Technical Support

Problem solving : Windows startup (related to memory)

Warning : If you have a problem with your computer and you’re at ease with computer hardware, you could attempt what is included within this article. However, please note that you are on your own, I will not be held responsible if it turns out bad.

A computer has been submitted to me on thursday for a problem at startup. (Windows 7, Core i7, 16GB RAM, SSD Hard Drive).

First possibility : Application thet gets in the way.

The first possibility that comes to mind is that an application is causing Windows to have troubles loading. Clearly it’s time to perform a clean boot. Here is the link how to achieve it, It’s mostly about going in msconfig and go through a process of elimination to find the application or service that prevents windows to boot correctly. Under normal circumstances, if it starts in safe mode and all is running smoothly, it’s a good sign. Once the guilty software is identified and desactivated, it should be good now. Unfortunately here, it was not that simple.

Blue Screen Of Death shows up..

In this case, blue screen started to show up. Every time the message is about memory management. I start having doubts about the memory sticks. Computer might be new, it’s not a reason to rule it out. It’s time to test with memtest86+, Results are clear, screen is red, memory has defects. I turn it off. I removed all memory sticks except one. I start memtest86+ and test again. Then I repeat the process with another stick until I find the bad stick. Bad stick is found. It’s now excluded. I put the good memory back in place. I power on. First step completed.

Corrupted OS

With the memory problems, some files must have been corrupted and the OS is corrupted. It refuses to boot.  I reinstall windows. With a SSD drive, there is no pain. Tuesday I will have the replacement for the stick and then back to the full 16GB of RAM. Sweet.

How would you have dealt with this problem ? I’m not a tech, I’m a developer, so I’m curious about all the possibilities.