Got a Dell Inspiron 2650 used for real cheap running XP. Not a bad machine, but only 256MB RAM (2x128).

Crucial says the max upgrade is 2x256...but they are sold out of that part for weeks now. Grrr. AND, the second module is inaccessible. More accurately, you have to disassemble the entire machine which I'm not going to do.

A friend thought that as long as I put the same type of memory (see bottom) in a 512MB, the computer should still boot and "see" 512, since that is supposedly the max. Sounds very tempting, since the system uses about 250-260 with no applications open, so 512 would be much better than 384.

Is he possibly correct? He's not an expert, to say the least.

Bonus question 1: any suggestions, if the bigger module might work, where to buy it that I can return it if it doesn't?

Bonus question 2: any good sources you like for laptop batteries? This one is dead.

Module Size: 256MB
Package: 200-pin SODIMM
Feature: DDR PC2700
Specs: DDR PC2700 • CL=2.5 • Unbuffered • Non-parity • DDR333 • 2.5V • 32Meg x 64 •

The first thing I would do is go on to Dells web site and see if there is a BIOS update for your laptop and if so get it installed. A lot of BIOS updates enable your laptop to recognise more RAM than was originally envisaged when it was first manufactured.

Dell are normally very good when it comes to showing you how to upgrade your laptop so have a look on their web site and you may find step by step instructions on how to install 2 RAM sticks.

Normally it doesnt involve taking the whole of your laptop apart (although it may seem like it when you do it), it tends to be just the removal of the keyboard or wrist-wrest where one RAM slot is with the other being underneath.

XP runs like a dog with only 256MB of RAM, going up to 512MB you'll see a huge difference.