Can you upgrade a Sony Vaio VGN-AR41S to have 4GB RAM?

Update:

So I was proven wrong by Claude, and thankfully so, because thanks to his discovery, I went out and bought 4GB of RAM (2x2GB DDR2 667 5ms latency), it also just happened to be Kingston. Came home booted it up, and ofc, only 3GB available (because its a 32Bit OS). So I thought what the heck, I’ll install Win7 64Bit RTM (Because I got this from MSDN). Everything I need worked fine. I don’t use the built in web cam much, so I haven’t installed a driver for that, but the rest of the Sony works perfectly. I found a graphics driver on www.laptopvideo2go.com. Awesome stuff…

UPDATE:

Huge thanks to Claude, who has pointed something out. Although Sony tell you, its impossible, it is possible to add 4GB’s of RAM. I did a system scan using this excellent utility, and as it turns out, the real chipset is Intel PM965 Revision C0. I then found the Intel tech specs for that chipset here (point 1.1.2) Notice this time 4GB. Claude has already upgraded to 4GBs. So now I know what I’m doing next pay day – buying more ram.

Thanks again Claude for clearing this up!

For those of you still interested, here is the original post:

I decided I would create this post for those of you who own this model notebook (Sony Vaio VGN-AR41S) and are wondering whats the deal with upgrading the RAM.

After hours of searching the web, I have the answer, unfortunately its a bit of a low blow. If it makes you feel any better, I own one too, and I am equally dissapointed.

You’re not going to get more RAM in there because of the chip set – Mobile Intel GL960 Express Chipset. You can read the full specs here or I will save you the time, and here is a screen shot of the interesting bit.

Capture

So yeah sorry to be the one who has to bring you this bad news, it seems the VGN-AR41S will die alongside the rest of 32Bit computing. I would not recommended upgrading the motherboard either, because along with this you’re no doubt going to end up having to upgrade / replace the graphics card. Not to mention, I doubt very much you’re just going to find a compatible laptop for sale.

I’ve decided that after this notebook finally kicks in I will buy a desktop computer and in the future only have a Netbook for portability. Desktops are a more long term answer to computing. They’re generally much cheaper, and when they get older can easily be upgraded.

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18 thoughts on “Can you upgrade a Sony Vaio VGN-AR41S to have 4GB RAM?

  1. Hi, it’s wrong, it’s possible to upgrade to 4GB and it works,
    look at my system report (sorry in French):
    Système d’exploitation Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Édition Familiale Premium
    Version 6.0.6002 Service Pack 2 Build 6002
    Informations supplémentaires Non disponible
    Éditeur Microsoft Corporation
    Ordinateur VAIO
    Fabricant Sony Corporation
    Modèle VGN-AR41S
    Type PC à base X86
    Processeur Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU T7500 @ 2.20GHz, 2201 MHz, 2 cœur(s), 2 processeur(s) logique(s)
    Version du BIOS/Date Phoenix Technologies LTD R0030J8, 23/05/2007
    Version SMBIOS 2.4
    Répertoire Windows C:\Windows
    Répertoire système C:\Windows\system32
    Périphérique de démarrage \Device\HarddiskVolume1
    Option régionale France
    Couche d’abstraction matérielle Version = “6.0.6002.18005″
    Utilisateur VAIO
    Fuseaux horaires Paris, Madrid (heure d’été)
    Mémoire physique (RAM) installée 4,00 Go
    Mémoire physique totale 3,00 Go
    Mémoire physique disponible 1,34 Go
    Mémoire virtuelle totale 7,40 Go
    Mémoire virtuelle disponible 5,27 Go
    Espace pour le fichier d’échange 4,50 Go
    Fichier d’échange C:\pagefile.sys

    AR41S is a great notebook, 1900×1200, SATA RAID (I upgraded with 2x500GB 7200RPM in raid 1)

  2. Thanks guys !
    I was getting worried this old girl was not going to cut the 64bit world we’re sliding into these days.

    I think I’ll buy the memory and go 64bit Windows 7 and see which SONY bit’s stop working!!

    Did you ever get the video camera working ? I use this alot for Skype…

    Regards,
    Griffo.

  3. Thanks for the info on upgrading the ram; I upgraded my ar41s just a few days ago using Kingston KAC-MEMF/2G (cost-£30 per module). So far it works with no problems; the system (including the BIOS) recognises the 4GB of memory, don’t get why Sony states that 2GB is the maximum suported.

    2 questions:
    Does anybody know if its possible to change the dedicated graphics memory size on the ar41s from 256mb to at least 512mb?

    Can someone give advice on upgrading the HDD i.e. what connection is needed, what HDD would you recomend, how to properly put it in,etc…

    • Hmm. I have always wondered if the RAM limitation by Sony was a heat issue. My AR41S has always run very hot, and I’ve had one GPU failure as a result (fortunately, fixed by a chip-replacement house, so I didn’t have to fight my way through the dreaded UK Sony rip-you-off — I mean repair — center).

      But with just 2G and Vista the beast sucks dead bunnies whenever I do anything at all challenging, so I guess it’s worth the risk for more RAM. And I should bite the bullet and install W7 too, shouldn’t I? :-/ I just know it’s gonna be painful!

      BTW, I *HATE* Sony’s lack of support for their products. Lack of information, poor driver updates, dreadful repair service. I’ve had quite a few Sony’s in the past, but this will be the last!

      • Hi Kim

        Installing Win 7 is perhaps the best thing for your VGN-AR41S, it will perform a lot better than Vista. The only piece of software you’re likely to miss is Photoshop Elements.

        I’ve had a lot of experience now trying to get my Vaio well configured, and I decided to install a 64Bit version of Win 7, so that I could address all my ram (4GBs) if you install 32Bit, you’re likely to only have 3.2GBs of usable ram.

        What ever you decided, if you need help you can always ask, I’ll try and help.

  4. hi i got sony viao VGN-AR41S moudle………..so u know about it .the thing i tried to install windows 7 both 32 bit and 64 bit….in the installation process it couldnt find the driver to install the windows 7……….i dnt knw what to after that can u help me about it plzzzzzzzzzzzz………….waiting 2 hear from u soon thnxxxxxxxxxx……..

  5. hi thnx for the reply…….luckyl i install the windows 7 nw…………..but some of the program doesnt work…like nvida graphics,windows aero,etc can u help me……………

    • Ok step 1, install a driver from here : http://www.laptopvideo2go.com/drivers either 32bit or 64bit, depending on which version of Windows 7 you have installed. You will need to follow instructions on that site on how to use the modded INF, but it works. After this, you need to do the Windows Experience test (Right click my computer properties). Once this is done, you can enable Aero. Start with this, and let me know if you have more questions.

      • is the 4gb a problem when it comes to heat. ive just bought 1 with a broken screen (easily replaced) very cheap but the 2gb issue worries me. will i burn it out with 4gb.

  6. Hi, re: Can you upgrade a Sony Vaio VGN-AR41S to have 4GB RAM? Michael …. %ANCHOR_TEX%. I recently also had a fault on my laptop; sony vaio HDD is dead, fortunately got it fixed last Sunday at this place in harrow, easy to reach via the London Underground train. Get off at Harrow & Wealdstone station (on bakerloo line) and its ten minutes walk to the Laptop Repair Company. Good reliable service with warranty & affordable. Hope this helps. Nathan

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