Once you have determined that your system produces
errors when tested with the diagnostic programs above, the next step is to
pinpoint the problem areas. If you do discover errors in your memory, most
likely you will need to seek warranty support or replacement, so make sure you
know which module is faulty.
Isolating memory faults
If you only have a single stick
of memory, the first thing to do is to run one or more of the utilities below
to attempt to detect if the memory is faulty. If you do get errors,
your next step should be to move the lone memory module to another memory
slot in your motherboard, since there is a possibility of the slot, or at
least the contacts between the RAM and the slot being problematic.
To do this first power off the computer. Pull back the two memory retention levers and
remove your memory module. Insert the module into another memory slot and push
it down firmly. The memory retention levers should snap into place.
If they do not, you probably have the memory the wrong way round.
Once both levers are locked into place, power on
your system and re-run the memory test(s). If you still get errors, you likely have a faulty
Troubleshooting with multiple memory
If you have more than one stick of memory in your
system and you are experiencing errors, the next step is to determine where the
problem lies. Any one of your memory modules could be faulty (though if
you have recently upgraded your memory and started experiencing errors, common
sense points towards the obvious culprit), as could one or more of the memory
slots on your motherboard.
First step is to remove all but a single memory
module (following the direction above) and retest. Test each memory module by itself in the same
memory slot. If you get an error with only one of the modules,
you have found your culprit. If you get an error with all of them, the
problem likely lies with either the memory slot or the motherboard itself
(possibly even the processor).
If you experienced no errors while testing each
memory module by itself, but you did get errors when testing them all together
the first time, there is the possibility than one of your other memory slots is
defective. Try repeating the testing with single memory modules in the
other memory slots on your board, until you find a combination that gives an
Professional Grade memory
testing of DIMMs
There are companies which
produce actual memory testing units, once such example being the Innoventions Ramcheck Memory Tester which PCStats reviewed a
while back. This is a professional grade memory tester, and it costs a few
thousand dollars for the base unit, and memory-specific adaptor from Innoventions. This is out
of the range of the consumer who is looking to diagnose bad memory in their
machine, but offers stores or service centers a quick and very reliable way
to track down bad memory to the DRAM or even solder point level.
Find out about this and many other reviews by
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