Troubleshooting Memory Problems

It is fairly common for computer users to come across problems associated with memory. These problems can be resolved if computer users are aware of troubleshooting methods and are able to correctly diagnose them on their own.

One of the first steps in troubleshooting memory-related problems is to ensure that the origin of the problem is really the memory. To do this, you may start by asking the following questions:

  1. Have you recently purchased your PC? If the problem is encountered on a new PC, it may be a good idea to contact the vendor for fixing the problem because the system might still be under warranty.
  2. Have you upgraded memory by adding new memory chips? Quite often, memory errors occur if we add incompatible or faulty chips. If this is the case, you may resolve the error by replacing the problematic chips. Also, you must ensure that your memory chips are properly seated in their slots.
  3. Have you recently installed a new software? If your answer is yes, then it is quite likely that this new software is behind all the errors. In this case, ensure that all the latest updates and patches are installed. At times, problems may occur if the program was not installed properly. If this is the case, then re-installing the software may resolve the error. Also, if you are trying to run a memory-intensive software on an older system, you may face problems. In this case, you may either have to uninstall your software or upgrade your PC.
  4. Have you recently installed a new hardware? If a new hardware has been recently installed or removed from the machine, one must check whether there are any loose connections or if the new hardware is working properly.

If the above potential causes have been eliminated, then one must start to investigate the possibility of memory problems. The common symptoms of memory problems and their troubleshooting tips are listed below:

Symptom: Blank Screen

Troubleshooting Tips:

  1. Confirm that the VGA card and memory chips are installed properly.
  2. Make sure that the motherboard and memory chips are compatible with each other.

Symptom: PC hangs or reboots again

Troubleshooting Tips:

  1. Verify whether the computer has adequate memory.
  2. Check if there is any fault in the power supply.
  3. Make sure that there is no corrosion between memory chip and socket.

Symptom: Your computer reports memory problems

Troubleshooting Tips:

  1. Check your CMOS settings to check for “memory mismatch” errors.
  2. Memory chips are incompatible-in this case, you may also encounter problems comprising information related to memory address error, memory failure, memory parity interrupt, and memory verification error. The best way to check for incompatible memory is to remove the new chips to see if the error goes away. If it does, you may have to get new compatible memory chips.

Symptom: Your computer enters General protection fault.

Troubleshooting Tips:

  1. Reboot your system because this problem usually occurs when two software programs are trying to access the same memory resource.
  2. If the problems occurs soon after adding new memory chips then replace these chips with compatible ones to resolve the error.

At times, memory related problems may also occur if your registry is damaged or your hard disk is filled up and cluttered. You can fix registry problems with the help of reliable registry tool, such as RegServe. To fix your hard disk problems, you may use the Disk Cleanup and Disk Defragmenter tools that come with your Windows operating system. On Windows Vista, you may also use the Memory Diagnostics tool that comes with the operating system to check your memory chips and identify the problems.