How to test your RAM

What programs are available to test my RAM?

There are two major ones: the Windows Memory Diagnostic and memtest, both of which work well. For this tutorial, I will be using the Windows Memory Diagnostic.

How can I test my RAM?

1. First, download the tool from the link above
2. Run the executable file

screenshot 1

3. Read the End User License Agreement (EULA) and click Accept (provided you find the terms acceptable)

4. Choose whether to install it on a floppy (recommended) or write it to a CD.
     a. If you install it to a floppy, click “Create Startup Disk”

          i. Insert the floppy, choose the floppy drive, and click “Write”

          ii.  When it finishes, click OK

     b. If you want it on a bootable CD, click to save the image to your computer. You will have to use CD writing software such as Nero to write this to a blank CD. See your manual for instructions.


5. Now, make sure the floppy or CD is in the drive, save all of your work, and restart.

6. Your computer will probably boot into the memory diagnostic, but you may have to enter CMOS Setup (BIOS) to change the boot order so that you boot from the floppy or CD drive before the hard drive.

7. Allow the diagnostic to run for at least 1 pass (6 tests). When you are done, simply press X to restart your computer and take out the floppy or CD.

My RAM had some errors, now what should I do? (Advanced Users)

If you have more than one stick of RAM, take all but one out and test it. Continue until you have found the faulty stick(s). If you wish to buy some to replace it, memory is cheaper online at places like Newegg than it is in most stores.

My RAM didn’t have any errors, now what?

If your RAM didn’t have any errors, it should be OK to use. However, if you really want to be sure you can run a different memory test or run the extended tests, but they probably will not find anything.