Browse Definitions :
Definition

memory read error

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

A memory read error is a malfunction that occurs when data is being accessed from memory for use by a program, or when a value read from RAM fails to match an expected value.

Memory read errors can cause miscalculations, program malfunctions, unresponsiveness, the blue screen of death (BSOD) and spontaneous restarts.

Memory corruption is often the cause of read errors. At some point during the time a value is stored in RAM, the data may become corrupt for one reason or another. The root causes of memory corruption and read errors may be soft errors, which consist of momentary changes that can be corrected, or hard errors, which result from hardware failures.

Memory timings that are set too tight can also cause both read and write errors. Timings can be an issue when a manufacturer’s specifications are not being met by the module or when they have been set too tight manually. When changing a setting in the BIOS or UEFI, it may be apparent that it pertains to reads but generally, research, experimentation and testing are required unless default settings are  the problem.

Attempts to read from protected memory space reserved by another program or the operating system can create errors that cause BSOD or a spontaneous reboot. This memory is guarded to protect intellectual property and privacy.

When troubleshooting memory read errors, it is often advisable to test with the system set at known good timings. Timings for RAM may be tried on default SPD timing settings for a particular model or settings advised by the manufacturer. There are many free memory testing programs available, such as memtest86+. Many operating systems from Windows to TailsOS also include memory tests that can be run before and after an installation. RAM that is known to be functioning, tested at its default timings can help detect hardware issues, after which RAM can be tested a stick at a time to find the faulty module.

Sometimes RAM affected by hardware degradation or just not performing to specification can be made to work at slower settings.  If the issue persists, however, it may be that the CPU or motherboard needs replacing or on the other hand, a BIOS/UEFI update may be required to better support the modules.

This was last updated in July 2015

Continue Reading About memory read error

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • risk management

    Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization's capital and earnings.

  • compliance as a service (CaaS)

    Compliance as a Service (CaaS) is a cloud service service level agreement (SLA) that specified how a managed service provider (...

  • data protection impact assessment (DPIA)

    A data protection impact assessment (DPIA) is a process designed to help organizations determine how data processing systems, ...

SearchSecurity

  • identity theft

    Identity theft, also known as identity fraud, is a crime in which an imposter obtains key pieces of personally identifiable ...

  • cybercrime

    Cybercrime is any criminal activity that involves a computer, networked device or a network.

  • cybersecurity insurance (cybersecurity liability insurance)

    Cybersecurity insurance, also called cyber liability insurance or cyber insurance, is a contract that an entity can purchase to ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • disaster recovery plan (DRP)

    A disaster recovery plan (DRP) is a documented, structured approach that describes how an organization can quickly resume work ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • disaster recovery team

    A disaster recovery team is a group of individuals focused on planning, implementing, maintaining, auditing and testing an ...

SearchStorage

  • logical unit number (LUN)

    A logical unit number (LUN) is a unique identifier for designating an individual or collection of physical or virtual storage ...

  • NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF)

    NVMe over Fabrics, also known as NVMe-oF and non-volatile memory express over fabrics, is a protocol specification designed to ...

  • CIFS (Common Internet File System)

    CIFS (Common Internet File System) is a protocol that gained popularity around the year 2000, as vendors worked to establish an ...

Close