Microsoft Releases Memory Diagnostic Tool
by Arie Slob
Hello Windows users,
As part of the Online Crash Analysis Web site, Microsoft released a tool that allows you to test the memory of your computer. The Windows Memory Diagnostic tests the Random Access Memory (RAM) on your computer for errors. The diagnostic includes a comprehensive set of memory tests. If you are experiencing problems while running Windows, you can use the diagnostic to determine whether the problems are caused by failing hardware, such as RAM or the memory system of your motherboard. Windows Memory Diagnostic is designed to be easy and fast. On most configurations, you can download the diagnostic, read the documentation, run the test and complete the first test pass in less than 30 minutes.
Windows Memory Diagnostic supports x86-based computers with the following microprocessors:
- Intel - Pentium or Celeron families
- AMD - K6, Athlon, or Duron families
- Microprocessors compatible with those listed
You can test all types of RAM that run on x86-based computers with the supported microprocessors. However, if you have error checking and correcting (ECC) RAM, Windows Memory Diagnostic may not report any errors because the ECC mechanism automatically detects and corrects the error. It might still be useful to run Windows Memory Diagnostic if you have ECC RAM because it may detect errors that the ECC RAM is unable to correct (which indicates problems with the RAM).
Windows Memory Diagnostic is limited to testing only the first 4 GB of RAM. If you have more than 4 GB of RAM, the remaining RAM after the first 4 GB will not be tested by Windows Memory Diagnostic.
To run Windows Memory Diagnostic, you must reboot your computer with the disk or CD-ROM on which you installed Windows Memory Diagnostic in the drive. After the reboot, Windows Memory Diagnostic will load and its interface will appear. After loading, the first test pass will begin, using the default standard test suite, and continue until complete, unless Windows Memory Diagnostic is either paused or exited. Once the first test pass is complete, Windows Memory Diagnostic will begin a second test pass using the same settings as before. Windows Memory Diagnostic will continue to run test passes until you exit.
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Exploits Available for Windows Flaws
Vandals working online have created (and published) tools that take advantage of recently disclosed Microsoft vulnerebilities. The tool takes commands from an attacker through the IRC networks and can scan for and compromise computers vulnerable to the recently discovered flaw in Windows. So make sure you have updated your computer with the lastes fixes, which you can find from the Windows Update Web site.
There is also a virus spreading across the Internet which takes advantage of two flaws that where fixed by updates from Microsoft to Outlook Express and Internet Explorer last April. The virus poses as an email from a potential victim's own system administrator or ISP, suggesting that a user's email account is about to expire.
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