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Running Memtest86+ Using the Altiris PXE Server

Created: 11 Sep 2007 | 4 comments
Nelo's picture
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Check the memory in *all* your computers with this novel combination of Memtest86+ and the Altiris PXE Server.

From Wikipedia - Memtest86+ is software designed to stress-test an x86 compatible computer's random access memory (RAM) for errors.

This software is vital when troubleshooting hardware errors. I have used Memtest86+ and it helped me identify a couple of computers that had memory errors and a side effect was that imaging was not working properly.

In order to make this process easier I found out that Memtest86+ could be added to a PXE boot image, and this is what I packaged in this article. A PXE boot that uses Memtest86+ v1.70. The PXE boot image contains two programs that are GPL 2.0.

Steps to import this custom PXE boot image into PXE Configuration tool.

  1. Download and unzip the MemTest86.zip. The zip contains a PXE_Mem_test folder.
  2. Launch PXE Configuration tool.
  3. "Choose PXE Server" under the File menu. Select a PXE server. The shared configuration could be used but I would not recommend it.
  4. Boot Menu tab click "New". The New server specific menu option dialog comes up. Name field I used "Memtestx86+". Select "User supplied" in the Image Creation Method grouping. Operating System grouping select "Linux" and for the "Processor Options" mark x86.
  5. Click the "Manual Boot Image..." button. PXE boot files dialog comes up, click browse to the folder PXE_Mem_test. Click OK. Then click OK to import the PXE boot files. Click OK to close and save the new PXE configuration.
  6. Back at the PXE Configuration Utility — Boot Menu. Click "Save".
  7. Start up a client and when PXE booting press F8 to see the PXE menu. From the PXE menu select the Memtestx86+. Memtestx86 should start and do a scan.

Comments 4 CommentsJump to latest comment

riva11's picture

Thanks Nelo, interesting solution in case of memory errors and in general for troubleshooting.

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Andrey Shipov's picture

Thanks for the tip, will try this one on my DSs

Andrey Shipov
Manchesrter, UK

Andrey Shipov
IS Infrastructure Senior Engineer
Manchester, UK

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Chris.ConbrioIT's picture

Hi Nelo,

I know this is a pretty old thread but I've spent all day looking into this!

Your solution above works great - however I'm trying to go through this process with memtestX86+ v4.1 (Current)

Are you able to give some details on how you created the custom pxe image above so I can get the latest version of Memtest onto my pxe menu?

Thanks

Chris
Auckland, New Zealand

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Ratz's picture

If you want to use memtest x86+ v4.2 with Altiris PXE this is what worked for me:

1) Download the zip file above and extract it.  It defaults to a directory name of "PXE_Mem_test".

2) Go to http://www.memtest.org/#downiso and download "Pre-Compiled Bootable Binary (.zip)" and extract it.  This will give you one file called "memtest.bin".  

3) copy "memtest.bin" to the directory "PXE_Mem_test". 

4) In the directory PXE_Mem_test, delete the file named "memtest86+-1.65"

5) In the directory PXE_Mem_test, rename "memtest.bin" to "memtest86+-1.65"

6) Launch PXE Configuration Utility.

From here on everything is virtually identical to that shown in the original post.

 

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