I recently updated a notebook from 4gb to 16gb, but apparently one of the new RAM chips is bad. I ran Memtest86 and it almost immediately started spitting back errors.

Is there a way to determine WHICH RAM chip is faulty from the results?


Take out all of the RAM chips except for #1. MemTest.

Take out chip #1, put in chip #2. MemTest.

Take out chip #2, put in chip #3. MemTest.

Repeat until you find the bad stick.

If all the sticks check out, Try chip #1 in slot #2. MemTest.

Repeat until you find the bad stick, or have tested each chip in each slot.

If a chip works in some slots but not others, then you probably have a damaged motherboard or CPU.

  • Unfortunately, taking either single chip out seems to cause the system to go into a reboot cycle (show HP screen... try to boot... restart). I was suspecting that they both had to be installed. – Jason May 21 '13 at 16:05
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    Nope. The system should work just fine with 1 chip installed, though perhaps not at optimal speed. Is the 4GB memory 2x2GB, and the 16 2x8GB ? – Darth Android May 21 '13 at 16:11
  • @Jason - There isn't any other way to determine the bad stick. You can make an educated guess based on address of the failure I suppose. Depends on the size of the sticks of memory. – Ramhound May 21 '13 at 16:13
  • Darth Android: you are correct regarding the size of the RAM sticks. – Jason May 21 '13 at 16:23
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    @NathanC Interesting. All my dual channel machines just drop back to single-channel when dual-channel isn't possible. Shame that's not universal. – Darth Android May 21 '13 at 16:36

You didn't specify the laptop or RAM model, but I assume your laptop only has 2 DIMM slots. It's possible both of the new DIMMs are bad or incompatible (e.g. the laptop may not support high-density modules), or the laptop does not support 16 GB of RAM (in which case, it probably only supports 8 GB or 4 GB). Try installing one of the new sticks and one of the old sticks, and run the test again. If it works fine, swap out the new stick with the other new stick.

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