RAM Failures

Bad RAM is somehow harder to diagnose as similar symptoms may be caused by software problems, other hardware problems or even motherboard failure. However if you experience any of these symptoms, you should check for bad RAM before attempting any other troubleshooting.


  • Windows doesn’t start showing different error messages each time.
  • Windows crashes (blue screen) or freezes frequently.
  • Windows crashes as soon as you try to start a program.
  • Unexplained random crashes and freezes without error messages.


Download Memtest86+ and burn it to a CD or make a floppy. For CD get the “Pre-Compiled Bootable ISO (.zip)” and for floppy (if you can start your laptop from a floppy drive) get the “Pre-Compiled package for Floppy (DOS – Win)”. If you are making a CD, you will have to “burn” the ISO image to the CD, not just copy it. There are numerous guides how to do that with different CD burning software (you cannot do it with the build-in Windows CD burning). In general you need to find where on the menus of your favourite CD burning program it says something like “Create CD from Image” or “Burn Image to Disk” or similar. Then select the .iso image file and burn it. If your laptop crashes a lot and you cannot make the Memtest CD or floppy, ask a friend or talk to your local repair shop and ask them to make one for you (it probably will be $5-$10).

Start the laptop from the CD/floppy and let Memtest86 run for a couple of hours. To start your laptop from the CD you may need to select a temporary boot device by pressing F12, F11 or F8 as soon as the logo appears on the screen (2-3 sec. after turning it on) or immediately after entering the BIOS/HD password if you have set one. If that doesn’t work, you will have to change the boot order in the BIOS. To do that try pressing F1, F2 or “Esc” (for Toshiba) to get to the BIOS settings and make the CD the first booting device.

If Memtest86 finds errors (there usually will be thousands of them) try removing one of the RAM chips (if your laptop has two of them) and run Memtest86 again.

Most laptops have two RAM slots that are easily accessible under a tab on the bottom. Others have just one slot there and the other is under the keyboard, on some there is RAM soldered on the motherboard (Toshiba), and a few laptops have just one RAM slot.

Removing laptop RAM: remove the screws, touch an exposed metal part of the laptop with both your hands (usually the VGA connector has two visible screws that you can touch to discharge any static electricity), then release both clips that hold the RAM and it will pop up. Hold the RAM on the sides (avoid touching the chips) and gently pull it out. To install, insert back the RAM and gently push it down until it locks in place.On some laptops the RAM is under the keyboard, or one chip is on the bottom of the laptop as described above, and another is under the keyboard. It is usually very easy to remove the keyboard on almost all laptops. Try to find the service manual for your model and find the description there. Alternatively, there are step-by-step picture guides on the Internet for most laptop models.

Memtest86 will run until you stop it by pressing “Esc” key. If your laptop freezes or restarts by itself while running the RAM test, it either is overheating or has another hardware problem.

59 thoughts on “RAM Failures”

  1. Hi,my HP 250 laptop suddenly went off when I was working, later the light on the cap lok key started blinking and other light too but the screen is refusing to come on. What do you think is the problem?

    1. Hi, I am facing the same problem ,my HP 450 laptop suddenly went off when I was using it, When i switch it on the light on the cap lock key started blinking and other light too but the screen is refusing to come on. It gave the Blue Screen and gave Hexadecimal 0x00000019 (0x0000001,0x83F7BBCO) What do you think is the problem?

    2. I had the exact problem yesterday – 3 years old HP ENVY. Did not crash, the screen just froze and when I tried hard-reboot, it never came back up. However, the Caps Lock kept blinking for several minutes. Thought the monitor was the problem, looks like it was RAM. I have 2 8GB RAM – and looks like one was busted. Took it to a repair shop and they removed the faulty one and replaced with a new 8GB RAM. I asked for the reason: No real root cause / reason. RAM chips just gets busted. It was about $60 for 8GB RAM. Hope it helps.

  2. My laptop suddenly turns off, sometimes screen turns white.
    When I run memory diagnostic test the laptop improves for a while but the test results shows normal

  3. hi, in my computer there a problem when i play music or video the audio do not work properly what the problem of my computer?

    1. As If Your Sound Drivers Are Missing. I Too Had The Same Problem And I Just Installed Fresh Windows Because For My Case It Was A Compilation Of Many Other Faulty Drivers. I Gues You OS Has Reached Its Maximum Usage Lifespan.

  4. i installed 2GB extra ram in my asus x552e but in the system properties it is showing 4GB installed (1.44gb usable) .can any one resolve this issue.

  5. My laptop is running properly but when I play any movie it is not playing properly but audio is playing properly but video is streaking I don’t know why?what is the problem in my laptop?

  6. I have a problem with my toshiba satellite c55-A while it’s working It just restarted and can’t even load the DOS Whenever I turn it on the screen turns black and cannot even show the toshiba logo

  7. i have a problem wt my toshiba satlite while its working sudeenly screen turn to blue and show sm error messeges like pc ran into a problem need to be restarted bt after the screen went off it ddnt get on and the power light is blinking twice and system is nt getting on what will be the problem

    1. that would be on the charger or charger connector or worse your mboard i believe it’s just a coincidence that you replug your ram and it stop charging

Leave a Reply to RAMKUMAR.R Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.