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Recently we had a couple machines in our office have problems with RAM. The initial symptoms vary but ultimately the computer fails to boot and the diagnostic lights indicate RAM failure. I've done the usual trouble shooting, and most often simply re-seating the DIMMs fixes the problem.

I'm wondering if this is a sign of things to come. Does this kind of failure mean that the DIMM is on its last leg? Is there an easy way to double check the memory?

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Replacing with known-good memory is the best way to test. –  Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Jan 9 at 21:13

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

There are a lot of utility available over the web to double check your ram. The Windows Memory Diag is really good. I also recommand a free and a payable version of MemTest. Also, as suggested in the comments below, by Lee, run a test with Prime95 on your PC to see how it handles it. There is a x86 and a x64 version to download.

http://www.memtest86.com/

http://files.extremeoverclocking.com/file.php?f=205

Hope you can find the best software that fits and fix your needs.

Regards, David.

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memTest86+ is great for testing the registers. If you pass memTest86 it might also be worth running Prime95 for a few hours to check how the RAM performs under a very heavy load. Usually the machine will lockup or crash while running Prime95 if anything is wrong. –  Lee Harrison Jan 9 at 21:06
    
Thanks Lee for the information. I added Prime95 x86/x64 to my answer to have a more complete solution. Regards, -David. –  r0ca Jan 9 at 21:12
    
If you're going to test with MemTest86+ you should aim for 24+ hours of constant testing. one or two passes just isn't enough in many cases. When I worked for an OEM we had many machines over the years not fail RAM tests until after a day or two of burn-in testing. –  Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Jan 9 at 21:18

Use The Microsoft Memory Diagonostic Tool

Create Startup Disk, from which you can create a startup floppy disk with the program. Save CD Image to Disk, from which you can save an ISO image of the program to your hard drive. Then you can burn that image onto a CD and make it bootable using CD creation software. After you build your bootable media, reboot your PC and start the diagnostic from the floppy or CD.

enter image description here

MORE INFO:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/2008.09.utilityspotlight.aspx

That's one of the best ways to test, it's quick, easy and makes an ISO for you to burn to CD.

Run the exe, create the ISO, burn the ISO and boot to it.

http://0.tqn.com/d/pcsupport/1/0/i/1/-/-/windowsmemorydiagnostic_full.jpg

As has been noted, you may want to run these tests for at least a full 12-24 hours to be confident there's no issues with the hardware.

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