Memory Test for Mac

I recently ran into a problem with a used mac mini I had purchased from a friend of mine.  He gave it to me fresh with Mountain Lion running on the machine, so the first thing I did was upgrade it to Mavericks.  Life was great until I started to put the system under a load and started using it.  Files I was downloading randomly began to get corrupted here and there.   At first I thought the computer was overheating causing the corruption since it seemed to take some time for it to happen.   Then I thought well maybe there was an issue with Mountain Lion and it just followed me into Mavericks, so I wiped it and started over.   Not too long after doing so I ran into the same issues.  Then it hit me it could be the ram.  I took one stick out and it ran great for a few minutes.  I thought well this stick is ok and there isn’t any problems here until my computer panic’d.  No major deal it does that every once in a blue moon.  I restarted the machine onto to find out it had some hard drive issues and needed a repair run on the disk.  I booted the machine into recovery mode only to find out even disk utility couldn’t repair the disk and I had to yet again re-install OSX another time.  I shut the machine down swapped ram with the one stick that I took out and got the job done this time everything went beautifully with no problems.  I was still curious as to if the ram was really bad or if it wasn’t just plugged in all the way.  Then after thinking about it I decided I wanted to know for sure so I set out to find myself a RAM tester for mac and found one.

MemTest for Mac is a free tool that does exactly what it says.

Download MemTest NOW [direct download link]

The file above is a zip file with an installer package.  The software installed memtest in /usr/bin.

Test Your Mac

So what do you need to do?  The process is simple.  Open a Terminal window and type the following:

memtest all

If you want to give it a very thorough test then you can specify the number of times you would like to run the test by typing the following:

memtest all 2

The test by itself will take anywhere from 15+ minutes to complete.  If the program crashes, or you see it erring out and failing tests it’s a good sign that you have a bad memory modules in there.

Good luck running your tests and verifying if you have a bad ram module and figuring out which one is the problem.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.