If this is what your getting and your machine is NOT infected with virus/trojans/spyware then a program like Memtest86+ is the program you want to take a look at it. What this program does is it will go through all of your system memory and test it with various methods. This program will stress your machine but in doing so it will show any issues you may have.
When you run this program if you even get one single memory error then you have a hardware defect somewhere. This program when it runs depends on 3 things the Cpu the Memory and the Motherboard if there are any issues with any of these you will get a error. The odd time despite these 3 things it could also be power supply issues that causes the ram errors.
This program is really a good program if you want to test how stable your system is because like i said above it will stress a system. This tool is also a favorite with the over clocking crowd when they want to see how stable a certain over clock is.
If you get a memory error i hope you have a lot of parts kicking around. If you don’t you will end up going down the road i did and by the time i was at the end of that road i nearly had enough new spare parts to build a second machine.
For me the problem began when after getting my new system up. The system ran rock solid for about the first 8 months. In the 8 months i was lucky if the machine locked up a single time. Then one day i started to get the blue screen of death. I figured it was a freak thing so i rebooted and about 8 hours latter got it again. For a while it was like every day after about 8 hours of run time my machine would freeze solid to the point i had to reboot the machine or get the blue screen of death.
When i could see the frequency of the problem starting to pick up i knew something was screwed somewhere. My thoughts went to the power supply at first. So i went and bought a new top of the line Antec 550 watt supply. You can imagine my disgust then when after putting that in i was still getting the lockups. I think it was around this time i downloaded Memtest86+ and sure enough i left the program run over night and there were tons of errors the next day.
So at least then i knew it was something else and it wasn’t the power supply. However this put me in a bad spot because i knew from the documentation on the program these errors can be memory cpu or motherboard related so now i had to pick what i was going to replace first. I choose to replace the ram first since thats the most common thing to be faulty now a days.
I run down to the store and pick up another gig of ram and made sure it wasn’t of the same make as in manufacturer. I come home drop that in and run the test this time the Memtest86+ in 30 minutes was detecting errors. I was livid at this point in time because i knew i had to go buy something else. Next in my list of stuff to replace was the motherboard. So i went out and got the next version up of the motherboard i had. I rip the machine apart and drop the new board in with the new ram i got and I’m hoping like hell this has fixed the problem.
Well i fire the Memtest86+ back up and after maybe 2 hours the errors again. At this point in time this problem has cost me days now in time because each time you run the test it has to go for atleast 8 hours some times unless you get a error in the first few minutes or hours. So now with the new motherboard and ram and not wanting to spend another cent i went and bought the exact same cpu i had in the machine and figured that was the last thing left to replace.
You can imagine the joy on my face when i finally stuck a new cpu in and the machine ran for 12 hours without a single error. I run the test a few more times after that for various lengths of time and no more errors. More importantly windows stopped freezing up on me and doing the reboot routine.
I wasn’t to impressed with this whole process by the time i was done nearly replacing everything in my machine i had spend about $600 that i didn’t want to spend. I brought the computer to a store where i do business and at the time they didn’t have the cpu to do a test so if i left it there i was out a machine for a month. So the only way i could go was buy the parts they did have piece by piece and hope the problem was fixed before i built a new machine.
If you ever run into this problem and your machine is under warranty don’t even screw with it take it back and let them deal with it. Do make sure if you take it back to explain to them whats wrong with the machine. The store i deal with tried to tell me the cpu wouldn’t cause ram errors yet the ram communicates with the cpu lol what a bunch of dorks. Don’t let the store talk you into it being some other problem. If Memtest86+ detects errors and your machine isn’t over clocked you can bet some hardware in the machine has gone faulty.
The program when you get it from Memtest86+ will come in the form of a ISO image that can be put to a floppy disk or a cd. You just stick it in the drive make sure that drive is set to the boot drive and then turn on the machine. The program will load up and start running right away. If you think you may have a memory problem or the like i would let this program run for 24 hours. If in that time you don’t have errors then more then likely nothing is wrong hardware wise. Do note though in my case it was random sometimes errors would show up 5 minutes after running the test and other times it would take 8 hours for a error to appear.
This is a very good program and if your into fixing peoples machines its a must have utility. There are different options in the program as for what type of scan it does and you can figure out what they do by checking out the web site link above. This program does come on a few Linux live cd Distros and i think Knoppix is one of them so you may want to check that out as well.
This is not a Windows or Linux thing either meaning if you have problems with defective hardware it will make it self known regardless of the Operating System. So this program just doesn’t apply to windows.