Installing memory on an Acer 3680 Laptop

August 24, 2007 at 7:28 pm 36 comments

The acer 3680 has two memory slots that takes DDR2-533/PC4200 or DDR2-667/PC5300. Because the Celeron M has a FSB of 533 Mhz, you’re limited to 533 Mhz even if you use DDR2-667. The computer typically come with a single 512 Mb module and can accept up to a maximum of two 1 Gb module for a total of 2 Gb. Since DDR2-667 and DDR2-533 are pretty much the same price these days, I chose a pair of G. Skill 2 x 1 Gb DDR2-667 from Newegg.

To install the memory, power off the laptop and remove the battery. Turn the laptop over. The memory module is located under the middle panel, the one with the Windows Product Key sticker. To remove the panel, remove the two screw on the bottom of the case. There is plastic washer underneath the panel holding the screw in. You will have to unscrew the screw all the way and then carefully use your fingernail to pry off the screw (be careful not to lose it).

Once you remove the screw, you will find resistance as you try to pry over the panel. The panel is actually being held in by plastic fingers that stick out to the back of the panel and some to the side. Pry open the cover gently so you don’t break the fingers. In my opinion, it’s a really bad design, since plastic get brittle with age and the fingers may break if you keep opening the panel.

Acer 3680 Memory Panel

After you remove the panel, you’ll notice 2 white plastic washers. Carefully remove them so they don’t get lost.

The memory module is toward the back. Examine the memory module carefully, you’ll notice that the memory module is being held by two clips. The clip fits into a notch on the side of the memory. Gently pry the arms of the clip outward, causing the memory module to flip up to about an 45 degrees angle. Remove the memory. Insert the new memory at an 45 degree angle and swivel the memory gently until it clicks into the clips. Since there is a notch on the connector, you cannot insert the memory in the wrong direction. Do not force the memory or you will break something.

Once the memory module is in, don’t close the memory door right away. Test it to make sure it works first. If you don’t get a BIOS welcome screen, then the memory is not installed properly. If you get a blank screen, don’t panic. Turn off the machine, remove the battery, and re-seat the memory. I find that I may have to re-seat the memory a few times before the memory works. If it still doesn’t work, try different combination of the memory module. You may have a bad memory module. Trying different combination allow you to discover which one.

Once everything is working, turn the laptop over again. Carefully put in the white washers on the screw hole. Reattach the memory panel door starting with the fingers in the back. Be careful you do not knock off the white washers. Once the panel is click in place, put the two screws back in.

Post Installation Booting Problems

After installing the RAM, I notice that occassionally, was unable to start up after a shutdown. Typically, I would turn on the machine. The power light would be on, but nothing happens. The problem is usually fixed by removing the battery and AC, killing all power to the laptop. After the power is restore, the laptop boots normally, only to have a similar problem again after shutdown.

After some research on the net, the problem is cause by a BIOS timing issue. According to Acer, the problem affects laptop with dual RAM. To fix the problem, download the BIOS 1.3505 or above (mines was originally 1.3502).

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36 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Andy  |  September 4, 2007 at 8:24 am

    Thanks for posting this and linking to it from other sites. It’s very helpful.
    I’m tackling this today and wasn’t sure exactly where the memory was in this machine.

    Reply
  • 2. Kota  |  October 5, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    I just ordered the same memory, today, for my 3610. Thank you for the headsup!! I was actually looking for guidance for my soundcard (or lack of). Not one installed per Run: dxdiag. No audio. Really lost.

    Reply
  • 3. paulsiu  |  October 8, 2007 at 1:49 pm

    Kota, you probably just need to download the driver for the sound card from the Acer website. Use the Acer Europe site, not the Acer USA site.

    Reply
  • 4. ben  |  November 13, 2007 at 3:25 am

    Hi, I have just bought and installed 1gb of memory for my acer travelmate 2418 but after i put it in nothing came up as to say wether it had installed or not? Just asking is this still correct or is there some way I can check on screen if I have installed it properly? many thanks.

    Reply
  • 5. icopus  |  November 23, 2007 at 8:54 pm

    Thought you would like to know this blog was helpful and is appreciated.
    I installed a single 2g module. After install, she booted right up and ‘reads’ 2g of memory with no problem.
    Thank you for your help.

    Reply
  • 6. paulsiu  |  November 26, 2007 at 6:13 am

    Icopus,

    Interesting, so you can install two 2gb module and get 4 gb?

    Reply
  • 7. kim  |  January 3, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    Hi Paul. I followed your directions to a tee and it really speeded up my Acer! thanks so much for that! unfortunately, I am not a computer person and I don’t know how to download the BIOS upgrade. I downloaded the BIOS 1.3505 program from the Acer Website but there are no directions on how to use the program after you unzip it. it looks like i have to “save and reflash BIOS” but i am stuck there, because it looks like i have to find a .rom file to upload or something. i was wondering if you could walk me through it, if you have the time. thanks so much.

    kim

    Reply
  • 8. paulsiu  |  January 4, 2008 at 6:47 am

    Kim, once you download the BIOS file, unzip the AS3680_3505.zip. In that file is SWinFlash.zip. Unzip that. You should get a WINPHLASH.HLP file. Doubleclick on that and you should have the instructions to flash the system.

    As a warning, do not flash your system unless you have to and make sure your computer is plugged in. Do not interrupt the flash. A bad flash can turn your laptop into a paperweight so follow the instructions carefullly.

    Reply
  • 9. kim  |  January 5, 2008 at 10:01 am

    Thanks, Paul,
    but I read the instructions — they really don’t make too much sense. I tried to run the .exe program and then hit the “backup BIOS and flash BIOS with new settings” toggle. Then I hit the “flash BIOS” button at the bottom. The prompt says, “the file cannot be found”. Presumably this comes up because the “Specify new BIOS file” is blank. I don’t know what to fill in that blank with. Where is the new BIOS file? Thanks for any more help.

    Kim

    Reply
  • 10. paulsiu  |  January 11, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    Kim, the BIOS file is ZR1_3505.WPH, the file is included in your download. You need to click on the browse button on specify New Bios file and select the bios file.

    Before you do this, check that you don’t already have 1.3505. Flashing the bios is a dangerous business if you don’t know what you are doing. Don’t do this unless it’s really necessary.

    Reply
  • 11. John  |  February 4, 2008 at 3:13 am

    Paul,

    Thanks for the post. I was wondering if I have a 512 ram in all ready can I install an additional 1gb card simutaneaously or do I have ot pair them. I am on a aspire 3680 as well.

    Thanks

    Reply
  • 12. Eli  |  July 27, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    Hi,

    I have previously upgraded to 2*1gb at 667. Am interested in upgrading to 2*2gb again 667. Is that possible? Can i replace only one and hv total 3gb?

    Rgds.

    Reply
  • 13. paulsiu  |  August 4, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    I think you can only go up to 2 Gb at the most.

    Reply
  • 14. M5  |  September 13, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    Hi,
    I believe the aspire 3610 is only capable of supporting up to 2gb ram. I found this website pretty helpful in determining what kind of ram is suitable for your comp: http://www.crucial.com/systemscanner/

    Reply
  • 15. Christopher Hampshire  |  September 24, 2008 at 11:47 am

    As a 64 year old technophobe i write to thank you for your most helpful blog.I have just installed an extra 1 gb to my 3680 and all is working well. I could not have acheived this without your clear instructions. I was quoted £30. today from an ‘expert’ to fix it. Many thanks again you have made my day.

    Chris Hampshire.

    Reply
  • 16. lance  |  October 26, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    thanks for the info worked great and was a breeze to do

    Reply
  • 17. yvonne  |  December 21, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    excellent instructions!!!!!!!

    Reply
  • 18. catherine  |  January 12, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    Thank you! Excellent instructions!!! And Happy New Year!!!!

    Reply
  • 19. bandsxbands  |  January 31, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    Technology really has become one with our daily lives, and I am fairly certain that we have passed the point of no return in our relationship with technology.

    I don’t mean this in a bad way, of course! Societal concerns aside… I just hope that as the price of memory falls, the possibility of downloading our memories onto a digital medium becomes a true reality. It’s a fantasy that I daydream about all the time.

    (Posted on Nintendo DS running R4i DS SurfV3)

    Reply
  • 20. dave  |  February 18, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    i just ordered the 2gig ram for my acer 3680 – should i download the different bios before i install the new ram?

    Reply
    • 21. paulsiu  |  February 22, 2010 at 9:38 pm

      You should install the bios first. If the bios doesn’t support the 2 gb, you won’t even be able to boot.

      Reply
      • 22. dave  |  March 3, 2010 at 11:27 pm

        I’ve tried to download the bios update unsuccessfully from both acer euro and us sites. Is there anyway you could take me through a really basic step by step on how I should do this? Thanks in advance.

  • 23. paulsiu  |  March 5, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Are you having problems installing the bios or downloading the bios?

    Reply
    • 24. dave  |  March 5, 2010 at 10:01 pm

      I’m having difficulty with both. First, I can’t tell which version of bios is offered to download from the acer websites. I’ve downloaded the version from acer us support site which seems like it’s for XP and the one from acer europe says it’s for Vista but doesn’t show which version it is. But, more importantly, I have no idea what to do after I’ve downloaded it. I’m surprised neither has a readme file to take you through the correct steps to install it, especially since it seems like you can really screw things up if you do it incorrectly! Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

      Reply
  • 25. dave  |  March 9, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    I figured out the problems – thanks for your help. Big difference in how fast the computer us now!

    Reply
  • 26. joseph  |  January 8, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    Nice How to guide I followed step by step and work fine for me the only thing that I have to disagree with u is that the slots for the acer 3680 are up to 2gb each for a total of 4gb or 4096 mb.I installed 2gb in each slot .

    SIW for windows is a good program to found out what u have in your pc..

    Reply
  • 27. brandon  |  May 21, 2011 at 10:40 am

    joseph, so you have an aspire 3680 with 4gb of ram currently installed?

    Reply
  • 28. lee  |  September 4, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    there is anyone know how to connect the internal bluetooth device wire for this module

    Reply
  • 29. Upgrade Memory In Acer Aspire 3680 Laptop | Laptops Board  |  September 7, 2011 at 7:17 am

    [...] order to install more system memory. If you don't know how to do this, then you better go read this guide, meant just for you, or for people who are trying to learn a thing or two more about the laptops [...]

    Reply
  • 30. laptop  |  November 1, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    You really make it appear really easy with your presentation but I in finding this topic to be really something which I believe I’d by no means understand. It seems too complicated and extremely wide for me. I am looking ahead in your subsequent put up, I?ll try to get the hold of it!

    Reply
  • 31. Ot Juan  |  December 26, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Which brand, type of ddr2 memory was installed to get 4gb ram in acer aspire 3680? Any other upgrades worth mentioning?

    Reply
  • 32. John  |  January 5, 2012 at 2:16 am

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  • 33. brain  |  January 20, 2012 at 11:44 am

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/acer/206137-upgraded-acer-3680-celeron-cpu-t5300.html give this link a click folks , its a very very long read , but shows you how to install various various dual core processors for a much faster acer 3680 . ive just upgraded mine ….

    Reply
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