RAM acts as a way to store data that your computer needs immediately without having to constantly read and write your drive. This is one of the most important and most important elements of all computing devices, be it your smartphone, tablet or laptop.
Memory problems can cause crashes, errors, program failures, and various other symptoms. In Windows 10, there is a powerful built-in tool that will allow you to diagnose memory problems: Windows Memory Diagnostic. This is a great way to fix errors related to memory and to speed up Windows 10, whether you experience problems with your computer or not.
In this guide, let’s look at how to use the Windows Memory Diagnostics to make sure your RAM runs properly.
What is RAM and what is its function?
RAM stands for Random Access Memory. RAM is unstable, meaning that when the power goes out, everything stored in RAM disappears. RAM is very fast; Typical DDR4 RAM sticks used in modern PCs can do around 2,400,000,000 transfers per second, moving 64 bits of memory in each transfer.
RAM is the highest speed storage your computer uses. In comparison, solid-state drives (hard drives that use a much less volatile form of memory called flash memory) are one or two orders of magnitude slower, whereas conventional hard drives (which store data on physical disks and are relatively permanent) are two orders of magnitude slower. In general, RAM on your computer is between 1000 and 10,000 times faster in moving data than a hard drive.
So why isn’t everything made of RAM? Two reasons: cost and perseverance.
As mentioned, RAM is volatile. When the power goes out, the data stored in RAM is also lost. Flash drives are relatively permanent, but solid-state flash drives (SSD) that are turned off for several years will start losing data. Hard drives, on the other hand, will store their data for years.
In addition, RAM is significantly more expensive than flash memory, which in turn is more expensive than hard drive space. For this reason, hard drives and SSDs are used for long-term storage, while much faster RAM is used as memory that works for computers when actively processing.
How can this be united in the actual operation?
Say you want to check email on your Windows 10 computer. So you double click on the icon for your email client program, and it loads. What happens when you do this?
Yes, client programs are stored on your hard drive or SSD. Double-clicking means Windows will copy the program into your RAM and start running it. By executing in RAM, this program operates hundreds or thousands of times faster than if it was run from a storage location. When you click the “check mail” button on your client, the incoming email first enters your RAM and then is written to the hard drive or SSD so that it is still there when you see it again.
Using memory like this speeds up your computer’s response time and allows you to copy, paste, edit, and do whatever you need to do in a program quickly. Any permanent changes saved will be written to disk.
What Can Be Wrong with RAM?
RAM can have a number of different problems, and they are not always easily diagnosed.
Deviant electric current can cause a short circuit that damages the RAM chip; this is something that usually happens when the RAM chip is outside the machine and is the main reason that RAM must be stored and moved in an anti-static bag.
A more common mistake in machines that work is that RAM is very dependent on coordination and timing. If one chip is rated to run at 2400 MHz while the other is worth 2666 MHz, and your computer tries to run both at 2666 MHz, a slower chip will produce an error because it fails to keep up with speed. These problems can be diagnosed with software.
How to Check Your RAM on Windows 10
If you are using Windows 10, you can use the Windows Memory Diagnostics tool. It’s built into Windows and does a good job of testing your memory and assessing whether it’s wrong or not.
To open the Windows Memory Diagnostics tool:
- Type the Windows Memory Diagnostics into the Windows Search box.
- Select Windows Memory Diagnostic when it pops up.
- Select Restart now and check for problems or Check for problems the next time I start my computer.
Then, let the test continue until it’s finished. It may take time depending on the speed of your computer and how much RAM you have. You can press F1 and choose Extended test to do a more comprehensive test, but be sure to do it before going to sleep or work and let it run when it takes a few moments!
When finished, the Windows Memory Diagnostics tool will show you the test results. If an error is detected, it will write a Windows Event for it so you can see the results as you wish.
To see this result, look in the Windows log under System. Reports will have an Event ID 1101 or 1102 to make it easier to find. You can also search ‘MemoryDiagnostics’ if desired.
If you’re lucky, you will see “Windows Memory Diagnostics tested computer memory and found no errors.” This means that your RAM is running well. If not, this tool will tell you what errors were found and on what memory sticks. You must then remove the stick in question and replace it with a new one and run the test again.
RAM is an important component of any computer, and it is important to be able to solve any memory problems that your computer might have.
By following the steps above, you can quickly and easily diagnose your memory problems so that you can improve the performance of your Windows 10 computer.