How to Perform A PC Memory Test

Random Access Memory (RAM), commonly referred to as PC memory is used by your operating system or the applications you run on it to store information that can be accessed in any order. RAM or PC memory is much faster than hard disk or any other storage media, therefore, it is used to enhance and speed up your computer by temporarily storing information that is currently required by your operating system and the application(s) running on it. However, even a small defect in the RAM chip can corrupt the files that are stored in the defected area and generate system errors and cause system freezes and crashes. In this article, we are going to discuss certain methods that you can use to perform a PC memory test and try to find solutions to the identified problems.

Run a PC Memory Test Using a Memory Testing Utility

If you have already scanned your system for viruses and spyware, scanned and removed unwanted information from the registry, and even System Restore has failed to fix frequent errors and system crashes, then you must test the RAM for problems.

There are many PC memory testing tools available on the Internet. Therefore, your first step to troubleshot RAM will be to download one of these tools. Most of the PC-memory-testing tools require you to create a bootable floppy and then restart your system and boot using this floppy. When your system reboots various tests are run on the RAM to test it for possible problems.

If your memory testing tool reports any errors and you have multiple memory modules on your PC, then you will have to isolate the memory module that is faulty. To do this, turn off your PC, open it and remove all but one memory chip and run the memory testing tool again. Keep running until you have discovered the RAM chip that is causing the error.

If possible, insert the RAM chip causing the problem on the motherboard of another PC, if there are no errors this time, then the chip must be incompatible with the hardware of your PC. In case the chip returns errors even on the second PC, then the chip is faulty and you must replace it.

What to do if the RAM is good

Many times, you may receive memory-related problems even if there is no problem with the RAM. Lets’ see how to deal with these problems.

You start receiving errors when your PC has been running for just a few minutes or when you are running heavy applications on your PC.

These errors may occur due to overheating. Check that all the fans of your PC are in proper running condition. Ensure that the PC components are dust-free and also confirm that the voltage your RAM is receiving is not more than 2.2v-you can check this from BIOS.

Your RAM generates errors with one motherboard and not on another.

There are many different types of RAMs and motherboards available today. Before purchasing your RAM and while troubleshooting memory errors, ensure that the RAM you are using is compatible with your motherboard. You can do this by checking the website of your motherboard’s manufacturer and find out the brands and models of RAM that are compatible with it.

If your RAM is compatible and there is no overheating problem then check that all RAM chips are properly seated in their slots. While doing so, check that all other adaptors and connectors are also properly seated in their respective slots. If nothing works, then most likely your RAM chip is faulty and you must replace it.