Memtest for Builders

From FreekiWiki
Revision as of 10:59, 8 January 2013 by Lynnae (talk | contribs)
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Running Memtest

Testing Notes

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

Testing Procedure

☐ Prepare system for testing

  • 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.

☐ Boot to the network menu
Access Memtest86+ 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.

☐ Run Memtest86+
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 a GRUB Menu

☐ Ensure the system has an imaged hard drive.
☐ Start or restart the system.
☐ Just after the manufacturer's splash screen appears a small blinking cursor ( _ ) will appear in the upper left hand corner of the screen. Quickly press and hold down a Shift key.

  • After a few moments, the text Grub loading... should flash and you'll be presented with a menu with options similar to this:
Ubuntu, with Linux 2.6.32-33-generic
Ubuntu, with Linux 2.6.32-33-generic (recovery mode)
Memory test (memtest86+)
Memory test (memtest86+, serial console 115200)

☐ Use the up and down arrows to select your option.

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 laptop network menu.
☐ 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.


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