RAM Technologies and Troubleshooting

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Introduction: RAM Technologies and Troubleshooting

Random access memory (RAM) is a form of very fast memory used by computers to quickly access information. RAM is much faster than hard drives or solid state drives, but it is much more expensive and it cannot store data without constant power.

As you increase the amount of RAM your computer has, it will not necessarily increase the computer's speed. Increasing RAM capacity will allow your computer to do more things at once, which has many practical benefits in daily use.

If you want more speed in your RAM, you may want to look into getting a higher DDR standard. Your motherboard might not support every rating, but DDR4 RAM offers faster speeds over DDR3 and below. This increased speed will allow your RAM to talk must faster to your CPU, increasing overall efficiency.

Step 1: Components of RAM

Memory Chip:
Where the actual data is stored

Board:
All components are attached to the boar

Notch for Clips:
These notches on either side are used to clip into the motherboard

Gold Contacts:
Data is transmitted over these contacts

Notch for Alignment:
This notch ensures that the stick is inserted in the correct orientation

Step 2: Caring for RAM Sticks

As with most computer parts, RAM will almost always stay inside of the computer at all times. It's not a good idea to take out a RAM stick while the computer is running, as with any other component.

To take the RAM out of your computer, turn your computer off and open the case. There should be two clips on either side of the RAM stick. Snap them away from each other and take the stick out. Make sure that you are careful about static electricity shocking components of your motherboard. (Making sure that you aren't shuffling around on carpet or wearing any static-y clothing should work fine)

When putting the stick back in, you will have to apply some pressure. Make sure that the notch at the bottom of the stick lines up correctly when placing it in the motherboard. You should see, hear, and feel a click as the clips snap into place.

Step 3: Diagnosing and Troubleshooting Issues With RAM

One of the biggest giveaways that you have faulty RAM is that you're screen isn't showing anything. Computers have to use RAM to display anything, so it's one of the best indicators.

If you're screen is black, but fans are running and indicator lights are on, It could be a problem with RAM

RAM might also be a problem if your system reboots, freezes, or brings up the blue screen of death frequently. Replacing your current RAM with a known good stick from another computer will tell you pretty simply if it was the problem.

Step 4: No Image: Troubleshooting

In this situation, the computer is not posting anything on the screen.

Step 5: Switch to a New Slot

The first step should be to switch the stick to a new slot to see if the memory socket is faulty.

If the computer displays an image, it means that the socket that you were using is broken. It should be fine to use the Motherboard as normal (without using that one socket).

Step 6: Test With a Known Good

Switching out the faulty RAM and putting good RAM into the computer will tell you whether or not it's the RAM that is stopping the computer from posting. If your problem is fixed, then you're original RAM is bad. If it isn't fixed, then there is some other problem with the machine.

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