It is easily noticeable when your hard disk needs a defrag procedure, but when it comes to RAM, it is hard to tell whether it is fine or something is off. All RAM-related errors are hard to fix but still possible.
For in-depth RAM test, you will have to use third-party programs. However, Windows 10 also has useful utilities for this purpose. In today’s guide, we will explain various RAM diagnostics methods and tell you how to check RAM for errors with tools such as MemTest86.
Possible errors in computer RAM
Before throwing sticks and stone at your RAM, you need to know common malfunction symptoms that will guide you to the optimal solution. Here is a short list of the most «popular» symptoms with RAM that can appear on your laptop or PC:
- Your computer beeps a few times during booting.
- You often get crashes or even blue screens of death when playing video games.
- Your device reboots itself automatically from time to time.
- You have troubles while working with documents or accessing files.
How to test RAM in Windows 10 and Windows 7
Press Win+R on your keyboard and type mdsched.exe in the window that will appear.
In the next window, select the preferable option. The service allows you to start a scan immediately after a reboot or you can delay it until the next restart. The second option lets users save and close all their apps and documents instead of a quick reboot in the first paragraph.
After rebooting, the system will start Windows Memory Diagnostics and run RAM tests in standard mode. The tool will only run checks available in the main mode, in addition to Stride6 (with cache), WMATS +, WINVC, CHCKR3, and LRAND. You can select additional scanning options by pressing F1.
After pressing the F1 button, you will see three different test mixes: basic, standard, and extended. In the same menu, you can also change the pass count and turn cache on/off. In the Extended mode, you have access to more advanced options that will allow you to test your RAM thoroughly. Disabling cache lets you access RAM directly, which will improve the quality of the test. After selecting preferred settings, you need to press F10 to apply changes and run the scan.
Analyzing test results
When the test is over, your computer will automatically reboot itself. When you are back on your desktop, you need to run the Event viewer tool. To do that, press Win+R on your keyboard and type eventvwr.exe in the window to appear. Alternatively, you can right-click the Start button and select Event Viewer from the context menu.
Find the Windows Logs menu, open it, and right click on the «System» submenu. Select «Find…» from the context menu that will appear. Type MemoryDiagnostics-Results in the search box.
Find MemoryDiagnostics-Results and check it for errors. If there are no errors, it means that your RAM is ok. In case, the scan has found multiple errors, we recommend you to change the faulty module. Or you can try to clean its contacts and ports on the motherboard to remove dust – sometimes it helps. If you have several RAM modules, you should try plugging the same module into different ports to deduce whether the problem is in the module or the corrupted port.
Test RAM using MemTest86
Even if Event Viewer didn’t find any errors, but you are still unsure because your computer is acting strangely, we would recommend testing your RAM with the MemTest86 program. Go to their official website and download the free version of the app. You can download an image for creating a bootable CD or bootable USB flash drive.
After downloading, open the archive with WinRAR or 7-Zip and run the imageUSB.exe file. When everything is ready, just follow these steps:
- Connect a formatted USB flash drive to your computer and click «Refresh drives» in MemTest86.
- Look for the «Write to UFD» button. It is an image from the archive you have downloaded. It will be copied to your USB flash drive.
- Click «Write to UFD» to transfer files.
- After completing the previous step, you need to reboot your computer. It will initiate a RAM check with MemTest86 automatically.
This is what you will see when the scan is active:
If you have any RAM errors, they will be marked with red just like on the screenshot below:
This guide was written for Windows 10, but the tool has been on the market for a long time. Therefore, you can use it for RAM testing in previous versions of Windows including Windows 8.1 and Windows 7.