How to test a laptop or a desktop computer memory

Posted: 20/12/2009 in How to...., Tutorial, Windows
Tags: , , ,

A lot of laptop and desktop computer problems are caused by a failed memory or a failing memory module. As a  technician I test memory modules every time I get a laptop for repair. I have tried many different memory testing utilities but finally I stopped on Memtest 86+. So far it is one of the best free memory test utilities and I use it everyday. You can find this utility on the Memtest 86+ homepage.

To test your memory modules you have to do next:

  1. download Memtest 86+.

Choose Download – Pre-Compiled Bootable ISO (.zip) if you want to burn it on CD.
Choose Download – Pre-Compiled package for Floppy (DOS – Win) if you want to place the utility on a floppy disk. I usually use CD because most computers have a CD drive and it’s much faster to start the test from a CD disc. Don’t forget to get some cd’s

  1. Change the boot order on your computer to boot from a floppy drive or from a CD/DVD drive.
  2. Insert the floppy disk or the CD disc with Memtest 86+ into the computer.
  3. Start the computer.

If you did everything right, you computer will start from the floppy or the CD and the memory testing utility will start automatically.
If your memory passed the test, you will not see any red error messages.

I usually allow a memory module pass the test 4-5 times. I’ve seen many times that a failing memory doesn’t fail the test on the first pass and then fails on the second or third pass.

If your memory failed the test you will see red error messages.


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