By Mike Clements posted Aug 23rd 2010
Corsair has long been recognized as having some of the best technical and customer support in our industry and we take great pride in this fact. We use a large variety of tools and techniques to provide these services to our customers. One of these tools is Memtest86+ which can be downloaded here: Memtest86+.
Memtest is a standalone program that requires no operating system to run. It can easily be run from a variety of media including a bootable USB flash drive. A bootable USB flash drive is an extremely useful and versatile tool. Corsair provides a utility users can utilize to make their flash drives bootable. The current version also has Memtest embedded in the installation. The Corsair bootable USB flash tool can be found HERE.
Once you have a bootable USB flash drive, you simply boot your system from the device and Memtest runs automatically. We recommend using the default settings so no setup of Memtest is required. Users have the option of manually selecting their boot device during the BIOS POST process or, they can set the USB device as the first boot device in the BIOS.
In this example, press the F12 key to select the manual boot menu.
Once you have this menu, select the USB drive. In this example, the BIOS recognizes the Corsair flash drive as a USB hard disk drive, or USB HDD.
The other option is to set the flash drive as the first boot device in the BIOS.
Both options will bring you to the same boot screen. You can either manually select Memtest86+ or the system will run Memtest by default after 30 seconds.
We recommend that your memory is tested at its rated specifications for timings and for voltage. You can set this in the BIOS manually or, when applicable, use BIOS presets such as the Intel XMP profile. Either method is acceptable. This example shows the XMP profile. After the memory timings and voltages are set, save the settings and select your method of deploying Memtest.
Once Memtest is running, it will indicate how many passes are complete. There is no standard rule but we recommend a minimum of 3 to 5 complete passes in situations where the memory is suspect or there is pronounced instability in the system. After each complete pass, the program will update the status. Normal error free passes are blue as seen below.
Memtest highlights memory errors in red. If errors like this are detected, it is highly advisable to then test each individual module for 3 to 5 passes each. This will help determine if a single module is at fault or, if some other component in the system is the cause of the failures.
Memtest has proven to be an exceptionally useful tool in diagnosing memory related issues and general stability issues. It is very easy to deploy and use on various types of devices. Corsair technical support staff recommend this tool literally every day and use it to assist customers. It is an excellent tool to have in your diagnostic and overclocking arsenal.