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Recognizing Memory Errors.

How do you know when your RAM starts acting up? This can be a bit difficult because a RAM that is about to fail can make your Operating System throw up a whole lot of different errors at you. The trick is noting the type of error and the frequency of its occurrence. A Parity error is one of the ways your OS can tell you your RAM is going bad. Your operating System reports a parity error with a memory address, such as “Parity error at xxxx.xxxxxxxx,” where xxxx.xxxxxxxx is a memory address with a hexadecimal value (a string of numbers at letters such as A43B:005EECB9). When you get an error like this write down the value. When the error occurs next, if it is at the same memory address you have a bad RAM stick.

Another way a memory error can show up is as a page fault. Windows generates such errors as “GRNL376 caused a page fault as 03F4:35B003BD.” Just like the previous situation with parity errors, write down the memory address. If the same memory address repeats in later errors, then you have a bad RAM.

IF you suspect you have a faulty RAM, then head over to www.memtest.org and get memtest86+ which is a free RAM tester. You can use the iso for a bootable CD or flash drive. If you have windows 7 and later editions, you can use the windows memory diagnostic tools. To use the windows memory tool hit the windows key + R, this opens the RUN console then type “mdsched,” click the “restart now and check for memory problems” options to begin a memory test.

Suffice to say the memory testing methods above are for when your PC can still boot to windows. If your PC is not booting to windows or failing POST, then the best bet is to take out the memory stick and replace with a good known memory stick.  

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