Re: Windows XP balls up
It shouldn't only affect XP, but all os's, though if you are running on a really old os, like 98 it may not be able to address the faulty ram.
Prevent in future by buying quality ram?
Are you doing something specific at the time it packs in? My Laptop was delivered from dell with faulty ram. You wouln't know until you were doing some heavy processing / ram intensive stuff, when the BSOD would appear. This was because of the 512Mb card, the first 340Mb addressed fine, so if the session used less than 340Mb of ram it was fine, once apps needed more than that it crashed.
There are some RAM testing apps out there, Dell have one on their diagnostic CD.