Windows Memory Diagnostics – CompTIA A+ 220-802: 1.4

Without the right tools, troubleshooting memory can be a technical challenge. In this video, you’ll learn how to use the built-in Windows memory diagnostics to test your RAM.

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If you ever run into a hardware issue, they can sometimes be difficult to troubleshoot, especially if it’s a problem with bad memory. And occasionally you’ll find a part of a memory module that isn’t working quite as you might expect. The system might boot up. It might work for a little bit. And then when you really start using it, you happen to get an odd error.

So it might be useful to run a memory diagnostics. You might also be notified automatically in Windows that there appears to be a memory problem. And Windows will prompt you with an option to run the Windows memory diagnostic. You can also launch this manually as well.

And it’s going to go through and look at all of your memory, test all of it, even run multiple passes through the memory to try to get something to break. You really want to stress test your memory and make sure that it’s working properly. It’s such an important part of your computer system. It really has to be running at top notch.

You will find this tool available in both Windows Vista and Windows 7. You can launch it from your installation media or find it right inside your Windows environment by going to the Administrative Tools and finding the Memory Diagnostic icon right there. This is a relatively easy utility to use, because it’s doing all of the work.

And usually a memory diagnostic takes a bit of time to run. To start one in my Windows 7, I’m going to go up to my Control Panel under Administrative Tools. And you’ll find the Memory Diagnostic Tool is right here. Notice it has a shield next to it, which means if I try to start it, it’s going to require that I have administrator rights, an elevated rights to be able to run this.

I can choose to restart now and check for problems. Or I can simply check for problems the next time I start my computer. Well, let’s demonstrate this now. I’m going to restart my system and have it run the memory check right now.

When your system starts up, it immediately goes into the memory diagnostics. And you can also change some of the settings that are in here by pressing F-1. You can choose a basic, standard, or extended set of tests. And you can change the cache, whether you’re going to turn the cache on for all tests or the cache off for all tests, and then set the number of passes that you might want.

Maybe you’d like to have this run through 10 different passes. Maybe you’d like to set it for infinite number of passes so it continues to run until you decide when to stop. So in this case I’m going to set the test mix to extended.

We’ll turn the cache off. We’ll run a two pass. And when I’m done, I’m going to press the F-10 key. And it’s going to start going through the memory process.

Now, as I mentioned, there’s not much for you as a user to do. You can see that Windows is checking for problems. It tells you it’s going to take several minutes. It will tell you what pass it’s on and what percentage. And if it has any problems that it runs into, you will get a notice on the screen telling you this is the problem that we identified.

And you’ll get a bar that goes across the top of the screen that gives you an idea of just how much has been done in this overall test status. This built-in Windows memory diagnostics makes it very easy for you to test your memory. That way you don’t have to rely on third-party tools. You simply click an icon, restart your computer, and now you can make sure that your memory is working exactly as it should.