File Corruption Caused By Bad RAM
Recently I ran into an issue with a computer when zip or exe files tried to open, windows would say they were corrupt, or chrome or firefox would randomly crash. I found this awkward, especially because I had just purchased new hard drive and they were running fine. At first I was thinking I was running into a hard disk error, since file corruption is usually related to a disk problems. I Restarted the computer and ran a disk check, came back fine. Checked the SMART Status of the drive, it came back fine. Found that awkward, so I restarted windows normally, then randomly after a couple of minutes the blue screen of death would come up. Each time with a different error message, which I found extremely weird. Usually Blue Screens are always the same crash code, for something problematic, but this was happening on everything.
So to keep this story short, I attempted to reinstall windows to factory from the restore disk (CD). I have run this install many times before with the same disk. Buy every attempt to install windows caused an error where windows would say it failed to install because of a corrupted file. So I figured, there was no way, the CD had corrupted files, especially having used it before, so something else must be going wrong. The culprit ended up being that a RAM Stick had failed.
The Question you maybe asking yourself is: why didn’t the computer fail during boot then? Or why didn’t it alert you of the issue? To put it simply, the entire RAM Disk did not fail, only certain modules on the Stick. So only when the PC attempted to load a file into memory where the damage was and attempted to read the data in that damaged segment, did it cause these corruption issues in windows 10. So in reality this error is not specific to windows 10, it simply just happened to be on a Windows 10 OS that the Ram Stick Failed. Once I removed the failing RAM, the computer went back to normal.
So in conclusion if you are running into file corruption issues or random blue screens of deaths, you may want to test your ram stick by stick and see if this resolves the issue before reformatting your drive and loosing your data.