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Memory (RAM)

Stacked DIMMs of RAMMemory is the flip side of storage. While information in storage is considered stable or "involatile", memory is unstable, or volatile, requiring an electrical current to run.

The RAM on your computer is an example of memory. A memory cell containing a capacitor and a transistor records binary data as either a high charge (1, or ON) or a low charge (0, or OFF). Files the computer is actively using or needs to access immediately are copied to the RAM, but if they are not subsequently saved, they can be lost forever if memory cells lose their charge due to the computer powering off.

This is why computer technicians will tell you to wait at least one minute when rebooting your computer or smartphone to clear the RAM.

Passwords entered into a browser, or some internet chat logs are recorded on the RAM, making access to a running machine a valuable asset in digital forensics examinations. There are some roadblocks to note when trying to analyze a machine’s RAM, which must be discussed in advance.


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