How To: Diagnose Faulty RAM



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Just Tracking Thanks

I love Memtest86 this help me alot when I builded my new PC in March 2009.



I have been trying to track down why Oblivion kept dying on my new C2D machine. It worked, albeit slowly, on my old Athlon XP 2800+ with ATI AIW9800Pro. The BSOD only happened in Oblivion and it was not heat related. Someone suggested that there was a lot of talk on the net about BSOD's with a 680i SLI/8800GT_ combination. I did find a lot of that, but with no real solutions. When I saw this article, I ran home and immediately starting it running. Low and behold, there were errors. Well, it turned out not to be bad memory, but bad voltage settings. I had taken the time to set the timing parameters in the BIOS, but did not even think to look at the voltage, a new task for non-OCer's. I set the voltage to the lower of the recommended voltages and it worked. I can now play Oblivion with all the eye candy turned on.

Thanks again MaximumPC



I've passed Memtest86+ for 8 or more loops to have MS Vista memory checker, advanced/extended test, to promptly find problems. Mostly prevalent on 680i motherboards...


David McNamara

David McNamara

I had Patriot memory that passed Memtest but still caused BSODs in Vista. The Nvidia Control Panel stability test finally suggested that memory was the problem. I got my system stable by lowering the ram voltage (2.0 vs recommmended 2.2V) - contrary to the usual wisdom. I think it was a thermal problem that only showed up when the system was going full bore.



When I first built my PC I was getting errors for the memory. I ran MemTest and all 4 sticks failed the last 3 of 6 checks. Had to change the memory timing manually in the BIOS, because the mobo over clocked it by speed by default. Also, you can turn off the cashe of the CPU for testing to maybe help pin down where the problem is in the memory system, but it takes a very long time.


Talcum X

Many proc. gens. ago, I used a memory tester that came with a memory manager from the old DOS days. Simular to EMM 386 (or it was that) came with one. It was quite extensive and took way too long on current gen rigs with large amounts of memory (for the day).

Oh, and speaking of days or Yor, I have met many people who tried to make their CDs work in their 5.25" floppy drives. Most of them have kids who wanted to help daddy play with the PC... Have dissected many drive to removed the pretty round disks that Jr. found around the area.

Every morning is the dawn of a new error.


Steve LeMaster

I can't count the amount of times I've ran into this issue and used BIT and MemTest.



If you have PNY memory and have lost the receipt or the original packaging, PNY will not accept nor honor the lifetime warranty.

copied from an email when I requested replacement :

Warranty coverage requires proof of purchase documentation evidencing the date of purchase (sales receipt or invoice) and original packaging. To obtain warranty service during the warranty period, contact PNY at 1-800-234-4597 or visit us at The consumer is responsible for all shipping costs. When shipping from outside the United States this will include freight, duty, customs fees and taxes. All pricing is in USD. FOR WARRANTY INFORMATION AND REGISTRATION VISIT US AT The PNY logo is a trademark of PNY Technologies, Inc. Other trademarks are owned by their respective companies. Rev. 07-13-06



What is the difference between Memtest86 v3.3 and
Memtest86+ v1.7? Is there one? and why the 2 versions?


Houston Tx



Developer Samuel Demeulemeester released Memtest86+ as an update to the original Memtest86 (written by Chris Brady), since the original hadn't been worked on for several years. That's recently changed, with both Memtest86 and 86+ receiving updated code as of this past January. Both diagnostics do essentially the same thing, and you'd be fine to user either one.

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