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I have an HP Probook 4520s notebook which motherboard is gone.

I though I could just take its RAM and slip it into my HP Probook 4720s (same but with 17" display).

I followed this video to open and remove RAM from broken and insert in empty slot on mine.

Closed everything my pc did not start anymore. Removing additional RAM the pc started again.

I thought that, being of the same kind — numbers on the barcode attached on the RAM are the same — I just could plug it in but I'm just a noob in this.

Any advice?

Here is the removed RAM:


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Not every PC is compliant with every RAM stick! This is why, on most mother board manufacturer websites it states what RAM/CPU is compatible. – Dave Jan 4 '13 at 14:29
@DaveRook: ok but both machines are of the same series and differ only on display size. Also both RAM, the one in my pc and the one I wanted to add, look exactly the same looking ant stickers on them... Also REPLACE WITH HP SPARE ... – neurino Jan 4 '13 at 14:34
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Check the RAM requirements in the documentation. If you have no documentation for the two machines, try the manufacturer's site. Failing that, try the model lookup features on websites of 3rd party RAM sellers like Kingston and Crucial.

You may find that the machines have different requirements. As the DIMM from one machine physically fitted in the other it must be the same overall type (as the notches on the pin edge vary by overall RAM type) but there are other differences:

  • Some machines require ECC RAM, some will use either ECC and non-ECC, some will demand non-ECC
  • There are many timing variants in each RAM type: some machines will accept just about anything, some will be more fussy. Also most RAM is happy to run at a variety of speeds not just it's nominal one, but some chips are more fussy than others in this respect too
  • And so forth...

Of course there is the possibility that you've damaged the DIMM while taking it out.

But as you describe the old machine's state as "the motherboard is gone" the most likely case is the the DIMM was damaged by what-ever killed the rest of the motherboard (a power spike for instance, due to bad input power from the grid or faulty power regulation internally).

As a general rule if a motherboard has died I'd not trust the CPU or RAM that was plugged into it at the time. I'd be very wary of the power supply too as that may be the cause of the deadness, and I'd test anything else that was plugged into that power supply (drives and so forth) before risking relying on them in a new environment.

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Thanks, yes probably the RAM is gone too... thanks – neurino Jan 4 '13 at 14:31
+1 for "if a motherboard has died I'd not trust the CPU or RAM that was plugged into it at the time." or at the very least, I'd be testing these components... – Bon Gart Jan 4 '13 at 14:40
So my initial thought about using it for spare parts – beside upgrading my pc :D — is not a good practice. Not even for the power supply... Good tip, thanks. – neurino Jan 4 '13 at 14:43

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