bootable USB with memtest 86

Posted on 2014-12-11
Last Modified: 2014-12-12
I have followed the instructions on the memtest 86 website and have been unable to create a bootable usb drive that would allow me to test RAM.  I suspect that this problem is caused by UEFI.  What might the solution be to this problem?  Do I have to create the bootable memtest utility on a CD/DVD disk or do you think the problem is caused by UEFI?
Question by:capreol
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LVL 16

Assisted Solution

joinaunion earned 125 total points
ID: 40494812
What OS?

If it's win7 you can use the built in mem test.

Click start in the search type in memory then click on windows memory diagnostics. You will have to restart for it to run.
LVL 88

Assisted Solution

rindi earned 125 total points
ID: 40494889
Most Linux Distros come as LiveCD's/DVD's, and most of them also include memtest86+ on the CD/DVD. Also, you can create bootable USB sticks of most of those Distro's. Then when you boot you get a boot menu from which you can select to run memtest86+.

CloneZilla would be a good Distro to use, as it also includes Disk Cloning/Imaging which can be very useful.

You can use Unetbootin to both Download the distro and install it to a USB stick:

Author Comment

ID: 40494938
What is a Distro?
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 40494968
Linux comes as many Distributions and flavours. Distro is short for distribution.

Something I want to add about the comment of the other expert. I have found that the memory test that is included with Windows isn't very reliable. I justed tested RAM that was bad using memtest86+, and it correctly identified it as bad, while the same RAM passed without issues using the Windows memory test. A PC using that RAM wouldn't allow Windows to be installed for example (it always failed), with good RAM it wouldn't fail...
LVL 55

Accepted Solution

McKnife earned 125 total points
ID: 40495093
If you follow valid instructions and it fails, this could only mean, your BIOS is set to require "secure boot", that is, a signed boot loader. Turn off the option "secure boot" in your bios. If it still doesn't work, describe the error (an error message?). You could also retry using the tool yumi, it has precreated settings for memtest ISOs.

But disabling secure boot temporarily is still your best bet.
LVL 92

Assisted Solution

nobus earned 125 total points
ID: 40495658
i have used Yumi for this :
and simply put the whole UBCD on it
LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 40497104
Hey Rindi,

What's to say it's not Memtest86 reporting incorrectly?
LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 40497134
With that memory I can't install windows, there are errors where the installation stops at different points, which is typical for RAM errors. With other RAM that memtest86+ shows no errors with, I can install Windows without issues. After the installation windows runs fine. If I then reinstall the bad RAM, I get BSODs.

It's definitely the RAM module that is bad, but the Windows memory tester doesn't show any problems with it at all.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 40497193
Thanks to all of you for your assistance.  Much appreciated.

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