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Troubleshoot: Memory Modules and RAM Problems

RAM (Random Access Memory) as we all know is very important for a PC’s functioning. Instructions are executed out of memory, so your computer cannot operate without it. And when a thing so important gets problematic, you need a heart of a lion to get into action. This article should help you out in such a situation.

RAM failure Symptoms

RAM failures are easy to detect. There are some things that go wrong everytime when memory modules fail

  1. Frequent BSODs appear on your screen during bootup.
  2. Heavy applications take huge amount of time to start and work slow and crash frequently.
  3. Games show up error messages for memory problems
  4. After booting into the desktop, your PC takes 10 minutes to start functioning normally
  5. PC restarts for no reason at all!

If you’re experiencing most of these symptoms, your memory can be at fault. And it needs immediate attention. By immediate, I mean IMMEDIATE!

Troubleshooting RAM failure

  1. MemTest86+ Test - Run a test using a tool called MemTest86+. It is found on LiveCDs of many distributions of Linux including Ubuntu and Linux Mint. It will scan for errors on your memory. The test takes a long time, so leave it overnight. Check the results to decide whether the memory is at fault or not. You can learn more about it here.
  2. Switch Places - Open your PCs cabinet. Try inserting the RAM into alternate slots on your motherboard.
  3. Clean Up-  Clean the contacts of the memory(The pins that go in) with Contact Clean which is available locally at PC shops
  4. Underclock - If you’ve overclocked your memory, restore it back to factory settings.
  5. Memory Timings - If you’ve messed with the memory timings and voltage, its time to revert back.
  6. Windows Memory Diagnostic - If you use Windows 7 or Vista, try it out the Windows Memory Diagnostics Tool.

If everything fails, try and get a module from your friend and insert it into the slot. If the PC works fine, then your RAM’s dead. Buy a new one, it is quite inexpensive. And if it doesn’t work contact your hardware vendor.

About Siddharth Jha

Siddharth Jha, commonly known as Techsoulja is a 14 year old blogger with his blog on http://www.faduworld.co.nr/. A casual guy with no definite plans for the day, he enjoys life to the fullest. A tech geek and coder, he also likes to hack apart hardware. He has a big passion for Linux, open source, gaming and blogging. He believes that the world is a Fadu place and we're here to enjoy it! He's currently the youngest author on TGC.
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