Check tutorial of MemTest for Mac OS X Tests your RAM
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If you’ve recently upgraded your Mac RAM or you’re experiencing strange system crashes, it’s a good idea to test the integrity of your memory modules using a free tool called memtest.
Essentially, memtest is a utility designed to test the RAM for errors. Without getting overly technical in the explanation, memtest works by writing random data to the RAM and then checking that the data written to the RAM is readable and conflict-free. If errors are detected with this method, it usually means that there is a faulty memory module, which is why memtest is such a valuable tool. While it’s technical in nature, it’s pretty easy to use, so let’s get started.
Download MemTest for Mac for free
Memtest comes from the wider UNIX world and has been ported to Mac OS X. For whatever reason, there are some websites that charge for the free utility, but you shouldn’t have to pay for it because it’s free, open source , and Mac versions are available from developers as free downloads:
- Download MemTest now (direct download link)
The link above downloads a compressed package installer that simply puts the memtest port in / usr / bin and does nothing else.
Test your Mac’s RAM
After installing memtest for Mac, launch the Terminal and type the following command:
memtest all 2
This will start memtest immediately and test all modules twice (i.e. why the 2 is associated with the command). You can specify a different number of tests to run by replacing that, but two are pretty standard if you’re not experiencing anything out of the ordinary.
Memtest takes a while (more than 15 minutes is not uncommon) and you will see an actively updated screen like the screenshot above showing the progress of the app. Again, the aforementioned command will test your RAM twice, which is generally enough to detect errors, but for unusual system glitches and crashes it may be a good idea to test your memory longer by removing the ‘2’ and memtest repeatedly running until terminated, it is done by running memtest without any numeric specification, such as:
Without specifying some passages at the end, the app will run for a long time, but can be stopped at any time by pressing Control + C in the terminal window. Running memtest for a while will take a lot of CPU cycles so if you are going to use the utility on a Mac laptop make sure to connect it first.
Error reports and bad RAM
If any errors are reported, memtest will let you know. Likewise, if you run memtest and the utility freezes or crashes, that’s a pretty good indicator that your RAM is bad. If you run the test and you notice errors or freezes, return the memory modules to the place of purchase and obtain a replacement.
I’ve been using this utility for a while now and have never had any issues with Mac RAM, but it happens from time to time. If you’ve recently purchased an upgrade, it’s always a good idea to use this app to make sure what you’ve bought is going smoothly.
You can read a little more about this Mac port mem test at Command-Tab.com.
General system test routine
Testing RAM with memtest should be considered part of a multi-step process for running general system tests. This also includes running Disk Utility to check hard drive health, which is done by verifying the functionality of the hard drive and fixing any issues found, as well as running a general stress test on the processor and fans by load a Mac. These are all decent methods of performing general system tests, and are especially worth doing after upgrading elements like RAM or a hard drive, or replacing hardware, whether for troubleshooting or as part of an upgrade path.
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