Test Your Computer’s RAM for Problems - WindowsTips.net - Windows Tips and Tricks with Geek

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Test Your Computer’s RAM for Problems


Option 1: Run the Windows Memory Diagnostic

Windows has a built-in RAM testing tool. It’s included on Windows 10, Windows 11, Windows 7, and all other modern versions of Windows.

To launch the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool, open the Start menu, type “Windows Memory Diagnostic”, and press Enter.

You can also press Windows Key+R, type “mdsched.exe” into the Run dialog that appears, and press Enter.

Click "Windows Memory Diagnostic" in the Start menu.

You’ll need to reboot your computer to perform the test. While the test is happening, you won’t be able to use your computer.

To agree to this, click “Restart now and check for problems (recommended).” Be sure to save your work first. Your computer will immediately restart.

Click "Restart now and check for problems (recommended)."

Your computer will restart and the Windows Memory Diagnostics Tool screen will appear. Just leave it be and let it perform the test. This may take several minutes. During this process, you’ll see a progress bar and a “Status” message will inform you if any problems have been detected during the process.

However, you don’t need to watch the test—you can leave your computer alone and come back to see the results later.

The Windows Memory Diagnostics Tool running a test pass.

When it’s done, your computer will automatically reboot and return to the Windows desktop. After you log in, the test results will appear.

At least, that’s what the tool says is supposed to happen. The results didn’t automatically appear for us on Windows 10. But here’s how to find them, if Windows doesn’t show you.

First, open the Event Viewer. Right-click the Start button and select “Event Viewer”. If you’re using Windows 7, press Windows Key+R, type “eventvwr.msc” into the Run dialog, and press Enter.

Click "Event Viewer."

Navigate to Windows Logs > System. You’ll see a list of a large number of events. Click “Find” in the right pane.

Select "System" in the left pane and click "Find" in the right pane.

Type “MemoryDiagnostic” into the find box and click “Find Next.” You’ll see the result displayed, as well as additional details about your RAM, at the bottom of the window.

Search for "MemoryDiagnostic."

Option 2: Boot and Run MemTest86

If you’re looking for a more powerful testing tool, you can download and use MemTest86. It performs a wider variety of tests and may find issues that the included Windows test won’t. The latest releases of this tool offer a paid version with more features, although the free version should do everything you need. You don’t need to pay for anything. MemTest86 is signed by Microsoft, so it will work even on systems with Secure Boot enabled.

If you’re looking for another option, you could also try the free and open-source MemTest86+. However, we’ve used MemTest86 for a long time.

Both of these are bootable, self-contained tools. MemTest86 provides a USB image you can copy to a USB drive. Just run the EXE file included with the download and provide a spare USB drive to create a bootable USB drive.

Warning: Writing the MemTest86 image to a USB drive will erase its contents. Be sure you’ve backed up any important files on the drive first.

The MemTest86 USB media creator.

Once you’ve created bootable media, restart your computer and tell it to boot from the USB drive you copied the memory test tool to.

The tool will boot and automatically start scanning your memory, running through test after test and informing you if it finds a problem. It will keep running tests until you choose to stop it, allowing you to test how the memory behaves over a longer period of time. Information about any errors will be displayed on your screen. When you’re done, you can just press the “Esc” key to exit it and restart your computer.

MemTest86 saying a pass was complete with no errors found.

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