How Long Does MemTest Take: Everything You Need To Know

Last Updated on July 16, 2022

Many people have gotten into the habit of swapping out their computer RAM without thoroughly testing it. This is not a good idea, as bad RAM can be responsible for a host of problems. If you are concerned there may be errors on your computer RAM and you want to run a MemTest, you might be wondering how long does MemTest take? 

A MemTest can take five to twenty hours to run entirely. MemTest runs in passes, and a single pass can take five hours. The MemTest program runs a thorough search to determine if there are errors and where. However, a single pass cannot effectively detect all errors in the RAM. 

But the CPU speed, memory size, and memory speed determine the MemTest execution time. Read along to get a complete understanding of the MemTest.

What Is Memtest? 

MemTest is a free, thorough, stand alone memory test for ARM and x86 architecture computers. It systematically checks all the memory addresses in all the chips on a computer motherboard. MemTest has two streams, MemTest86 and MemTest86+. 

They can test any GB address space in your system (e.g., RAM, CPU cache, chipset registers) so long as no hardware memory protection is enabled. 

MemTest runs under Microsoft Windows operating systems. It verifies that each DIMM works before passing to the RAM subsystem for applications and operating system use. 

A memory test spots all the errors in the RAM, 100% accuracy after MemTest indicates that the computer RAM is functioning correctly.

A computer that fails MemTest will have problems booting or installing software. Several reasons a computer may fail the MemTest include hardware damage, old hardware, or poorly configured hardware. 

You can make sure that the RAM on your computer is working correctly by running MemTest. When you purchase a new computer, add RAM, or alter the setup of your system.

It is a good idea to test this (for instance, to overclock it). It’s not ideal to base your assessment of the security of your new BIOS settings on whether your computer boots up after your modifications. MemTest is the most reliable memory test.

The best thing about a MemTest is, 

  • It’s free.
  • It’s a standard memory test software.
  • It’s fully supported.
  • It can be in a flash drive.

How To Use Memtest86?

Errors in RAM can result in very frustrating computer issues, ranging from crashes to corrupted data. These problems can come up randomly, making it very annoying and difficult to identify its causative. 

With MemTest86, you can identify these problems and solve them at an early stage. You can use MemTest86 in two different methods. 

  • CD/DVD: download the MemTest into a CD or DVD and run it on the computer.
  • USB Drive: download into a USB drive and plug it into the computer for analysis. 

MemTest will check for all errors in the memory drive and list them out, and it is best for stock and XMP settings. To download MemTest86, visit this link.

How Long Does MemTest Take?

MemTest can take from 5 hours to 24 hours, depending on the RAM size and CPU speed. However, I recommend running the test in about 4-8 passes or overnight to ensure no error. If there is no error, that means the computer is sound, or the error is not from the memory drive. 

There is more chance that the MemTest will get an error in the first few hours into the test than in ten to twenty-four hours. But to be safe, allow the test to run its cause if you have the time. 4-8 passes are alright when one is in a hurry. 

How Do I Run Memtest86?

You will require an external hard drive to run MemTest86. The hard drive can be a USB or a CD. Follow the steps below to runMemTest86. 

Download Memtest86

Download the MemTest86 from their site. The file is a zip file containing all necessary diagnostics files. You can also copy the zip file to a CD without a USB drive. 

Reset Bios To Default 

Turn off the computer and reset the BIOS to default by clearing the computer motherboard CMOS. Clearing the motherboard CMOS is necessary to avoid errors while running MemTest86. 

Reset the motherboard CMOS by clicking on the reset button on some computers or removing the CMOS battery and putting it back. Some computers have steps or jumpers on how to reset to default. Consult the motherboard manual on how to reset the CMOS properly. 

Run MemTest86

With the motherboard CMOS clear, plug the USB into the computer and turn it on. Do not press anything else because the test automatically starts after a short countdown. 

MemTest86 runs in memory sticks; the bigger the stick in GB, the more time it takes to assess the RAM. Typically, the test should take an estimated one hour for 8GB of memory and continue. 

Test multiple kits one by one to ensure accurate analysis, and this is because some kits do not run together due to unsupported configurations, despite having the same part number. 

When the test runs complete, save the test result to the USB drive as an HTML file. The result will be vital in the event of returning the computer or fixing the problems. 

Finally 

Some tests might require the XMP disabled and at the stock setting for a deeper analysis. It is best to use kits with higher speed individually. This high-speed test is so one can ensure that the CPU and motherboard can properly handle high-speed memory. 

How Long Does A Memtest86 Pass Take?

There is no specific timeframe for a complete MemTest86 pass. The pass timeframe depends hugely on the memory speed, size, and CPU speed. However, the first pass usually takes 30 to 2 hours, and the subsequent ones take longer. 

With each pass, the timeframe for completion increases because selected tests are complete. 

Usually, you need only one pass to catch prominent errors, but more passes have to run for obscure errors. For complete analysis and assurance, allow the test to run for at least 12 hours. It is best to run the MemTest overnight. 

How Long Should You Run Memtest?

You can run MemTest for as long as you want, but it has to run for at least eight passes to get a conclusive result. Errors might start showing by the first pass, stop at the third pass and resume after the fifth pass; this is why it is better to allow a thorough test. 

An entire MemTest run can take up to 12 hours to finish, it is best to allow it to run its course, but if you are in a hurry, you can cut it off at any time after the first pass.

A ram with many errors will take less time to finish the test than one without mistakes. 

How Long Does Memtest 32GB Take?

MemTest for 32GB RAM will take approximately 12 to 48 hours, depending on the CPU speed. On some computers, it can take up to four days nonstop if the CPU is slow, and it is a stick-by-stick test. 

Note that if by the 4th pass there is no error, it is safe to assume that the RAM is perfectly alright and has no error. To Continue the test until eight passes is for safety precautions, for a conclusive result. 

Can I Run Memtest Overnight?

You can MemTest overnight; the test does not stop until manually stopped. This feature makes it easy to start the test run, leave it at default since no change is necessary, and go to sleep.

It is best to run a MemTest overnight for better results due to the extended diagnostic timeframe. 

Since some errors show after a long testing period, running the test overnight is ideal for efficient testing, and to be on the safe side, run the MemTest overnight.  

Is It Okay To Interrupt Memtest86+?

It is perfectly safe and okay to interrupt Memtest86+ at any time. MemTest86+ is an endless test structure; if possible, it can run forever. Interrupting the test will not harm the computer because MemTest86+ is not a persistent data writing test.

It only reads and inputs the errors it comes across. 

You can abort the test by switching off the computer or clicking on the ESC button on the computer. MemTest does not stop once it’s on. 

You will have to stop the test after eight passes or when you are satisfied with the result it gives.

How Long Does Windows Memtest Take?

Windows MemTest takes about 15 minutes to 24 hours for complete diagnostics. The time it takes depends on the computer’s RAM size, hardware operating system version, and configuration. 

The windows MemTest is a basic but comprehensive test, but not quite as thorough as the MemTest86+. 

There have been complaints of the windows Memtest getting stuck at a point for hours. If the test stops for more than 10 hours or a whole day, there may be a system glitch. Abort the test by shutting the system down and trying again. 

So, What Is The Take Home?

A RAM with errors can cause a lot of problems for a computer. These problems come in all sizes, from corrupt data to entire system crashes. These issues can be very frustrating but also avoidable. The best way to ensure you catch errors in RAM is by running a MemTest on the computer. 

MemTests show all errors, if any, in the RAM. It runs in passes and can last as long as possible till the user stops it. If unsure, how long Does MemTest Take?

The best number of the pass to run is eight, and the user can stop the test by shutting down the computer or pressing the ESC button. A good RAM should have zero error. If any error comes up in the cause of the MemTest, either fix the error or replace the RAM. 

Related Questions And Answers

Is One Pass Of MemTest Enough?

No! one pass of the MemTest is not enough to determine if the RAM is entire without errors. The test should run up to 8 passes to be sure that there is no error. 

Sometimes errors are detected at even the 8th pass. It is best to run the test enough times before concluding. 

How Many Errors In Memtest Are Acceptable?

0 error is the only acceptable number of errors in a MemTest. Anything other than zero indicates that the RAM has a problem. Even one error can be detrimental to the system causing heavy damage or even developing fault without notice. 

Does Memtest86 Test The Cpu?

Yes, Memtest86 runs diagnostics on the CPU, but this test is very light. It does not do a profound examination of the CPU. You will need to run a different type of test for that. 

Memtest86 is mainly for the RAM, and although it sometimes touches the CPU, L1, and L2 caches, it is not the proper test for CPU errors. 

Is Memtest86 Better Than Windows Memory Diagnostic?

Yes! Memtst86 is better than windows memory diagnostic. Memtest86 runs a comprehensive test on the RAM stick-by-stick, and it identifies problems caused by the system OS. 

Windows memory diagnostic doesn’t show OS problems, and it runs a more shallow form of test on the RAM. 

Does Memtest86 Stop?

No! Memtest does not stop except the user turns the system off. It is a continuous test process with no stopping time, trigger, or end. It keeps testing for as long as the system has power or the user aborts the test. 

Is Memtest86 Safe To Use?

Memtest is safe to use. It only reads the RAM caches and has no direct effect on the system. That is why users can abort the test at any time. 

However, to not stress the computer processing unit, a lengthy period of tests is not advisable. The best number of the pass to run in a MemTest is 8. Afterward, it is best to abort and not stress the CPU. 

Is Memtest64 Reliable?

MemTest64 is very reliable in identifying RAM errors. It works at a very high speed, and the speed is proportional to the number of errors in the RAM. with MemTest64, a single pass is almost enough to determine the errors in a RAM. 

What Do Memtest Errors Mean?

MemTest error means that there is a fault in the RAM. It can be a wrong setting, memory fault, or even hardware damage. 

Does Memtest86 Work On 64 Bit?

The MemTest version 5 works on 64 Bit. This ability is due to the addition of a mouse-driven graphical user interface. With each new MemTest update comes new and faster upgrades. 

What does a MemTest86 do?

MemTest86 is a software program that tests the RAM of a computer for errors. It reads the RAM back data using a test pattern or algorithm and compares the data for error. 

When there is no error, the MemTest reads zero, but if there are errors, it lists them out.