Windows Server 2008 - Performing a Memory Test

Modern computers contain a significant amount of memory, and it isn’t easy to know whether the memory is usable. Because of the way that Windows manages memory, it’s impossible to test memory correctly in Windows. A few products on the market try, but the results are probably inaccurate or memory isn’t fully tested. Windows Server 2008 comes with a new memory testing diagnostic that you can access from one of three locations:

• The Control Panel
• The boot menu
• The CD diagnostics

The diagnostic behaves about the same no matter where you access it. To access the memory diagnostic from within Windows, open the Control Panel and double-click the Memory Diagnostics Tool entry within the Administrative Tools folder. To start the diagnostic at the boot menu, press Tab, select the Windows Memory Diagnostic option from the Tools menu, and press OK.

When you start the Windows Memory Diagnostics tool from the CD or from within Windows, it displays a dialog box where you choose between performing the test immediately or waiting until the next time you boot the machine. Performing the test immediately is the preferred option when you suspect that your system is having memory problems. Starting the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool from the boot menu begins the test immediately

If you’re starting this test from the CD, don’t boot from the CD when you want to run the test. The test starts when you attempt to boot from the hard drive. Of course, this means you have to have a bootable partition on the hard drive and that this isn’t one of the diagnostics you can run exclusively from the CD. All you can do is start the test from the CD when you can’t start it for whatever reason by using the boot menu or directly from Windows.

When the test begins, you see a Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool screen. Windows isn’t booted at this point, so you can’t do anything with the machine. You can use the default settings for most situations. However, if you want a faster or more comprehensive test, press F1 to enter the Windows Memory Diagnostics Tool – Options window, where you can set any of these options:

• Test Mix: Determine the tests that Windows runs on memory. Extended tests can help you locate even subtle memory problems, but they require a significant amount of time. Basic tests are good for a very quick check when you want to verify system health.

• Cache: Enable or disable the memory cache. The default setting uses the configuration found in the BIOS settings for your machine. In general, you want to use the Default setting unless you have a reason to suspect that the cache is damaged.

• Pass Count: Define the number of times that the test runs. The default setting of 2 finds most problems. You can miss intermittent problems by using a value of 1. The settings let you run the tests up to 99 times, which is probably overkill.

Configure the settings you want to use and then press F10. The Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool screen displays the test progress for you. When the test completes, your machine boots as normal. If you started the test from the boot menu or within Windows, you see in the notification area a status message from the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool. Click the associated Notification Area icon to remove the message. If you start the test using the CD, you don’t see the status message when you boot Windows — you need to watch the test as it runs.

Source of Information : For Dummies Windows Server 2008 All In One Desk Reference For Dummies

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