If you have been using your machine for a fair amount of time, it is likely that the memory components have degraded over the course of its usage. Your memory could be completely fine or on the verge of failing, you may never know unless you check. Windows has built in memory tester, but it does not perform as exquisitely as you would expect. It has its own limitations, making its results more or less useless to advanced users. One of such many limitations is that the built in memory tester, runs it’s diagnostic tests only in Windows environments. This results in huge areas that do not come under Windows environments and Windows operating, to go not scanned for any signs of memory errors, memory leaks and other hardware issues.
This is where Memtest comes in. It is a very easy to use, free software, that can help you check your machine for memory problems and other hardware issues as well. Memtest is one of the most accurate tests for your Computer’s memory, currently available out there. It can check your PC’s memory for bad sectors and identity bad/ not working motherboard slots for better troubleshooting. It is a free software, completely legal to download, that you can use to check your memory. It is an open source software originally written by Chris Brady.
You can download Memtest from the following location.
Make sure you download the latest, stable, working version, in order to avoid any possible errors and issues during the process.
Memtest is available in the form of ISOs, on its website. You can download the ISO and then burn it to a CD. You can also create a bootable USB drive, if you do not have access to a CD/DVD drive. Some of you may be wondering that this in turn means that the ISO can be mounted virtually but i am afraid to inform you that this is not possible. The process and working of Memtest , requires you to have the ISO on any physical peripheral, be it CD or USB.
Thus make sure to create a CD/DVD or a bootable USB once you download the ISO from the official website.
Once created, you can follow the steps listed below, to run Memtest and check Your machine’s memory and motherboard for bad sectors and broken slots.
Note: Memtest is a big process ad hence may require more time than you might be expecting. I advise you to run this process on your PC overnight, as the software is designed to run 6 to 8 passes , each of which can take its own sweet time. Hence make sure you do not need your PC for the next couple of hours before running the Memtest process.
To start Memtest
1- Insert the created bootable media in your PC and restart the machine.
2- Boot from the inserted Memtest media and run the process
3- It will display the initial assessment and machine information before it starts to run the first pass.
4- The first pass will run, and memtest will then display the results,
>If errors found- This means that memtest has been successful in finding bad memory/ bad motherboard slots. Start by testing each stick of the reported memory individually , and if you find a good stick, test it in all the slots to make sure it is in working order.
If a known good stick that you are sure about, fails in a particular motherboard slot, this in turn implies that the tested motherboard slot is defective / bad.
>If there are no errors found- This means so far so good, you can continue running the rest of the 7 passes to check the other areas for errors ,memory corruption or bad motherboard slots.
5- Use the Memtest results to single out and identity, the various bad memory sectors and failed motherboard slots. These problems can help you find causes to unknown errors and fix them accordingly by either disabling or masking the bad sectors.
This should help you identify all the errors with your RAM and motherboard, and find possible fixes for them.
Before you proceed be sure of the following things
1- make sure your PC is not overclocked or has Undervolt supply during the duration of the tests.
2- if your Pc is overclocked/ undervolt, make sure you revert it back to its default values, before running the tests.
3- If errors are found, do not over clock/under volt until all the problems have been eliminated.
4- also make sure you return the timing of your RAM back to default, before running Memtest.
Follow these simple steps and precautions to run error free Memtest on your Pc, and identify the bad memory sectors and broken Motherboard slots.