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How to test computer memory

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Testing computer memory aka RAM is the same whether it is SIMM, DIMM, SDRAM, DDR, ........


Testing memory on x86 computersEdit

x86 computers include

  • 386, 486, 5x86, 6x86,
  • Intel Pentium I, II, III, 4, D, M ...
  • AMD K5, K6, K7, Athlon, Duron, ....
  • and many many many more


Testing memory that is already installed in you systemEdit

If your system is crashing or giving random errors, you may suspect that there is an error with your memory.

Download: memtest86

  • http://www.memtest.org/ memtest86 is a very though test, that preforms read/write test of bits, bytes. and words, in ones, zeros, and random. As well as may other possibilities
  • Make boot disk: The program is put on a bootable floppy disk, CDR, or Flash drive. Alternatively you can use almost any linux cd. For instance Ubuntu CD has memtest86 in the main menu whre you chan choose to install Ubuntu, boot from HDD, check memory etc.
  • Once you make the bootable disk, reboot and run the test.
    • If it does not boot automatically, you may have to change some things in you computers BIOS
  • The test will continue to run over and over again. You can run it as long as you want, but one 'pass' is usually enough. It will run through nine different test phases.

Test 0 [Address test, walking ones, no cache] Test 1 [Address test, own address] Test 2 [Moving inversions, ones&zeros] . . . Test 9 [Bit fade test, 90 min, 2 patterns] This allows you to estimate how long the entire test will take. Usually running all nine tests will take several hours or even a few days.

  • If there are ANY failures the memory is bad.

Testing memory sticksEdit

  • Remove all memory from your system.
  • Place one memory stick in your computer
    Some types of memory have to be put in pairs. In that case put 2 sticks
  • Disconnect hard drives so it is not possible to damage them.
  • The Turn-On Test
    • Turn on computer
    • If computer beeps abnormally or screen never turns on. Turn off and on computer once. If it still fails, It is bad.
  • The Memory Read-Write Test
    • Download: memtest86
      • http://www.memtest.org/ memtest86 is a very though test, that preforms read/write test of bits, bytes. and words, in ones, zeros, and random. As well as may other possibilities
    • Make boot disk: The program is put on a bootable floppy disk, CDR, or Flash drive
    • Once you make the bootable disk, reboot and run the test.
      • If it does not boot automatically, you may have to change some things in you computers BIOS
    • The test will continue to run over and over again. You can run it as long as you want, but one 'pass' is usually enough
  • If the computer passes both tests, you can be reasonable certain the memory works. If there are ANY failures the memory is bad.

Disposing of bad memoryEdit

If the memory is bad, or any computer component is bad, put a big black 'X' on it. That way you can remember its bad. And anyone along the way will know its bad. Then recycle the bad component or if you don't have anywhere to recycle it through it away.


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