Acer tm803 LMi RAM upgrade

Hardware

After a week test i can finally say it, the Acer Travelmate 803LMi actually supports 2 GB of RAM.

Before going MacBook Pro i’ve decided to give the last performance boost giving it some more RAM – last november i gave it an hard disk upgrade {*}. I did a preventive research for SoDimm modules compatibility and found out that many sites had listed a 1GB maximum RAM compability for my model.

Since my manual and the Acer Support technician at the phone confirmed me the 2GB i went on with the purchase. I’ve contacted a seller near my city found in an old e-bay auction and concluded the transaction successfully.

The RAM arrived finally :
ram

So i took the laptop:
front

removed the battery:
battery

and turn it on it’s back:
back
where you have to remove the 2 K labeled screw, so that later you can remove the keyboard.

Now turn the laptop bak to it’s front face, lay out the LCD panel and look just up the F2 and F3 keys. You can see a hole where to insert your screwdriver and lift up the quick functions keys:
quick keys

Now you can remove the 3 screw above the first row of keys:
3 screw

Lift up the keyboard with care, there are attacted some cables, now you can see the inner RAM space:
inner

Now we can finally insert the new module:
module.

Let’s close it carefully, not forgetting any of our screws. Boot it and enjoy :-)
system info

taskmgr

NOTE: all the photos showed in the post are available on my flickr photostream at an higher resolution in the appropriate set!

technorati tag: Acer,tm800, memory, upgrade

{*} here the specifics of the disk I’ve used.

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44 thoughts on “Acer tm803 LMi RAM upgrade

  1. Hi, I have a TM803LMI, just curious as to why you needed to remove the keyboard, could you not upgrade by removing the memory cover underneath?

  2. Because i had 2x 256MB of RAM and I had gone for the FULL update of RAM: 2 modules each 1GB (total 2GB of RAM).

    The one on the bottom it’s the one you’re referring to, then i had to remove the keyboard to get to the inner one !

    ciao !

  3. Nice explaination! I was figuring out where the “system” memory slot was in my Travelmate 800…

    Did you add also the DVD burner or was it in the original configuration? If you added it, where did you buy it? The TM800 is still a wonderful laptop for my needs but the lack of DVD burner is a limitation nowadays…

    Thank you for your suggestions!
    /Davide

  4. so my TM803 upped and died on me. the video chip burnt out or something and to replace it means a whole new motherboard – dont think its worth spending money on. so i’m currenlty looking at going apple – macbooks now shipping with core duo 2 chips.

    a question thou that im trying to figure out – are my tm 803 memory chips compatible with the core duo motherboard ?? anyone know ??

  5. unfortunately for your wallet the RAM of TM803LMi is not compatible with the one of MacBook (which is much faster and has different “socket”).

    curious, have you tried contacting the Acer assistance ? i doubt repairing it will cost you 1200$/€ … i’ll try that option first!

  6. Hi kOoLiNuS,

    Thank you for this nice how-to. I have exactly the same laptop, and I am also considering an RAM upgrade.

    Could you specify what type of RAM you bought exactly? I think my laptop has two RAM modules of the type 256 MB DDR PC2700 CL2.5.

    Is it possible to put in modules with a higher PCxxxx number, or would those not be compatible?

  7. Hi Stefan, welcome in this pages !

    First of all my advice is that you have to pay attention to the 200pin requirements of the RAM module so that it can be installed on our motherboard.

    Second comes the general and theoretically correct assumption that installing faster RAM should not do any harm … hopefully it will simply run slower than it’s able to do. But that is a bet, a rogue and you’ll be on your own if you try that road.

    If you look here:

    http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=101234276&size=l

    at the full size of the photo you can see ALL the data on my DIMMs which are the same modules sold on Crucial’s online store.

    So good luck with your upgrade and feel free to come back and ask any other question you will need !

    1. Hi kOoLiNuS,

      I found your blog again in my old bookmarks, and decided to give you a final update. My Acer Travelmate laptop is still alive and kickin’.
      I have upgraded the RAM memory about a year ago. I bought 2 x 1GB SO-DIMM DDR400 PC3200 modules, and they work perfectly fine in my laptop. I was hoping that the memory would run faster than the previous PC2700 modules I had. That is not the case, both sets run at 266 MHz. Nevertheless, the laptop runs much smoother now with the 2 GB, compared to the 512 MB I had.
      Thanks again for your information and the nice pictures how to replace the memory modules. It has really helped me a lot.

      1. Hi Stefan!

        Glad you came back! The RAM work speed is influenced by the Intel chipset capacity which is ‘given’ so even if your RAM can work faster with this machine you can’t go faster (there’s also no freq multiplier in the BIOS like sometimes happens with some motherboard’s manifacturer … )

  8. haloooo i want to know something .. normally 803LMi has two pieces of 256Mb 266MHz with CL2 !! … Can i change one of these (has error) with a new one(CL2.5)??

  9. Looking for the CR number for the
    CMOS/RTC battery for the Travelmate 800.
    Probably similar to the 803. Thanks

  10. ciao ho letto con interesse il tuo post su come aprire un tm800 e fare l’upgrade RAM
    ho provato a seguire i tuoi consigli ma il guscio sopra la tastiera proprio non viene via: il cacciavite va sotto la fessura che hai indicato, ma facendo leva si piega un po’ la plastica ma nulla hai qualche informazione in più?
    grazie, stefano
    mrpwinger@gmail.com

    PS complimenti per il tuo blog molto ampio e utile

  11. ciao Stefano! Grazie dei complimenti che mi fai.
    Non so se era voluto o meno il tuo commento qui, sappi però che ho un blog in lingua italiana che tratta grossomodo gli stessi argomenti.

    Ad esempio l’articolo relativo all’upgrade della RAM è il seguente:
    http://www.koolinus.net/blog/acer-tm803lmi-ram-upgrade/

    Se non ho capito male il problema che hai è con il pezzo nella 5^ foto, se è corretto ti consiglio di sollevare con il cacciavite un pochino facendolo strisciare sotto e poi con un movimento deciso provocarne il distacco. L’incastro ricordo che era abbastanza “forte”.

    E’ più chiaro ora ?

  12. @Theron: sorry chap … in all this time I havent’ had the time to check it out, I’m sorry.

    @Lert: I think you can … In any case I would give a look to Crucial website to see what kind of RAM timings have been declared to be compatible.

  13. Very nice description. I have to change my keyboard because I rubbed some of the letters off the keys. 803Lmi is very nice but I was disappointed this happened on a laptop so expensive. Acer support no good because they wanted me to bring the laptop in and it was needed for work. I will do the job on my own, fit some extra ram and follow your excellent instructions. Thank you especially for the pictures! …Anyone else manage to rub away the letters on their keyboard like that or is it just me? I have a wireless logitec notebook keyboard and I did the same thing to that too. LOL. So maybe it is me!

  14. Hi John !
    I too have managed to “blank out” some keys in the first 8 months of use of this laptop. Luckily Acer Italy has sent me the “spare parts” as a bunch of those.

    I had then another problem and in the occasion I’ve requested some single keys and they’ve sent me again, but I was during the 2 years warranty period.

    It’s really strange that you have now the due to sent them the entire machine, can’t you just buy the “blanked” keys ?

    {for installing those keys I’ve used a friend’s of mine expertize on disassembling tech stuff}

  15. I need help!
    I’m sitting here in the desert – really squaremiles of sand arround me – and I have to change a keyboard of an acer extensa2900. The acer-guide tells me, not to open the laptop, but I think, I have to do it. But how can I change this fucking keyboard?
    Note: Acer laptops are not made to work in desert with them *LOL*

  16. Operation a complete success. Swapped the keyboard and the memory. Soem extra tips form me to add to Koolinus already excellent description:

    1) When you take the plastic cover off you will want to lay the notebook on a flat surface open it and push the screen flat 180 degrees to the keyboard – i.e. 100% open.

    2) The screwdriver point is above F2 to F3 and only there. The “trick” of getting it loose is comment 1 above only. You should not need force or to pry it up in other places as long as you put the screen flat open.

    3) The extent of the plastic cover is: the things that look like hinges but are just hooks from the cover onto the laptop hinge at the back, the two cracks leading back to the “hinges” at each side and of course the keyboard at the front. If you look at Koolinus picture of the removed part this should be clear – but note my extra instruction in 1) above as that really does free things up for removal.

    4) The metal springs at either side of the ram chip are the spring clips that go into the sides of the SODIMM to hold it in place after insertion. To release pull to the side, away from the chip. Do not pull the chip or the springs upward away from the portable! Pull them sideways away from the chip but flat to the portable. When you put the new chip in they will spring back into place.

    5) When you put the keyboard back press it down at the right and left sides, particularly if it seems to be a bit high, loose and springy. There are very tiny plastic ledges here that you need to push the keyboard underneath to have it fitted solidly.

    These are the only places I had to stop and think the rest was fine. So Koolinus instructions were enough to see me through the job. I hope the above assists someone who needs a little extra help.

  17. Thanks very much kOoLiNuS! I just upgraded my Acer tm803 to 2Gb.. There is no way I would have worked out how to get the keyboard open without your tips!

    Damon.

  18. Ciao , mi chiamo enrico, volevo chiederti a proposito del travel mate 803 lmi ,che posseggo anche io, se il potenziamento a 2GB, avviene tramite il montaggio di una sola slot da 2GB o con due da 1GB???
    Nel caso che avvenga con due slot da 1GB, dove vanno montate???
    Ti faccio questa domanda, perchè nelle foto che mostrano il montaggio si vede solo una slot.
    Grazie a presto

  19. I have a tm800. Awesome laptop that has served me well for about 4 years now. I want to add a second hard drive. Anyone know how to use the media bay for that? I rarely use the DVD drive. I can’t find any place that sells an adapter module.

  20. Hi julian!
    Yes, you can … theoretically there’s no problem doing so …

    unfortunately in real life sometimes can happen that an electic “incompatibility” between the two models can arise, making your operative system work badly with a random pool of issues.

    Try the different brand DIMM couple anyway, because if you don’t do so you can never know for sure if they “like” each other presence. If issue arises then contact your seller and replace one DIMM with anoter one since everything goes OK (but again, you should NOT see any problem)

  21. could anyone please help me how to replace the cmos battery on acer travelmate 800xci ? everytime i boot up the xp p2, i need to update the time in bios which i guess the cmos battery is dead as common. XP will take 10 minutes to boot, unless i go to the cmos and update the date from 1988 to 2007. Please help !!!! how to replace the cmos Do IT YOURSELF ? thanks e-mail : yusoon168@yahoo.com

  22. @Yura: see the answer that I gave to Julian above…. in any case the speed will be the default of the system, receiving no benefit from the quicker RAM

    @Gitte: I suppose it’s built-in on the motherboard !

  23. Hi, i have an TM 803LMi, which works fine for me and my work. I have 512MB DDR and want to try to upgrade to 2GB. The topic helps a lot, but as i am not so familiar with opening laptop, is there a possibility to view the tutorial fotos? Thanks in advance.

  24. Hi there,
    A copy of the missing photos for the Acer 803 RAM upgrade would be really helpful, specifically how to access the memory slot under the keyboard.
    Many thanks, Ian

  25. The photos of the Acer 803 memory upgrade are great kOoLiNuS. I am sure I can proceed with confidence now.

    Many thanks for your kind help,
    Ian

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