Upgrading your HP Pavilion dv9260 from 2GB of RAM to 4GB

First off let me say this. To my knowledge from what I have seen and read, outside of some tech sites, people who know better, and people like me who took a chance and did it anyway, you will not find this information anywhere. Why is beyond me since it’s quite simple. HP’s own website along with memory upgrade sites like Crucial (not picking on them mind you) state that the HP Pavilion dv9260’s memory (RAM) is maxed out. I believe this is because they measure upgrade ability by the amount of memory card slots a given PC or laptop have versus how many are in use (occupied) out of the box. It seems that they don’t always take into account that a 1GB chip can be replaced with a 2GB chip. So unless they change how they measure upgrade ability these sites are useless except for picking out the type of RAM you want and can use. Okay, enough on that, let’s get down to it. Here’s what I did to upgrade my laptop. First, go to HP’s website and get all the updated driver’s and install them. This is should allow SP1 to install with no problems. Second, if you haven’t already, download Vista SP1 and install it. This is the only way your laptop will display the full 4GB on the System Information screen. Once you have done this you can then install the 4GB of RAM. Told you it was simple. Now you should be the proud owner of a dv9260 with 4GB of RAM moving at a much better pace than before. This is the amount of RAM an “Entertainment PC” should come with.

Upgrade steps:

  1. Install all the latest HP Pavilion dv9260 drivers (reboot after each install just to be safe).
  2. Install Windows Vista SP1.
  3. Reboot (auto reboot may kick in again, once, twice, thrice, it’s normal).
  4. Disconnect power including the battery
  5. Install 4GB of RAM.
  6. Reconnect power and turn it on.
  7. Congratulations.

Now, if you already have 4GB installed prior to installing Vista SP1, the BIOS will read the full 4GB with no problem. Check and you’ll see what I’m talking about. But, Vista won’t and will only display about 3GB (3072MB) of the total amount. Don’t worry it does read the 4GB there but, it will only display the available amount. I’ve seen it first hand with my own laptop so I’m not just saying this.

Why are we installing all these drivers from HP first? Well, since you want Vista to display all the installed RAM you need Vista SP1. From what I understand about SP1, it will only install on PCs that it sees has all the latest certified drivers installed. How true this is, I don’t know because I didn’t try installing it prior to updating my laptop and I like to keep it updated and working smooth. Remember to reboot after each install so you don’t run into any problems. The worst part is that this is tedious and takes time but the reward is worth it. Pick a day you want to be a lazy couch potatoe and do this.


21 thoughts on “Upgrading your HP Pavilion dv9260 from 2GB of RAM to 4GB

  1. Pretty much. I enjoy sharing what ever I know if it will help out another. You asked for an email but I felt it more appropriate to make it a full post in case anyone else was looking for the same answers. It also gave me another reason to write, so thank you for asking the question.

  2. fyi i purchased 4 gb of ram but i get the blue screen of death when i boot up the computer…it appears to work when i install 3gb but not 4gb. strange…..ill try to figure out what the issue is.

  3. That’s odd. Check the BIOS version and compare it to the most recent and make sure all the device drivers are updated. Also make sure the RAM is at minimum PC2-5300 @667MHz or if it’s PC2-6400 @800MHz it’s backwards compatible with PC2-5300.

  4. First of all, thanks for this. I just got my DV9260 back from having its hinge crack fixed, and they were nice enough to do a full system restore (makes sense, right? change the screen out, wipe the hard drive! I see the connection, yeah!) But I digress. Since everything is all shiny and new, and I am right now in the process of installing somewhere between 96 and 148 updates (not kidding), I started wondering if it was kidding about the 2GB limit. So glad to hear it’s possible!

    Now, I’d love to upgrade to PC2-6400, but how do I know if it’s backwards-compatible to 5300?

    With all these fresh repairs and clean installs going on, I’m going to be stuck with this beast a while, so may as well have it as fast as possible.

  5. It should say on the package that it’s backwards compatible. If it doesn’t say it then don’t assume it. Stick with PC2-5300 better safe than sorry. Install all software updates before upgrading to 4GB.

  6. Thank you! I’ve got 2 x 2gb of pc2-5300 from Crucial on order, and both OS (Vista Ultimate 64bit, and Windows 7 RC1 Ultimate 64bit on the secondary hard drive) are completely and fully updated — always — obsessively even 🙂

    Should I flash the BIOS before the upgrade, or wait and see if it works? The BIOS is the original, haven’t updated it (it’s one of the things that scares me doing it, so I only do it if seems broken).

  7. While I did install the RAM first I would never suggest to anyone to do the same. Flash the BIOS first then turn everything off; including removing the battery, and then install the RAM.

  8. OK, thank you, I probably would have tried to skip that just because BIOS-flashing intimidates me. But, I do really want this to work.

    Thanks again for this post, and for answering my questions so quickly.

  9. I have done this… everything is great… BUT it says that my memory card is using 1.5GB… i know the card came with 256mb SO… how do i get the other 1GB released? there are no options in the bios and i dont need my memory card to have 1.5GB of memory… i need that extra memory because i run photoshop and a slew of other programs at once!

    please advise!


  10. I’m a little confused about your post Adrian. Please explain further. Here or shot me an email.

  11. I have 4gb installed. Bios says 4gb. When vista x64 loads it says 4gb but it says 3gb available and 1gb shared to video card. So now my video card displays having 1500mb of memory. I want that extra 1gb back for system memory. I don’t need 1.5gb for video. How do I reclaim that memory or limit the shared video memory. There are no settings in bois or windows or nvidea control panel. I just wsnt that memory back. Are you not having the same issue?

  12. I did the same upgrade as described here, including all the driver-updating and bios-flashing, and I have the exact same thing – system tells me it sees 4GB but only can use 3GB. I run 64bit Windows 7 *and* Vista ultimate (one on each hard drive) and it’s the same story on both.

    I researched this in a number of forums, and it is not Windows fault it is the motherboard. A hardware limit in what amount of memory the dv9260 can use, even if it can see all four.

    And, with Windows 7’s fancy new system monitoring tools, I can tell you without hesitation that the system is only using 3GB, it reports its usage in great detail (and is an awesome tool for diagnosing and optimizing one’s system to run better, but I digress).

    Since the 3GB limit is hardware-based, there’s no way to reclaim the other GB.

  13. So let’s approach is another way. I built laptops and computers for years. I specifically hate mainstream products for this reason and I’ll most likely neverbuy oneagain. With that said, one idea I had was to see if pheonix made a bios for this. Computer that didn’t have all th options hidden by hp. I have version D now. After talkingto a few others I found out that everyone with this issue, just just this laptop or hp, was alble to fix this by adjustng the shared memory in the bios. We don’t seem to have that option, but if someoene knows if pheniox has an unrestricted bios we can use it may just fix this issue.

    Thoughts? Solutions? Anyne know if this can be done?

  14. @dotlizard You are correct. The dv9260’s mobo (Quanta 30DB v66.37) can not access the full 4GB of RAM even though the BIOS does. Apologies for not addressing this before. Thanks.

  15. @ttmyt Most laptops use shared memory. Unfortunately I don’t know of a way to reclaim it but I have never attempted to do so either. I will look into it further. Also keep in mind that desktop PCs are configured differently from laptops therefore the BIOS is usually very restrictive. I have also built PCs before so I understand your frustration.

  16. Can the Quanta 30DB v66.37 be firmware upgraded or modified or are we crap out of luck and stuck with what we bought….? the reason i want to know all this is that this computer sucks… seriously.. i bought this new for like 2500-3000 and it was a replacement for another computer and it is just horrible…. my options are… wait till winter… upgrade to windows 7, throw in 2 SSD of 120GB each or better and keep it… OR just wait it out till xmas or just after and get a new computer… maybe an alienware so i know i can do it all!

  17. I am running Win7 for my primary OS, and have gone through the running services thoroughly and shut down resource hogs of limited usefulness (windows media center, i’m looking at you). Along with the 3 gigs of RAM and the new screen and lid I got from sending it in due to the hinge defect, it’s in pretty good shape, and runs SO MUCH BETTER than it did under Vista. Like, no comparison so much better. It boots inside of a minute and I can plug in an extra monitor and go to town multitasking.

    Upgrading to 7200rpm hard drive will also make things move a little quicker, pick up a 320gb for like, $70 or 80 on Amazon, put your old 120GB in an enclosure — faster computer *and* spare portable hard drive! It’s win-win.

    Not saying it still doesn’t have its sucky moments, but, there are ways to make it minimally sucky. And with things like buying a new system, a little patience is a lot better than rushing and being sorry (*ahem* dv9260, rush decision made in emergency, sigh).

  18. Oh, and if you haven’t checked out the Lenovo outlet, do. Y710 or Y730’s for awesome deals. Picked up a very, very nicely spec’d 17″ gaming rig for my kid for his bday for under six hundred, if you want a near-top of the line screaming-fast model will still run well under $2K. good & sturdy too, my kid games like crazy and it keeps up with him. And, his Lenovo may only be 32bit OS, but, it sees all four of its gigs of memory 🙂

  19. I wanted to see if you had any revisions to whats been said so far. I too have an hp-pavillion dv9260, and would like to install more memory. You also mention upgrading the hard drive what do you suggest? Also I am running windows 7 ultimate, so would you take the same update (updating @ hp site/flashing the bios) approach you suggested before or do you recommend something else given the new operating system…thanks for your time.

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