Random Access Memory (RAM) or the system memory is an essential hardware component required for the functioning of your Windows computer. Memory is used by your computer to store operating system files, applications, and data that is currently being used by the system to ensure faster access by the computer’s processor. The main benefit of using RAM for these tasks is that it is much faster to read and write to RAM in comparison to other storage options, such as the hard disk or CD-ROM. However, RAM is only a temporary storage option. Data stored in RAM is volatile and gets erased once you turn off your computer.
RAM is one of the main system requirements for any operating system, or software program installed on your computer. For example, depending on the edition you opt for, the minimum requirements for Windows Vista range from 512 MB to 1 GB.
RAM is available in the form of small chips that are inserted on the motherboard in the slots provided for it. You can have one or more memory chips installed on your computer.
A bad memory chip can generate several different types of computer errors, including stop errors, random program failure, and system boot failures. This is the reason why, it is essential that you regularly check the memory installed on your computer for any problems. There are many diagnostic tools available today that you can use to run various tests to check the memory of your computer. The Windows Vista memory diagnostics tool has been incorporated within the operating system to make the task of memory testing simpler for you.
Let us now see how you can use the Windows Vista memory diagnostics tool to test your system memory for any problems.
- On your Windows Vista computer, open the Control Panel.
- Click the Administrative Tools icon.
- On the Administrative Tools screen, select Memory Diagnostic Tool.
A Windows Memory Diagnostics tool is displayed.
Note: You can also open the memory diagnostic tool by typing memory in the Start Search box in the Start menu.
The tool provides you with two options. You can choose to restart your computer and run the test immediately. Or, choose to set your computer to run memory tests the next time the system starts.
When your system restarts, it will start memory testing in DOS mode. If you press F1 on this screen, three options to perform memory testing are displayed. These options are Standard, Basic, and Extended. Each option performs a different level of memory testing. You can choose the option that best fits your needs. If the tests display any problems with one or more of your memory chips, you may have to replace this chip to resolve any problems caused by faulty memory.
In addition to memory diagnostics tools, you may also regularly use a registry tool, such as RegServe to maintain an error-free registry, and antimalware tools, such as Spyware Cease and STOPzilla Antivirus to keep your system free from malicious infections.