FREE: Memtest86+ – Memory test software

Memtest86+ is a free memory test software tool that helps you detect memory problems.

Michael PietroforteMVP By Michael Pietroforte - Fri, April 1, 2011 - 4 comments google+ icon

Michael Pietroforte is the founder and editor of 4sysops. He is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) with more than 30 years of experience in system administration.

Contents of this article
  1. Memtest86+

A few days ago, I blogged about Memtest86, a free memory diagnostics tool. Memtest86+ is a fork of the popular tool and comes with similar features and capabilities. Readers have recommended Memtest86+ and so I had a quick look at it.
Free memory test software tool - Memtest86+

At first sight, you won’t see any significant difference between the two tools. However, if you look at the revision history, you will see that the x86-secret team added quite a few functions under the hood.

The main problem with memory test software is that it operates at a low abstraction level, which means that it has to support different hardware in order to work reliably. Since the hardware market is moving forward quickly, it is not easy for a single Open Source programmer to always support the latest hardware. Thus, reliability appears to have been one of the major catches of the original Memtest86, and so the x86-secret team decided to create an up-to-date version of the free memory test software.

The last update of Memtest86+ is from 25/01/2011 therefore, Memtest86 seems to be the most up-to-date version. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Memtest86 is better than Memtest86+. It depends mostly on the hardware you are using. Although the beta of Memtest86 v4.0 crashed in a virtual environment when I tried the tool, Memtest86+ 4.20 worked without problems in the same environment.

Hence, it makes sense to add both memory testing tools to your tool box. If one doesn’t work properly or if you want a second opinion, you can try the other one. One advantage of Memtest86+ is that you don’t need a Linux box if you want to create a USB stick with the tool. Memtest86+ is also available as a bootable ISO.

Memtest86+

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4 Comments- Leave a Reply

  1. Biff Jenkins says:

    Should be noted that the article incorrectly states that the last release of Memtest86+ was 25/01/2010 when the correct release date is 25/01/2011

  2. Biff, then you think the date at the top of the Memtest86+ homepage is wrong? It says there 25/01/2010.

  3. Biff Jenkins says:

    It says 25/01/2011 on both the top of the homepage and on the download page. :) and the binary’s themselves have a birthday of 23/01/2011

  4. Yeah, it appears they changed the date right after my post. When I re-checked it on Saturday the old page probably came from my browser cache. The page in the Google cache from March 29, 2011 still shows “2010″. I guess this shows that the developers are still interested in the project. Thanks for the hint!

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