If your computer is low on random access memory, or RAM, then your system will suffer in the way of speed and performance. In an extreme case, the computer will suffer from frequent crashes or fail to even start up when you get ready to make use of your computer. Luckily there is a test that you can run on the memory inside of your PC.
One factor that causes RAM to eventually go bad is the heat that is generated by the central processing unit, hard drive and other operational components inside your system. If you bump your desktop or drop your laptop computer, the RAM sticks that are securely seated in their respective slots may become damaged physically. Lastly, memory sticks can suffer electrical shocks, which can happen if you are working on the inside of you PC without an anti-static wrist band or there is an electrical power surge from the power outlet in the wall in your home or the office. If you suspect that you are having memory problems you can run a test that is free and already available in most Windows operating systems that will help know for sure that the RAM needs attention. The test is automatic, and you don't have to open your computer to access the memory sticks.
Click on the Start button in the bottom left hand corner of the Windows desktop. Select the Control Panel option from the Start Menu. Windows users have the option to change how the Control Panel appears in the operating system, including the Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. The Control Panel may open as a folder in a new window, as a drop-down menu that extends from the Start menu or the the icon for this utility may not appear on the Start menu at all, because the Administrator removed it. You will access the memory test tool from this Control Panel.
Input the word "Memory" in the blank text box at the top of the Control Panel window, on the right side. Pause and wait for the Windows operating system to search for the tool that will test the memory.
Select the following link to access the memory test: "Diagnose your computer's memory problems." It should appear under the Administrative Tool section.
Select the following memory test option: "Check for problems the next time I start my computer." Restart your computer.
Read the results of the memory test when the computer restarts.
You can find more robust memory test utilities on the Internet.
Sources and Citations
- " Diagnosing memory problems on your computer." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Apr. 2012. <http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Diagnosing-memory-problems-on-your-computer>.
- " Find out how much RAM your computer has." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Apr. 2012. <http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Find-out-how-much-RAM-your-computer-has>.
- " How do I know if my computer has a memory problem?." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Apr. 2012. <http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/How-do-I-know-if-my-computer-has-a-memory-problem>.
- " Preventing low memory problems." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Apr. 2012. <http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/Preventing-low-memory-problems>.
- " Memory Diagnostics Tool - Windows 7 Forums." Windows 7 Forums . N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Apr. 2012. <http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/715-memory-diagnostics-tool.html>.
- Maximilian. "Identify Memory Problems with Windows Memory Diagnostic | 7 Tutorials." 7 Tutorials | Help and How To for Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Apr. 2012. <http://www.7tutorials.com/identify-memory-problems-windows-memory-diagnostic>.
- "Microsoft Windows XP - Making sure you have enough memory." Microsoft Corporation. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Apr. 2012. <http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/sag_mpmonperf_15.mspx>.
- Shultz, Greg. "Use Windows Memory Diagnostic to investigate RAM problems in Windows 7 | TechRepublic." TechRepublic - A Resource for IT Professionals. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Apr. 2012. <http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/window-on-windows/use-windows-memory-diagnostic-to-investigate-ram-problems-in-windows-7/4574>.