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This article (as appears on Tuesday, January 13, 2009) refers to two or more programs, and jumps back and forth referring to both without context to keep them separate. It needs rewriting to make it clear. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:34, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

I've made some minor changes to better reflect the history and the fact that both are active projects now. John Darrow (talk) 20:43, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

I think the article should be split. You can probably find sources that serve one or the other or both, that can be used to support independent articles. It gets confusing when an open source program and its various forks are all discussed as one program. Where it's possible for forks to have their own article, they should be created. Ham Pastrami (talk) 01:22, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Do Not Split[edit]

These programs are so closely related, in every way, that it is better to keep them in one article. Readers will always want to know what the difference is between them, since the names are almost exactly the same, so it makes more sense to explain that just once than to have to explain it twice in two separate articles! - (talk) 12:22, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

How does it work?[edit]

Is anybody able to write a summary of how Memtest86 actually works? I don't really understand what the chipset has to do with it or how it accomplishes its trick. Would anybody be able to fill in an explanation? Moxfyre 00:10, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

The software sends a series of test patterns at every memory address. It then checks the results and can tell if there is a problem with that part of your ram. The chipset information is basically just useful data and in no way affects the memory tests - it is useful however (particular when overclocking), as many chipsets support reporting of memory speeds and timings, and some even support changing the memory timings on the fly (again in order to test there are still no bit errors with the more aggressive settings). I hope this helps explain. BTW, I can only speak for how RAM Probe works, although they all have the same codebase and I doubt the other builds have a different use for the chipset info. I also know the RAM Probe has BadRAM support so you can print out the settings to use bad memory modules in a linux box (again with BadRAM support) without errors! otduff (talk/contribs) 11:52, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Cool, thanks! I'm gonna add some of this to the article. Moxfyre 01:29, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

Written by Chris Brady?[edit]

The original Memtest86 program was written by Chris Brady, but the Memtest86+ program was written by Samuel Demeulemeester, says. 12:08, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Memtest86+ is Memtest86 with changes. As the URL you offered says:

Based on the well-known original memtest86 written by Chris Brady, memtest86+ is a port by some members of the x86-secret team. Our goal is to provide an up-to-date and completly reliable version of this software tool aimed at memory failures detection.

Memtest86+ is, like the original, released under the terms of the Gnu Public License (GPL). No restrictions for use, private or commercial exist other than the ones mentioned in the Gnu Public License (GPL). Texts about the original version was taken from the original website and written by Chris Brady.

RossPatterson 02:39, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Screenshot oddity[edit]

I noticed that the screenshot has a Pentium 4 CPU being run on a motherboard with a 440BX chipset, which is a chipset far too old for a P4. It was used back in the Pentium II/cacheless Celeron-266/300 days. Can someone verify its authenticity and submit a new one if it is a photoshop? 02:15, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Holy crap, good eye! The reason that combination is shown is because the screenshot was taken under QEMU, which emulates a 440BX chipset since it's well-supported and easy to emulate... it would be difficult to get a Memtest86+ screenshot on real hardware since it doesn't run under any operating system. I don't know of a good way to get an actual screenshot on bare hardware. But rest assured, that's not a photoshop job. MOXFYRE (contrib) 03:18, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
Correction: the screenshot shown is actually under Virtual PC, which also emulates a 440BX. Guess it's a popular chipset for emulators. MOXFYRE (contrib) 03:19, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
Correction: It's actually under VMWare. The picture description says so. Gavinatkinson (talk) 20:04, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

Version 2.11, or version 3.5? PLEASE EXPLAIN THE DIFFERENCE !!![edit]

Here we have memtest86 version 3.5:

And here we have memtest86 version 2.11:

Can someone post a coherent explaination of which one I should use?

I'm currently running memtest 3.5 (single-core version) on a gigabyte motherboard (GA-EP45-DS3L) and the test fails (system reboots itself) when I have two dimm sticks installed (2gb each) but it runs fine with only 1 dimm stick. It's driving me crazy.

As well, the multi-core version of memtest 3.5 doesn't run on this same motherboard with Q8200 Intel Quad core. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:58, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Coherent explanation: Use the one that doesn't fail. Ham Pastrami (talk) 01:13, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
You missed an important distinction: you have memtest86 version 3.5, and you have memtest86+ version 2.11. I'd go with memtest86+. (talk) 03:37, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
As of October 2009, Memtest86 is at version 3.5 (Jan 09) and MemTest86+ is at version 4.0 (Sep 09). This section should be deleted when MemTest86 (no +) goes to the next version as the bugs will no longer be verified. Note that the version numbers give no indication of superiority. Memtest86+ jumped from v2.11 to v4.00, skipping version 3 in an effort to avoid making a confusing situation even more confusing. ;-) (talk) 13:09, 13 October 2009 (UTC)


With later chipsets, Mt86+ is pretty good at reporting the current memory timing. But none of these programs seem very good at reporting SPD data from the memory modules. It would be wonderful if they could do this well! Sometimes they report some DMI data. Often they cannot access any SPD. But even when they can, the best they seem to do is show the raw hex -- no human interpretation provided. Not very useful! Is there any way to save this data? Is anyone working on making this work better? CPU-Z is the best tool for getting SPD, but it is a big nuisance to run the program because it needs Windows to run. And CPU-Z only interprets some of the SPD parms, not the full set shown in the WP article, although it does also have the raw hex that you could interpret by hand... - (talk) 12:33, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Relationship to MemTest?[edit]

Referring to is it based in any way on MemTest? (talk) 21:59, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Needs Split? (2013)[edit]

As of Sept 2013, both memtest86 and memtest86+ are in active development. I recommend a new section be created for memtest86+ within the current memtest86 page as memtest86+ is now clearly a fork and not a continuation of the original. Anyone have any opinions on this? →Kyosuke Aokitalkcontribs 20:48, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

Well, that's less of a "split," which normally implies dividing the article into two or more separate ones, than it is an edit/reorganization. For reasons already discussed on this page, I think a true split would be a bad idea. But I think reorganizing the material within this article is a fine idea - "be bold" and go for it. GodaiNoBaka (talk) 23:21, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
But as of December 2013 the PassMark no-longer-Beta v5 release of memtest86 (that requires UEFI) is not open source: only the old v4 BIOS-based source code is open: See the History part of the Overview tab on for their statement of this. So a split seems appropriate and updates to the memtest86 (no +) description seem appropriate. --Marklmill (talk) 05:00, 6 December 2013 (UTC)