Upgrading the RAM on Eee Box

As I wrote in a previous post, I recently purchased an Eee Box. As I targeted it as a replacement mail and web server I thought that the included 1GB RAM was a tad low. I bought the replacement memory together with the Eee Box itself and here are some images and comments outlining the process of upgrading the memory.

Both the hard drive and the memory are accessible from the bottom of the device. Removing the table stand (notice the screw mount on the left in the image) reveals the following:

Before RAM upgrade

The left one of the two Eee Box stickers needs to be removed in order to access the hard drive. The sticker on the right needs to be removed for the RAM upgrade. Although I was only planning on upgrading the RAM, I peeled off both stickers.

Without stickers and with the hard drive removed

The hard drive is a Seagate Momentus 5400.5 160GB. It looks simple enough to switch out for a larger one if that is required. 160GB is plenty for the tasks that I will use it for so I didn’t change it.

Original Eee Box hard drive

With the two screws on the right (see image above) removed the side cover can be removed. This led to some confusion as the few other guides on the Internet didn’t mention exactly how to pry off the cover. To help you out, have a look on the following image. The side where the screws were (shown with red) is already loose and there is no need to try to start from there. Instead take a table knife and work on the spots shown with the green crosses where the cover is kept in place.

How to open the Eee Box

With the side cover off we now need to unscrew just one screw in order to access the memory compartment in the lower right:

Eee Box with the side cover off

The unit was originally equipped with two DDR2 667 MHz SO-DIMM cards of 512MB each.

The original RAM memory is exposed

I took out the original memory and instead inserted two 1GB DDR2 667 MHz SO-DIMM cards made by Crucial.

New RAM memory

Finally, I booted the computer and checked the memory.

Task manager showing 2GB of RAM

Five minutes after this I had started installing Ubuntu 🙂

While this process was slightly more complex than changing memory on just about any other computer (laptop or stationary) some kudos goes to Asus for making it much easier to change the RAM than what was the case on my Acer Aspire One. The only really non-trivial part was getting the side cover off without breaking it. However, once I knew how to open it, it was actually trivial as well.

41 thoughts on “Upgrading the RAM on Eee Box”

  1. Hi, thank you for this, will i be able to use 1GB DDR2 800 MHz SO-DIMM, instead of 667 and do you think it will make any difference?

  2. Hi Hels, about the upgrade to 800Mhz modules, you are probably not going to feel the big difference in speed, but the module is bacward compatible, so any higher number module “800 – 1066 and so on” will do. The big difference you will only get if upgrading to higher value, 1Gb – 2Gb – 4Gb.. 😉

  3. Furthermore, a faster harddisk like 7200rpm or even a new (EXPENSIVE) SSD drive will make your Eee Box faster.. 🙂

  4. Agreed, that would be sweet! But 2GB is not too bad. Depends on what you want to use it for. As a web/mail/ftp server it is more than enough.

  5. hi!

    Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge! This will make it much more easy for me to upg. my memory! Thank’s! 😛

  6. Thanks for the pictures and detailing the disassembly process. I had a couple 1Gb Crucial modules left over from upgrading my Toshiba notebook and they worked just fine.

    My Eee Box had a few more tabs holding the cover on the top edge and one in the ‘red zone’ to the left of the hard drive.

  7. I would like to put an Western Digital Raptor 150GB 10k RPM in the Eee Box but I don’t think thats an good ide because of the heat the HDD delivers. I thinks thats why they have put an 5400RPM in the Eee Box instead of an 7200RPM HDD. But think of the speed in the Eee Box IF you put an WD Raptor in it! XD Woohoo

  8. Can you guys tell me whether it is really worthy it upgrading the RAM from 1GB to 2GB? I am thinking about it but I keep reading conflicting information that using XP and normal office applications you don’t need more than 1GB of memory. Could you share your experiences? Many thanks, Surboy

  9. I follow the instruction on your web site and install two single 1GB DDR2 667 MHz Kingston memory. After a few days, i found out the machine hangs after I use it for 20 minutes. I don’t know if Kingston RAM is a perfect match for it. Because the ASUS Ram shown was a 512MB DDR2 400MHz. Would it be the problem?

  10. Slightly off-topic: any one know what the other access panel (the smaller one) is for? There are antenna connections under there but there is a recessed wire holder leading to the front, which has a cavity for something to be installed?

  11. Just to emphasize: for a memory upgrade do not peel off the sticker over the drive bay. Only peel off the right sticker when looking at the box as shown in the pictures above. Remove the right and middle screws and then slowly work your work around the case in order to remove the cover.

  12. Yes, I used my butter knife and opened the case and my jeweler screw drivers did not work! Nothing was broken and this information needs to be on the forum.eeeuser.com website!

  13. Instructions were great… one caution, when putting the case side back, the tabs fold over (and subsequently break off) rather easily, at least one of mine did on the front side top – the other 5 tabs and 2 screws still hold the side very securely.

    Also, I had purchased an eee Box and an eee 1000HE (together for the cost of one \"normal\" PC) and upgraded the memory in the 1000HE from 1GB to 2GB, thinking I would be slick and put the 1GB stick from the 1000HE in my eee Box. My eee Box came with a single 1GB stick marked 667MHz, the stick from the 1000HE is marked 1GB 2Rs16 PC2-5300S-555-12-A3, long story short, the eee Box would not boot with both sticks in (didn\’t try the 1000HE memory in there alone…) Oh well, so much for a cheap upgrade.

  14. Reading the above comments helped… changing the BIOS Advanced Chipset setting from Auto to 400MHz RAM speed got it working, I guess the native eee Box RAM is operating at 533 and the PC-5300 can’t, so it got confused…

  15. I have a B204 box and was told by other users in a forum that it had only 1 slot not 2 slots.Crucial.com say 2 slots.Can anyone confirm this?

  16. It’s true only one SO-DIMM slot available, up to 2GB of RAM

    To be fully compliant with all applicable Intel® SDRAM memory specifications, the
    board should be populated with an SO-DIMM that supports the Serial Presence Detect
    (SPD) data structure. If the SO-DIMM does not support SPD, you will see a
    notification to this effect on the screen at power up. The BIOS will attempt to
    configure the memory controller for normal operation.
    The Desktop Board has one 200-pin DDR2 SO-DIMM connector with gold-plated
    contacts. It supports:
    • 533 MHz unbuffered, non-registered DDR2 SO-DIMMs
    • Serial Presence Detect (SPD) memory only
    • Non-ECC memory
    • Up to 2 GB of memory

  17. You should clarify “take a table knife and work on the spots shown with the green crosses”, because I almost broke the cover. Don’t try to lift it with your knife, but instead try to separate it from the side (sorry, my english is basic, I know it’s not very clear but that’s all I can do).

    Also, I had problems to insert the RAM cards. They didn’t want to enter their slot even if I pushed hard. After a few minutes, I found out that they must be inserted with a 30° angle.

  18. I do have one spare 1GB DIMM. My box came with two 512MB DIMMs. Is it possible to replace one 512MB DIMM with the 1GB – in fact ending up with 1,5GB memory?

  19. @SB

    Normally yes, 1GB+0.5GB=1.5GB.

    However, then it will not run in dual-channel mode. (which is faster, and only works in this way when both RAM modules are equal, in size and in specs)

  20. Instead of a table knife I recommend an expired credit card. It makes wonders and eventually the cover comes off without the need to use force or make scratches.

  21. Thanks so much for this post – we purchased 4 of these boxes (eee box eb1006) for a client and had to upgrade the ram in all of them. You saved us a TON of time trying to wrestle with the boxes ourselves!

    Thanks again,
    Mandie

    WordPress Design, SEO, Hosting

  22. I bought the EB1012 which supports 2 x 2GB. These pictures were a HUGE help, as they are nowhere else on the internet or, sadly, on the ASUS site.

    Thanks Martin!

  23. thanks for the great guide martin, helped me a lot and saved me hours of trying to open the eee box. 🙂

  24. I thinks thats why they have put an 5400RPM in the Eee Box instead of an 7200RPM HDD. But think of the speed in the Eee Box IF you put an WD Raptor in it! XD Woohoo

  25. Thank you so much for posting this. It is nowhere else to be found on the ‘Net. What a great service to the community.

  26. I just got my ASUS EEE BOX 1012. Your picture helped very much. I was able to open it WITHOUT damaging the box :).
    I ordered mine with no HDD and ofcourse OS. So I dont even have to get rid of the unwanted OS. Just install Linux on it :). The eee box makes an awesome computer when coupled with any Linux distro.

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