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Test RAM With Memtest86+

writhziden

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Test RAM With Memtest86+


jcgriff2 said:
EDIT:

The memtest86+ RAM diagnostic tool has been the preferred choice for testing RAM sticks for several years now. However, the memtest86+ diagnostic tool has not been updated by the author since 2013.

Another RAM diagnostic tool, memtest (without the + symbol suffix) has been recently updated and we now recommend its use instead of memtest86+.

Please see Test RAM with PassMark MemTest86 for instructions for the newer memtest RAM diagnostic tool.

Rev. 12-12-2017

Run the boot version of Memtest86+. Let it run for at least 7-10 passes (preferably more) or until errors show up.
A helpful post from Tekno Venus for steps to create the bootable Memtest86+ media and run it: how to burn memtest86+ to either a CD or USB drive.​

Tekno Venus said:

Option 1 – Using a USB Memory Stick (Recommended)


  1. Download the latest version of the Auto-installer for USB Key (Win 9x/2k/xp/7) from the official Memtest86+ website - Memtest86+ - Advanced Memory Diagnostic Tool
  2. Insert a blank USB memory stick into your computer. It doesn’t matter what size the stick is because the memtest86+ file is only 180Kb big. I have installed it on a 128MB USB stick with no issues.
  3. Extract the .exe file from the zip archive you just downloaded to your desktop and double click it.
  4. This will launch the USB installer. Check the option to format the drive to reduce the risk of any install issues. Note: this will erase all data on the USB drive.
  5. Once the installer finishes, the drive is ready.

Option 2 – Using a CD


  1. Download the latest version of the Pre-Compiled Bootable ISO (.zip) from the official Memtest86+ website - Memtest86+ - Advanced Memory Diagnostic Tool
  2. Extract the .iso file from the zip archive to your desktop.
  3. Right click this file and choose Open With -> Windows Disk Burner
  4. Insert a blank CD into your disk drive, ensure the correct disk burner is selected in the dialogue box and press burn.
[IMG2]https://www.sysnative.com/writhziden/tutorials/images/Memtest86_zps1683470c.jpg[/IMG2]​

If you see even one error, stop the test and do the following:

  • Before you proceed with the following, answer these two questions: Are you still under warranty? Does your warranty allow you to open up the machine to check hardware? If you are unsure of the answers to these questions, contact your system manufacturer. WARNING: The steps that follow can void your warranty!!!



  1. Shut down and turn off your computer.
  2. Unplug all power sources to the system: unplug the power from the outlet/surge protector or PSU (then remove the battery if it is a laptop).
  3. Hold down the power button for 30 seconds (for your safety and the safety of the components) to close the circuit and drain all power from components.
  4. Remove the casing (or remove the RAM panel if it is a laptop).
  5. Remove all but one memory module making sure you are grounded while doing so.
    Make sure you are grounded by using proper grounding techniques, i.e. work on an anti-static workbench, anti-static desk, or an anti-static pad. Hold something metallic while touching it to the anti-static surface, or use an anti-static wristband to attach to the anti-static material while working. If you do not have an anti-static workbench, desk, or pad, you can use your computer tower/case by finding a metal hold in it, such as a drive bay.​
  6. Replace the casing (or replace the RAM panel if it is a laptop) and put the remaining memory module(s) in a safe, static free environment.
  7. If the problem persists, repeat steps 1-4 and move the memory module to another slot (while staying grounded, of course).
Do this until all slots have been tested. If all slots fail, the memory module may be bad. Test with one of the remaining modules. Continue one module at a time in one slot at a time until you find a good module and good slot. Test remaining modules in the good slot, test good modules in other slots to find bad slots, etc.​



Some of the best information provided by a user who had RAM problems that were difficult to track down:

CaptainDju said:
Okay, finally got the new identical RAM kit delivered, and had time to run some tests, I think the conclusion is indeed a faulty RAM kit:

First I ran a positive control test where I reset the BIOS settings to Auto for all items I had changed in a previous post, and re-installed the faulty RAM in the A2-B2 slots
--> Crashes as frequent as before, as expected

Then I placed the faulty RAM in the A1-B1 to see if it could be a faulty slot (mobo) issue instead
--> Crashes as frequent as before, consistent with the faulty RAM theory, but does not rule out the faulty mobo

Third step was to remove the faulty RAM and install the new RAM kit in slots A1-B1
--> Not a single crash in a total of 10 hours of gaming, where I used to have crashes every few minutes. Still consistent with the faulty RAM theory, but does not rule out the faulty mobo

Last step was to move the new RAM to the A2-B2 slots to test them:
--> Not a single crash in over 18 hours of gaming/intensive use.

So in conclusion I think it is safe to assume the mobo is fine and the old RAM kit is faulty, so I'll send it out for replacement.

Here are my lessons learned on this one:

- Even though everyone hopes for a quick fix, ALWAYS perform test steps one by one (e.g. remove ONE supposedly faulty component and test right away). If you change multiple things and the issue is resolved, you won't know for sure what actually solved the issue.

- MemTest results are definitely not 100% accurate unless you leave it to run long enough. I think it's pretty safe to say that running it for less than 10 passes is worthless.
Note that even with enough successful passes (20+ have been advised) it does not replace real-life situations a.k.a. whatever you usually do on your computer that makes it crash.

- If the component you're suspecting is plugged in the motherboard, don't rule out the possibility that the motherboard itself is faulty, ideally have a negative control test with another similar component that is known to work fine

- RAM issues are a pain to diagnose as you can easily have false negatives as I have had. Also there's nothing you can do with your computer without RAM :p

I'll mark this one as resolved, hopefully it can help other people.

Anyway, thanks a ton for your super fast follow up and very knowledgeable answers.

TL;DR: The RAM was borked in the end, tadaaa :D
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Tekno Venus

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Memtest86+ v5.0.1 has been released. Procedure for testing RAM is still the same, but the positioning of some on screen information whilst running the test has changed slightly.

*** Enhancements in v5.01 : ***

  • New Features
    • Added support for up to 2 TB of RAM on X64 CPUs
    • Added experimental SMT support up to 32 cores (Press F2 to enable at startup)
    • Added complete detection for memory controllers
    • Added Motherboard Manufacturer & Model reporting
    • Added CPU temperature reporting
    • Added enhanced Fail Safe Mode (Press F1 at startup)
    • Added support for Intel "Sandy Bridge-E" CPUs
    • Added support for Intel "Ivy Bridge" CPUs
    • Added preliminary support for Intel "Haswell" CPUs (Core 4th Gen)
    • Added preliminary support for Intel "Haswell-ULT" CPUs
    • Added support for AMD "Kabini" (K16) CPUs
    • Added support for AMD "Bulldozer" CPUs
    • Added support for AMD "Trinity" CPUs
    • Added support for AMD E-/C-/G-/Z- "Bobcat" CPUs
    • Added support for Intel Atom "Pineview" CPUs
    • Added support for Intel Atom "Cedar Trail" CPUs
    • Added SPD detection on most AMD Chipsets
  • Bug Fixes
    • Enforced Coreboot support
    • Optimized run time for faster memory error detection
    • Rewriten lots of memory timings detection cod
    • Corrected bugs, bugs and more bugs (some could remain)
 

Patrick

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I'll need to update my canned reply, thanks for the info!
 

Tekno Venus

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I tested my RAM using Memtest86+ last night and this was my first time using version 5.01. There is one thing I would like to note about this release.

It seems there is a bug with v5.01 with regards to the newly introduced Multi-Core (SMT) testing. This is a feature designed to dramatically speed up test times by using all the cores of the CPU. Normally, memtest86+ only uses a single core, which makes it quite slow. By using the many cores available in modern processors it can cut this time.

To enable this SMT mode, press the F2 key within a few seconds of booting into Memtest. If you do not press this, Memtest will resort to 'Fail-Safe' mode, where it will work the same as it always has.

However, this new feature has an issue. It seems to crash whilst performing Test #7. Whilst this doesn't affect all systems, users are reporting it to affect quite a few. There are a few posts on the memtest forum:

5.01 freezes -
fleapickle said:
CPU: Intel Ivybridge 3570k 3.4Ghz
RAM: Mushkin 996995 8GB
Motherboard: Z77A-G43

Firstly am I supposed to force SMT? Memtest86+ seems to think my PC is single core otherwise.

Secondly, after choosing SMT, the test freezes less than two minutes in. The few blinking symbols on-screen keep blinking, but the timer freezes, and the program doesn't respond to keypresses...

In case this is important: I installed MT86+ to USB from my Windows 8.1 computer using the installer.
norwoods said:
I have 2 servers: Intel Xeon E3-1220 V2, SuperMicro X9SCI-LN4F, SuperTalent 2x8GB DDR3-1600 ECC and Intel Xeon E3-1220 V3, SuperMicro X10SLM-LN4F, SuperTalent 4x8GB DDR3-1600 ECC. When I press F2 to get SMP mode the systems freeze in Test 7 about 20% to 25% through the test doing a Block Move of 4096M-6144M. Things seem fine with SMP Disabled.
norwoods said:
When I press F3 to get SMP mode the Intel Xeon E3-1220 V2 gets past Test 7 but the Intel Xeon E3-1220 V3 does not.
Inky said:
CPU: i5 750 @ 2.88 GHz
RAM: G. Skill Sniper 9-9-9-28 @ 1805 MHz, 1.45V
Mobo: Asus P7P55D EVO

With SMT disabled, it passes all the tests.
With SMT enabled, the tests proceed at warp speed and freeze at Step 7, just like norwoods above.

If I use 5.00 RC1, SMT works fine.
And so on and so forth...

Memtest86+ is freezing while running test #7
memtest86+ 5.01 shutdown w forced multithread around start of test 7

False positives given whilst running in SMT - v5.01 gives errors in multi thread mode, but not in default mode

So I recommend NOT using SMP mode until a fix is made. Just let Memtest run as normal.

Stephen
 

jcgriff2

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NOTE: Windows 8, 8.1 systems - if you have UEFI Bios with Secure Boot, it must be disabled/turned off to allow an OS other than 8/8.1 to boot.

memtest86+ is DOS-based
 

Britton30

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I have a shot of the 5.01 version with labels for each entry. I get no option to choose it from Upload from Computer.
 

Dea

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Re: Tutorial Discussions

So what do you do if MemTest doesn't see your USB stick, but the rest of the system does? I tried, but it won't offer me the USB, only a multi-reader and a virtual drive...
 

Dea

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Re: Tutorial Discussions

Not sure how I can clarify? I am trying to make a bootable flash to run this test with. I stick the drive in, Windows pops up autoplay, and every other program I fire up sees the flash drive, but Memtest is offering two drives that don't even have devices attached to them, a virtual drive that is unmounted and a slot in my multicard reader, which has no memory in it. It won't offer me the drive that has an actual flash drive in it.
 

joeten

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Re: Tutorial Discussions

That is what the link I posted is for, you may have an incorrect file, there is one specific to installing on usb.
 

Dea

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Re: Tutorial Discussions

No, I have the right file. Seems Memtest doesn't like big Sandisk drives (according to that link you posted), which is what I have.
 

Dea

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Re: Tutorial Discussions

Yes, that is the one I have.

I asked the neighbor, and she had a Sandisk too, but hers was only 4gig, and that one will/does work - I have made the disk and started testing, but will have to actually run it later tonight.
 
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