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I'm receiving a PFN_LIST_CORRUPT BSOD after a few minutes of using my Dell D600 laptop (running Windows XP). Based on my searches, it seems this is typically related to bad RAM. I haven't had other problems, and nothing has changed on this computer. Could it be that one of the RAM chips has come unseated, or is it just corrupted and I should get a new one?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

I can't speak for that error, but there's one way to easily rule it out - run a memory testing application.

Memtest+ does the trick nicely. Download and burn the ISO, boot off it and let it run for 24-48 hours - if it picks up errors, you definitely need new memory. If not, then you can continue troubleshooting with some reasonable evidence that your memory is fine behind you.

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You'd be surprised at how many times RAM will become ever-so-slightly unseated. Power off the unit, open it up, and reseat the RAM. If the issue continues, you can at least rule that out, and if it doesn't, it's fixed. :)

As for testing the ram, @Greg Work has a good suggestion, although keep in mind that the test can occasionally fail to detect bad RAM; but overall, it's just Good Enough(tm).

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For the sake of thoroughness: "Power off the unit," and disconnect the power. – b1nary.atr0phy Feb 5 at 12:07

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