Memory diagnostic tools test a PC's random access memory, or RAM, in a variety of ways to assess operation problems. Freezing, crashing or the appearance of blue screen errors may indicate hardware issues, software complications or memory errors; memory diagnostics help users pinpoint these problems before they begin the search for solutions. Microsoft and a collection of other developers offer an assortment of memory diagnostic tools for Windows platforms.
Windows Memory Diagnostic
Microsoft's own Windows Memory Diagnostic tool is a small application that tests a PC's RAM for operating errors. Focusing on speed and ease of use--Microsoft estimates that the first test pass should take less than 30 minutes--this tool runs a wide-ranging set of memory tests on the computer's motherboard memory system. A first-pass test assesses the computer using the default standard test suite, while a second pass uses previous computer settings for thorough diagnostics. Once complete, the diagnostic results let users know whether errors are memory or hardware based. This tool features pause options, memory errors by module readouts, cache change settings, an extended memory map and various test suites settings, from basic to extended. Microsoft offers this utility for free download at its Online Crash Analysis website (see Resources).
The tool's official website touts Memtest86+'s abilities as "an advanced memory diagnostic tool" for Windows operating systems. This tools focuses on detecting memory failure errors and features support for Windows-based processors from companies such as Core, Pentium, Xeon, Intel and AMD. Memtest86+ offers clean desktop management interface detection and a fast first pass test. This tool operates via a very basic and streamlined text-input interface. Developer Chris Brady's Memtest86+ operates under the Gnu Public License (GPL), meaning there are no restrictions on using and sharing the program. Memtest86+ is available for free download at its website (see Resources), though publisher BradyTech offers a CD-ROM version with documentation for a small price.
Developer SimmTester offers the DocMemory Pro Memory Diagnostic Test Card, which combines a physical hardware and virtual software solution to create a memory diagnostic tool focused on advanced applications. The tool's software, DocMemory Pro, comes on a physical PCI test card; once installed, the program automatically starts during the computer's boot-up to test and assess any possible memory failures. This tool features auto-identification, Intel and AMD CPU compatibility, up to 64GB of memory testing and proprietary CST Memory Testing Algorithm technology for quick and detailed scans. SimmTester offers this diagnostic tool, which runs on Windows platforms, for sale at its official website (see Resources).
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