Twice within the past month, I’ve had laptops start to behave erratically on their users.Â The, otherwise stable, system would crash at random times and sometimes even fail to boot up. After the normalÂ troubleshooting steps I came to the conclusion it was RAM that was the problem. After pulling out the bad sticks, everything work great.
This got me thinking, since memory hardly ever goes bad, that the memory may not have been the problem. So I took a know working laptop and put both the “faulty” memory sticks into it and the system fired right up and ran very well all day. I then took the memory I pulled out the good system and put it in the laptops which were having problems. The same symptoms came back.
After running multiple iterations of Memtest86 on the various machines, the only consistent result was there was a problem with the slot on the motherboard which held the “faulty” memory. Nothing was wrong with the memory at all. I sent the laptops back to the manufacturer, as they were still under warranty, and they replaced the motherboards and everything is now running great.
The point of the story is, just because you get errors which indicate bad memory, the error may not actually be with the memory itself. Just be methodical with your troubleshooting and you will be able to zero in on the exact problem.
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