Always Check Your System for Memory Problems

Have you ever tested your computer’s memory (RAM) before for errors? If not, it would be a good idea to. Why? I’ll explain.

System memory stores temporary information for programs to quickly access. System memory is 100+ times faster than conventional hard drives, and thus minimizes delays in programs that you are running.

Programs depend upon the memory to be reliable, otherwise program malfunctions may occur (sometimes serious malfunctions).

For instance, say one of your memory sticks is bad, and this memory stick happens to be storing information containing an online order you are submitting to an online retailer. Now since this memory stick is bad, the debit card # you entered (e.g., 1111 2222 3333 4444) ends up being (e.g., 1111 2222 3333 4445)!

You see what happened? The last digit [ 4 ] became a [ 5 ]!  This would obviously cause a problem with your order. This is just one example of many potential problems you may have when dealing with bad system memory.

Other symptoms of bad memory are:  Blue Screen of Death (or Kernel Panic on Linux), outright programs crashes, and corrupt files.

So what can you use to test your system memory? Well a couple of programs I have used are MemTest86+  or  PassMark’s MemTest V7.1. These programs do not run in Windows. These programs require to be run by CD, USB drive, or any other bootable device.  You can Google these programs to find the downloads.

In my opinion, you need to run these tests for at least 3 complete passes* (with no errors) before considering your system memory to be reliable.

* A “pass”  =  a complete system memory test; so 3 “passes” means 3 complete tests

Posted in Computers, Internet and Servers, Operating Systems, Software