Upgrade memory on a Levono Thinkpad W520 Mobile Workstation

The Levono Thinkpad W520 Mobile Workstation is the most powerful, robust with "muscle flexing graphic capabilities" laptop thus far - made its first debut in May 2011.  I am so proud to finally own one but it comes with 8 GB of RAM and... I want more!!!  So, I purchased an additional 8 GB of RAM from Newegg and attempted to add the new RAM to my machine;  it should be a piece of cake right? Yeah, it was simple enough to install the first 4 GB in the 2nd slot (in the bottom) but the hard part came when I had to remove the keyboard to get to the 3rd upper slot.  After going through the manual, viewing the videos, and doing everything I supposed to do but nothing worked.  The keyboard wasn't flexing - not even one micro of an inch! But thanks to my wonderful husband who offered a solution: loosening up all the screws in the bottom of the laptop and... voila! the keyboard eased out of its housing without any hesitation!!!

In short, if you need to add more RAM to the Levono Thinkpad w520, here are the things to do:
  1. Read and follow the manual, http://goo.gl/1lUb4, pages 60 - 62.
  2. View and follow the video clips instruction: http://goo.gl/DPECL and http://goo.gl/fyjxh.
  3. Discharge static electricity by touching a grounded object.  Click here for details.
  4. Remove all power supplies, e.g., power cord and battery.
  5. Loosen up all the screws in the bottom of the laptop including the ones under the battery housing - do not remove the screws
  6. Flip the laptop over and slide the keyboard out as shown in the videos (#2).  
  7. Install the RAM.
Anyway, I did lots of searches and spent lots of time to get to this point; I hope you don't have to.  And yes, my wonderful laptop with 16 GB of RAM is running as fast as lightning!!!


Anonymous said...

Thanks mate

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lelau said...

Thanks for your help.
Here's some additional detail that I learned after more research:

1) Make sure to remove the battery before adding/removing RAM.

2) There's an optimal order to add the RAM - http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/W-Series-ThinkPad-Laptops/Optimizing-memory-in-W510-which-slots-to-use/ta-p/249257. And you should add the fastest memory in this slot order: 0 > 1 > 2 > 3

3) Keyboard Slots: Bottom Left - Slot 2, Top right - Slot 0

4) Bottom Slots: Left - Slot 1, Right - Slot 3

5) Here's a video on how to remove the keyboard - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tpqw0UWyq-4

6) Insert the memory at a 45 degree angle. It needs to go deep enough to match the grove on the sides with the snaps that hold the memory in place. I inserted the memory once, but I didn't push the pins deep enough. You have to give it steady pressure to go in, and it needs to be at an angle.

Let me know if I got any of this information wrong.

But, it worked!

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