Knowing how much RAM memory is inside your desktop or laptop computer---and whether it is functioning correctly---is valuable information. There are ways to determine how much RAM you have now without opening your computer case, and a way to test the RAM sticks without any special hardware device.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Start your computer. Go to "Start" and "Run" and type "dxdiag" into the run box. After the opening screen loads, you will see the amount of RAM in your computer. You can also check this amount in Control Panel under "System."
Visit Crucial.com and look up your computer make and model information. The Crucial guide will tell you how much memory your computer is capable of handling, slot configurations, and the type or speed of RAM that is best for your computer. You can also find this information by checking the website of your computer manufacturer and looking up your model number. Compare this information to the amount of RAM you currently have to determine if you need or can make any RAM upgrades to your system.
Download a copy of a free program such as MemTest from HCI Designs, RamProbe, or M2K MemScope to test the reliability of your RAM sticks. Windows doesn't offer any RAM tester program, so the download programs are a handy resource tool. Download the .zip file for the testing program of your choice and then deploy it by unzipping it to a new folder.
Run the testing program. The program will alert you if any of your RAM sticks are not functioning correctly. Replace any RAM sticks that fail the tests.
Tips and warnings
- You can also physically test your Ram sticks using a hardware tester like RamCheck (see Resources). For best diagnostic purposes, remove all but one of your RAM sticks (if you have more than one installed) and run the test on this stick. Swap out the remaining sticks and run a test on each of them individually, too. Refer to your computer maker's documentation for how to remove and replace RAM sticks in your computer.
- Beware of downloading "Free Memory Upgrade" performance-checking software titles from spurious websites. Many are infected with spyware.
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