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How do I check for bad RAM?

By Diremon
Nov 29, 2009
  1. Here's the situation:

    I've played Starcraft before on other computers and they never crashed for no apparent reason. I started playing on this computer, and it didn't crash. One day my brother got new RAM, had spares, and gave me a peice, so I had three, and the two that I already had were different sizes (256 and 512MB, I think), but the computer worked just fine. My brother's RAM was 512. I took out the odd size out and matched the two 512 RAM and put them on my motherboard.

    Now Starcraft likes to crash. I took a look at the error messages and looked them up. One of the possible causes was bad RAM.
    I also recently tried to install a new game, but it didn't work. After about two hours of looking, I found someone with the exact same problem, and they were told to check for bad RAM, and apparently this fixed the problem.

    I want to know how to check for bad RAM.
    This person with the same problem as I was told to use memtest86. If you are going to tell me to use this, please include an extremely detailed HOW or I will cry in frustration. I spent the past 3 hours tearing my hair out just trying to get this on a CD and work!
    But if you have a much better, fuss-free way of checking for bad RAM, please do tell. :)
     
  2. werty316

    werty316 TS Rookie Posts: 185

    1. Download the "Bootable ISO (.zip)" version.
    2. Extract the "ISO" file using Winrar, Winzip or 7-Zip.
    3. Burn the "ISO" to a Disc as an "Image" and not a "Data Disc". Do not drag n' drop the "ISO" file onto a CD.

    What burning application do you use?
     
  3. Diremon

    Diremon TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Here's what I did when I tried to burn it:
    Downloaded that file, extracted it.
    Right-clicked on it, selected "Open With" and selected "Nero".
    (I have the Nero Free version. (Not the 15 trial one.))
    I couldn't figure out the "Image" thingy, but I was in the tab "Data Burning" (the only other option is "Copy CD")
    I selected "Image Recorder" on the Destination drive thing.
    I clicked "Burn". (The .iso file was already in the list because I opened it with Nero.)
     
  4. werty316

    werty316 TS Rookie Posts: 185

    Are you using Nero Express or the regular Nero Burning ROM?

    "Data Burning" is most likely the problem. Its has to be burned as a "CD Image".

    When I right-click the ISO file, selected "Open With" and selected "Nero" I get the following window:
     
  5. Diremon

    Diremon TS Rookie Topic Starter

    There's no option that says "CD Image". :-/
    I have no idea what I'm using, to be honest. The shortcut says "Nero StartSmart"
     
  6. werty316

    werty316 TS Rookie Posts: 185

    You must be using an older version (I am using Nero 8) so unless someone else can help you with the version you are using I suggest you give ImgBurn a try.

    For now, can you post a screenshot of Nero after you open the ISO file using the "Open WIth" option?
     
  7. Diremon

    Diremon TS Rookie Topic Starter

  8. werty316

    werty316 TS Rookie Posts: 185

  9. Diremon

    Diremon TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you! I will try this, but tomorrow. It is quite late here. x.x; Good night!
     
  10. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

  11. Diremon

    Diremon TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok, I got ImgBurn, and burned the .iso file onto the CD (successfully, it appears).
    Is there anything I need to know before I start doing the memtest? Actually, there is. I couldn't find any details on exactly how to start it. Do I just leave the CD in, shut off my computer and turn it back on and it'll start running? Also, as I said earlier, there are two RAM sticks. Should I leave both in and it'll be able to tell me which is not working, if either, or do I have to take one out and test them one at a time?
     
  12. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Yes start your computer from the newly created Memtest BootCD
    Yes keep all Ram cards in - Note, if you get any errors then you can do one at a time, or just replace all ram cards as most do in this situation
    As for starting it, hmm I had the bootcd here once I can't remember if there's a "Start test" or something, but it should be obvious once its loaded.

    Hear back from you in 4 hrs then ;)
     
  13. Diremon

    Diremon TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok, I did it and it was on it's 8th pass by the time 4 hours came around, no errors, so I pressed Esc to stop it. Was it supposed to stop on its own?
     
  14. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    No, it will just keep scanning forever ;)

    "How do I check for bad RAM?"
    Seems to be resolved :)

    You have now checked for bad Ram.
    Note: Memtest states that the ram can still be faulty but missed being reported as such.
    But after 8 tests and 4Hrs scanning, I'd say your Ram is likely ok ;)

    Done
    There is still the small matter of your issue you are having with "crashing"
    It may be related to the other memory: Video card memory (basically faulty video card)
    I don't know a test for that one
     
  15. Diremon

    Diremon TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yes... my brother swapped video cards with me as well because I had one that had a high-definition port (?) and he had a high-definition monitor, so it made better sense to swap. I now wonder if that's not the only reason he wanted to swap and that his wasn't working top notch. I'm going to ask him. Not like he's going to admit it, but I guess it's worth a shot. I know I won't be swapping stuff with him anymore!
     
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