Create a bootable Memtest USB stick to test the RAM of a PC

When a computer crashes, displays blue screens, or reboots unexpectedly, it’s usually related to a hardware problem. But which piece of hardware is involved, that’s a question some diagnostic tools can answer. To test the RAM of a computer, there is software dedicated to this maintenance operation: memtest. Praised for many years, Memtest86 first existed on a 3.5 ″ diskette then on CD-ROM (Live CD). Today, it is with a USB key that we prefer to use these programs and this tutorial explains how create a bootable USB stick to perform a computer RAM test with Memtest86. You must therefore have a USB key and a Windows computer with internet to download the free software. Free in its version 4 that we use in this tutorial, there is also a proprietary version (5+) but which does not interest us here.

The USB key will be formatted, i.e. completely erased. It also works with a USB hard drive but it would be a shame to waste so much space on a small utility like memtest.

The procedure uses PassMark Software. There is nothing special to do because the file that will be downloaded contains the tools to create the bootable USB stick.

Generate bootable USB stick with Memtest86

1. Connect a USB key to the computer. This is not necessarily the PC on which you will have to do the RAM reliability test.

2. Download memtestx86 software: https://www.memtest86.com/

3. Relax the downloaded file

4. Go to this folder and run imageUSB.exe

5. Accept user account control.

6. In the window that opens, select the USB stick connected (which will be formatted):

memtest tutorial bootable usb stick

7. Leave the options of Steps 2 and 3 then at the Step 4, click on ” Write “:

memtest tutorial bootable usb stick

8. Confirm with ” Yes “:

memtest tutorial usb key

9. And once again to validate the complete erasure of the USB key.

10. After a few moments, the discreet “Imaging Completed” message is displayed to inform that the operation is successful.

memtest tutorial usb key ok

11. Rename the USB key to find out what is on it:

memtest tutorial usb stick

12. All you have to do is eject the USB key from the computer properly and start the PC with this key to use the memtest tool and check the health of the RAM modules.