How to test RAM memories with the new version Memtest86+ 6.0

Memtest86+ 6.0 comes nine years after the previous major version of the popular memory tool after being completely rewritten to support modern computing hardware like new DDR5 memory and the latest platforms from Intel and AMD.

Remember that MemTest86 was originally created in the mid-1990s and was one of the first memory testing applications for personal computers. But development stopped in 2013 once Memtest86 was split into two versions, the first one acquired by PassMark (freemium and closed source) and the second community maintained, free and open source.

Memtest86+ 6.0 is the Open Source variant and comes almost a decade later. But it seems that it has been worth it for its great news . The code of the new version has been completely rewritten for motherboards based on UEFI, the modern version of the BIOS firmware. It features additional support for x64 long-mode paging, support for up to 256 cores, additional detection for DDR4 and DDR5 memory, and support for Intel’s XMP v3.0 (Extreme Memory Profile) certificate for high-performance memory.

CPU support has been significantly improved, adding detection for all processors based on the ZEN architecture and later, from the Ryzen 1000 series to the latest 7000 series. Support has also been added for the Intel platform, up to the latest Raptor Lake -S 13th generation, and for earlier chipsets from NVIDIA and AMD.

RAM memory errors

You should know that RAM memory is usually a reliable component and in fact the big manufacturers extend their warranty beyond the usual two years for electronic products. However, they are not without bugs and when they do it can drive the best engineer crazy because it usually produces random errors when performing a certain type of task.

This is why memory testing tools are highly valued and Memtest86+ is one of the best. For effective use, it must be booted to a USB flash drive to isolate itself from the main operating system. This allows the application to use as many system resources as possible during testing and not interfere with the installed system.

How to test RAM memories with Memtest86+ 6.0

Its use is similar to that of the commercial variant of PassMark and is carried out as follows. As a previous step, we prepare a USB flash drive with the FAT32 file system . It is the most recommended medium, but you can use others such as CD/DVD or even run it from a PXE boot.

And Windows:

  • Access the official websiteand you will see 32-bit and 64-bit versions for Windows and Linux.
  • Download the Windows version.
  • Run the downloaded file “mt86plus_6.00_USB_Installer” and follow the instructions. It will only take a few seconds.

En Linux:

  • Access the website and download the ISO image.
  • The image must be directly written (“downloaded”) to the raw device, either by using the dd command or by using a utility that provides the same functionality such as  balenaEtcher.

In both cases you will have a bootable flash drive ready . You only have to enter the BIOS/UEFI and select the port where you have the USB as the first boot drive so that Memtest86+ 6.0 is loaded before the operating system. Another thing to take into account is that the binary is not signed by Microsoft and you already know the pain of ‘Secure Boot’ to run this type of test or even install alternative operating systems. If you get an error, temporarily disable ‘Secure Boot’.

For the rest, you will see that the process is automated. The version has many interesting new features, but its operation remains the same, in text mode. It must be said that Memtest86+ 6.0 works in an endless loop. After a successful pass, all memory will have been successfully tested. You can continue with more passes if you want to have more security or cancel whenever you want.

Memtest86+ 6.0 is a completely free application licensed under the GNU General Public License version 2 (GPLv2). Source code hosted on GitHub is also available. Highly recommended for RAM memory tests .





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