Random restarts, application crashes, blue screens and kernel panics

Memory gets misinterpreted a lot by the general public. Probably due to the size measurement in Gigabytes (GB) getting thrown around for both hard drive size and memory size.

What do we refer to when we talk about system memory capacity?

Memory are electronic chips that communicate with the processor and provide temporary high bandwidth storage as required by programs and hardware in a computer. A computer will not start without working memory as it is a crucial component in all computers and phones for that matter.

Memory modules have multiple component chips on them that combine to give a set capacity for each memory module.

Computers can have from 1 to 8 or more memory modules slots that combine to give the computer more system memory. Commonly, laptops and entry level PC’s may have 2 memory slots where performance systems may have 4 or 6 slots, and servers can have 8 or more slots available.

What happens when a memory module is misbehaving?

Once in awhile a computer system will be brought in with an occasional error that may cause an application to crash, cause a computer to restart, or result in some strange behaviour that shouldn’t occur. Sometimes the problem will present itself with the notorious Windows Blue screen of death, or for Mac’s the grey kernel panic message. Other times the computer may just reboot or freeze without escape – requiring it be turned off or reset.

When we see this behaviour, our first thoughts are to replace the memory and monitor the computer for further issue. If the problems have abated then the likely cause was one of the memory modules having some component failure leading to erratic behaviour. If the problems persist, we look to software and hardware conflicts, virus infection, hard drive health and other ancillary hardware issues. Either way if you are experiencing any regular issues that sound like memory could be causing your grief, please book a check up with us.

Happy Computing 🙂