Memory (RAM) as the Cause of Computer Reboots
The memory (or RAM) in a computer is a vital component where information is temporarily stored while the computer is processing requests, running programs, conducting diagnostics and other vital functions. Second behind only the power supply, RAM is the most common hardware to go bad in a computer. Memory, with its tiny transistors, is extremely sensitive to static electricity, spikes in power, and shorting out due to improper connection to the mainboard (motherboard). The result can be funny computer behavior including the most common error, constant restarting of the computer.
When a computer first boots up, it normally runs through a POST or Power On Self-Test. This is the flashing of text that appears when you first turn on your computer, assuming you have the OEM logo disabled in the BIOS. Otherwise, the POST process is not displayed on the screen. During POST the computer checks to see what hardware is attached to the computer. Naturally, this includes the computer’s memory. Often, the POST process will correctly identify the type and amount of RAM installed in the computer even when the RAM is faulty. When the computer reaches the point where the operating system is loading, it starts loading drivers and other necessary code into memory. As the memory fills up and hits the faulty memory area, the computer crashes and a restart is initiated as a result of the crash.
Often, computers have multiple memory modules or “sticks" of RAM meaning that not all memory modules may be at fault for computer restarts. Unfortunately, faulty memory can only be replaced; they are unserviceable by the user. Most RAM manufacturers offer at least a one-year warranty on their products. If your RAM is still covered under warranty, contact the manufacturer and see if you are eligible for a replacement. More times than not, the manufacturer is helpful in diagnosing and ultimately replacing the RAM if the problem remains unresolved.