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People tell me that my computer may have some bad RAM. Is there a way to test it without special equipment?

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migrated from serverfault.com Jun 23 '10 at 4:11

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

5 Answers 5

Right after BIOS, before windows starts, push F8. Select Memory Test from the options. Run the long test, it'll take a long time.

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The quickest and easiest way in 7 is to use the built-in memory diagnostic.

  1. Click Start or press the Windows key
  2. Type "mdsched.exe" (without the quotes)
  3. Chose one of the available options.

If you choose the second option, the scan will start the next time you boot the computer. If you choose the first option, the computer will reboot and start the scan immediately.

During the scan, you will see options to change the type of scan and how many times to scan. You should leave it alone unless you really suspect something wrong with your RAM and the normal scan does not find it.

Once the scan finishes, Windows will start, and within moments a bubble notification will appear, stating that the scan is finished. Click on this bubble to view the scan report.

Memtest86+ does have more options, but requires a separate download and has to be burned to a disc, and does not generate a printable report.

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If you have handy an Ubuntu CD, when booting from it, you get an option for running a memory test, that's no other than MemTest86+, as Ignacio said...

That way maybe you avoid burning another CD just for that...

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Memtest86+ will boot from a USB Flash drive (as I used last week just before returning it). –  Richard Jun 23 '10 at 8:03

If you are not able to Log into Windows:

After the POST screen keep tapping F8,you will get boot manager. Press Tab Key once Memory Diagonostic Tool highlighted Pres return. It checks for faulty RAM as well as hardware fault.

If you are able to login Windows:

Click On start in search box Type "memory test" you will see memory diagonistic tool highlight it and press return.

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