MemTest86+ is a diagnostic program used to detect hardware problems with RAM (memory) modules. Since it can be run from a bootable CD, it is faster, safer, and more accurate at detecting memory problems than similar tools which would be run from within Windows.
To use MemTest86+, you first create a bootable CD/DVD with the program on it. You then boot your computer from this CD/DVD and MemTest86+ will start testing your RAM automatically. If there is a problem with your computer’s memory, MemTest86+ will list the errors on screen. Here is how to go about using MemTest86+:
- Click here to download the ISO image from the MemTest86+ website. Be sure to select the file named “Pre-Compiled Bootable ISO (.zip)”.
- Save this file to your desktop.
- Once the download completes, open the downloaded archive file and extract (drag and drop) the single file contained inside to your desktop. The extracted file should have a “.iso” extension.
- Use your favorite CD burning software to burn the ISO image to a CD. Be aware, the ISO file you downloaded is an image of a complete CD. You do not want to just burn the ISO image file to a CD as you would other data files, but instead want to make a CD from the image file. How you do this will vary depending on the program you use, but most will have an option similar to “Burn CD from Image File”.
- Once you have a MemTest86+ CD, leave it in your computer’s drive.
- Restart your computer.
- As soon as your computer begins to restart, you will see the BIOS screen (white text on a black background). You should see an option to access a boot menu (often times you are instructed to press “F12”, “F10” or “Esc” to access the boot menu).
- Press the appropriate key to access the boot menu, then select the CD drive with the MemTest86+ CD in it as the boot drive.
- Your screen will turn blue and the MemTest86+ program will start its tests. You can watch the progress in the top right.
- Depending on the amount of RAM you have, the tests could take a long time. You can either stay and watch the tests run, or leave your computer and return to it later.
- Any errors that are found will be listed in red at the bottom of the MemTest86+ screen. If the test complete without errors, you can eject the CD and restart your computer as normal.
What do the errors mean?
If the MemTest86+ scan reported errors, it means that is a problem with your RAM modules or your computer’s motherboard. You should consult a qualified IT company to further troubleshoot the problem and replace any defective hardware.