Dell Mini 9: An Upgrade Odyssey
An unknown tidbit that may interest you if you're a Dell Mini 9 owner is that the max ram that a mini 9 can hold is 2GB, yes I said 2GB. Why does Dell not offer that much when you try to order them you ask? That's because of good old closed source software, in order to ship the Mini with Windows XP instead of Windows Vista (because XP licenses are cheaper), there are some hardware specs that the Mini needs to be below, one of which is a maximum installed memory of 1GB. The Ubuntu kernel that dell ships with Ubuntu versions of the notebook however has been modified by dell to to have a maximum memory limit of 1GB. argh! but we'll get to that later, first let's learn how to add another gig of ram...
First off, the Dell Mini 9 only has one memory slot, so you'll need to grab a 2GB chip from your favorite hardware supplier. Here's what I've successfully used.
2GB, 200-pin SODIMM, DDR2 PC2-5300 memory module
Once you have your new 40$ piece hardware it's time to grab your trusty phillips head and get to work.
Flip your mini over so that the hinges are away from you, you'll see a rectangular piece that has your service tag sticker, with one screw at either of the top corners, unscrew those and gently pop the piece off using the provided lippy area (yes, that's a technical term)
Now that you've gotten the cover off, you'll be able to see four areas (or quadrants if you want to get technical) and if you've followed all the directions up until now (and the hinges are away etc) then the RAM we are looking for will be in the top right quadrant. You should see two little silver arms, one on each side of the RAM chip, use your fingers (you can only see one of mine because I am holding the camera duh!) and gently pull them away from the chip until the RAM pops up.
Now that you gotten the old RAM out, gently insert the new chip at the same angle and push it down until the silver arms click over to hold it in place.
Reattach the cover and behold your Dell Mini, action packed with 2GB of RAM!! note that you'll have to pop the cover into the little silver clips around the perimeter of that area. it'll require some force, just start at the bottom and move up to the screws and then tighten them
Now if you're a windows user, this is the end of the road for you. If you are an Ubuntu user, the kernel on the Dell distro of ubuntu has been limited to only support 1GB of RAM (blame M$) so you'll either have to recompile the kernel, or just reinstall your favorite regular distro of ubuntu. I'll have a link to a tutorial of that here soon, just check the comments.