Softpedia Editor's Review for Memtest86
Stand alone memory test for x86 architecture computers
Written by Alexandru Pintilie on June 13th, 2013
Memtest86 is considered by the majority of the hardware testing community the number one application when it comes to defective RAM sticks. The answer to the question regarding the working state of the installed memory modules comes fast with Memtest86 and that is what matters the most besides the certainty of the verdict.
Faulty RAM within the system can manifest into so many cases that is impossible to take each one of them and explain it - this would really take days. The most popular symptoms of system memory problems are constant crashes of the OS with various error codes present in the BSOD.
Most of the times, these error codes do not repeat themselves and may also point to other hardware components such as the CPU or any installed card, making it real tedious job to determine the inception of the system breakdown. The first step when dealing with these errors is to take out the storage devices as data may become corrupted if dealing with erroneous RAM.
Once you have stripped your computer of your vital information and only the basic and most necessary parts are properly cleaned and interconnected, you may want to boot up and run some tests.
The cleaning process does not only consist of a bit of dusting here and there, but taking all the system and thoroughly clean it until it sparkles and, also, reapplying thermal paste if the current one has turned into a solid version of the initial well-balanced compound.
Memtest86 is actually recommended as the second test of the suite, right after checking for temperature and voltage thresholds. If everything seems to be in order in that sector, you may want to fire up Memtest86 and let it perform the series of test patterns to most memory addresses, the same as the one used by experts.
The application has a high grade of compatibility, thus you really have to be unlucky for your system to not be able to run it. You can easily create bootable discs, USB flash drives and even floppy disks to ensure you boot directly into the program. As for detected faulty RAM modules, you just cannot overlook them because the application makes it impossible for you to do that thanks to the screaming red it displays whenever an error is encountered.
All in all, Memtest86 can easily track down unhealthy RAM sticks and pinpoint to them as the cause of some very ugly errors that may occur during your everyday work. Novice users are advised to pay extra attention and not get into the more advanced options of the program as they were not intended for general use. Other than that, Memtest86 is a heck of a tool!
What's New in This Release: [ read full changelog ]
· Fixed issues with USB keyboards. The USB keyboard functionality is memory mapped into a portion of low memory on some (maybe many) machines, typing on a USB keyboard changes some values in RAM as the key presses are stored in memory as you type. This can cause the keyboard to become unresponsive during testing or input from the keyboard to generate errors in the tests.
· Fixed crash when configuring memory ranges. Changing the meory range during the first test, or changing the memory range multiple times during later tests could cause the current test number to become negative, triggering a crash.
· Fixed highest error address not reporting correctly on error.
· Fixed error counters overflowing and reseting to 0 after too many errors.
· Fixed max contiguous error reporting.
· Cleaned up some UI text.
· The Windows USB package now includes ImageUSB to make creating Memtest86 USB drives easier.