Useful Tips

Checking the RAM of a computer or laptop for errors


It may be necessary to check the working capacity of the RAM in cases where there are suspicions that the blue screens of Windows death, the strangeness in the operation of the computer and Windows are caused precisely by problems with RAM. See also: How to increase laptop RAM

This guide will look at the main symptoms that the memory is crashing, and the steps will describe how to check the RAM in order to find out exactly if it is using the built-in memory check utility Windows 10, 8 and Windows 7, as well as using third-party freeware memtest86 +.

Symptoms of RAM Errors

There are a significant number of indicators of RAM failures, among the most common signs we can distinguish the following

  • Frequent appearance of BSOD, the blue screen of death for Windows. It is not always associated with RAM (more often - with the operation of device drivers), but its errors can be one of the reasons.
  • Departures during the intensive use of RAM - in games, 3D applications, video editing and working with graphics, archiving and unpacking archives (for example, the unarc.dll error is often due to bad memory).
  • A distorted image on the monitor is often a sign of a video card problem, but in some cases is caused by RAM errors.
  • The computer does not boot and beeps endlessly. You can find tables of sound signals for your motherboard and find out if the audible squeaking corresponds to a memory malfunction, see The computer beeps when it is turned on.

Once again, I note: the presence of any of these symptoms does not mean that the matter is precisely in the RAM of the computer, but it is worth checking. An unwritten standard for this task is the small memtest86 + utility for checking RAM, but there is also a built-in Windows Memory Diagnostics Tool that allows you to perform RAM checks without third-party programs. Next, both options will be considered.

Causes of memory problems, simple methods for diagnosing and resolving them

If a failure occurs immediately after installing a new RAM module on the computer, it can be caused by:

  • Incomplete installation of memory in the slot.
  • Oxidation of the surface of the contact ridge of the memory strip due to long-term storage. Oxidized contacts usually look dull and darkened.
  • Incompatibility of RAM modules with each other (if there are several) or with the processor (chipset on old PCs), more precisely, with a memory controller built into them.
  • The failure of the new module due to factory defects.
  • A malfunction of the RAM slot on the motherboard.

What to do to diagnose and fix the problem:

  • Check that the memory is inserted into the slots. The side mounts must be latched.
  • To remove the oxide layer from the metal contacts, gently clean them with a school eraser.
  • Install the bracket in an adjacent slot (if any).
  • Reset the computer BIOS to the default settings.
  • To eliminate the incompatibility of memory modules, try starting the computer with only one of them, as well as with several in different combinations.
  • Update the BIOS using a known-good and appropriate memory bar.

The reason for the RAM failure that occurred after the computer was working normally for some time might be:

  • Changing the timings and frequency of RAM in the BIOS, setting the wrong XMP profile, overclocking.
  • Drop bar from the slot (often found on laptops).
  • Oxidation of contacts.
  • Factory marriage (sometimes it makes itself felt after months of using the device), degradation.
  • Mechanical or electrical failure of the components of the memory subsystem.

What can be done:

  • Make sure the module is installed correctly in the slot.
  • Reset BIOS to default.
  • Remove the module from the slot and use a rubber band to clean the contact flange.
  • Check memory for errors with the help of special programs. This will be discussed later.

Windows 10, 8, and Windows 7 Memory Diagnostic Tool

The tool for checking (diagnosing) memory is a built-in Windows utility that allows you to check RAM for errors. To start it, you can press the Win + R keys on the keyboard, enter mdsched and press Enter (or use the search for Windows 10 and 8, starting to enter the word “check”).

After starting the utility, you will be prompted to restart the computer to check the memory for errors.

We agree and wait until after the reboot (which in this case takes longer than usual), the scanning will begin.

During the scanning process, you can press the F1 key to change the scan parameters, in particular, you can change the following settings:

  • Type of verification - basic, regular or wide.
  • Cache Usage (on, off)
  • The number of passes of the test

Upon completion of the verification process, the computer will reboot, and after logging in, it will display the results of the verification.

However, there is one caveat - in my test (Windows 10), the result appeared a few minutes later in the form of a short notification, it is also reported that sometimes it may not appear at all. In this situation, you can use the Windows "Event Viewer" utility (use the search to launch it).

In the Event Viewer, select “Windows Logs” - “System” and find information about the results of the memory check - MemoryDiagnostics-Results (in the double-click info window or at the bottom of the window you will see the result, for example, “Computer memory was checked using the Windows memory checker, no errors were found. "

Checking memory for errors using programs

In order for the verification results to be considered reliable, you must adhere to the rules:

  • Turn on the computer at least half an hour before the start of testing in order to “warm up” the unit and power supply circuits.
  • Test under the same conditions that cause a failure.
  • If several memory modules are installed on the computer, when you first start the test program, check the entire set. If errors are detected, repeat testing each bar individually.

The average duration of the full test cycle is 6-8 hours, the number of passes (repeating sets of tests) is 8-15. As practice shows, the bulk of errors are detected already in the first or second pass, but some only after repeated ones. If errors are found, further verification may not be necessary.

How to interpret the results

Even one detected error indicates a potential malfunction of RAM. However, this is not a reason to immediately throw it in the bin. Sometimes errors occur due to the fact that it interacts with the memory, for example, a faulty slot, a failure in the power supply system or a defect in the data lines. Often, memory is “buggy” due to poorly selected timings and frequencies. To make the errors disappear, just return the default settings to it.

RAM test in memtest86 +

You can download memtest for free from the official website (download links are at the bottom of the main page). It is best to download the ISO file in a ZIP archive. This option will be used here.

Note: on the Internet at the request of memtest there are two sites - with the program memtest86 + and Passmark Memtest86. In fact, this is one and the same thing (except that on the second site there is a paid product in addition to the free program), but I recommend using as a source.

Memtest86 Download Options

  • The next step is to write the ISO image with memtest (previously unpacking it from the ZIP archive) to disk (see How to make a boot disk). If you want to make a bootable flash drive with memtest, then the site has a kit for automatically creating such a flash drive.
  • Best of all, if you check the memory you will be one module. That is, we open the computer, we remove all the RAM modules, except for one, we check it. After graduation - the next and so on. Thus, it will be possible to accurately identify the failed module.
  • After the boot drive is ready, insert it into the drive to read the disks in the BIOS, install the boot from the disk (flash drive) and, after saving the settings, the memtest utility will load.
  • Some actions on your part will not be required, the verification will begin automatically.
  • After the memory check completes, you can see which RAM memory errors were found. If necessary, write them down to later find on the Internet what it is and what to do about it. You can interrupt the check at any time by pressing the Esc key.

Checking RAM in memtest

In case errors were found, it will look like in the picture below.

RAM errors detected by the test

What to do if memtest detects RAM errors? - If crashes seriously interfere with the work, then the cheapest way is to replace the problematic RAM module, besides, the price today is not so high. Although sometimes it helps to simply clean the memory contacts (described in the article The computer does not turn on), and sometimes the problem in the operation of the RAM can be caused by malfunctions of the connector or components of the motherboard.

How reliable is this test? - It is reliable enough to test RAM on most computers, however, as with any other test, you cannot be 100% sure that the result is correct.

And suddenly it will be interesting:

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04/11/2015 at 17:10

He checks for a very long time. I waited only 2 hours and turned it off.
For users of 7 there is a built-in utility mdsched.exe. Checking two brackets simultaneously for 2 and 4 GB took only 8 minutes.

10/17/2017 at 05:53

Memtest86 + tests the memory cyclically until you interrupt, it is convenient if you need to check the memory under hours of load, if the memory lasts without failures for more than 4 hours, then the modules are quite high quality

04/26/2016 at 10:53

When checking both bars, red graphs simultaneously wondered. When checking in turn, there are no defects. What nonsense and how to deal with it?

04/27/2016 at 08:42

Perhaps you somehow placed them in slots in the wrong way (if there are 4 slots, then place them “through one”). What generally reports errors?

10/10/2016 at 17:16

Each memory operates at different frequencies. Replace with the same type

07/19/2016 at 17:29

10s also have a built-in utility. In the Windows search, enter mds, the Windows memory checker will appear. After the reboot, the check will begin!

08/10/2018 at 00:03

But here it is written on the example of Windows 10 ...

09/03/2016 at 17:08

There were problems with Windows on the laptop, it was normal to install in any way (from a disk, from flash drives recorded by different programs) not a single OS (Win 7, 8, XP) turned out: various errors appeared during installation, or after installation on the screw . I decided to drive away the RAM (there is one bar for 2GB) with a memt test. I ran it several times, each time a different number of errors, but the number is large (then 2000, then 2000 and above). Could Memtest be wrong or is it still a problem with the bar?

09/04/2016 at 08:54

In such cases, I usually get another, guaranteed working bar, and try it. And, before that, I just clean the contacts of the current bar and try on it.
Those. guaranteed to say only by memt is impossible, of course.

09/12/2016 at 10:40

Friends, I used the standard Windows 10 functionality. But the trouble is, on the console screen, what arises after reboot instead of Russian characters - questions ... Is it a font, or a problem with the driver and character generator ... Can someone tell me where to dig?

09/12/2016 at 10:54

Sasha, I can’t answer right away. Using c: Windows system32 mdsched.exe checked? Perhaps the problem is really with fonts, especially if the "assembly" is based on an English-language image. But to correct the situation, something doesn’t come to the operational head. Maybe starting from a recovery environment launched from a Windows distribution (second screen, system recovery, bottom left)?
Actually, I need to update this article ... I don’t like something (like most of my articles 3 years ago).

09/12/2016 at 11:14

Yes, we are talking about mdsched.exe Windows 10 was obtained through an official upgrade from Russian Windows 7
I would like to deal with this console. There must be a solution! It’s my fault that the question is not on this topic.

10/08/2016 at 23:10

Two years ago, a computer was bought, assembled in a store. A friend needed 4 GB of RAM, since I had 2 4 GB strips (only 8 GB), he assembled a PC for components. They pulled it out, turn on the computer and writes something like the amount of memory changed and the buttons enter the BIOS. We entered it, didn’t understand anything, we started Windows, everything was as usual, and the PC slows down very much, for a long time it loads everything. Rebooted, a lot of time passed, without changes. At the friend everything flies. 4 generation i5 processor, 64 bit Windows 10 PRO. Please help.

10/09/2016 at 05:12

Perhaps it will be enough just to reset the BIOS (Reset Bios to Defaults). But not sure what the matter is. Although, if the memory sees - a strange situation anyway.
Is the memory correctly installed (in slots of the same color?)

10/09/2016 at 10:22

There were only 2 slots, they had 8 GB (4 GB in 2 slots). Here is one bar removed and this happens.

10/10/2016 at 11:18

Did you try to reset the BIOS parameters? Give it a try.

10/10/2016 at 01:19

The meaning is ... Play the bars, i.e.

If you have the same labeling, etc., then skip the combinatorics (change of place).
In BIOS, for starters, put everything on auto-detection. You, very possibly, have not correctly set the voltage, frequency, etc. It helps a lot in this case - a magnifier, glasses, look at the whole bar. Oooh, go to a friend in BIOS and watch. Yes, and returning, a tester, a testing program, Aida or some other, more convenient than Portable.
Even if you are a complete Zero ... look at everything that the memory tester gives out ... and try to duplicate it in BIOS.
But if the levels are different, using the information of the tester, set the weak, And, plays a role, I don’t remember what place you put the weakest in speed ... if there are different manufacturers, play in places, If the memory allows .. put one + testing ... etc., locally.
Most conveniently, if you have an additional lesson ... tea, coffee, etc., a disk with MemTest in Sidyushnik (loading from it). Put. checked. rearranged (if it didn’t) ... checked. It's a dreary thing, but worth it. Mamtest should go to zero any errors. On my, in 3 connectors, three different levels, either in volume or in manufacturer. First, find a place for one (if they are placed one at a time), finish it off. But the impression is that you have either a voltage or a factor, maybe for the processor. Try it calmly, and maybe even reset the BIOS to "default" and already look for it. Put everything at a minimum speed. Are you even in Moscow?

10/10/2016 at 01:29

Yes, and MemTest86 + fulfills everything without "fools", but it also depends on the processor frequency, if possible, reset it a bit, Everything will be in a sparing mode ... I’ll go to this site and write a link to this topic. if yours is fine, then you should sing.

01/26/2017 at 10:46

Good afternoon! One evening, I wanted to check my RAM for errors. Using a standard program in Windows, I began to check. Then I clicked on f1 to see what tests are still there. After 5 minutes of clicking, only the name of the test suite was displayed, and then the Windows logo was displayed and that was it. I thought that something was wrong and ran the test again, and at the same time did not press anything. The test showed that no errors were found. Question: why the first time pressing F1 was so long? The memory is not much 4 GB.

03.03.2017 at 07:40

standard check goes very long. left for the night - only 2% of the first pass. What can be wrong?

08/22/2017 at 17:39

I install the guys on a flash drive a memtest from the site, it does not load when it reboots, I set the download correctly from the flash drive, it is formatted in fat32, win 10. Help what the problem is. And on the site it says that the installation for the boot flush there is no win 10, but only 9x 2k xp 7, but what about the 10-ki? I also tried to write the iso file via UltraISO, anyway the same

08/23/2017 at 11:20

Boot may not work due to secure boot enabled.
Well, as for no Win 10 - usually what works in 7-ke will work on 10-ke.

09/05/2017 at 17:13

I launched the memtest from another source, passed one bar 7 hours, the second 10 hours. Errors 0. But before that I had blue screens. How accurate is this test and is it worth arguing that the RAM is really not broken?

09/06/2017 at 08:38

There would still know what kind of blue screens (you did not write about it) and at what point. Maybe the drivers are to blame there or the curve assembly (if during installation).

09/05/2017 at 22:08

There was no such question when checking with the memtest on two dies, but after the test in multithread (when starting the memtest you need to press F2) on the 4th pass there were errors, why so? And exactly the RAM or percent is to blame for this?

09/06/2017 at 08:35

Maybe nothing is to blame: there are bugs in memtest on some motherboards and with some procs, something like yours - a relatively new percentage, a multithreaded test, on a certain pass, either freezes or errors, usually this does not mean anything. True, I did not find such information on 7700, but it is likely.
Those. here depending on what other symptoms there are and whether they exist in principle.

09/29/2017 at 16:04

Hello, yesterday when playing an overwatch, BSOD flew out, it was written SYSTEM_SERVICE_EXCEPTION without any references (if I take off again I’ll take a picture) the fact is that this is not the first time, before the blue death screen also flashed once a month and a half, но я не воспринимал это всерьез, думал какие драйвера конфликтуют, а особо париться не было желания. Так вот, полазив в гугле, я узнал, что это ошибка опять таки либо конфликта драйверов, либо оперативной памяти. Зашел сюда, узнал как сделать тест оперативной памяти, и виндовс выдал обнаружены аппратные ошибки, но все нормально, после этого играл и не было никаких проблем, ни просадок фпс ничего.The RAM is new, bought six months ago, crucial for 8GB, there is hardly a problem in it, otherwise I would have had serious problems in games. Is there a way to more accurately check RAM?

09/30/2017 at 09:18

It’s better to start by looking at what exactly the error is there (which file / driver is causing the problem). Even if there are no references on the BSoD itself, use BlueScreenView or WhoCrashed, there will be information. Not the fact that memory is to blame.

01/19/2018 at 13:55

I am engaged in a systematic. It is known that he has a great chance of having a problem in RAM. 4 absolutely identical 512 MB strips are installed. I individually checked each bar and each slot with a wide test of the system utility, there are no errors. But when I put all 4 bars at once for a broad test, the utility finds problems by about 92%. Is it possible to somehow identify in which particular slats / slots the problem is, checking them all at the same time?

01/20/2018 at 09:49

I don’t know the ways. But I have an assumption. Given the amount of memory, I assume that the motherboard is old, and it was often “not so simple” on them when installing 4 memory slots at once: somewhere, the conditions for the volume, somewhere, only one-sided memory was supported with this configuration. Moreover, sometimes it worked, but from time to time it fell.
Those. To begin, I recommend that you look at the manual for the motherboard in terms of installing RAM (well, update the BIOS at the same time).

01/25/2018 at 21:10

Because of what there may be problems:
Motherboard - Asus H81M-C
Memory - 2 slats exceleram e30143a
When testing each bar, everything is fine. Just put both - “Hardware Error” ...

01/26/2018 at 10:24

And at what point is the mistake? Any additional information being reported?

02/19/2018 at 15:47

Hello, the problem is that when I turn on the PC it displays a blue screen after “welcome”, but it loads after a while, and everything is fine, but when I start to turn on games or check the antivirus for viruses (marque) it slows down and gets up a stake cannot even bring out errors, but they are in the task manager. On the blue screen, it always writes one error 0x0000007E (0xFFFFFFFFC0000006, 0xFFFFF80005561A1A, etc.) and it all started after the pc was moved from one room to another. On Google that the error was in firewood or RAM but the firewood of norms I did not install them with sd for the first time.
PS: moving the PC back to no avail)

02/20/2018 at 12:04

Hello .. I can’t tell you here .. In theory, if you somehow awkwardly dragged SATA / drive power cables or some cards began to sit loose, this could affect .. but this is only in theory.

04/20/2018 at 04:13

I have such a situation, I start installing games, an error pops up that unarc.dll returned an error code, but not on all games, some are installed and some are not, drove through a memtest, issued 361 errors in 7 sectors, this must be changed 100% the bar (I have one for 8 GB)
If a blue screen comes out, it describes various errors, bought a computer literally in March, drove to the CSN, where he took it, they said that everything worked fine

04/20/2018 at 09:24

No, not 100%.
Unarc.dll errors are also caused by Russian letters in the path to the installer folder (for example, if you have a username in Russian, the installer may be in C: Users Username Downloads and antiviruses.

11/20/2018 at 19:38

Hello, very often the blue screen of death began to fly out, on the Internet I read that it is connected with the drivers, reinstalled Windows 10 pro, but it continues and I think with what it can be beaten due to the hard drive or frame. There used to be a problem with the hard drive, but we got it replaced under warranty. And so I don’t understand what to do frame check freezes by 21% and I have one for 8 GB

11/21/2018 at 13:33

Are there any messages on this blue screen? In particular, the mention of any files?

12/18/2018 at 14:13

The question of RAM, more precisely, to determine its volume. I used to write to you that I have 2 systems installed on the laptop (on different disks), both 10s, but one is “gray” on ssd, and the second is an official (honest) last one with all updates on hdd. There are two memory strips of 4 gigabytes each, total 8. When loading into the “gray” - memory - 8, and when loading into the official - memory 8 (2.74 available). That's right - in brackets. Checks of memory by means of win from this branch - do not reveal errors. Where to dig, tell me, pzhl. thank

06/18/2019 at 06:36

Perhaps the official 86 or 32 bit as they do not support more than 4GB of RAM

12/18/2018 at 18:16

I remove my previous question on determining the amount of memory - I found a solution.

02.02.2019 at 23:18

Checked windows internally. I used the usual type of check so as not to wait long. There are no errors. Operative use almost 4 years. By the way, regarding the information after verification. Personally, I had information in the tray for a few seconds about the absence of errors and I did not have to dig into the magazine.

03/25/2019 at 08:54

always shows ram error any

04/22/2019 at 21:06

Guys! Tell me, when installing wines 10 it gives an error 0x80070570, the hardware is normal, laptop pavilion g6, before that there were wines 7! I can’t figure it out, thanks in advance!

04/23/2019 at 09:44

For starters, try overwriting another image with another flash drive. Ideally - generally do the official Microsoft utility.

04/23/2019 at 10:41

There is one fully working flash, the other corresponded five times with different programs, including the official Microsoft! Zero emotions!

05/05/2019 at 20:02

Hello. Please tell me why the memtest shows the volume of one four-gigabyte memory bar = 3518MB?

05/06/2019 at 09:06

This happens with memtest86 on some not the newest motherboards / old BIOS. I can’t identify any clear reasons for this behavior, I just know that it’s not uncommon.

05/17/2019 at 09:40

It is necessary to get into the BIOS settings and look for something like “memory transfer when connecting RAM more than 4 GB”. The manual usually signs separately ...
More information can be found in the articles on how 32-bit Windows can see 4 GB of RAM.

05/17/2019 at 12:05

Hello. I started to get an error in CS GO. One of the reasons could be RAM. I decided to check. As a result, my laptop refuses to check the RAM. Instead of checking with the standard mdsched program, it just reboots. In viewing events about this, too, there is nothing. Then I decided to check using the Memtest86 program. I wrote it to a USB flash drive, with which I repeatedly reinstalled Windows, I configured the flash drive to run through the BIOS, and the result is the same. He did not start the test, he just booted and that’s it. In general, there is RAM, a task manager and the system sees it. Help me please.

05/17/2019 at 19:15

Hello. I assume that the flash drive with memtest is not loaded for one of the reasons:
1. In BIOS, only UEFI is loaded (enable Legacy)
2. The BIOS includes Secure Boot (disable).
But why the standard tool for checking memory crashes I will not say.

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Windows Memory Checker

Sometimes you hear that the RAM checker built into Windows cannot be trusted. It supposedly never reveals anything. This is a false statement: if the program is configured correctly, its results are no less reliable than that of specialized utilities, which will be discussed below.

So, to launch the built-in Windows memory checker, save open documents and enter the name of the utility in the system search bar - mdsched. Select it from the list of found.

Next, indicate the time of the study: immediately (the upper item in the screenshot below) or the next time you turn on the PC.

After clicking on the first item in this window, the computer will reboot, and the verification tool will begin its work. Unfortunately, by default it is not optimally configured. To stop the current testing and go to the utility settings, press the F1 key.

The screenshot below shows the parameters that should be set:

  • The test suite is wide.
  • Cache (processor memory) - off.
  • The number of passes is 8-15.

To go to each subsequent item, press the Tab key.

To save the setting and start the testing process, press F10.

The list of errors found is displayed directly on the screen - in the "Status" field, but you do not need to monitor the program and continuously look at the monitor. After the test is completed, the computer will restart, and a message about the results will open on the desktop.


The GoldMemory PC memory utility is considered one of the best in its class. It is built on non-standard algorithms that can catch errors that competitor applications miss. It implements full support for 64-bit architecture and compatibility with all types of obsolete and modern RAM, including the DDR4 generation. The maximum amount of tested memory is 64 GB / 1 TB.

GoldMemory operates in three main test modes - fast, normal and advanced, as well as user-defined, where the duration of testing and sets of test groups are set manually. In addition, the program saves history, reports and supports management using batch files.

Unfortunately, GoldMemory is a paid product intended for commercial use. The demo 30-day version, available for free download, works with significant limitations and does not allow to evaluate the entire functionality of the program.

Checking RAM using GoldMemory is carried out outside the operating system, more precisely, in DOS mode. That is, before use, the program must be recorded on a USB flash drive, floppy disk or CD / DVD disc from which you will boot the computer. Ready-made images for recording on removable media are available on the official website. It also provides brief instructions for using the utility.

After loading the PC from the drive on which GoldMemory is recorded, testing starts automatically. Errors found are recorded in reports and displayed in red in the program interface.

Memtest86 has a 20-year history of development behind the "memory test" means. This is perhaps the most famous product in its class, which has become a kind of benchmark for which competing application developers are guided. Unlike GoldMemory, Memtest86 has a free, fully functional version for home users. Paid issues (yes, they also exist) additionally include several advanced tests, there is also support for creating reports and a management function using configuration files.

Memtest86 is even simpler to use than both of the tools described above. The free edition is optimally configured by default, so the user just needs to run the scan and occasionally look at the screen. Errors found are also displayed in red.

Memtest86, like GoldMemory, runs from bootable media. Ready-made images for transferring the utility to an optical disk or USB-stick are available for download on the official website. By the way, the archive with the program contains instructions for its use in English.

At the end of the article, I can not help but mention another tool that was once very popular. This is Memtest86 +. The utility is very close in structure to Memtest86 and is based on the same technologies, but is now hopelessly outdated, since it has stopped its development in 2013.

What is RAM and what is it for?

RAM abbreviated as RAM (random access memory) either RAM - in English, random (random) access memory; in slang it is often referred to as “RAM”. Below is one of the options for its implementation.

The processor performs the calculations, but intermediate results need to be saved. Who remembers the elementary grades at school: "seven we write, two in the mind." For this, RAM is used. This is an indispensable element of any computer. Initially, RAM was collected on magnetic cores and the like, and the amount of information recorded in it was minimal. Now RAM is a chipset with a fairly large capacity. In computers, there is another type of memory - ROM (read only memory), BIOS is stored on it.

RAM differs from it in that it depends on the supply voltage, when you turn off the PC, all recorded bytes are erased. The capacity of RAM for modern computing needs a relatively large, a few GB, the data exchange speed is also important. There are two types of RAM - SRAM and DRAM, with static and dynamic access, respectively. The first type is based on the fact that each bit is stored in a separate trigger - a cell of two transistors. This type of computer memory stores much less information per unit area of ​​the chip, but is less prone to damage, and the recorded data remains unchanged without additional operations until the power is removed from the circuit. It is used most of all in the internal memory of the processor, called cache and is located on its crystals. We are directly interested in the RAM of the computer. It works using dynamic access (DRAM), and capacitors are used to store information. This approach allows you to significantly increase the capacity per unit area, but it slightly increases the likelihood of a certain number of storage cells failing in emergency situations, such as “stress” in the form of overvoltage, overheating, and the like.

Symptoms of RAM Damage

Signs that there may have been problems with RAM are frequent crashes of the computer into the blue screen of death for XP, for Windows 8, 10 it can also be black.

Moreover, most often failures occur when working with resource-intensive applications, which are games, graphic editors. Error codes change all the time. You may also see a fuzzy flickering image on the screen. The computer may not boot at all, giving sound signals, they can be decrypted according to the instructions for the motherboard. But all these signs do not necessarily indicate RAM, a video card or processor, a low-power power supply may be to blame. It is worth conducting a test of Windows RAM, it will help localize the cause of the malfunction. In addition, knowing that RAM is to blame, you can easily carry out repairs yourself. Sometimes the reason for the failure is not even in the block of memory cleaning chips, but in poor contact on the connector.

RAM test on computers with Windows 7 and higher

This operating system has built-in tools for checking RAM for errors. Therefore, it is not necessary to search and install third-party software. The process itself takes a little time. It is also worth noting such a feature of Windows 7 (64-bit or 32-bit) and newer versions as self-diagnosis, that is, having found a problem in the system, it will itself offer to test the RAM. If you see such a message, then do not refuse.

You can also check the working capacity of RAM manually, for this we use one of the methods:

  • We go in Control Panelby clicking Start. There we select "Administration", and then "Windows Memory Checker».
  • Before starting the operating system, press the F2 key. The computer will offer to start Windows or a memory check program. Using Tab, select the last one and press enter. A memory check will start. This option is the only one if the operating system does not boot at all.
  • Go to the menu Start, in the program search bar, type “mdsched”. A window with an icon will appear to launch the memory checker.
  • We click on the icon with the inscription "Mdsched»And the program for testing RAM is launched.

The program asks when to check, now or the next time you turn on the computer. Choose the option you need. At the same time, do not forget that when you restart, we risk losing all unsaved files. The program automatically includes the forced closure of applications, not giving time to cancel the decision. Therefore, we insure and correctly close all running programs. Windows closes and the verification procedure begins.

By pressing the F1 key, you can select additional verification parameters:

  • Test suite: basic, standard or advanced. Without additional parameters, the system selects the standard mode. Basic will speed up the process, but make it less thorough. Advanced, on the contrary, will take time, but check each cell thoroughly.
  • The cache is enabled by default, but can be turned off. With the cache disabled, the time during which the RAM diagnostics are performed will increase several times.
  • The number of passes. Two are automatically selected, but you can set any number from 1 to 99. This will affect the quality and time of the inspection. In one pass, the check will be less quality. But passages of more than three do not reveal additional problems. Do not enter the number 0, in this case, the testing of RAM will continue indefinitely.

Navigation in the menu is carried out by Tab keys to move between items and arrows to select a parameter. We dial the number of passes on the numeric keypad, removing before that the standard two. Starting after selecting test parameters is carried out using F10.

The process of checking the memory will begin, it takes, depending on the amount of RAM, up to half an hour. At the same time, the progress of the process is constantly displayed on the screen: how many percent has been checked, which pass is being made, and whether problems have been detected. If you need to interrupt the test (urgently needed a computer), then press ESC. После прерывания придется начать все заново, включая уже пройденные блоки.

По окончании работы программы компьютер начнет автоматически запускать операционную систему. Причем ей на это требуется больше времени, чем при штатной процедуре. После загрузки ПК, на Панели задач появится уведомление о результатах проверки. Но стоит обратить внимание на то, что оно может не появиться вообще, если проблем не обнаружено, а вывешивается всего на пару минут. If you started the test and went to drink tea in the kitchen, then you can miss. In this case, helpEvent Viewer" on the menu Control panels in section "Administration". We find there "Windows Logs" among them "System"And in the list of details"MemoryDiagnostics-Result».

How to check RAM using utilities

To check the working memory on the PC or laptop with Windows XP and earlier versions (such still occur), you must use special programs. In addition, many of these programs offer a wider range of tests than the standard Microsoft tool. On the Internet, most of them can be downloaded quickly and for free. When choosing you need to consider the following factors:

  • There are programs starting from Windows. It’s easier to work with them - downloaded, installed, some work without installation, checked. But they are not suitable for cases when there are problems with the operating system. Also, checking from BIOS is more accurate. True, you will need to copy them to a USB flash drive or disk.
  • Many utilities, especially those created long ago, cannot work with RAM more than four GB. If there is more memory (versions of 64 bit allow this), then you will have to check it in parts, removing the slats, and this is unnecessary trouble.

For example, consider how to work with one of the common free utilities Memtest86 + or similar programs. It is necessary to perform the sequence of actions:

  1. Download a disk image from the Internet.
  2. We create a bootable USB flash drive or disk, which in our time is not serious and takes extra time. There are special programs for this, for example Rufus.
  3. When you start the computer in BIOS, we select not the disk with the operating system, but the download of our utility.
  4. We look at the screen results: Errors - detected errors. In most cases, the test can be interrupted by pressing ESC.

The design of the window in which the results of the verification are displayed may be different, but everything should be clear intuitively.

If problems are found

Small damage to RAM may not affect the operation of the computer, the memory will simply decrease, and performance will decrease slightly. But if problems have already occurred, and a memory test showed a malfunction, repair is needed. Of course, if the computer is under warranty and sealed, then we contact the service center or the seller. If not, and you are confident in your capabilities, then you can repair it yourself. We perform the following actions:

  1. We find strips with random access memory. At the desktop computer, remove the side cover. On a laptop, the bottom panel, or on most models, has only a portion of it with an inscription or pictogram indicating memory. You can see the installation location in the manual for the motherboard, but finding RAM is easy without it. Installed vertically long boards with rows of identical microcircuits this is the RAM bar of a desktop computer.The laptop they are smaller in size and are located in several tiers parallel to the motherboard.
  2. First, let's check whether the contacts are to blame, maybe the microcircuits have nothing to do with it. Having released the latches along the edges of the strips, we remove them. In no case can contacts be cleaned with sandpaper or a knife, so the protective layer of gold is erased. To remove oxides, use a pencil eraser. After cleaning, degrease with alcohol. We set the bars back. This cannot be done incorrectly due to key cutouts. The latches lock them automatically. Testing again. Perhaps the problems will disappear.
  3. If cleaning the contacts did not help, then you will have to change the bar. Moreover, if there are several of them, then RAM checks must be performed on one bar, removing the rest in order to find the faulty board. When choosing a replacement, we focus not only on volume, but also on read speed, it should be supported by your motherboard.


We will be glad if our short article helped to check the computer's RAM and solve the problems that arose with it. We talked about how to check the computer’s RAM using methods built into the operating system. We also considered that to check the RAM of outdated versions of Windows it is necessary to use special software, which has many additional features and can be applied on newer versions. For example, we took the program for checking RAM memory Memtest86 +.