How to run a Memtest

You are here:

As a matter of best practice, testing the memory on a new computer or when a new stick of memory is purchased is always a good idea.  Memory errors can cause all kinds of undesirable problems and depending on the nature of the error, they can be very difficult to track down.

In this article, we will run through how to easily and quickly run a Memory Test on your Vault, using a program called ‘MemTest’ from Passmark Software.  

Note: The older version of MemTest, v4 must be used with Legacy(coreboot) BIOS. This version also works with UEFI BIOS. 

Note: A full memtest can take a long time to run (runtime depends on how much memory you have installed).  For example, 8GB of memory on an FW4B can take as long as 2 hours to run

1. Create bootable USB

First, you need to create a bootable USB stick that will run the MemTest.  This is simple to do and can be done on Mac, Linux, or Windows.  Download this version of MemTest (this is MemTest v4, which will run on any Vault) and use it to create a bootable USB. Please refer to this article on how to do so.  

Below are some screenshots specific to creating a bootable MemTest USB

Use the "select" button to choose the MemTest img file downloaded in the previous step

Use the "select" button to choose the MemTest img file downloaded in the previous step

When Rufus or Etcher has finished creating your bootable USB, eject it from your computer and insert it into your Vault.

2. Boot your Vault from USB

In order to run the MemTest, you need to boot your Vault from the USB drive you just created.  With the Vault powered down, ensure your Vault has the monitor and keyboard connected (no mouse is necessary).  Insert your newly created USB drive, then press the power button. Repeatedly press “F11” on the keyboard to ensure you get to the boot menu of your Vault.  Use the arrow keys to select your USB Device (it can be called several things depending on the manufacturer).  See below for examples.

Booting to MemTest from coreboot

Booting to MemTest from coreboot

Booting to MemTest from AMI BIOS

Booting to MemTest from AMI BIOS

Once the USB device with MemTest is selected, MemTest should launch automatically and begin it’s memory test.  Here is a sample screenshot of what MemTest looks like when it is running.

MemTest running on the Vault

MemTest running on the Vault

As noted, MemTest can a long time to run depending on the amount of RAM in your Vault.  An FW4B with 8GB of RAM can take 1.5 to 2 hours to run.  We highly recommend letting the MemTest complete.  MemTest will continue to run indefinitely until the Vault is powered down.

Once completed, you will see test result on the MemTest.  As long as no errors are detected, you can safely remove power from the Vault and proceed with installing your favorite operating system.

For additional information or help, please feel free to reach out to support by opening a ticket. You can find more information in our Knowledge Base, or at MemTest86.com.