Saturday 16 April 2016

GoldMemory test (and other memory tests to add to E2B)

I came across another memory test today. GoldMemory by Michal Tulacek is shareware and available in two versions, standard (limited 30-day free trial shareware <4GB) or Pro ($29 - at least 16GB).

The shareware standard version has a two minute delay and you are only supposed to use it for 30 days without registering. If you register and pay for a licence, then you will be sent a new version that is licensed just to you (although I did not try to register).

The standard download contains a FLOPPY.IMG file and a CDROM.ISO file, either of which can be extracted from the download and used directly with E2B.

Once booted, you can choose some options (a limited range in the standard version) and then hit ESC to start. You will then see a 2 minute countdown after which the Status will change from 'WAITING' to 'CHECKING'.

You can order the Pro version here.

This software did not seem to run under VBox for some reason, but did run OK on a real system, as far as I could tell, however on my 8GB Z87 PC, it only reported and tested 2910MB of memory. The Pro version is reported to have been tested on 16GB systems however.

Other memory tests

Memtest86 4.3.7 and Memtest86+ 5.10 are both included in E2B (Utilities - Memory Test menu).

For a <4GB memory test, I can recommend the AleGr Memtest Dos program. Although rather old now and it needs a contiguous memory map (which many modern chipsets don't have), this memory test has been responsible for finding many memory-related system problems in the past. In fact, it has been responsible for identifying DDR design issues in a well-known manufacturers chipset+board which eventually led to the withdrawal of the mainboard just before it was about to be released. It also caused a Tier 1 manufacturer's notebook to 'trip-out' because too much current was being used by the test and thus highlighted a design flaw in the power board. You can find details of the test and how to run it in the RMPrepUSB - Tutorial #75 page, but although it is the best (i.e. most stressful) test, it is quite tricky to use, so only use it if you really want to test a suspect system that all other tests have passed.

You can also make a UEFI-bootable version of PassMark Memtest86 v6 (create a FAT32 .imgPTN file from the USB download MemTest86.img file).

Also, in my experience, the Microsoft memory test that comes with most Windows Install ISOs is pretty good (get to the WinPE command console and type mdsched to reboot and start the memory diagnostic test). If you boot from a 64-bit Windows Install ISO, you can test >4GB of memory. On one suspected-faulty system that was returned by a customer, the WinPE MS memory test found memory faults at around the 6GB point within a minute or so, whereas Memtest86+ did not fail after running for more than 30 minutes on the same system. I suspected Memtest86+ was not actually testing past 4GB even though it indicated it was (maybe wrapping round)???

Another memory test ISO you might like to add is DocMemory Tester which is mentioned here. However, this actually reported a fail and only tested 3232MB of my (good) 8GB Z87 PC office system (which I use 18 hours a day without any problem), so it may only be suitable for testing <4GB systems.

MemScope 1.1 is another ISO you may like to try.

Test results on Z87 PC (8GB RAM)

Name          Version    Reported Size   Notes
MemTest86+    5.10       8062MB
MemTest86     4.3.7      8063MB
MemScope      1.10       8063MB
DocMemory     2.2Beta    3232MB          FAIL reported at 1370MB MATS+ test
GoldMemory    6.92       2910MB

Do you know any others that you use and can personally recommend?

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