Need Help w/ memtest86

By kgk123456
Mar 15, 2009
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  1. Hello

    Can anyone provide a step by step explaination of how to do a memtest using the memtest86 tool using a cd on windows XP Media Center?

    Thanks
  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,246   +213

    1. Download the memtest86 iso file
    2. Burn the iso file with an appropriate burning software (Nero, Roxio, CDBurnerXP Pro <-free )
    3. Boot from the cd (you'll need to set the cd drive to be booted before the hard drive).

    You are likely screwing up step 2. You do NOT want to end up with a cd that contains the .iso file you downloaded. The iso is a disk image, it is essentially a 1 file package of a bunch of files that go on the cd, your burning program has a way to burn that iso file as an image, this is what you must choose.
  3. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

  4. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,067   +13

    I suggest using a floppy rather than a CD. You're dealing with root diagnostics. IF you MB has a floppy port, use it.
  5. rev_olie

    rev_olie TechSpot Maniac Posts: 598

    I agree with SNG... back in the day i used up 3 CD-R's until i realized i had to burn a Data Disk and not just put the file on the CD :stickout: aaah well
    I have a tutorial here to
  6. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    rev_olie I read through your guide

    Now I realize I could sound a bit bias (only others can confirm) but I found it difficult to read:
    1. You have some huge splash screen pic, that no one else will have
    2. You speak of setting up the CMOS so as CD will be first, even though by default it is already, (since about 2001) otherwise no one could set up Windows
    3. You discuss sticking a "straightened paper clip" into the CD drive to manually insert the burnt disc (note generally always paperclips that bend are made of metal)
    4. You discuss removing Ram (basically being a tech) and placing it on some antistatic area, with a big red warning
    5. This quote is just incorrect:
    Here's my point ;) Take it as constructive criticism (ie avoid the not required defense)

    I understand that you are covering all angles (well most generally)
    I understand that what you have written is actually basically correct.

    But your guide on Memtest is just too hard, and has too many "extra" not required parts. Making any user (not tech) well, not follow it. If you had called it "Memtest for experienced users" that would have helped. But I would not suggest giving that guide to a layman, otherwise they may break the entire computer!

    Any guide specifically on a subject, should be written only about that subject, not about dismantling computers or changing computer settings (unless that was the subject of course :D)

    Anyway, just my bias viewpoint ;)
  7. rev_olie

    rev_olie TechSpot Maniac Posts: 598

    Thanks for that. As i say all views are taken kindly and i will now change as suggested.
    However just to clarify some points...not to be taken as an argument but just to clear things up :D

    This was here generally as a example (I'm guessing you mean the ASRock motherboard splash screen :confused:). I thought it was maybe ott so i will look into changing that to something more suitable maybe a collection of much smaller ones showing different messages for the user.

    My system much newer than 2001 was set as CD first which i agree with and so it was there just as a precaution. It say's about skipping the step if it loads which i find will help some users as many have systems older than 2001, for which the guide will help themk realise they need an upgrade.
    Yes i know what you mean here. This wording will be changed...however my paper clips are plastic coated :approve:

    I miss understand the problem with 5 eg the area you believe is incorrect...

    The area regarding removing the RAM i found on a number of different guides. they mention removing the RAM to test each stick including THIS one on Techspot itself.

    However any opinions (Biased or not) are always very much welcomed by me as changes make improvements which are only good over time :)
  8. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    I read your reply and you seem to be on to it, ie I don't need to say basic stuff to you.

    No.5 point was that: Even faulty ram can "pass" memtest, and memtest itself (as a test) should not be counted as time consuming to set up, reflecting that you must do all other things in your guide first. Which is basically not required

    All other points you made (above reply) are clear. Although when I post Users requiring to use Memtest I do not quote removing Ram, ie I always post this http://www.techspot.com/vb/post653029-21.html
  9. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,246   +213

    It is probably possible for a bad module to pass Memtest, but it is highly unlikely. So I'd say with 99.5% certainty that if you can get through an 8 pass memtest without errors then the RAM isn't the source of the problems that caused you to run memtest in the first place.

    Are you sure every computer since 2001 defaults to CD first? I'm wondering about OEMs, because it seems pretty often I see people posting here or other places that are unable to boot from a bootable cd, there is no reason for that to occur unless it is not at a higher boot priority than the hard drive.
  10. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    Sorry my point was that extra information like this is not required
    No I'm not sure that every Bios has been set for CD first. In actual fact the computer (normally) will have some type of new style prompt (I say new because I'm old) that says to boot from CD press this key (which is not the anykey any more :rolleyes: ) Actually to provide every single computer boot option would take pages of info. So there's that one point covered ;)

    Regarding Memtest now being quite good (mind you 7 passes required isn't giving that impression exactly!)
    Put it this way, if I suspected bad Ram (ironically I do with my system now, as it goes to a crawl after running and then closing Antivirus scans) then I would likely just replace it. Not ask users to go through this large Memtest guide (ie rev_olies guide)

    Regarding my quoted Memtest guide (pointing at one post only) I would have preferred to create a new and improved guide, but because this one was exactly the same info, I had to use Reply not create a New Thread. But generally that guide is too large in whole. Memtest is about Memtest and that is all
  11. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,246   +213

    I've never had a stick of RAM that was bad that didn't fail pretty early on in the first pass. I imagine that it is possible to have one fail on some later pass. But probably 1 pass is sufficient. I was only saying that if it doesn't fail after running all night, the RAM isn't the source of whatever problems that warranted the test. Likely if it runs for longer than 30 minutes without an error the RAM isn't the primary reason for the problems.
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