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Computer memory is the lifeblood of your information systems, but it's a component that is easily taken for granted.

Since memory modules

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don't contain any moving parts, they can't fail, right? Wrong. We know that they can indeed fail -- and not in ways that are always obvious.

One day you notice some data is missing. The culprit turns out to be a faulty memory module. This is just one of many symptoms you should be aware of that can hint at an impending memory problem.

What causes a memory failure? How can you determine the source of the problem? This guide offers answers to these questions about memory and gives you some valuable troubleshooting steps when you come face-to-face with a memory failure. I'll also offer advice on preventative steps to take that will help you avoid a memory mishap.

Learning Guide: Troubleshooting computer memory

 Home: Introduction
  Warning: Check out the symptoms
  Primary causes of memory failure
  Memory doctor: Five ways to diagnose the problem
  Don't ignore basic troubleshooting steps
  Five lessons learned: Preventative steps you can take

Learn more about memory in Bernie Klinder's "Memory Basics" Learning Guide!

Bernie Klinder, MVP, consultant
Bernie Klinder is a technology consultant for a number of Fortune 500 companies. He is also the founder and former editor of, a comprehensive resource index for IT professionals who support Microsoft Windows NT/2000/XP/2003 and BackOffice products. For his contributions to the information technology community, Bernie was selected as an MVP (Most Valuable Professional) by Microsoft. Copyright 2005 TechTarget

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This was first published in April 2005

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