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How to Resolve Memory Errors in Dell Laptops

fix memory errors in dell laptops

Last Updated on March 27, 2021 by Muhammad Junaid Khalid


If you’ve ever seen the notorious memory error commonly called the blue screen of death (BSOD), you know memory faults can happen at any time on your Dell laptop. BSOD or blue screen is one of many common memory management errors. However, you can face other memory errors in Dell laptops, which manifest as a slow or crashed system, error messages with codes, memory full, and so on. Some errors usually end up being temporary, while others turn out dangerous. Either way, there are plenty of fixes for memory errors. We’ll walk you through how to resolve some common memory errors on Dell laptops.

Common Memory Errors in Dell Laptops

Note that these issues don’t limit themselves to Dell laptops – they can happen on other laptops as well. If the problem is in software, there are diagnostic tools you can use, which also provide fixes for memory errors.

The common memory issues that you could face are as follows:

  • Memory error codes displaying, with messages about issues reading memory, halts, overruns, size problems, etc.
  • No POST (Power-On Self-Test), in which the system automatically runs when it boots to detect issues.
  • A sluggish system, with constant freezes
  • System crashes, with the previously mentioned BSOD
  • An issue in installing software.

Quick Fixes for Memory Errors

Here are some fixes for memory errors you can try at first – provided your laptop can turn on normally.

  • Reboot Your Laptop

If the memory error happened due to a temporary malfunction, the usual Windows reboot might fix it. You can also go through the System and Application logs to check for errors.

  • Windows Memory Diagnostic tool

Are you using Windows 10? Pin down the problem with the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool. This handy app helps detect issues and suggests fixes for memory errors. Navigate to Start > Search, type Administrative Tools and click on ‘Windows Memory Diagnostic’. Alternatively, simply use the search bar to find it.

The tool offers the choice to either immediately “Restart now and check for problems (recommended)” or delay and “Check problems the next time I restart my computer”.

  • Run a Virus Scan

Malware and viruses can mess up your system, especially if they infect the boot sector.

  • Update BIOS

What build is your BIOS? Try updating it. In a few circumstances, an out-of-date BIOS can cause errors like BSOD due to incompatibilities.

  • Update Windows

Navigate to Settings > Update & Security and select “Check for updates”. The latest update may carry fixes for memory errors in your system.

  • Update Drivers

Unless you have an older computer, updates for your drivers are necessary. Open the Device Manager by right-clicking on the Start button and clicking the menu option. You can also press the Windows logo + X keys to open the menu.

The Device Manager highlights which hardware needs your attention with an indicator badge. Right-click on it, and select Update Driver.

  • Scan Hard Drive

Your hard drive could use a scan to check for errors. Scanning provides fixes for memory errors in the entire hard drive. Navigate to This PC, right-click on the drive icon and select “Properties”. Open the Tools tab, click on “Check” in the Error Checking.

  • Set the BIOS settings to default. If your BIOS is not configured correctly, your laptop might end up with errors – as well as the dreaded BSODs.
  • Ensure all the hardware in your laptop’s internals mounted properly. It includes internal data connections, cables, memory modules, any external storage, etc. Once they are in place, boot again and observe for errors.
  • Faulty hardware can cause memory errors. You can run diagnostic tests to determine which device is malfunctioning, described later. The only solution for this is to replace that problem-causing hardware.

Diagnosing Memory Errors in Dell Laptops

This section guides you through running diagnostics for memory errors in Dell laptops. There are third party programs you can use as well, e.g. Ariolic Disk Scanner, Seagate SeaTools, and Memtest86.

Error codes

If you received an LED error indicator or a code in an error message, you could search for its meaning in either the manual for your laptop or on the support website. Continue with the next section for diagnostics.

Run the Pre-Boot System Assessment (PSA) Diagnostics

Here is the complete tutorial on How to Run the Pre-Boot System Assessment Diagnosis

Troubleshooting Software for Memory Errors in Dell Laptops

Troubleshooting software in your system covers any issues that arise in your laptop’s virtual memory. You probably know that with more RAM your programs run faster. If your computer does not have enough physical random-access memory (RAM) for efficiently running Windows, the system uses virtual memory as well.

When there is too little RAM, the virtual memory transfers data from RAM to a portion of disk space, i.e. a paging file. This way, the RAM gets enough free space. While virtual memory is expandable, increasing RAM in your computer works better as the system reads it much faster.

Manage Virtual Memory

  1. Check how Windows is managing virtual memory. Navigate Control Panel > System and Security > System and select “Advanced system settings” towards the left.
  2. A new window opens. Go to the Advanced tab. There you will see the Performance section. Go to the Settings in the performance section.
  3. After that, again open the Advanced tab. In the Virtual memory section, click on “Change”.
  4. Unmark the checkbox for “Automatically manage paging file size for all drives”.

Select the Drive [Volume Label], select the disk drive home to the paging file you wish to modify.

Tracking Memory Usage

It’s good practice to check out how much memory your system uses. Of course, this depends upon whether you can boot your computer correctly. It is especially useful in case there is a specific program or another process that causes memory errors.

  1. Open the Task Manager by pressing Alt + Ctrl + Delete keys.
  2. By using Task Manager, monitor the memory usage and the event log. This way, you can keep track of programs or processes that overlapped with the errors. Otherwise, your system might use too much memory. If the task manager shows very high memory usage, but you know that everything works normally then it is a time to increase the physical memory.
  3. If the Task Manager shows irregularities with background processes, you can temporarily fix the problem by right-clicking on it and selecting “End task”. Run a malware scanner such as Malwarebytes to get rid of any infection first. For a more permanent fix, reinstall your OS, or if you have an older version of it backed up, restore it.

Troubleshooting Hardware for Memory Errors in Dell Laptops

Hardware troubleshooting is trickier than that for software since it requires some hardware knowledge, tools, the replacement of your laptop memory (RAM), and of course, compatible parts to that effect.

Your laptop should have removable memory in the first place – check your laptop’s manual. In case the memory module is soldered onto the motherboard, contact technical support.

  1. Ensure all your hardware and any other connected devices are compatible with your system. The Windows compatible products list is useful for this.
  2. Try updating the firmware for the glitching hardware. Visit the manufacturer’s website for that particular device to check for firmware updates.
  3. Check whether your RAM and other connections in the laptop’s internals fit properly. If there is physical damage in the laptop’s memory, replace the faulty part. Sometimes the slot where you insert the memory develops a fault, causing errors.
  4. Swap the old RAM with another that you know is in good condition to confirm whether the fault lies with RAM. If the system starts properly with the new memory, you now know to replace it.
  5. If your laptop has more than one memory slot, try exchanging both memory modules with those known to run correctly. You never know – perhaps the fault could have originated in either one or both slots.

Still no result? Reach out to your local tech support.

Note: Does this article provide the info you’re looking for? Is there any information you think of missing or incorrect? You can give your opinion in the comments section below.

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