By Jeff Checchi posted Jul 29th 2011
In tech support, one of the most common questions we get is “How can I tell if my memory is bad?” Many OS errors that you experience may mention something about your memory or DRAM having a problem — however these errors are not always cuased by faulty memory. In many cases these errors can be generated by your other components such as the motherboard or CPU, or in some cases they can even be a software related issue. The best way to find out if the errors are generated by your memory is to test your memory with Memtest86.
In this blog post we will link to a memory testing presentation which will cover all the basics of testing your systems memory. There are many memory testing utilities available out there, but today we'lll focus on Memtest86 which is a free download from www.memtest.org. The great thing about Memtest86 is that as long as you can get into your BIOS, you will be able to test the memory. Most software based memory testing utilities which run in Microsoft® Windows® (while better than nothing) are inferior to Memtest86 because they are not able to test all the memory. This is because some of the memory is being used by your operating system and any other programs that are already loaded when you have MS Windows running. Memtest86’s strength comes from its ability to run outside of the operating system, and because of this, it is able to give you the most consistent and accurate results. Click the link below to view the Memtest86 screencast.