What is memtest86+
Memtest86+ is a utility designed to test your memory for read and write errors. The application repeatedly writes sequences of data to all memory locations and reads them back again while verifying whether the result of the read are the same as what was written to memory.
Memory errors can be due to either the wrong BIOS settings; either memory timings or insufficient voltage (especially when overclocked), or it could be due to a damaged memory DIMM. Memtest simply identify that errors exist, and you must use logical elimination to determine where the problem lies. This process is explained in ‘how to test your memory modules’ on the next page.
Based on the well-known original memtest86 written by Chris Brady, memtest86+ is a port by some members of the x86-secret team (http://www.x86-secret.com/), now working at www.canardpc.com. Our goal is to provide an up-to-date and completly reliable version of this software tool aimed at memory failures detection.
Memtest86+ is, like the original, released under the terms of the Gnu Public License (GPL). No restrictions for use, private or commercial exist other than the ones mentioned in the Gnu Public License (GPL). Texts about the original version was taken from the original website and written by Chris Brady.
PS : A newsletter for memtest86+ updates is available (http://www.memtest.org/#ml) / Donation (http://www.memtest.org/#donation) for Memtest86+ welcome. Please support free GPL software.
What do I need?
First you will need to download the application. The download section is here http://www.memtest.org/#downiso
A USB Drive or a CD/DVD burner and a blank writable disc. The USB method is preferred because it’s easier and less wasteful than burning a disc.
How to create the Bootable Memtest86+ USB drive
I strongly suggest you download the USB version as this is the easiest of all to use in my view and that is the version I will be referring to in this guide.
The process of creating a bootable Memtest86 USB drive could not be easier. Download the ‘Auto-installer for USB key) and simple run the application on completion of the download.
You will not need a very big USB drive for Memtest86+; a 1GB USB drive will certainly be big enough. Make sure you have removed any data from the USB stick that you are going to use for your Memtest86+ USB drive as the USB drive will be formatted during the installation process.
Simply follow the instructions, make sure you select the correct drive as there is no going back once you start the process.
I strongly recommend that you remove all other USB drives when creating a Memtest86 USB device.
And that is all there is to it.
How do I use Memtest86+
First you will need to fit your Memtest86+ USB drive into an available USB port. I suggest you use the USB2 ports found on the rear panel, as below, but all USB ports should work.
Power up your system and select your first boot deivce from the list either in BIOS or using the Boot manager which can be accessed during the POST process using the F8 key.
Once selected the Memtest86+ USB drive will auto load and the test will begin automatically.
How long does memtest run?
Memtest86+ will run continuously unless you stop it. The tests are cycled over and over again. Memtest86+ runs a number of different tests which each test different aspects of your system ram in trying to expose any errors in our memory. You can check the progress of the test by looking at the two progress pars that are found at the top right of your screen. The upper progress bar represents the current cycle’s progress, the lower progress bas is active test progress. One cycle consists of all the tests in the memtest suite. It is recommended that several cycles of Memtest86+ are completed before stopping the test. Two cycles is the bare minimum in my view. The reason for that is because certain types of errors will not show up until the system has been running for some time.
Once successful cycle of memtest86+ will be sufficient to determine if your memory is good most times, however to be quite certain that your memory (or the overclock of your memory) is completely stable multiple cycles are recommended. Only a flawless or error free cycle is acceptable.
This is what Memtest looks like running