How To Know If Your Ram Is Defective

If you’re regularly experiencing annoying problems on your PC, such as crashes, freezes, reboots, or the feared Blue Screen of Death, then most often than not, you have a bad RAM. Faulty RAM can cause all sorts of troubles, which can be really annoying to say the least. However, as with other computer diagnosis, you have to make sure it’s what is actually causing the problem before you think of replacing it. So how do you do it?

There are many diagnostic tools available out there to check the RAM, one of the best one is actually free – bootable MemTest86. Since it’s bootable, you have to place it to removable media. You can download separate versions to install the program, either to a USB flash drive or CD.

The CD version comes in an .iso file, while the USB comes with a program that separates a flash drive, which will boot your PC and run MemTest86 automatically.

Note: You must be familiar with booting your PC from something other than your hard drive. It’s actually pretty simple.


Should you opt for the USB version, you have to launch the .exe program in Windows. This will bring you to a busy, and possibly daunting little program. Don’t get intimidated by it though, just go through four steps onscreen. Obviously, don’t use a flash drive with files that you need saved on it.

Once you have the boot media ready, shut down and unplug your computer. Open your PC and take out all but one RAM module. If you’re not sure how to do it, check your manual or research online beforehand. You can wear an anti-static bracelet for this step to make sure.

Next, plug your PC back to the power source, insert the CD or USB (if it’s not already inserted), and then boot. The RAM change may ask you to go into Setup. Do so and make sure it’s showing the right amount of RAM. Correct if it isn’t, save, and then exit.

Your PC will reboot again and MemTest86 will start automatically. This will test all your RAM, and when it’s done (which will take an hour or more), it will start all over with a second pass. To ensure, it’s recommended to go through three passes. You could also start it before going to bed, and let it run overnight.

If the system finds something wrong, then you must replace your RAM module.

Repeat the same process to all other RAM modules.

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