Memtest for Builders

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Running Memtest

  • Complete two (2) testing passes in memtest86+ without errors.

Template:Network Booting
Memtest Website
RAM Testing: An in-depth article for the Hardware Testing area

Testing Notes
  • Full-size DIMM RAM is tested at stations in Hardware Testing.
  • Laptop SODIMM RAM is tested in each laptop individually.

Testing Procedure

Make sure the system you are testing has been evaluated and has a Keeper label. As-Is and machines to be recycled are not put through Memtest.

Verify that the system has the correct amount of RAM installed according to the whiteboard specifications. Update the amount of RAM and the Keeper label as needed.

Access Memtest via one of three methods (full instructions below):

  • Via the Free Geek Network
  • Via an imaged hard drive
  • Via live boot CD. This is only used when the other methods fail. Consult your instructor first.

Start memtest from your menu options and verify that the correct amount of RAM is recognized. See your instructor or the troubleshooting steps below for help.

Boot to Network

Boot to GRUB Menu

Template:Boot to a GRUB Menu

Troubleshooting Memtest

Memtest Freezes

Sometimes you'll get Memtest loaded onto a machine, blue screen and all, but it won't indicate any activity. The newer versions of Memtest are incompatible with certain older chipsets in laptops. The work-around we have available is to use an earlier version. Unfortunately, this is only available on the Network at the moment.

Boot to the network.

Select Other Memtest versions from the menu, and choose the earliest version available (usually something like

Confirm that Memtest is successfully running. If not, try a few different versions.

Misreported Available Memory

Confirm that Memtest is reporting approximately the amount of installed memory. If there is a large discrepancy (e.g., 384MB reported of 512MB installed), you may either have a bad stick of RAM, a bad DIMM slot, or the system may be claiming too much video memory.

Try installing a few different sticks of RAM and note the results.

Reboot into BIOS and see about lowering the amount of memory dedicated to video.