If your computer has started to act strangely, with random blue screen of death errors, and constant system crashing, then you may want to look into the RAM installed inside your computer. In this post, I intend to tell you exactly how to test it.
Whenever an end user is faced with any problem on their computer, the first thing that they should do is restart their system, this in many cases is enough to fix most system problems. However there are those situations when more has to be done, especially with the RAM memory modules being the culprit for many problems on your computer.
If you’re experiencing blue screen of death errors (BSODs) that’s typically a clear sign that you may have a damaged or faulty component inside your computer. Failed booting attempts and distorted graphics are also signs of possible system damage. Though there are many different components inside the computer that could be causing these problems, it’s always best to start with the RAM.
When it comes to checking your RAM for defects, there are several methods that you can deploy. The two most common and most recommended are below:
Note:Before you make any attempt at <a href=”http://www.compuchenna.co.uk/pc-stress-test/”>checking your memory</a>, if you recently installed any new memory modules inside your computer, you may want to consider temporarily removing them, before you ran the tests below.
Run Windows Memory Diagnostic
Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool is a tool that is built into the operating system, making it one of the better and more convenient options. This tool is included in all versions of the latest operating systems (Windows 7/8/10), so you should be able to start right away.
Note: The memory test is run in an environment outside of the operating system, this is so memory load can be minimised. Thus, you will be required to boot your computer in order to start and complete the process.
- Firstly, you will need to boot into your computer with a user profile that has administrative rights.
- Then press Windows Key + R, type mdsched.exe into the Run Command box and click on the OK button.
- Once you’ve done that, a dialog box will appear, click on the Restart now and check for problems (recommended) button.
Note: Make sure you have saved all your work before you click on the button, as it will immediately restart the computer.
- The computer will now restart and boot into the Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool screen. From here you can set it to perform the test, which may take several minutes. Progress is indicated by a status bar, which will also inform you of any problems that it has detected.
Note: You don’t have to sit around and wait for the test to complete. After it has completed, it will automatically reboot your computer. Once you have logged into your computer, it should present to you, the results of the test.
If you want to use a more powerful testing tool, then MemTest86 is your best option. It’s capable of carrying out a number of different tests, which the built in Windows solution is unable to do. You can get MemTest86 in two versions, the first is the paid solution and the other is the free version. In most cases, the free version should be enough for you to carry out all the necessary tests. MemText86 is certified by Microsoft to work optimally within a Windows environment, so you needn’t worry about it causing any harm to your computer.
There is also an open source MemText86+ tool that you can try, free of charge. However, this tool is no longer supported, which means there is no guarantee that it will work as specified, especially if you’re running Windows 10.
Once you run MemTest86 it will start running through its series of tests, informing you at each junction of any problems. The testing will go on until you decide to stop it, allowing you to evaluate how well the memory modules work over a long period of strenuous use. If it encounters any problems, it will indicate that to you on the screen.
If you encounter any errors during the testing, it’s possible that at least one of your memory modules is no longer working optimally.
There is also that distinct possibility that the problem is due to a compatibility issue, maybe the RAM isn’t compatible with your motherboard or maybe the settings for it are all off. If you know how to configure your RAM, then consider doing that in the BIOS.
Some Other Tools
Memory Testers: There are many different solutions available for testing not just your computer memory but the other components also. However, of these various solutions, the memory testers tend to be the best for what they do, which is testing memory.
PC Doctor: Another excellent solution, however they can be quite costly, as they are capable of diagnosing all of your computer hardware for issues, with the memory being just one component.
PC Diagnostics: Very similar to the PC Doctor, only this tool is also capable of diagnosing software issues and how they relate to your components.
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is a former IT Manager who now runs his own computer support website Compuchenna.