Upgrading a gaming laptop

I’m on a mission to upgrade my gaming laptop.

Two things:

  1. More RAM

Apparently I’m only using 1 slot of 4…

  1. Put in another SSD if I can.

What do I need? Currently trying to use Crucial System Advisor to search for my model and see what is available.

This is the laptop - ASUS ROG STRIX Scar Edition15.6" 120 Hz Gaming Laptop - Newegg.com

Recommendations welcomed. I’ve never tried to upgrade a laptop before.

The specs page on Newegg says there are two memory slots and of course the standard advice for memory upgrades is that if you upgrade memory, you should always used two identical RAM sticks, so it seems like you could easily upgrade to 16 gig of RAM, but if I were doing it, I would buy two identical 8 gig sticks. Or maybe investigate two 16s though I don’t know if you would see a whole lot of improvement from having 32 gig. You have a HDD but I don’t know how you replace a hybrid drive, it sounds scary.

I’m aware of the RAM rule.

The scan on CSA is where starting off with.

ASUS ROG Strix SCAR Edition | Memory RAM & SSD Upgrades | Crucial.com

Do you have an SSD enclosure or would you be willing to buy one?i
If so, the simplest way to upgrade is to put the new SSD in the enclosure, clone the existing SSD, resize the partition to use all the space, then replace the old SSD with the new one.

This all assumes your existing SSD is actually replaceable and not soldered on. Your laptop manual should say.

No clue. I haven’t gotten to the part where I actually start opening the laptop up. Just seeing what my options are. The added SSD is the tricky part though. Currently the SSD I have is the one that has the Windows OS on it. The HDD is just file storage. I have an external SSD plugged in via Type-C also but I’d prefer to slot in an internal one if I can.

Looks like I can grab a pair of 16GB DDR4 SODIMM sticks for like 57.99 USD

Ok, doing some googling I found this guide. Might be useful (and scary) but it covers both RAM and SSD. Not sure if it’s the same exact modal though.

How to upgrade the RAM and SSD of your ROG Strix laptop | ROG - Republic of Gamers Global.

And of course it’s like 100+ USD cheaper to buy from the US + Import fees + Shipping vs Japan’s total scam prices. That shit boggles my mind.

So I have a bit of a problem.

The upgradable parts of the laptop are restricted without going off guide and removing other stuff.

I can add:

  • One stick of RAM. The current RAM is inaccessible without off manual disassembly.

  • I can replace the SSD drive (I want to)

  • I can replace the old HDD. (not planning on it)

That’s pretty much it without DIY off manual / warranty voiding shenanigans.

The main issue I have now is if I replace the current installed SSD drive, it has the windows install, it would now be gone. Is there a path forward here? How do I go about doing the switch-a-rhoo to get windows on to the the new SDD from the old. Because I can’t slot both of them at the same time. I also have an external SSD…

Like I say, if you have or are willing to buy an enclosure, it’s very simple, you just clone the existing drive onto the new one and swap them round. Otherwise you’re looking at a clean install of Windows and using your old key to activate.

Yep, definitely get an external enclosure, put the new SSD in it, then clone the old to new using something like Macrium Reflect, then swaparoo. Afterward, you can put your old SSD into the enclosure and use it for extra storage, backup, etc.

Ahh I see what you mean now. I need that external drive dock (enclosure) that every tech support room has. Any recommendations in that regard?

Otherwise I’d love to access that other stick of RAM. Seems silly to only allow access to one empty slot…

No key. The Laptop came with windows 10 pre-installed…

Nevermind. This in a command prompt via Admin reveals it:

wmic path softwarelicensingservice get OA3xOriginalProductKey

I can make a Windows 10 bootable USB drive. I might just go this route and make a clean install.

I don’t know if you’re going to get that embedded ram upgraded, so you may just need to settle for one bigger stick in the accessible slot.

I’d instead replace both hard drives. There’s no reason to have a HDD in a computer in 2023. 1tb sata ssd drives are under $50 USD. Do as @Ginger_Yellow suggested. Get a super cheap enclosure to clone your boot drive. You can also get a SATA to USB dongle to clone the HDD to SATA SSD for about 10 to 12 USD.

That will make it a much better all around laptop, but still not much of a gaming laptop with that 1050 GPU.

The HDD is only being used for file/media storage so I don’t really care much about it.

Just trying to work with what I got. No budget for a new machine. :(

Annoyingly I don’t have the required 8GB USB for the windows 10 bootable. I have like two 7.5 GB sticks…

Actually that didn’t matter. I was able to install windows 10 bootable on it anyways. I guess it just needed 8GB free space on C: for the initial download.

Re-installed windows on a new SSD drive. Everything seemed to work but then…

Intel(R) Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 - Code 10 Operation failed. I have no WI-FI. I have no internet and can’t do anything.

It’s embarrassing to say I have no ethernet cable on hand to jack directly into the router and fix this mess, Ordered on Amazon…

I swapped the SSD back to the old one with windows just to make sure it isn’t hardware related. WiFi working again fine.

It sounds like you have identified that the issue is that Windows somehow failed to load the driver, and you’re going to remedy it by giving the new install a wired internet connection and then letting it update/fix the driver? You could also try fixing the driver by downloading it and putting it onto a USB stick, swapping back to the new drive, and pointing it to the USB source.

I tried that already and it didn’t work for some reason.

Once I have Internet I can update windows, and hopefully it will fix itself.

Plugging directly into the router via Ethernet cable solved all the network problems immediately. Everything works now. Wifi adaptor, etc. Only thing is I still got alerts on Other devices device manager stuff going on. Not sure what any of this stuff is.

I finished upgrading the RAM from 8 to 24 (8GB + 16GB)
I added a new SSD 2TB

The GPU and CPU remain the old parts but it seems to run better now.

Any concern about having new RAM and SDD vs older (2018ish) other parts?

Since it’s an Intel system, you could try their automated driver tool to see if it resolves missing chipset and device drivers.