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Posted on Jun 30, 2010 in PC Maintenance, Troubleshoot Windows | 0 comments

Test your computers memory and diagnose crashes and blue screen errors with Memtest

XP Compatible tutorial Vista Compatible tutorial Windows 7 Compatible tutorial
Windows 8 Compatible tutorial

 

Memtest is a great utility for thoroughly checking your PC’s memory modules. Faulty memory modules can cause crashes, lockups and the dreaded “blue screen of death”. With Memtest, you can verify that all the memory inside your PC is working correctly. Many users run the program every time they install a new memory module in a PC, to ensure correct operation of the new component. We recommend the use of Memtest86+ V4.10 or later and this is the version we will be focusing on in this tutorial.

Using Memtest is extremely easy, but it must be run from a CD (or other bootable media) from outside of Windows. To run Memtest from a CD, first download the latest version from the Memtest homepage. We recommend you choose the download link titled “Download – Pre-Compiled Bootable ISO (.zip)”. Save the file to your desktop or somewhere you can easily access it.

Next, you need to access the compressed (zipped) folder and open the CD image inside. Simply double click on the memtest86 compressed folder. Inside this folder is a CD image (named mt410 or similar). Windows 7 users can simply double click on this CD image to start the Windows 7 disc image burner. Windows Vista and Windows XP users can use InfraRecorder or their favourite CD burning software to burn the image to a suitable blank CD.

 

Memtest downloaded

The Memtest compressed folder downloaded and ready to be opened

 

Finally, with the CD image now recorded, you need to make sure your computer is set to boot from CD. In order to do this you may need to change your computers BIOS settings. See this page for a brief tutorial, or consult a local IT professional.

Once you have recorded the CD and correctly configured the BIOS, simply insert the CD into your computer and restart. Instead of loading Windows, you should see the following screen:-

 

Memtest screenshot

 

To use Memtest, there really isn’t anything to do other than wait. In the picture above there are two numbers circled. The number circled in red is the Error count. If this value goes above 0, you have a faulty memory module that you should replace immediately.

The number circled in yellow is the Pass count. Each time this number goes up, Memtest has performed one full test of the computers memory. For a thorough test we recommend at least three passes.

Once you are done testing your computers memory, simply press the Escape (Esc) key and remove the CD. Windows will now start back up as normal.

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