Faulty RAM – How to Spot and What to Do About It?

If you are having trouble running your computer, or if it is acting bizarre and won’t let you do anything, then you may be experiencing problems with your computer’s RAM. A RAM problem can cause your computer to crash, or it may not be able to start up at all. In this post, we will discuss how to spot a faulty RAM and what to do about it.

What is RAM

RAM, short for random access memory, is a key component of a computer. It is where data is stored temporarily while the computer is operating. Current generation computers have large amounts of RAM installed to allow programs and applications to run efficiently. The speed at which a computer runs depends on how fast the RAM can read the information it needs to execute instructions.

Common Symptoms of a Faulty RAM

Since RAM uses relatively little power and has no moving parts, it is typically more durable than all other parts of a computer. Due to this, though, many RAM issues go largely undetected. Faulty RAM is frequently disregarded as the core cause of confusing issues as the majority are not aware that RAM issues are impacting their computers.

Now, let’s look at these symptoms of faulty RAM in more detail.

Beeping Sound

Anyone who has ever turned on a computer has probably heard the beeping sound. It could sound like a single beep or a series of beeps. Beeping sounds indicate various issues, and faulty RAM is one of them. Consult your computer’s manufacturer if you are unsure of what the beeping sound is trying to tell you as different BIOS manufacturers provide different beep codes.

Also, there’s a chance that your computer has faulty RAM if you don’t hear the beeping sound at all while it’s booting up.

Blue Screen Error

Your faulty RAM is probably to blame if you get a blue screen error. These blue screen errors are frustrating as your work does not get saved, and such errors can lead to more problems.

Decrease In Computer System Performance

Your computer will first boot up at a usual speed when you switch it on. However, after using it for a while, you will notice that it is becoming slower. This problem mostly happens due to faulty RAM. Your computer system performance will abruptly drop if your RAM isn’t functioning properly.

Failure to Install a New Program

The process of installing a new program consistently fails. An error code without a clear cause shows up on the screen when installing a new program, or it takes longer than usual to load. A faulty RAM might be the reason of these symptoms.

Less Amount of RAM

Windows may display less RAM than you actually have installed on your computer. You may view the computer’s RAM by going to Control Panel > System and Security > System.

If you are using Mac, you can view the RAM with the following steps:

  1. Click on the Apple icon
  2. Click on about this Mac
  3. Click on the Overview tab
  4. Look for the amount of RAM from your Mac’s statistics

Your computer system may have a faulty RAM if it shows that there is less RAM available.

Files Become Corrupted

Files that you frequently access and save appear to be corrupted. This might be a symptom of faulty RAM, which will only get worse if your hard drive’s file system becomes corrupt and your computer won’t boot up.

Computer Randomly Restarts

When the computer restarts without warning while In the middle of something, or restarts right away after accessing the desktop, this can suggest faulty RAM.

Computer Freezes

If your computer either freezes for extended periods of time, suddenly loses keyboard and mouse functionality, or takes a while to launch a browser, then malware or a virus may be the cause. However, if the antivirus reports that the computer is clean, then the reason could be faulty RAM.

Computer Crashes

There are numerous reasons why a computer can crash. Determining the precise cause is crucial, though. Your RAM may be faulty if these crashes happen at random. For instance, if your computer crashes when you open resource-intensive programs, then it could be a hardware issue. However, if the crash occurs even when only a minor program is open, then faulty RAM could be the source of the problem.

What Causes Faulty RAM?

Faulty RAM can be caused by a number of factors. Here are a few to keep in mind.

Power Surges

Most computer components, including RAM, can be damaged by power surges. You should use a surge protector with your computer to prevent damage to its components.

Excessive Heat

Excessive heat can take its toll on your computer’s components. Individual components can overheat at times, and heat from other components can also cause the RAM to get faulty.

Low-Quality RAM Stick

The most likely reason for a RAM to get faulty is low-quality RAM stick.

RAM stick is a circuit board with memory integrated circuits that are installed into the memory slot on a computer motherboard. It can have a flaw that evaded quality assurance which can lead to problems after some time.

Defective Memory Slot

If one or more memory slots of your computer motherboard are defective, then it could impair the performance of your RAM even if the RAM stick itself is in good condition. Long-term effects of this can also damage your RAM stick.

Diagnosing Faulty RAM

You can question whether the problem is actually brought on by RAM if you experience some of the faulty RAM symptoms. If you believe that your computer has a RAM issue, then you can use the methods listed below to address it.

Method 1: Using the Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool

You can use the Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool If you have a Windows machine and think there might be a RAM problem. This is the simplest method of diagnosing RAM-related issues.

Go to Control Panel > System and Security > Administrative Tools. Look for Windows Memory Diagnostic and open it.

There are two choices presented in the new window. Either schedule the test to start when Windows starts up again or restart now and check for issues.

At the completion of the test, you will be informed of the test results after logging in to Windows. You will see any problem that have been found in the Status field.

Method 2: Perform a Physical Test

This is the ideal method to check for RAM-related issues.

If you have two RAM sticks, then you can take out one RAM stick at a time. Turn off the computer, remove one of the two RAM sticks, and turn the computer back on. If the computer starts up and functions properly, then one of your RAM sticks is not working correctly.

You can repeat the procedure with different RAM sticks to test if you still experience some issues.

After determining which RAM stick is causing the issue, swap it out with a new one.

Method 3: Check RAM Sticks for Dirt

Check your RAM sticks for dirt if your computer is experiencing RAM issues.

Most often, a buildup of dust causes your RAM to malfunction. So, it is a good idea to clean the RAM sticks periodically.

Method 4: Take Professional Help

If the issue persists and you are not sure what to do next, then it would be best to take your computer to a computer repair shop for professional help.


The causes of faulty RAM vary, and RAM-related issues can occur unexpectedly. Simply perform the diagnosis methods suggested above if you think your computer have faulty RAM.

Leave a comment if you have any questions, and share this article if you found it useful.

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