How to Test the Memory in Windows XP

By Jacob Stover

When troubleshooting your computer, one of the most often overlooked areas is the computer's memory or RAM. Problems with your RAM can be difficult to diagnose symptomatically, and the tools to perform a proper RAM test are difficult to find. With the release of Windows Vista and later revisions of the windows operating system, RAM testing became an easily accessible system tool. If you're still using Windows XP, you'll be glad to know that Microsoft has made this tool available for XP users in an online format. Downloading and installing this tool is quite simple, and should only take a few minutes.

Things You'll Need

  • CD Rom or Floppy Disk

Step 1

Navigate to the Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool (see Resources).

Step 2

Download the Memory Diagnostic Tool installer file to your local hard drive.

Step 3

Open the completed installer by double-clicking it.

Step 4

Select "Create Startup Disk" if you wish to use a floppy disk for this test, or "Save CD Image to Disk" if you wish to use a CD Rom for the test.

Step 5

Insert the appropriate disk type into your computer, then select "Create" to save the diagnostic tool to the selected disk.

Step 6

Restart your computer with the floppy disk or CD Rom still inserted into the computer. You should be automatically prompted to run the diagnostic tool when your computer starts up. The diagnostic will continue to run until you press the "Escape" key on the keyboard. It is recommended that you allow at least three "test passes" to complete before exiting the diagnostic. Any information gleaned during the diagnostic test will be displayed following the escape. You can use the memory test report to prove that your hardware is malfunctioning when working with the manufacturer for replacement or repair.