When the need arises to check system RAM, try the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool that comes with Vista and Windows 7 — and is a free download for XP.
This app thoroughly exercises your system’s random-access memory, uncovering problems that can cause crashes, hangs, and other errors.
Every version of Windows, from XP onward, has shipped with professional-quality, system-management utilities, either built in or offered as free add-ons. These apps let you adjust and control many essential operating-system functions and features. Other tools, such as Windows Memory Diagnostic, help diagnose and troubleshoot system problems.
Part 1 of this series, “Accessing and understanding Administrative Tools,” gives an overview of all these tools and explains how to make them easily available from your Start menu.
Part 2 shows how to use Windows’ Performance Monitor to analyze and understand, in real time, a PC’s status as different programs run — or fail to run!
In Part 3, I briefly describe how RAM works, how it can fail, and how to run the Windows Memory Diagnostic diagnostic app.
Understanding the three major components of RAM
All data currently in use by your PC — the code and data of running programs, transient user data, internal system variables, and more — is temporarily stored in a PC’s RAM system. (See Wikipedia’s RAM article for more info.)