PC ComponentsRAM

How To Tell If the RAM Is Bad


Have you ever experienced your computer responding to your assigned tasks slowly? Or have you ever noticed how you feel your computer suddenly starts to lag while in the middle of complete normal computer function? Symptoms such as these indicate your RAM is not working correctly.

Quick Answer

RAM going bad can be identified by various symptoms discussed in this article. The symptoms range from slow performance to the blue screen of death and a complete decline in system performance. However, sometimes some symptoms are not often that extreme which signifies the beginning and end of your RAM.

RAM is one of the most integral parts of your computer. Its purpose is to offer a short-term memory solution that is extremely fast and assists in loading data and programs efficiently and at a faster rate than a hard disk. This reason makes RAMs very important as the entire operating system working correctly depends on the RAM being functional and reliable. 

Read on to learn more about the symptoms that indicate your RAM is bad!

5 Most Common Symptoms

Over time, RAM’s performance declines. Bad RAM can be the issue if your computer often freezes, restarts, or displays a blue screen of death. Another indication of bad RAM might be faulty files, especially if you’ve recently utilized such files. Another possible sign is that the computer slows down while in use but seems to pick back up after a boot.

Explained below are some of the symptoms which indicate your RAM is not working properly, and considering how important they are, they are due for an upgrade.

Blue Screen of Death

As apparent from its name, the blue screen of death indicates a complete failure of a successful Windows operation. In simpler terms, this screen indicates that your Windows has completely failed and will have to be reset for it to work properly, at least in some cases.

A blue screen of death stems from software and hardware-related reasons. However, in this article, we will focus on the hardware aspect. Faulty RAM can cause your WIndows to display the dreaded blue screen. 

The reason for this can be that in your memory module on your motherboard, one or more of your RAM sticks are not working properly, which is why Windows is not working correctly. 

Another reason can be if you are lucky that the RAM configurations don’t match (i.e., the RAM sticks you attached in parallel on your motherboard do not have matching configurations).

An easy way to check if any RAM-related problem is causing the blue screen of death is to run the Windows Troubleshooter from the Control Panel to diagnose if something is wrong. You can do so by going to “Memory” in Control Panel and, under “Administrative Tools”, running the “Troubleshooter”.

Insufficient RAM

Another common way to know if you have bad RAM is to check the RAM capacity shown in WIndows. Often, users complain that even though they have 16GB of RAM, when they check their RAM in Windows, they can only see half of that. 

The reason that this happens is pure because of RAM malfunction. At times, your RAM might not be working correctly, or it might have some pins lost, which might not be connecting with the connector properly, which might cause your system not to include it in the total system RAM.

Decline in Performance

The decline in the performance of your system is one of the most occurring symptoms that indicate that your RAM is bad. But since this symptom is common in diagnosing other computer problems, it is important to classify exactly what the decline in performance means in the case of bad RAM.

Now it is important to note that, at times, your RAM might not cause a decline in performance. A badly written program or a newly downloaded application may cause a degradation in performance.

Listed below are some of the situations which pinpoint a bad RAM.

  1. Boot Looping: Boot looping is a very common symptom of bad RAM. Boot looping is when your computer keeps turning on and off without having to do those operations yourself.
  2. Crashing Applications: If only one application is crashing on your system, it might not be due to your RAM, even if your RAM is bad. However, if it crashes during any intensive task, your RAM might be causing the issue. This is because RAM is used for temporary storage.
  3. Black Blank Screen: Sometimes, when you turn on your computer, you might see that your display shows a black blank screen. This means that your computer fails to boot correctly, another symptom of RAM not functioning correctly.

Installation Failure

Sometimes you might find yourself trying to install a new application, but the process keeps failing. These situations might happen, such as when an error number appears on the screen without any obvious explanation, a minor software takes longer than usual to launch, etc. You must reinstall the operating system to avoid any strange error messages.

But despite many reasons for its failure to install, RAM can be the one reason you cannot install a new program. This symptom is not very common and cannot be used to diagnose the RAM problem on its own. But paired with other symptoms in this article, it can help you reach a clearer conclusion.

Corrupted Files

You might find yourself in a fix if you notice that your files are getting corrupted over a while, as this means that your RAM is bad. Of course, now we can argue that a virus or any other malware might also cause this, but the truth is if a virus attacks, you might not face a corrupted file of this number.

The reason is that your RAM damages your hard disk’s contents because while reading or writing files, if RAM is not working correctly, the files get damaged during the transfer and the movement.


Hopefully, using this article, you might be able to troubleshoot your RAM problems correctly. However, if you are unsure of the process, you can take your computer to a professional to get the RAM replaced or removed.

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