My PC is Frozen: How to Diagnose Faulty Memory
Does your computer frequently lock up? Do you seem to be getting a lot of blue screens? You may have faulty memory.
In this article I will try to explain how to diagnose your own faulty memory modules. The process is relatively simple, can save you money and can also be a valuable learning experience if you haven't had much to do with computer repair before.
The first part of diagnosis is of course being able to recognize the symptoms, which include:
- The computer freezing up to the point that there is no mouse or keyboard input possible at all.
- A 'blue screen of death' followed by immediate shut down or restart.
- A failure to boot often accompanied by a series of beeping noises.
- Crashes during memory intensive tasks such as photo or video editing, gaming etc.
- Crashes and restarts during Windows installation.
I had the misfortune of experiencing some of these symptoms a few weeks ago when my computer began to freeze during different tasks especially while listening to music on Winamp for a while or within about 5 or 10 minutes of playing World of Warcraft or OFP: Dragon Rising.
Luckily for me the fix was easy, all I had to do was remove the side cover from my PC and apply a bit of pressure on each of the memory modules to ensure that they were seated in the DIMM slots correctly. If you don't know what a memory module or DIMM slot looks like then take a look at the image above left.
If you suspect that you have faulting memory then ensuring that the modules are pushed properly into the slots would be the first thing that I would try as this is normally the problem 20% of the time. Make sure you check the conditions of any warranty you may have on your PC first as removing the side cover and tampering with components may void it.
Another important thing you should be aware of is the fact that static electricity is one of the biggest killers of computer components. Make sure you haven't been dragging your rubber-soled shoes around on your synthetic carpet while rubbing balloons on your head and vigorously patting your cat at the same time (if you can do that then you should consider filming it and putting it on YouTube).Continued on the next page