Hello, I've been having issues with my computer for around two months now - previous to this I had my PC for just over two years.
I have been getting blue screens o' death whenever I would do anything remotely intensive (watch a video or play a game). This would usually occur at random points within the process, not on it's launch.
To try to fix the problem I presumed it was Bad RAM and switched out the sticks I was using one-by-one. I thought that I solved the problem when removing on of the two sticks and the blue screens appeared to stop. Now my PC has started to blue screen again on an increasing frequency - still running with only one stick of RAM.
I've now tried both sticks one at a time both in different slots on the mobo. This means, as far as I can tell, that both of my memory sticks are faulty or that maybe my motherboard is.
Ending with my question.. Is there a way can I test this without purchasing more RAM or another mobo?
First, find the recommended operating specs on you RAM (timing, speed, voltage) and set your BIOS to these spec. Testing your RAM in any other configuration is pointless because you want to know if your RAM is bad at its recommended specs, even if you can operate them below its potential.
Go to memtest.org and download MemTest86+. Burn the iso to cd. Once this is done, leave the cd in the drive and restart your computer. Let the test sit for about 10-12 hours.
Thank you. I will try this tomorrow if I can get my PC running long enough to burn the ISO, and I'll post the results.
I have windows 7 and used the built in memory diagnostic tool - which came back finding a fault. I just found it strange that both of the sticks went bad, which made me think it was the mobo. Is that common for both to die and would these memory tests be able to pick up on if it's the mobo's problem instead?
I don't have any figures to offer, but failing RAM is not as uncommon as you might feel. In actuality RAM is probably one of the more common parts to fail. In my years of building, i've had RAM that was dead on arrival. I've also had RAM burn out.
Motherboards are not immune to failure, i've gone through several of them myself (and not just for upgrading). The motherboard is not likely to be the failure, but it could happen.
RAM is important in your system because it plays an integral part in operating the entire system. Because of the sensitive nature of voltage, a lot of failure with RAM is because of incorrect voltage.
Equally important to voltage are timing and speed. Bottom line is the manufacturer of the RAM designed the RAM to operate at certain specifications. Using your RAM in a manner that's other than directed can cause a lot of problems, such as the one you're facing now.
Memtest has already found errors. Any error is bad. If you have warranty on those modules, send them back. If not, get yourself some new modules. If you buy new RAM, take into consideration the power recommendation for them.
For example, if you're using an I-series chip, Intel says not to exceed 1.65v for RAM, or you could damage your CPU. So if you do have an I-series, you shouldn't buy any OCZ RAM, as they tend to recommend 2.0+v.