If your computer is freezing or exhibiting other signs of instability, it may be suffering from memory errors. To test the memory of your system, we've published this easy-to-follow guide that will aid you in finding any memory errors that may exist.
To make sure there are no other variables in place that might skew test results such as Overclocking, different memory timings than those specified by manufacturer, etc... make sure that these settings are reset to their default values in the BIOS (typically set to Auto). You can consult the motherboard manual for instructions on how to do this for your particular motherboard.
Step 1 - Obtaining the program
You can download MemTest86 at the following link:
If you have a USB flash drive, the easiest method is to download the file Download - Auto-installer for USB Key (Win 9x/2k/xp/7)
. Insert your flash drive (make sure the data on it is backed up) and run the Auto-installer. It will allow you to select your drive letter (Use utmost care when selecting drive letters. Double check in windows explorer to make sure you're using the correct letter. Using incorrect letter may cause formatting of another drive and possible data loss!)
If you don't have a flash drive, you can download Download - Pre-Compiled Bootable ISO (.zip)
extract it and burn it as an image. Most CD Burning software out there such as CDBurnerXP will allow you to burn a file as an image onto a disc.
Step 2 - Booting from Media
Insert your flash drive or CD in the computer and reboot the machine. Most motherboards on the market today such as Gigabyte, Asus and others allow on demand booting by pressing a certain key.
For Gigabyte boards, it is F12. For Asus boards, it is F8. If you're unsure which board you have or what key you may need to press, please consult your motherboard manual for more information.
A long way of changing the BOOT options is by entering BIOS and manually selecting the desired device. Most motherboards use DEL key to enter the BIOS. Once there, you're looking for Boot / Boot Settings / Boot Device Priority
You want to make the first boot device either the CD-ROM if you're using a burned CD or the correct flash drive.
Step 3 - Running the program / Interpreting Results
If you've done everything correctly in the previous step, the program will automatically start and begin to test the memory.
As long as it doesn't freeze-up, the program will run endlessly until you stop it. Once it makes one complete PASS, it will begin the test from the beginning. It is generally recommended to let the system complete at least 3-4 PASSES before considering memory to be OK.
If there are errors, they will be displayed inside of the table with the results and you may follow the next step.
If there are no errors, then the problem may not be with the memory itself.
Step 4 - Defective Memory / What can you do about it
Memtest reported errors and therefore at least 1 memory module is defective.
We often walk our customers through isolating which module is defective by removing all the modules and trying them only one at a time.
Keep in mind that every time you're about to make contact with internal electrical components, you should be aware of following important items:
1) Always ground yourself by touching the bare metal portion of the case before touching other components.
2) Always make sure that the system has been turned off and unplugged from power source before beginning to do any work inside of the system.
Once you have isolated which memory stick is bad, you should then contact your system provider and request a RMA to be issued for replacement of the modules in question.
If you have purchased the system through AVADirect, you're welcome to call our Tech Support line at 1-216-503-6374 or Email us at email@example.com
*Disclaimer: AVADirect and its Staff are not responsible for any damage to software/hardware, loss of data or personal injury by following our How-To guides. These guides are provided only as an aid to help you troubleshoot system problems. If you do not feel comfortable performing these steps its always best to send in your system to a local repair shop or contact an appropriate technical support line for additional assistance.