Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Memtest86 - A Stand-alone Memory Diagnostic

Found a cool tool to test the memory.

Memtest86 is thorough, stand alone memory test for x86 architecture computers. BIOS based memory tests are a quick, cursory check and often miss many of the failures that are detected by Memtest86.

Memtest86 is released under the terms of the Gnu Public License (GPL). Other than the provisions of the GNU public licence (GPL) there are no restrictions for use, private or commercial. Explicit permission for inclusion of Memtest86 in software compilations and publications is hereby granted.

The best part is it is available for both windows and Linux platforms and can also be booted off a LINUX or bootable floppy / CD.

Linux Installation is too simple and the steps are below :

To build Memtest86:
1) Review the Makefile and adjust options as needed.
2) Type "make"

This creates a file named "memtest.bin" which is a bootable image. This
image file may be copied to a floppy disk or lilo may be used to boot this
image from a hard disk partition.

To create a Memtest86 bootdisk
1) Insert a blank write enabled floppy disk.
2) As root, Type "make install"

To boot from a disk partition via lilo
1) Copy the image file to a permanent location (ie. /memtest).
2) Add an entry in the lilo config file (usually /etc/lilo.conf) to boot
memtest86. Only the image and label fields need to be specified.
The following is a sample lilo entry for booting memtest86:

image = /memtest
label = memtest

3) As root, type "lilo"

At the lilo prompt enter memtest to boot memtest86.

If you encounter build problems a binary image has been included (precomp.bin).
To create a boot-disk with this pre-built image do the following:
1) Insert a blank write enabled floppy disk.
2) Type "make install-precomp"

You can get it here



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