Random reboots and freezes, apps crashing, and even a Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) could be signs of a memory issue. Before you start replacing your memory or computer, use the Windows 10 Memory Diagnostic Tool to figure out if the memory really is the problem. While Windows may sometimes suggest using the tool after a problem, you can also use the troubleshooter manually to diagnose issues.
How the Diagnostic Tool Works
Many Windows 10 troubleshooting tools run quickly while you use your computer. However, this tool requires you to restart and then runs during the startup process. By default, it runs in Standard Mode and runs two test passes. After that, your computer restarts and provides you with the test results.
You can also run more advanced tests if you want. These allow you to customize the tests. Choose to run a Basic or Extended test versus the Standard. Select your cache options and how many passes (up to 15) that you’d like to run. The more passes you select, the longer the test takes.
Setting Up the Tool
You have to schedule the Windows 10 Memory Diagnostic Tool to run during your next restart. Go to the Start menu and type
memory. Select the “Windows Memory Diagnostic.” If you have any issues getting the tool to run, repeat this process but select “Run as administrator.”
Next, choose whether to run the tool immediately, which will restart your computer, or wait until you restart your computer yourself. If you have any unsaved files, choose the second option. Make sure to save anything you’re working on and close open apps before restarting. If you don’t have anything else open, choose the first option.
Running the Memory Tests
If you restart, the Windows 10 Memory Diagnostic Tool starts. Do not turn off your computer during this process. The computer will restart normally after the test is completely over.
By default, the tools jumps directly into the Standard Mode, which is ample for most issues. The test passes only take around ten minutes.
If you’re still having trouble and suspect a memory issue, run the tool again but press F1 on your keyboard as soon as your computer starts up. This takes you to the Advanced Options.
An Extended test takes longer and goes more in-depth. If you need a faster and simpler test, opt for Basic.
Reviewing Your Results
The Windows 10 Memory Diagnostic Tool provides you with your results after the restart finishes. You’ll see the results on your desktop. If nothing appears, view the results in Event Viewer.
Open the Start menu and type
event viewer. Select “Run as administrator” under Event Viewer.
Expand “Windows Logs” and right-click System. Select Find.
Type or copy/paste the following into the search box –
MemoryDiagnostics-Results and click Find. The most recent result should now be highlighted and the results showing in the bottom pane of the Event Viewer window.
If your results show that there are no errors, it’s probably not a memory issue. However, if there is an error, you can research the error description and details to determine if replacing the memory will fix the issue.
Depending on the type of computer you have, you can replace the memory chips yourself or take your computer in to be repaired. You can also take this as a great opportunity to get the newest model with all the bells and whistles you’ve been eyeing.
If instead of memory issues you are having a problem with the hard disk, here are a few ways you can check your hard disk health in Windows 10.
Image credit: Silicon BSoD