on the bottom of the laptop that you take the screws out of? Is that metal?
Follow the guide on ifixit and you'll be fine. You don't need to overthink this.
 

snaky69

macrumors 603
Mar 14, 2008
5,903
480
You're really, really, really overthinking this.

Unless you're doing it on carpet while tapdancing in woolen socks, you'll have properly discharged your body's static electricity quite a few times before you reach internal components just by unscrewing the bottom panel.
 
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MushroomMan

macrumors regular
May 31, 2015
113
32
Thailand
As others have said it really is not that difficult at all. In fact, I would say it is the easiest possible 'user-replaceable' thing to do - easier than swapping your HD, or putting in an optibay, both of which are super easy.

Unless you 'try' to load yourself up with static electricity you will be fine, and keep in mind that the internals of any computer are delicate - so don't drop anything onto, scratch, or push on anything that is not meant to be touched, ie. the logic board.

I have done it on several computers and I am no expert. The one time I did pay a RAM retailer to do it, they left a screw out which I didn't realise lol. The hardest part is unscrewing the 10 screws on the bottom panel (assuming you have the non-retina model).

Certainly watch a few Youtube vids to gain confidence and let us know how you go!
 

Fl0r!an

macrumors 6502a
Aug 14, 2007
906
525
You'll find a lot of opinions on this topic, going from "don't care about anything" to "OMG you definitely need all industrial-grad ESD equipment or you'll kill your hardware instantely!!!".

As an electrical engineer I'd advice you to always touch the case of your MBP before touching the internals. This way your body will have the same electrical potential as the hardware of your Mac, so there won't be an electrical discharge killing your semiconductors. Also avoid wearing clothes made of synthetic materials (e.g. a fleece sweater) because this makes it a lot more likely to become statically charged. Lastely, don't touch the contacts of the RAM or any other part of the hardware you don't necessarily have to touch.

For the sake of completeness: ESD equipment is not the same as grounding yourself e.g. by touching a metal surface!!
An antistatic mat or wrist strap has a definied electrical resistance, which is neither too low nor too high.
If the resistance is too high, the static charge of your body won't be reduced. On the other hand, if the resistance is too low, there will be a hugh current when touching an object with electrical potential other than yours.
 
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Centient

macrumors 6502
Oct 20, 2009
461
0
You'll find a lot of opinions on this topic, going from "don't care about anything" to "OMG you definitely need all industrial-grad ESD equipment or you'll kill your hardware instantely!!!".

As an electrical engineer I'd advice you to always touch the case of your MBP before touching the internals. This way your body will have the same electrical potential as the hardware of your Mac, so there won't be an electrical discharge killing your semiconductors. Also avoid wearing clothes made of synthetic materials (e.g. a fleece sweater) because this makes it a lot more likely to become statically charged. Lastely, don't touch the contacts of the RAM or any other part of the hardware you don't necessarily have to touch.

For the sake of completeness: ESD equipment is not the same as grounding yourself e.g. by touching a metal surface!!
An antistatic mat or wrist strap has a definied electrical resistance, which is neither too low nor too high.
If the resistance is too high, the static charge of your body won't be reduced. On the other hand, if the resistance is too low, there will be a hugh current when touching an object with electrical potential other than yours.
+1 and thanks for the quick lesson too!

OP, the first time you do something like this can bring on some anxiety. I've put together several PC's over the years, have swapped out drives, memory, and even CPU's from laptops too. Never used bracelets, mats, etc... and never have had an issue, but I do always follow the advice above regarding touching the case, and I wear cotton clothes when doing so.

If manufacturers didn't make the cost of factory upgrades so expensive I wouldn't bother, but since that will never happen...
 

Smoothie

macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2007
590
306
California
Replacing RAM in a computer is easy. I've replaced many components and built computers without using anti-static protection except for taking obvious precautions like grounding myself by touching the metal chassis first and not touching anything you don't need to (including the exposed contacts on the RAM modules). Also, your environment makes a difference. If you live where the air is very dry and you have carpeting that can cause static discharge, you need to be more careful.
 

Dark Void

macrumors 68030
Jun 1, 2011
2,614
465
Unless you're doing it on carpet while tapdancing in woolen socks
Oh my was I not prepared for this. Thanks a lot for the premature heart attack.

OP, it is fairly simple and I would not pay anyone to do it for you. Just make sure you're not doing what this gentleman here pointed out and it also wouldn't be a bad idea to look at a video guide before attempting it. Good luck.
 

snaky69

macrumors 603
Mar 14, 2008
5,903
480
Oh my was I not prepared for this. Thanks a lot for the premature heart attack.

OP, it is fairly simple and I would not pay anyone to do it for you. Just make sure you're not doing what this gentleman here pointed out and it also wouldn't be a bad idea to look at a video guide before attempting it. Good luck.
It was my pleasure.