2020/2019 LG Gram 17 Storage/Ram Upgrade

Updated: 02/20/2020 (Added LG Gram 17 2020 Upgrade Information)
*User “Scott” confirms that 2020 LG Gram 17″ supports 40 GB of Ram with 32 GB 3200 Mhz Crucial SODIMM upgrade
*User “Wayne” confirms that 2020 LG Gram 17″ supports 24 GB of Ram with 16 GB 3200 Mhz Crucial SODIMM upgrade
————————————————————
* Unconfirmed if the LG Gram 17″ 2020 model supports 40 GB of RAM with the Samsung 32GB 2666 MHz SODIMM which was originally used to upgrade the LG Gram 17″ 2019 model

Guide Difficulty: Low

LG Gram 17 Storage/Ram Upgrade Guide.

In this guide, I will be adding 1 TB SSD (NVME M.2) and swapping a 32 GB ram module onto the 2019 LG Gram 17.

The model number of the LG Gram 17″ used for this guide is
(17Z990-R.AAS7U1) which is from Costco August 2019 promotion.


Price: $1,150


Original Hardware:

  • 16 GB Ram (8 GB Soldered, 8 GB Swappable)
  • 256 SATA SSD

After Upgrade:

  • 40 GB Ram (8 GB Soldered, 32 GB Swappable)
  • 1 TB NVME M.2, 256 GB SATA SSD

Parts required:

Laptop: LG Gram 17″ 2019 (Supports 2666 MHz RAM)

https://amzn.to/2NN90cy
https://amzn.to/38p0kiR

RAM: Samsung 1 x 32GB DDR4 2666Mhz SODIMM (2019 LG Gram 17)

https://amzn.to/2NRRzaN

SSD: Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1 TB SSD (NVME M.2)

https://amzn.to/2MRD5HX

Laptop: LG Gram 17″ 2020 (Supports 3200 Mhz RAM)

https://amzn.to/2wmVR38

RAM: 1 x 32GB DDR4 3200Mhz SODIMM (2020 LG Gram 17)
*32GB: Confirmed Working*
*16GB ram links are also provided below* – Confirmed working

(Crucial Single 32GB 3200 Mhz) *Confirmed Working
https://www.crucial.com/usa/en/ct32g4sfd832a

(Crucial Single 32GB 3200 Mhz – 1-2 Month Wait) *Confirmed Working https://amzn.to/2Vpczcg

(HyperX Single 32GB 3200 Mhz – 1-2 Month Wait)
https://amzn.to/31Y1KQ5

(Crucial Single 16GB 3200 Mhz) *Confirmed working
https://www.crucial.com/usa/en/ct16g4sfd832a


Toolkit: iFixit Essential Electronics Toolkit

https://amzn.to/2MTrgB1

Toolkit: iFixit Essential Electronics Toolkit

Additional photos for LG Gram 17″ 2020 Model available here:
https://jaychen.dev/lg-gram-17-2020-photos/

  • Photos of new laptop backplate, internal battery, and internal layout
  • Confirmation photo for 24GB and 40GB upgrades with 3200 Mhz RAM

Step 1. Pry out the four rubber footing from the bottom of the laptop

Use the plastic flat-end tool to pry out the large rubber footings, there are a total of four rubber footings on the 17″ model. The rubber footings are located on the four corners of the laptop’s backplate.

plastic flat-end tool

Step 2: Pry out the small plastic screw covers

Use the tweezers to gently lift the plastic screw covers from the laptop. Be careful not to scratch the laptop or plastic covers. There are a total of seven plastic screw covers.

iFixit Tweezer tool

At the end of step 1 and 2, the four rubber footings and seven plastic screw covers should be removed.

LG GRAM 17 Backplate

Step 3: Unscrew the screws from the laptop’s backplate

LG GRAM 17 Backplate Screws

Step 4: Remove the laptop’s backplate

Remove the laptop’s backplate using the small knife tool. Try to separate the backplate from the laptop by wedging the knife in between the small groove. After the knife has been wedged, attempt to slowly run the knife across the edges of the backplate until the backplate has been removed. Protect the laptop from scratches by placing a micro-fiber cloth in front of the knife.

LG GRAM 17 Backplate

Step 5: Remove the original RAM and SSD

This model of the LG Gram 17″ comes with 16 GB of Ram (8 GB Soldered, 8 GB Swappable). The laptop also comes with two-slots of SATA3 (SATA3 x4, SATA3 x2). In the faster SATA3 x4 slot, the laptop comes with a 256 GB SATA SSD.

LG GRAM 17 Internal Components

  1. Remove the screws holding the SSD.
  2. Remove the 256 GB SSD at a 45-degree angle.
LG GRAM 17 Sata3 Slot

  1. Move the pin that holds the ram module to the side.
  2. Remove the 8 GB ram module at a 45-degree angle.
LG GRAM 17 Ram Module
LG GRAM 17 Ram Module

Step 6: Add the new ram and SSD

Move the original 256 SATA SSD to the second SATA3 x2 slot (Right). Insert the new SSD and RAM module.

** The SATA3 NVME x4 Slot (Left) is faster and you should put your Samsung NVME in this slot for faster boot times. For this to work, the Windows Operating System must also be installed on the Samsung 970 EVO NVME drive.


Step 7: Check computer specs

Before reassembling the laptop, ensure that the laptop is detecting all of the parts. Check “System information” to ensure that the additional RAM is detected and run “Disk Management” to add the new SSD.

Windows 10 RAM
Windows 10 Disk Management

You have now completed the LG Gram 17 Storage/Ram Upgrade Guide. If you want to migrate the operating system onto the 1 TB SSD, you can do a fresh install of Windows or use the Samsung SSD migration software.

93 thoughts on “2020/2019 LG Gram 17 Storage/Ram Upgrade

  • What is the maximum upgrade capacity for the SSD storage for 2020 i7 LG Gram 17 ? Can I add a 2 TB SSD to the onboard 512gb? And is there a compatibility issue with brands other than Samsung?

    • There should be no limits on the upgrade capacity for SSD storage. You’re basically limited to how much you can afford $$$ (e.g. 2 x 4TB SSD).

      You should be able to use any brand, however, in my opinion, Samsung has the highest performance in terms of speed and longevity.

      • Thank you for the update and for calling me poor on the internet 😛 I wanted to add a Sabrent Rocket NVMe. Hadn’t thought about 2x 4TB. Hmmm… My kidneys feel itchy all of a sudden. It would be great if you could also write a blog on NVMe SSD cloning. Thanks anyway. Cheers!

        • Lol haha 😂.

          I didn’t clone my ssd, I wiped my drive and reinstalled Windows for my LG.

          However, other people have use macrium reflect to perform a drive clone.

  • Has anyone benchmarked the RAM before and after upgrading it?

    I’m wondering if the switch from dual (2x8gb) to single (8gb+something else) channel has a noticeable performance impact.

    • The additional ram will not significantly increase performance but it will increase ram capacity.

      For example, Google Chrome will not run faster but you can have more tabs open before Chrome crashes.

      If you’re running a virtual environment using virtualization softwares like VirtualBox, you have more ram capacity for multiple virtual machine instances.

  • Hi Jay. Apologies to all if this may have been covered but I just didn’t have the time to go through all of the responses. I added a new 1tb evo plus to the second slot and also the hyperx impact 32 gb ram. The ram installed fine and the new drive appears everywhere. Then I cloned the original drive to the new one using samsung data migration and it went fine. Then I opened the laptop again to swap the 2 drives around so that I have the new one in the first or better slot. The drives do show up but the original drive is still the windows drive. I went into Bios and here is what I see in the boot section:

    Boot Priority Order
    1. Windows Boot Manager
    2.usb cd:
    3.ata hdd1:
    4.ata hdd2:
    5.NVMe1: Samsung SSD 970 evo plus 1 tb
    6.NVME2: Samsung MZVLB512HAJQ-00000
    7.usb hdd:
    8.usb fdd:
    9.usb lan:

    What do I do now? What settings should I change and how?

    Thank you in advance.

    • The new drive doesn’t have Windows. I recommend cloning your drive.

      Samsung Data Migration software is designed to help users quickly, easily, and safely migrate all of their data – including their current operating system, application software, and user data – from their existing storage device (e.g. HDD) to their new Samsung SSD.

      • Thank you. Not sure I understand. It seems that samsung data migration only moves files across and not the intact operating system – it didn’t seem to clone it properly. But when I compare the results, it looks the same and shows that windows is on the new drive. So are you saying that there is nothing that needs to be done via bios but that I need to do another cloning? I did the same a few days earlier with my son’s new acer and I used macrium reflect which worked perfectly. I will use macrium for my lg gram too. Based on my experiences, I would definitely recommend macrium over samsung data migration.

        • Other users on here also had success with macrium reflect. Just remember to expand the space of your drive after you clone it.

          You can check disk management to expand the unallocated space.

  • Hi Jay

    Thank you so much for this post. Using the direction you’ve provided, I got myself a LG Gram 17 and upgraded with all the parts you’ve listed.

    BUT one thing I’m noticing is that the Samsung 970 EVO Plus seems to be heating quickly quite often. Under normal conditions, it’s running at around 65C-70C. This is alarming me.

    Have you experienced the ssd overheating after you’ve upgraded?

    Any ideas or suggestions you’d like to provide?

    Thanks in advance

  • I have the 2020 model and it gets very hot even when I am just surfing the web. Does anybody else have these issues and if so is there any type of fix? Thanks

    • My 2020 17″ Gram definitely gets hot. It’s tolerable if the laptop is open, but uncomfortably hot if the lid is closed (I set mine to keep running when closed — I don’t want it sleeping just because I closed it for a quick grab&go).

      When the CPU gets hot, the fan turns on, and it blows hot air out the back of the laptop base-half. At least on my 17″, that back edge of the base-half is pretty snug up against the bottom of the screen-half. There does seem to be enough gap for air to escape.

      But when the laptop is open, the fan-blown hot air escapes both upwards (in front of the screen’s bottom bezel) and downwards (toward the back center rubber foot). If the laptop is closed, hot air escapes only downwards, and that’s when mine gets intolerably hot to the touch.

      Kel

      • I also have the 2020 model and am concerned with how hot it gets. The area between the keyboard and LG logo on the screen gets really, really, really hot.

        Kel is spot on with how the air blows out of the laptop.

        Now despite it being crazy hot, I haven’t had any issues with it overheating and I run a lot of CPU intensive applications. What I am mainly concerned with is the longevity of the laptop due to it consistently being so hot.

        So when I have my laptop hooked up to an external monitor, I always keep the laptop screen propped up so air can circulate.

        I also made two 1″ tall pedestals that I put under the laptop feet by the screen, so the back of my laptop is propped up to help air circulation. This works really well and I found the laptop stays cooler.

  • Thanks for the excellent and detailed instructions. I used them to upgrade my 2019 Gram 17 to 24GB using a Samsung 16GB DDR4-2666 SODIMM left over from upgrading another computer (waste not, want not) and while I was at it, put in a 1TB Intel 660P I had lying around.

    I didn’t want to fiddle with a knife around the case edge, and I have a high-strength suction cup at hand (from a Manfrotto pumped suction camera mount), I just used it to pull at the bottom plate and it came right out (be careful not to apply too much suction, the plate will warp otherwise).

  • Confirming that HyperX Impact 32Gb 3200MHz works on 2020 LG Gram 17″ 16Gb RAM 1Tb SSD.

    In OEM configuration, with the laptop running a bunch of applications simultaneously (MS Edge Browser, Teams, Outlook, Powerpoint, Word, Excel, QuickBooks, Malwarebytes, Windows Explorer), every 30 minutes or so the computer would freeze for about 5-8 seconds (no mouse, nothing). Then the screen would go black for a split second, and everything would come back including whatever was my last mouse click. Task Manager would show 45-65%+ RAM used. I figured it was a memory issue.

    After reading some sites including JayChen here, I opted for the 32Gb instead of 16Gb. Now no more freezes, Task Manager shows 15-25% RAM used. Control Panel/ System Security/ System shows: “Installed Memory (RAM): 40.0 GB (39.7 GB usable)” YEAH BABY.

    Super pleased. Thanks JayChen for the detailed instructions, very helpful! On the 17″, after all screws were out, I had to pry around the sides and front, then get the cover next to the hinges to unclip (very important or you can’t tilt the cover up without bending it), then tilt the cover up from the front a few inches and push down on the back cooling grill while tilting. Pushing down on the back helps to disengage those rear securing spots. Work it and don’t force it.

    HyperX Impact 32GB 3200MHz DDR4 CL20 SODIMM Laptop Memory HX432S20IB/32 (from Amazon)

    LG – Gram 17″ Laptop – Intel Core i7 – 16GB Memory – 1.024TB SSD – Dark Silver 17Z90N-R.AAS9U1 (from Best Buy)

    Kel

  • That’s the one I did dude! Works Great with the 970 EVO plus and the HyperX linked above. Give it a good solid, very anxious, two minutes after the RAM install on your very first boot. So fast…

  • I’m getting a 2020 Gram 14 from Costco (i7-1065G7, 8GB/256GB), any reason to believe upgrading that one will be dramatically different?

  • Confirmed that the hyperX 32G 3200 that you link works in the 14 inch Costco model 14Z90N-U.AAS6U1. Got it booting both Windows and Arch on a 1TB EVO. The fact that this thing supports these upgrades, and that ctrl-alt-F7 in bios enables a shit ton of options makes this my favorite hack in a long time. If the EFI on it let’s me add keys and sign my Linux boots as well, it’s going to be just about perfect for my purposes… thanks a ton for this page, Jay. Thanks for paving the road, all.

  • Do you see a noticeable difference in performance after upgrading? I want to use the gram for video rendering but I heard video editing depends more on CPU performance than ram. I was wondering if upgrading the ram to 40gb would offset this limitation.

    • When running your video editing software, if the ram caps out, then it is worth it to upgrade. If not, the rest of the performance of video rendering is dependent on graphic card and cpu.

  • After reading about people’s problems with drive upgrade and migration, I got an idea: what if I create recovery drive form my original disk, then remove the original disk and put in only the new hdd inside (to prevent any confusion and accidental booting), use the recovery drive to install new windows on my clean fresh hdd?
    Do you think this would work?
    I would all the time have the original factory hdd with factory windows, in case something goes wrong I can stick it back in and troubleshoot.

    • I have not tried that method yet, but I believe Windows Recovery Drive might require a drive that already has Windows operating system.

    • I highly suggest checking out Samsung Data Migration.

      Samsung Data Migration software is designed to help users quickly, easily, and safely migrate all of their data – including their current operating system, application software, and user data – from their existing storage device (e.g. HDD) to their new Samsung SSD.

  • Hi,
    thank you for this great tutorial!
    I’m new to self-upgrades, but I would like to try. I’m going to get the 2020 model, and I’m going to upgrade RAM to 40GB, and put in second ssd.
    I bought the same RAM that’s reported here to work, CT32G4SFD832A. I couldn’t find it anywhere in the US so I ordered form the UK, fingers crossed.

    I have ssd question: will this one work: Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD 2TB – M.2 NVMe Interface Internal Solid State Drive with V-NAND Technology (MZ-V7S2T0B/AM)?
    I’m not very familiar with technical specs for computer parts, I never upgraded laptop parts before. Thanks!

  • Thank you, Jay. Great breakdown. I am concerned about the 10/100 ethernet limitation of the LG Gram. Is it possible to upgrade that component? If not, do you see similar speed limitations over Wifi or is it only when using ethernet?

    • When you buy the LG Gram 17 laptop, it comes with a USB-C Ethernet Adapter.

      Adapter Specs:
      10/100Mbit (USB-C Port with R45 gender)

      You can buy a higher rated Ethernet adapter on Amazon and just use that.

      As for the Wi-Fi, the spec is that it is a
      Intel® Wi-Fi 6 AX201, which should be able to support 2400 Mbps connections.

  • I really apprecaiate all of you sharing your experiences. They’ll inform my next steps. So I picked up one of the 2020 models from Costco. Great experience even after the first unit had bad pixels. So to return/exchange with those guys. Anyway.
    My question is about adding RAM. I want to plug in a 32GB module, but I’m having trouble finding any that match the increased speed of this years model (@3200MHz).
    Amazon’s only offer is a 1-2 month wait (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0848MD5Q6/ref=ox_sc_saved_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1)
    If anyone has a better source than this I would love to have it.

          • Hi Jay, what is your ETA for your 32 GB module?

            I was about to order the 16 GB module to upgrade to 24 GB (on the 2020 model), which we know will work, but may wait till you test the 32 GB module.

            For anyone who wants to know, this is the exact model of 8GB memory chip in the 2020 LG Gram 17: Samsung M471A1K43DB1-CWE

          • The user “Scott” is waiting on his single stick 32GB 3200Mhz SODIMM from Crucial, and he will let us know if the upgrade works in the new 2020 LG Gram 17.

            Link to the 32GB 3200Mhz SODIMM:
            https://www.crucial.com/usa/en/ct32g4sfd832a

            Before you buy your 16 GB module, the new 2020 LG Gram 17 supports 3200Mhz ram instead of the old 2666Mhz ram. However, 3200Mhz SODIMM ram is harder to find right now.

            I am pretty sure that 2666Mhz ram will still work in the new 2020 LG Gram 17, but it won’t be at its highest potential.
            I am also not sure if the brand of the ram will affect compatibility. For the 2019 LG Gram 17, the Samsung ram worked perfectly fine, but they don’t have a 3200Mhz model yet.

          • Sorry Jay, I actually noticed I should have addressed “Scott” after I clicked “post”. 🙂

            I’m going ahead and purchasing the 16GB version of the 3200Mhz memory, which is this:
            https://www.crucial.com/usa/en/ct16g4sfd832a
            I ordered it from Amazon and should have it in a few days.

            I’d caution everyone to be careful buying using the 2666Mhz memory until someone can really verify it will work. I came across this thread yesterday who tried 32GB 2666Mhz and couldn’t get the 2020 model to boot:
            https://www.cnet.com/forums/discussions/memory-upgraded-2020-lg-gram-17-10th-gen-intel-wont-boot/

          • Yeah, I added disclaimers across the blog post. As for those willing to take a shot at it, let me know if it works out lol.

          • Upgraded my 2020 laptop to 24 GB last night from the default 16.

            Let me know if you’d like me to email any pictures of the inside, case, etc.

            My wife has the 2019 laptop, and there are slight differences in the feet and shell. Getting the new larger round footings off was a little challenging, and also getting the shell snaps to unclick where the new larger air vent is, by the hinge. But once it was finally apart, changing out the RAM out was a breeze, along with putting it back together.

            Again, I used the 16GB version of the 3200Mhz memory, which is this:
            https://www.crucial.com/usa/en/ct16g4sfd832a

            Also as a FYI for anyone, the very first time you boot, after putting in the new RAM, it did take longer than normal to boot, but only the very first time. The following bootups are the typical lightning fast startups.

            I did not have to go into the BIOS to change anything.

          • I am glad that it worked out for you. If you have picture of the internal or laptop shell, you can send them to jay@jaychen.dev. I will add them onto this blog, which will help those with the new LG gram 17.

    • Does anyone know if the 2020 version still nvme x4 and x2? Just trying to choose a 2tb secondary drive if I purchase (I know the primary drive is now nvme, i assume in the x4 slot.) Just wondering if things changed since it’s ice lake now, couldn’t find it in the specs. Thanks for all of this info so far!

      • Also, ice lake supports pcie 4.0, does this laptop then? Wondering if I can get a pcie4.0 drive like the sabrent rocket m4 or something. But maybe that’s overkill…

      • I believe that the internal setup is the same as the 2019 model. X4 and X2. However, Wayne or Scott can confirm later.

        As for the PCIe gen, it is probably gen 3 as they don’t advertise that information anywhere. In terms of functionality, gen3 is already powerful enough and gen4 will be overkill.

    • Life is Good

      I have installed the 32GB RAM and took some pictures (emailed to Jay) and everything showed up. I used Macrium Reflect free to clone the original 512GB drive, swapped it from the 1st slot to the 2nd and installed the 1TB drive. Booted to the original drive and restored the saved image to the 1TB. Now it’s my boot drive and the original is in the 2nd slot. Did need to find a utility to expand the C: partition after the image was restored, but “AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition” did it for free!

      ask me questions but it went pretty well. Maybe 30 min, even with resizing that partition.

      • Hi, when you used Macrium to clone the drive, did you do it by creating an image of the active drive without plugging the drive to another computer?
        I thought it’s not possible to clone entire boot drive from software that’s on the drive being cloned. Am I wrong, and this worked for you? thanks!

        • Yes
          I selected the boot drive and chose “Image this disk…” &
          after selecting the Destination folder (my SD card) and Backup file name “_____.mrimg I clicked Next.
          The following screen allows a number of Backup Plan options (Template, Add/Edit Schedules, Define Retention Rules & Advanced Options), however I just chose the simplest backup plan and clicked Next/Finish.
          The program runs and I stopped there, installed my second,1 TB drive in the primary slot, moving the old 512GB drive into the second slot.
          I booted to the 512GB drive (via Boot select?), went back to Macrium and restored the backup image to my new 1TB. This restored image was only 512GB/1TB, the same as the original, but with the other software I mentioned, I was able to expand that drive to the full capacity of the new drive. And that’s it.

          FWIW – I think if you use the “clone” option on a boot drive, then you will indeed have issues with the cloned image. But I’ve been using the image option now for years and it works great. On my Mac Pro I use Carbon Copy Cloner.

          Thanks for reaching out, and hope this helps!

  • Dear Jay,

    Costco is currently selling the LG 17″ in 2 versions, one with 256G SSD and the other 512 G SSD. But the former has Intel UHD 620 graphics, and the latter has integrated graphics. What is the difference?
    Thanks for your help.

    • Hey pk,

      I just looked at the Costco website and see the two versions.

      The 256gb model says Intel UHD 620 and the 512gb model says integrated graphic. Intel UHD 620 is a integrated graphic, someone on their website was probably not consistent with the description.

      They did the same thing with the processor, for one they put intel i7 for 256gb model and Intel® Core i7-8565U Processor 1.8GHz for 512gb model.

      I am 99% confident that the processor and graphic card is the same on both models. They probably wrote different description to get more people to buy the 512 model.

  • I plan to only add the 1TB 970 EVO Plus.

    As with Will’s previous question I just put the 1TB drive in the second slot and boot up as normal?

    Is the Samsung migration software pre-loaded on the new drive or do I get it from Samsung later?

    Do I need to migrate if I keep the original 256 in?

    Would there be a benefit to then swapping the drives 1TB to slot 1 and 256 to slot 2?

    The machine is brand new so I have no info or settings as yet.

    Thanks,

    Paul

    • The Samsung nvme is much faster than the original drive that comes with the LG gram 17.

      The first slot is x4 and the second slot is x2. The drive that is in your first slot will run faster. It is most optimal to place the drive containing the OS in the first slot to increase boot time and loading speeds.

      However, You can use the computer 256gb as your original drive, and use the 1TB as your additional drive , but you will lose the benefit of having the faster Samsung drive to run your operating system.

      For the most optimal setup, you should place the original 256gb drive in the second slot, move the Samsung 1tb to first slot. Use the Samsung migration tool to migrate the OS from 256gb drive to 1TB drive.

      From the Samsung website, You can download the Samsung migration tool onto your original drive and perform the migration.

      After running the tool, go into bios and change the boot priority to the Samsung 1 TB drive.

      • I installed the new Samsung 970 plus in the first slot and moved the original drive to the second slot.

        I downloaded and ran the migration software.

        I restarted the computer and got the Recovery screen.

        I used Esc for firmware settings

        I changed the boot order to the 970 Plus first

        My computer will not start up now I only get the recovery screen. Did I miss a step?

        Thanks,

        Paul

        • Hmm..
          Try changing the boot order back to the original drive and see if it boots normally.

          The migration might have failed. If you can boot back to the original drive, you can wipe the 970 and try again.

          Personally, I haven’t tested the migration tool. I can only suggest watching YouTube videos regarding the migration instructions.

          During my upgrade, I installed my laptop using a fresh installation of Windows using a new key.

          Let me know how it goes.

        • Also….I removed the original drive and the system boots fine.

          I put the original drive back in slot 2 and restarts fine just doesn’t find the 256 drive.

          Under Disk Management it says that disk (256 Disk 1) has a signature collision with another disk (Disk 0).

          What do I do to use the original Disk?

          Thanks,

          Paul

          • It’s running fine off the 1TB drive now.

            I’m going to try disk management later tomorrow. My son (software engineer) will be able to guide me. I’ll let you know.

            Thanks,

            Paul

        • We fixed the boot order again and wiped the 256 drive.

          Seems to work fine now.

          Really appreciate the tutorial and support.

  • Jay, I changed the drive boot order and was unsuccessful. I was digging deep into the internet to see if anyone had solved it. There was even a mention with changing thunderbolt settings in the advanced bios (Alt+Ctl+F7). Also tried a smaller and older USB drive to see if it would work. Nothing.

    I finally gave up, pulled my hardware upgrade out, and was ready to return it to Costco. I figured I’d give it one last try. I reset the Bios to turn on the UEFI and secure boot, put in the USB and it finally worked. I loaded Windows 10 on the 512 SSD, then I pulled the 512 SSD and put in only my 1 TB SSD. I was able to successfully install Windows 10 on that as well. Now I put the 512 SSD back in, and put in my 32GB Ram back in. I changed the boot sequence to boot off the 1TB SSD and completely wiped all partitions off the 512 SSD.

    Now it’s functional, but it took a long time to get to it. 4 hours spent last night working on it.

    Here are my thoughts:
    1. Cloning the OS with Acronis didn’t create a properly bootable 1TB SSD.
    2. Wiping out the 512 GB SSD made the system unbootable at all and killed my ability to factory restore. (I had removed all the partitions on the 512 GB SSD).
    3. It appears that when the 32 GB Ram is installed, the system didn’t want to recognize a bootable USB
    4. Pulling the 32 GB Ram seemed to alleviate the bootable USB issue and UEFI and secure boot settings made no difference whatsoever.

    Recommendations for anyone upgrading the LG Gram:
    1. If you run into issues, pull your upgraded RAM out. There may very well be a RAM limit for the BIOS that we are exceeding with a 32 GB stick.
    2. Leave the 512 GB SSD as the boot drive and just use your additional drive as a data drive. This also protects your ability to restore the system to factory settings if you need to.
    3. If you want to make your drive seamless so that it appears you’re working off just one drive instead of two, you can use junctions and hard link your Documents, Music, Videos, Pictures folders to your D drive.

    These are the commands I use for hardlinks:

    Make sure your data is moved somewhere else and then delete the EMPTY folders from C:\Users\User1
    Documents
    Music
    Pictures
    Videos

    From Admin Command prompt
    mklink /d “C:\Users\User1\Documents” “D:\Users\User1\Documents”
    mklink /d “C:\Users\User1\Music” “D:\Users\User1\Music”
    mklink /d “C:\Users\User1\Pictures” “D:\Users\User1\Pictures”
    mklink /d “C:\Users\User1\Videos” “D:\Users\User1\Videos”

    Move your data back into the appropriate folders.

    This is how my desktop computer operates with a 1TB SSD for OS and program files while my data storage is on a 6TB Platter Drive.

    • Yeah, sounds like you had a difficult time getting yours to work. I am glad that it worked out for you at the end.

      Seems like the process will be different depending on how Windows is installed/migrated.

      For future reference to others trying to set up the laptop after upgrading.

      2 Different installation approaches:

      1. First approach: After upgrading the laptop, keep Windows OS on the original drive and use the extra drive as additional storage space. The downside is that you don’t get to benefit from the faster Samsung nvme for boot time and program load times.

      2. Second Approach: After upgrading the laptop, clone or perform a fresh install of Windows onto the new Samsung nvme. Do not add the ram until Windows is fully functional on the new drive. (Reassembly laptop only when everything works).

      _________________________________________
      Detailed description of approach 2 for Fresh install of Window (*Edited 12/15/19 Cloning/Migrating the drive should also work, however I do not have the steps for that approach)

      This process of installing Windows 10 on the LG gram 17 includes installing Windows With a new Windows 10 key that I brought online.

      After installing the hard drives. Google for Windows 10 iso, and download the installer from the Microsoft website.

      The installer installs the Windows 10 installation file onto an external USB. Afterward, plug the USB to the LG gram 17, visit the bios on computer startup and change the drive boot order to the USB.

      After booting to the USB, follow through the Windows installation menu and delete the partition on the original drive and perform a fresh install of Windows on the new drive.

      *To ensure that the upgrade is successful, only add ram after Windows successfully boots on the new drive. Make sure to change the boot order to the new Samsung nvme drive.

      *No other setting in bios needs to be changed

      • Hi Jay, Thanks for posting this article. I’m about to perform this upgrade soon. Regarding your “Second Approach”, won’t the Samsung Data Migration tool successfully clone the old SSD to the new SSD, including OS? I’ll be doing this on a brand new LG 17. Is there a reason I should purchase an additional product key & perform a fresh install?

        I’m about to perform this upgrade. Below are the steps I’m planning on taking. Let me know if this should work or if there’s anything I’m missing. For instance, will I need to make any BIOS changes? Thanks.

        Planned Upgrade Steps:
        1) Add new SSD to 2nd slot
        2) Download & install Samsung SSD firmware upgrades using Samsung Magician
        3) Clone old SSD to new SSD using Samsung Data Migration Tool
        4) Remove original SSD and move new SSD to original slot
        5) Confirm laptop boots using new SSD
        6) Install additional RAM

        • Yeah, your upgrade steps seem fine and the Samsung data migration tool should work, I haven’t tested that tool out so I can’t 100% confirm the required steps.

  • I upgraded the ram and added a 1 TB SSD. I also cloned the operating system from the 512GB SSD to the new 1 TB SSD. I managed to get the bootup sequence to start on the 1 TB drive, but out of concern of it jumping back to the 512 GB SSD, I wiped all the partitions off the 512. Now the system wont boot and throws errors at me. I’ve been trying to do a fresh install of Windows using a USB drive, but the system wont recognize the USB to boot from. I disabled UEFI and secure boot. Still no luck. Any suggestions?

    • Hey Ofer, make sure you change the drive boot order in the computer bios before booting the drive with Windows or with the Windows USB.

      If you believe that your drives are corrupted, your Windows installation usb should be able to wipe both drives.

  • Is there any need to back up Windows before doing the upgrade? I’m leaving the factory SSD in place and duplicating what you have done.

    • If you want to keep your Windows license key, you can put the new SSD in the second slot and use Samsung migration software. After migrating, you can wipe the original SSD and use it as an extra drive.

      If you have an extra Windows Key, you can just perform a fresh install of Windows using a flash drive.

      There are many tutorials online if you need assistance with the process.

  • Dear Jay,

    So the best I can do for the RAM is to add 16G to the empty slot?

    Do you think I can replace the 256G SSD with 1T SSD?

    Thanks for your advice.

    • Yeah, the best you can do is add 16gb ram to the empty slot and you can also definitely replace the 256gb storage with 1 TB.

      However, you need to reinstall Windows using a usb containing the Windows iso file. There are many guides online for it and should be fairly simple.

  • Dear Jay

    My kid has Samsung’s NP940x5j-K02: with 8G RAM (soldered in) plus empty slots; and 256SSD storage. Do you think I can do similar upgrade for it like you did with your 17″ LG?
    I thank you for your advice and suggestions.

    • Yes, a upgrade should work for that laptop as well if a Ram slot is available.

      Upon looking up the processor for your laptop model, the maximum ram capacity per slot is 16GB, the 32GB will most likely not work. Double check to see if your laptop uses sata ssd or nvme for storage upgrade.

  • thanks for this guide. question about the ram module that can be upgraded: does it have to match the type of onboard ram, which is DDR4 2400MHz? the ram module you chose has higher MHz. also, the module you chose is 260 pin SODIMM, 1.2V (i couldn’t find the equivalent information for the ram that comes with the lg gram 17). do any of those differences (MHz and possibly the rest) matter? also, is there a maximum ram size for that slot?

    • Hey TG,

      You do not need to match the MHz, even though the Samsung RAM is 2666 MHz, the laptop will bottleneck the speed of both ram to 2400 MHz. The rule is that you never want to go lower, always higher for MHz.

      SODIMM is the ram module for laptops which are all 260 pins.
      1.2V is also common for DDR4 SODIMM RAM modules.
      (You can do a search for DDR4 SODIMM specs)

      I suppose the maximum ram size for the ram slot is 32 GB as that is the highest RAM module available for sale and it is also recognized by the laptop. This also means any smaller RAM module such as 16GB should also work.

      Let me know if you have any further questions!

      • thanks, good to know. so it sounds like there is no benefit to higher speed (relative to onboard ram speed) and a detriment to lower speed (also relative to onboard ram speed), meaning that matching the speeds exactly makes the most sense.

        also, i found the following info on page 56 of the lg 17 user manual, which says max ram is 16gb – https://www.lg.com/us/support/product/lg-17Z990-R.AAS9U1

        here’s what it says:

        Product Specifications
        System Memory

        DDR4 SODIMM
        The maximum capacity of the main board is 16 GB.
        Memory of 3 GB or more is supported only in a 64-bit O/S.
        Memory size may differ depending on the model. The user must not
        arbitrarily replace the memory.

        • The portion about the 16gb is incorrect, probably to discourage user from opening their laptop. The base model comes with 16GB and they purposely made one of the 8gb swappable lol

          • lol i didn’t see your comment before i posted the one below. i agree it doesn’t make sense for one slot to be swappable and easy to change while stating the max is 16. i don’t see why they would do that – why not solder both to the motherboard or use a single 16 module that’s soldered (if it’s truly16 max) or say in the manual that it’s upgrade-able and the max is X (if it’s truly higher than 16). either it’s a mistake on their part or there’s something else i’m missing.

            maybe they want to make it easy to upgrade because they know it’s what people want but they don’t want to be legally liable if it messes up your laptop because they didn’t test it at higher ram levels?

            or some other reason like it’s simply an error on their part – for example, different departments not communicating properly with each other, which can happen in big companies.

        • all of which begs the question: why make one slot able to be changed if the laptop ships with the maximum ram and they demand (lol) “the user must not arbitrarily replace the memory” (but rationally replacing it is apparently ok haha)? unless it’s able to be changed for the sake of repairs only. hmm…

    • Hey Tim,

      I have not tested the durability after upgrading, and I did not baseline the battery life before adding the NVME or the additional RAM.
      As of right now, the battery life works for my current needs.

  • This is exactly what I am thinking I’ll have to do. I’ve been trying to get full satisfaction from an external thunderbolt NVME, but there seems to be no way to boot from there, and I almost always have a dual or triple boot setup going. Thanks for the post!

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