How to Test Your Computer Memory

By Techwalla Computers Editor

Testing your computer's memory is important, especially for PC users. Microsoft offers a memory online "Crash Analysis" page on its website that tests your PC's memory. The test quickly determines if your RAM has any problems. Marketplace now offers software packages especially designed to test your computer memory and performance. If your computer memory is corrupt, your computer may not boot or may beep constantly. You may also encounter random computer crashes showing general protection fault error messages, illegal operations and fatal exceptions. Follow these steps to find out how to test your computer memory.

Step 1

Visit the official memory test page of Microsoft (see resources). Download the user guide and the Windows Memory Diagnostic. The entire process will take less than 30 minutes. The results will indicate if you have a failing memory component.

Step 2

Learn more about software programs designed to test computer hardware and memory. Memtest86 and DocMemory are two, commonly-used programs. Locate free programs like these using Google or Yahoo search. Download them by following the directions.

Step 3

Use existing memory sticks to test your computer memory. If you have a memory stick in another computer that's functioning exceptionally well, use it to detect bad memory in your computer.

Step 4

Buy a commercial hardware computer memory tester. This hardware is available in many stores. It's designed specifically to test your computer memory. Contact your local computer repair center for more information on this product and pricing. Chances are they already have the device and will give you a trial run for a nominal price.

Step 5

Test your motherboard. Sometimes you may have a defective motherboard and a perfectly good memory stick. You can only test this by inserting a new/functioning RAM stick. Be forewarned that testing a motherboard is bit difficult. You may need to call an expert.

Tips & Warnings

  • Choose RAM with a long warranty period.
  • Test new RAM separately. Replace bad memory. If tests confirm that one or more of your RAM is defective, then immediately replace with new RAM.