Test for errors in memory with Memtest86+

Memtest86+ is a easy to use memory diagnostics tool design to test and stress the systems Random Access Memory for errors and report any findings to the user.

Faulty memory can render a system unstable, incapable of booting at all, or even worse in possible data corruption. That’s why it’s good practice to use Memtest86+ or other tools with the same purpose every time new memory is acquired, better to spend a few minutes checking for errors than encounter errors at a later time.

Fortunately, Memtest86+ is an easy to use tool and the whole process happens automatically.

How do we use it ?

First of all you will need to visit the Memtest86+ home page and download the pre-compiled bootable ISO file. My preference is for the .zip ISO.


Note: I expect Nix* users to already have the knowledge of how to burn an ISO, meaning this tutorial will mainly focus on burning the ISO from Windows.

After the ISO is completely downloaded you will need to burn it to either a CD or DVD. Windows 7 has the capability to burn ISOs, if you have Windows XP I recommend you download ImgBurn which is a free burning application.

Note: older machines may not have a DVD drive.

How to burn an ISO on Windows 7

Open the directory where Memtest86+ resides and right click on the ISO application, now click on Burn disc image this will start a new window.

You can see in this window both the ISO and optical media are ready. Click on Burn to start the burning process. After it’s done the CD/DVD will be ejected.

How to Burn an ISO on Windows XP

After you are done downloading and installing ImgBurn you can start burning the ISO.

Since ImgBurn will integrate in to Windows you can just right click on the ISO and select Burn using ImgBurn.

A new window will automatically open, this window will prepare both the ISO and CD/DVD all you have to is click on the Write button which is located at the bottom of the window.

How do we start Memtest86+ ?

Once the ISO has been burned in to the media you will need to restart the computer and access the BIOS to set it to boot from CD/DVD media. The steps may change depending on the manufacturer, in some you may need to press F2, F10,or F12.

After you access the BIOS head over to the Boot configuration and set it to boot from CD-ROM/DVD-ROM Drive. Save the changes to the BIOS and exit, which will cause the system to restart.

Instead of booting from the hard drive the system will start from the CD/DVD Drive, since our CD/DVD containing Memtest86+ is inside the drive it will be automatically booted from. Here is the beauty of Memtest86+, you have to do nothing else just let the diagnosis tool run. Any errors will be reported on Errors column located in the middle of the screen.

Memtest86+ is simple tool you should keep around it may come in handy at a later time or whenever you buy new memory.

Memtest86+ Home Page