At first I thought I had gotten infected by a virus when Internet Explorer and Firefox started shutting down randomly during use. Doing a scan with Spybot - S&D would yield lots of errors in detection. I found that booting from my Vista and Win7 partitions (I normally run XP) would cause the classic "DRIVER_IRQL_LESS_THAN_OR_EQUAL" BSOD. So, I take a completely clean HDD, unplug my old ones, and try to install Win7 from a USB stick. Everything seems to work fine but just when Setup would initialize I get the BSOD again. So, I figure the problem might be faulty memory (could the strange behaviour of Spybot be explained by this?) and test my RAM with memtest86+. Lots of errors. So, obviously my RAM is not in good shape.
Could it be that a virus destroyed/infected my RAM somehow? In that case, would it be safe to plug in new DIMMs, and which precautions should I take? I've tried booting the Avira Rescue CD, which hangs up displaying four penguins (at least they look a little like penguins).
Also, you'll have to excuse me for being overly paranoid but I'd really not wish to lose another set of new memory sticks.