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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I recently purchased a Dell Studio 1747 laptop. However, it had numerous issues. I managed to get enough replacement parts for it to finally be fixed, however, I would like to test one of my old memory sticks in Windows 7 Memory Diagnostics to see which one is defective. I had 4 GB of RAM. Surely, both couldn't be, right? I think only one of them was defective. I want to test to see which stick it could be, simple enough, right?

Even simpler question. In the Windows 7 Memory Diagnostic Tool, what is the max amount of RAM it can scan? In Vista/XP it was 4 GB. Is it the same for the Windows 7 version? I am running a 64-bit OS. If not, shall I just remove one of the existing (good) sticks of RAM and replace it with the questionable one and run the test?

I've already ran the test on my new, freshly replaced RAM, which came back all-clear, so, I know any new errors should be attributed to the extra RAM I put in.

Thanks,

Necifix (Or TWISTEDBroly, this SN is old)
 

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Kind of a pain. Not really wanting to do that for a simple test. The bad RAM stick glitched out in the Windows Memory Diagnostics tool even, so, I don't know why I need to go any further than that to know which one is the bad one of the two. Anyone answer my question?
 

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The Windows memory diagnostic tool has proven to be inaccurate and I recommend that you retest both with MemTest86+ regardless. But, no, the only way to figure out which stick is actually faulty (or both) is to take one stick out and test one at a time. Also be sure to alternate slots as John said to make sure it's not a faulty memory slot.
 

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Hi, there is more then just opinion behind the recommendation to use memtest instead of the inbuilt windows diagnostic, I did not write this however it sum's up the problem nicely:-


I'd use MemTest86, as it is MUCH safer.

The onboard tool works as follows:
- may require Windows to launch
- writes to the installation so that it runs next boot
- starts to run after the next boot
- does a quick test and then stops, unless you "etc."
- writes results to the HD installation's even log

In contrast, MemTest86:
- boots off the CDR
- repeats tests until stopped by the user
- accumulates test results on screen
- does not write to the HD at all

When RAM is bad, all bets are off. Not only can stuff being written
to disk be corrupted, but where they are written on disk can be
corrupted, too (e.g. you can splat over NTFS's MFT, etc.).

Also, most "read disk" calls are one bit-flip away from being "write
disk" calls, so you don't want an OS that requires thousands of read
operations off HD to boot (not to mention all the automatic write
operations; temp, page file, directory access timestamps, etc.)

When BIOS detects a memory parity error, it halts the system, because
it "knows" this is the only safe thing to do.

Similarly, Windows will halt the system when errors are such that
context loss makes it unsafe to continue; BSoDs in 9x, STOP in NT.

MS is either losing this clue, or is treating us with contempt (e.g.
it's more important to cut support calls than to preserve user's HD
contents) when they move from halting on BSoDs to automatically
restarting the system (effectively, hiding these errors).

So when MS designs a RAM tester specifically for use where RAM quality
is suspect, and this process makes liberal use of both read and write
traffic on HD, one wonders if they've completely lost the plot.
 
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