Unreliable RAM causes a lot of problems: corrupted data, crashes and inexplicable computer behavior. These symptoms are often random and difficult to identify. Special programs can help check the RAM for errors or exclude it as the cause of system instability.
If the machine regularly crashes or freezes, it may have defective physical RAM. Luckily, modern versions of Windows have a built-in tool to help the user check if it works.
Assignment of RAM
RAM, or operational memory, allows you to temporarily store data and instructions on the PC, which are lost when the equipment is turned off. The amount of RAM affects the processes and tasks that the user runs in the operating system and is one of the main components of anycomputer hardware for optimal performance.
Thanks to this, the necessary programs and applications open, and all services and OS processes work stably. Currently there are various types of cards, such as:
- DDR RAM is the successor to SDRAM, operating at speeds from 200 to 600 MHz.
- DDR2 - its speed is from 400 to 800 MHz.
- DDR3 is one of the most popular standards today because it has twice the capacity of DDR2 and reaches speeds up to 1600 MHz.
- DDR4 is a new class that offers speeds up to 3200 MHz, guaranteeing wide access and support. One module of this class of RAM can have up to 8 GB.
Standard RAM error checking includes all map modification data.
Symptoms of Bad RAM
Card problems are less common than other computer problems because they have no moving parts and therefore fewer points of failure. These devices typically last longer than other components, so manufacturers offer extended warranties on them. A branded card will most likely have a lifetime warranty.
When the user turns on the machine for the first time after purchase, it works normally, but over time, its performance decreases. This process of gradual deterioration in PC performance, especially with programs that make heavy use of the Memory partition, is caused by a RAM problem.
CheckRAM error fixes the following crashes:
- PC suddenly restarts or freezes from time to time. And it can reboot immediately after opening the desktop.
- Blue screen after power on or before reboot.
- Files seem to be corrupted and won't open.
- RAM problems cause the hard drive's file structure to slowly fail until it can no longer boot the machine.
- Failed to reinstall operating system.
Causes of damage to DDR
Power surges can damage most computer components, including RAM. Experts advise connecting a PC and other expensive electronics to a surge protector. In this case, you need to clearly distinguish the difference between a surge protector and an extension cord.
Probable causes of RAM corruption:
- Electrostatic discharge can damage machine parts.
- Excessive heat wears cards and other parts. Individual components may overheat, or heat from one component may damage adjacent parts. If the user overclocked the PC incorrectly, it causes damage to the elements from excess heat.
- Module has a factory fault that passed quality control, but performance has deteriorated over time.
- It is possible that when checking the RAM for errors, it was found that everything is in order with it, but one or more of its slots on the motherboard are still faulty, whichdegrades RAM performance. The defect can be so severe as to cause complete failure of the RAM.
Checking the sufficiency of the card size
The first verification method is to use Microsoft system information, which allows you to collect important information about the machine.
Algorithm for obtaining information before checking RAM for Windows 7 errors:
- Press W + R on your keyboard to open the Run dialog box.
- Type msinfo32.exe then use Enter to launch the application.
- Find the entry with the text "Installed RAM", the necessary information will appear.
The second method is performed using the task manager, following the instructions below:
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on the keyboard, after which the task manager opens. Go to the "Performance" tab.
- Go to the left panel menu and press Memory.
- After checking the RAM for Windows 7 errors, information appears on the amount of used and available RAM that can still be used.
Windows Diagnostic Tools
Problems caused by faulty RAM modules are common and random, sometimes difficult to relate to RAM. To find the error, you need to have programs for diagnosing the condition of the cards. Every Windows, Mac OS X or Linux OS has similar applications and commands to call. For example, when checking RAM for errors inWindows needs to do the following:
- Press "Control Panel".
- Select the Administration tab.
- Find the Diagnostics section.
- Launch the tool by typing mdsched in the search bar.
- Select "Restart" or take action the next time you start your computer.
- Set test parameters and run it.
- Press F1 to change the test or just run it with default settings.
- Perform a test run, the process may take several minutes. After the operation is completed, Win will continue to start and eventually a pop-up window will open with the results.
- You can view the results by doing the following steps: open the "Event Viewer" window, click "Windows Logs", select "System", and then - the last log with Memory Diagnostics - Results.
Memory Windows Diagnostics
PC testing is something that the user can easily do on their own, because there are free tools for this. All he needs to do is run a program to check the RAM for errors. The procedure will take time to use a simple but complete analysis tool called Windows Memory Diagnostics. This will help the operator to take the first step before downloading the programs, and after downloading the programs, all that needs to be done is to restart the computer.
To start diagnostics, you need to call the Start menu and entermdsched.exe or full program name in the application search bar. The user will see a window with two options: immediately analyze the hardware by restarting the PC, or perform an analysis of the RAM after the next restart.
The system will then load a screen that will show the progress of the test. If further improvements do not occur, it is possible that everything is fine with the card and another component or application is causing the problem.
Testing cards on x86 computers
MemTest86 is the original freeware to test Windows 10 RAM for errors on x86 machines and can be downloaded from a USB stick. The number 86 following the MemTest part of the name refers to the original processor instruction set that modern PCs use. This applies to both 32-bit and 64-bit machines.
Starting with MemTest86 v5, the software offers free (Pro) or paid (Site) versions. Pro has a number of additional features such as customizable reporting and automation through a configuration file, and supports scalable deployment of MemTest86 on a local network via PXE boot. The user needs to download, unzip the ZIP and configure the program.
Algorithm for checking RAM for errors for Memtest from USB:
- Download the executable to make the USB drive bootable. This option is intended for testing on any computer whose BIOS allows booting from USB. Required when testing in laptops and other equipment that does not have an optical drive or one that does not work.
- Auto installer for USB (Win9x/2k/XP/7/8) is downloaded from the profile site, unpacked, run and follow the instructions of the installer.
- Perform RAM test with Memtest.
- Reboot the PC and wait for the tests to complete.
The following keys can be used during the test:
- Escape to cancel operation and restart;
- "C" to open the program options window.
- test choice;
- address range;
- memory capacity;
- bug report;
- information on the DMI display;
- ECC mode;
- test reset;
- update screen;
- demonstration of SPD data.
DocMemory software for Intel and AMD
Another utility used in testing is DocMemory. To do this, the user will need to burn it to CD or USB and run it at the beginning of the system boot. It analyzes RAM up to 64 GB or Intel and AMD processors. It supports DDR, DDR2 and DDR3 modules and has a PRO version with advanced features.
DocMemory is an advanced self-loading card diagnostic software. This is an easy-to-use software designed to log all possible failures on a PC. The rigorous test pattern includes both basic and advanced work for defect detection.
Start the installation, which will automatically create a bootable diagnostic external media. Next, insert it into the PC and reboot to starttesting system memory. Available test patterns include complex algorithms such as MATS, March B+, March C-, Checkerboard and more. Selecting Burnt-In Mode fixes 95% of PC system crashes. The process of editing templates and other parameter functions is simplified with the mouse interface.
SPECCY module test application
This RAM tester is developed by Piriform and offers complete and detailed system information. Solvetic will analyze what factors are affecting the system, suggest a new upgrade, after which the operator will be able to maximize the speed and performance due to improved RAM.
The application interface consists of a clean and intuitive window with options for: operating system, processor, RAM, motherboard, hard drives, optical drives, audio, peripherals and network.
This way you can learn about User Account Control, Firewall Notification Level, Automatic OS Updates, Windows Defender, Antivirus, Environment Variables, Power Profile, He alth Statistics, Time Zone, Scheduler, Process List, Hot Fixes, and System folder.
Testing the connection of RAM modules:
- The first step to perform is to check how the new RAM modules are connected on the PC board. It happens that this module is well adjusted, but the contact with the chips is bad, and there is a communication problem between the equipment and the newdevice.
- Next, check the compatibility of the board or motherboard. This is one of the most common reasons why the OS does not recognize new RAM. For example, the board supports DDR3, but only up to 1200 MHz and 4 GB, so you cannot connect a 1666 MHz DDR3 module with 8 GB.
- Use the System Snapshot feature to save a system snapshot to a local computer or publish it to the Internet. Clicking on a public snapshot saves system specifications and can be viewed from a unique URL that can be copied to clipboard and shared with anyone.
Increase PC swap file
Out of memory warnings appear when there is not enough space on the machine to accommodate data needed for storage when applications are launched. Usually something went wrong with the swap file, which uses the hard drive for additional storage. In this case, you need to check the RAM for errors and fix it by opening the "Performance" tab of the Windows Task Manager, called by simultaneously pressing the Ctrl-Alt-Del keys.
If the swap file is almost full, you need to make sure that the PC has enough free disk space by clicking "Computer" in the Start menu, and then evaluating the amount of free space displayed to the right of the local disk name. If it's less than a few hundred MB, then you need to free up disk space by deleting files and then emptying the trash. itwill free disk space for the swap file.
In most cases, the user does not need manual settings for virtual memory. However, there are some cases where it can be useful. One of them may be when there is a limited amount of disk space and the operator does not want the available free space to constantly increase or decrease as Windows regulates the size of the swap file.
If the PC is low on memory (less than 8 GB) and the user is not running a 64-bit version of Windows, there must be at least one drive for the swap file. This is usually the "C" drive. The recommended minimum size is 512 MB for compatibility reasons. The maximum size is a matter of preference and depends on how many applications are running at the same time, but it is probably best to set the memory bar to at least 4,096 MB (4 gigabytes) or higher.
Moving the swap file to an SSD can greatly speed up your system. This is effective if the PC does not have much physical RAM or the disk light is on frequently. As soon as disk space is freed up or the paging file settings are changed, you can start the task manager again to see the changes. If it turns out that the file space has a reserve, and the user no longer receives error pop-up messages, then the problem is solved.