Grab a copy of MEMTEST......use google.
Burn it to a cd.
Boot the cd.
Let the prog run.
If it shows ram/memory errors.....it's time to shop for a new stick/s.
I was playing games on my computer (specs below) when it suddenly rebooted as if there had been a power failure (something which happens quite often around here). It would NOT start again until I messed around with SETUP. Sorry but I have NO idea what I did except to disable the Quick Start.
When it starts now, it stops booting and leaves the following message on the screen: "RAM R/W test failed" and I have to hit F4 before it will complete booting up.
When it finally booted back up, my RAM (usually around 600 MB when bootup is complete) was down to around 150 MB. I use Charter Internet Security Suite for my firewall, anti-virus, spyware, and malware. I ran tests on both of my hard drives as well as a special scan for rootkits. All tests have come back clean.
So then I went through and did some necessary clean-up which I'd been putting off which means, basically, that I uninstalled most of my non-necessary programs and placed the newer setup files in a different location. Now my RAM is sometimes up to almost 300 MB.
I thought that perhaps one or both of my RAM chips had gone bad, so I ran a program within Windows that checks my hardware. It shows that I still have 1 GB of RAM and that it's working properly. Yet my FREE Ram program is currently showing that I have only 230 MB RAM free.
I'm using Windows XP Service Pack 3. I have 1 GB of RAM and two 40 GB hard drives.