Memtester the Chuck Testa of memory testers

Written by James McDonald

October 5, 2021

Just putting this here for future reference.

For the record the reason I did this test was because I have a Ubuntu 20.04 workstation that had some disk corruption. I also noticed that my Windows 10 VMWare workstation guest was blue screening with a stop error which from memory was a MEMORY MANAGEMENT error on the blue screen stop page.

The computer has rebooted from a bugcheck.  The bugcheck was: 0x0000001a (0x0000000000041792, 0xfffff28174477970, 0x1000000000000000, 0x0000000000000000). A dump was saved in: C:\WINDOWS\MEMORY.DMP. Report Id: 00d79bae-ebe0-464e-a046-7eeb3ad193ee.

This was a component system I purchased at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic from msy.com.au in Mitcham and I use this for work. I sent a warranty request to MSY using their warranty page which was easily found on their webpage and had a response early the next morning and replacement RAM that afternoon. Well done MSY!

How to use memtester

Boot to linux and get root

Find the free memory you have with the free command as follows

[email protected]:~# free -m
              total        used        free      shared  buff/cache   available
Mem:          32034        2978       25272          49        3783       28558
Swap:         12287         197       12090
[email protected]:~# 

Run memtester with the value of the Mem: free column (25272m)

Starting at that point run memtester 25272m 1 and wait for

mlock ...locked

then CTRL+C to kill it

next incrementally increase the value you pass to memtester until it says

mlock ...Killed.

and then back off until you can lock as much physical RAM as possible.

Try progressively larger values at some point you will find it won’t lock the RAM. With my 32GB of physical RAM I could run memtester on about 30.9GiB

Examples of running memtester

Example of getting a successful lock on RAM (notice mlock… locked)

[email protected]:~# memtester 30034m 1
memtester version 4.3.0 (64-bit)
Copyright (C) 2001-2012 Charles Cazabon.
Licensed under the GNU General Public License version 2 (only).

pagesize is 4096
pagesizemask is 0xfffffffffffff000
want 30034MB (31492931584 bytes)
got  30034MB (31492931584 bytes), trying mlock ...locked.
Loop 1/1:
  Stuck Address       : setting   0^C

This is what happens when you try to run memtester on too much RAM it will be Killed. (mlock …Killed)

[email protected]:~# memtester 32034m 1
memtester version 4.3.0 (64-bit)
Copyright (C) 2001-2012 Charles Cazabon.
Licensed under the GNU General Public License version 2 (only).

pagesize is 4096
pagesizemask is 0xfffffffffffff000
want 32034MB (33590083584 bytes)
got  32034MB (33590083584 bytes), trying mlock ...Killed

Example of Successful run on good RAM

[email protected]:~# memtester 25041m 1
memtester version 4.3.0 (64-bit)
Copyright (C) 2001-2012 Charles Cazabon.
Licensed under the GNU General Public License version 2 (only).

pagesize is 4096
pagesizemask is 0xfffffffffffff000
want 25041MB (26257391616 bytes)
got  25041MB (26257391616 bytes), trying mlock ...locked.
Loop 1/1:
  Stuck Address       : ok         
  Random Value        : ok
  Compare XOR         : ok
  Compare SUB         : ok
  Compare MUL         : ok
  Compare DIV         : ok
  Compare OR          : ok
  Compare AND         : ok
  Sequential Increment: ok
  Solid Bits          : ok         
  Block Sequential    : ok         
  Checkerboard        : ok         
  Bit Spread          : ok         
  Bit Flip            : ok         
  Walking Ones        : ok         
  Walking Zeroes      : ok         
  8-bit Writes        : ok
  16-bit Writes       : ok

Done.

What you will see when you have bad RAM

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