How Do I Setup MS Memory Diagnostic ?
First we will cover setting up the “MS Memory Diagnostic Disc”. The first thing you need to do is download a copy of the program from Microsoft. In Internet Explorer for go to the “TOOLS” menu and select “Windows Update”. If you are not using Internet Explorer you can also search http://www.google.com for “Windows Update” and it should be the first link returned in your search.
[You may have problems with the Windows Update site if you are not using Internet Explorer. Microsoft has made changes that can sometimes conflict with other browsers, so if you don't normally run IE you may need to in order to access this part of the site.]
Once you are on the Windows Update site you should see a search field in the top right hand corner of your screen. Type in “Memory Diagnostic” and click search. The first link in your search results should be “Microsoft Online Crash Analysis“. Click on this link and it will take you to the page you can download the software from. At the top of the page you will see three blue links and the middle one should be “Download Windows Memory Diagnostic”. Click on this link and save the “mtinst.exe” file to your desktop.
Once the file has finished downloading double click on the new “mtinst.exe” file that should have appeared on your desktop. It will bring up the license agreement which you will need to “accept” in order to use the software. Once you have done this it will open a small program window that will give you two options.
CREATE STARTUP DISC [How to Create a Bootable Floppy Disc]
SAVE CD IMAGE TO DISC [How to Create a Bootable CD-ROM Disc]
Once you have completed one of the previous sections and created a bootable floppy disc, or bootable CD-Rom disc you should be ready to start the diagnostic. Follow the above guides which pertain to the specific disc you made for how to boot from that type of media.
In a perfect world you should just be able to put either your CD or floppy disc in the system, and it should automatically boot into the diagnostic program.
Running a Diagnostic:
Once the diagnostic program has started you will notice 3 main sections to the program. The first section is a top window with progress bars. There is a number displayed in this section which says pass 1/6 and changes according to what cycle of the diagnostic the program is on. Once it has passed 6/6 the program has completed one full cycle of testing and this is considered a completed tested. You can let it run longer for a more thorough test but 1 cycle is usually enough to find serious faults in your memory.
The next section is in the middle which has a PASS field on the left hand side. This will show you what diagnostic it is currently performing on the memory. This is color coded which helps. You basically want only GREEN and BLUE text. This means your memory is testing fine, and the program has not found any problems. If you see any section in here turn up in RED it means the program has found a problem with your memory. If this occurs write down a note of what test it was performing when this happened. This can help you give tech departments more information when applying for a return authorization on your memory.
The last section is a results field at the bottom of the program. If the program completes one full cycle [or several if you are being very thorough] you should see a message that says “No errors have been found“. If you noticed any RED text come up in the program during the diagnostic, as mentioned above, you will see what looks like a memory dump at the bottom of the screen. This is similar to the error message that is displayed during a Blue Screen of Death in windows.
After the diagnostic is complete, either eject your disc and boot back into Windows. Or if you are testing multiple sticks of memory leave the disc in the system, and power down. Once you have powered down disconnect your AC cable and remove the first stick of memory you tested and add the next stick into the system that you want to test.
[You can test numerous sticks of memory at once if you like, but this is only helpful when determining that all your memory is working fine. If you are testing numerous sticks and the diagnostic does detect problems, you will need to remove all your memory and test the sticks one by one to determine which one/s is being affected by the problem.]
You now have most everything you need to know about setting up and testing your memory with diagnostic programs. This guide should help you get to the source of any intermittent problems related to your memory.