Upgrading my Eee PC 900

In an effort to squeeze some extra performance out of my trusty Asus EeePC 900 I finally got around to upgrading the memory from the standard 1GB DDR2-400 to 2GB DDR2-667. After several attempts of the poor thing not even booting with the new memory installed I was about to give up when I found an obscure forum posting that gave the solution so I thought I’d post it here too in case someone else has the same problem. The steps are easy!

  1. Buy some new memory.
  2. With the battery and power cable removed undo the two small screws at the back and open up the panel (see photo)eeepc3.jpg
  3. Release the two clips on the side and ease old memory out.
  4. Push in new memory, gently ease it down and it should click into place (don’t press too hard!).
  5. Replace battery, press power button and immediately press F2 until the BIOS screen comes up.
  6. This screen should notice the new memory…. press save and exit (F10)
  7. That’s it! Your Eee should reboot with your usual OS.

It was the whole BIOS step that had passed me by. Still too early to comment on any increased performance, but it definately works and hasn’t blown up yet.

For the unitiated, the Eee PC 900 is one of the Eee PC range from ASUS, the beauty is just it’s size: it’s so portable with only an 8.9 inch screen and weighing just under 1 kg. For it’s size it’s not bad for performance either (although avoid the 16G version, it seems to be a downgrade). There are more recent versions out there, but this one has the advantage of a solid state hard drive so it will take knocks and bumbs quite happily. Mines running XP, with Office 2007 installed with no problems. It’s also fine for occasional Second Life use (good enough to get in world and do basic housekeeping) and also has the latest version of Matlab installed which it seems quite happy with. Having said that though, this little beauty should not be seem as a replacement for a laptop.. but for day to day stuff when you need to travel it’s fantastic.

Another useful tip: I use the SD slot for a 8 gig SDHC card for my documents which can be shared amongst the other PCs/Laptops I work on. Now of course these cards are easy to slip out and steal, so for security I use TrueCrypt.. it sets up a virtual drive on the card which needs a password to access. Keep frequent backups and if you lose the card, it doesn’t matter.

And yet another useful tip: The primary SSD fills up fast. There are files you can safely delete to clear up room that Windows stores, and you can force programs to install on the secondary SSD by default.. the latter is achieved by a utility called “AutoC2D” which can be downloaded from the official Asus site (www.asus.com).

eeepc1.jpg

For the record here are the specs:

  • Display: 8.9 in (22.6 cm), 1024 x 600 TFT LCD
  • Primary SSD: 4GB
  • Secondary SSD: 8GB
  • Processor: 900 MHz Intel Celeron-M ULV 353
  • 512 kB L2 cache RAM
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM DDR2-667 (upgraded from 1 GB RAM DDR2-400)
  • Graphics: Intel 915GM/GMS, 910GML Express
  • Battery: 6-cell Li-Ion, 5800 mAh, 7.2 volts (upgraded from 4-cell, Li-Ion, 5200 mAh, 7.4 volts: 3 h 30 min battery life)
  • Camera: 1.3 megapixel
  • Dimensions: 225 x 170 x 20~38 mm
  • Weight: 990 g (2 lb 3 oz)
  • Communication: 10/100 Mbit Ethernet (Attansic L2), 802.11b/802.11g wireless LAN mini PCI-E card
  • Audio: Realtek ALC662 Hi-Definition Audio 5.1 CODEC;[38] built-in stereo speakers; built-in microphone
  • Connectors: 3 USB 2.0 ports, MMC/SD (HC) card reader, Ethernet port, Modem port (non-functional, empty), Microphone input, Headphone jack, AC power jack, VGA out, Kensington lock slot

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Dave

Mathematician at the University of Warwick in the UK with research interests in equivariant bifurcation theory and applications, especially in modelling of insect locomotion. Teaching interests include online learning and innovative teaching methods. Also in a past life has been involved in summer school courses, and online material, for Gifted and Talented. He has been active on the Internet since 1995, initially though his UFO and Michael Schenker website, but now through a multitude of projects.

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