Your computer is a little like your physical work area. The hard drive is the filing cabinet where you store your documents, and memory—or RAM (random access memory)—is the desk where you work. And when your RAM—like a full desktop—isn’t big enough to hold all your work easily, your work slows down and becomes more difficult. A good solution is to expand the space—or install more RAM. If it suddenly seems that your computer can't keep up and the drive light is flickering like crazy, it's probably time to install RAM. But before you unplug the cables, lug the machine to the car, drive to the computer store, wait to have RAM installed, and pay for the service, read how to install RAM yourself. Note: Problems with speed can also be caused by viruses, spyware, or other malicious software. Make sure that your virus checker is up to date. Or download Microsoft Security Essentials for free. Determine how much RAM you have and how much you need Before you buy anything, you need to know how much memory you have and what type of memory to buy. Find out how much RAM your computer has You can find out how much RAM is installed in your computer in two ways. You can open the System Information dialog box to see the installed physical memory, or you can go to Control Panel. To open System Information, click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, click System Tools, and then click System Information. In the left pane, select System Summary. The Installed Physical Memory (RAM) entry in the list tells you how much RAM your computer has.