Testing memory with specialized algorithms is a common practice to demonstrate reliable operation of memory devices in a system and testing the memory used by the Intel® Xeon Phi™ Processor (referred to as “the processor” in the rest of the document) is recommended.
Memtest86+ is a well-known open-source memory testing tool. It exercises memory using specialized bit patterns to detect possible issues with memory devices. The tool runs as a standalone application on a target system and does not require or depend on an operating system.
Based on the well-known original Memtest86 written by Chris Brady, Memtest86+ is a port by some members of the x86-secret team, now working at www.canardpc.com. Memtest86+ is open-source software. The original Memtest86 is now handled by PassMark® Software Pty Ltd.
Memtest86+ is released under the terms of the GNU Public License (GPL). No restrictions for use, private or commercial exist other than the ones mentioned in the GNU Public License (GPL).
This document describes how to install and run open-source Memtest86+ on Intel® Xeon Phi™ Processor product family.
In order to run Memtest86+, the processor must be able to boot Memtest86+ into its memory and execute the code. This document outlines the package details including download and installation instructions.
The following section describes the steps to generate a bootable USB flash device and boot Memtest86+ to test the system memory.
Currently, Memtest86+ only supports Microsoft Windows® operating systems, to generate a bootable USB flash device.
The following are the prerequisites to generate a Memtest86+ bootable USB flash device,
A USB flash device with at least 1 GB free memory. NOTE: All the existing contents on the USB flash drive will be deleted while creating the bootable device.
A Microsoft Windows® 8/8.1 system.
Download the Auto-Installer for the USB key by navigating to http://www.memtest.org/#downiso
Under “-= Download (Pre-built & ISOs) =-“ go to “** Memtest86+ V5.01 (27/09/2013)**”
Click on “Download - Auto-installer for USB Key (Win 9x/2k/xp/7) *NEW!*” to download the installer onto a Microsoft Windows® 8/8.1 machine.
NOTE: The link to the installer is http://memtest.org/download/5.01/memtest86+-5.01.usb.installer.zip
Unzip “Memtest86+-5.01.usb.installer.zip” to find “Memtest86+ USB Installer.exe”.
A bootable USB flash device with the Memtest86+ utility installed on it is required to test the available memory on an Intel® Xeon Phi™ Processor. The following steps walk through the process of creating a bootable USB flash memory device on a Microsoft Windows® system, using the “Memtest86+ USB Installer.exe” binary obtained from instructions in section 2.1.2.
Plugin the empty USB flash device into a USB socket on a Microsoft Windows® system. Execute “Memtest86+ USB Installer.exe” to start the installation of Memtest86+ on the USB flash device.
This will launch the “Memtest86+ 5.01 USB installer Setup” and bring up the License Agreement for review.
Click on the “I Agree” button to accept the License Agreement and proceed with the installation.
The resultant “Choose USB drive location” dialog is launched as shown below.
NOTE: This step deletes the existing contents of the USB drive, therefore it is recommended to back up the contents before proceeding to click on the “Create” button.
Select the USB flash drive from the drop down list as demonstrated and click on the “Create” button.
This will bring up the Install progress dialog, click on “Next” once the installation is complete.
Click the “Finish” button to close the installer.
The USB flash device should now contain the Memtest86+ bootable image.
In order to launch Memtest86+ tool using the bootable USB drive that was just created in section 2.1.3, the BIOS boot sequence of the processor should be configured to boot from the USB device first.
Plugin the bootable USB device containing Memtest86+, into any available USB port on the Intel® Xeon Phi™ Processor based system.
Perform the following actions,
Boot the system.
Navigate to the BIOS settings menu on startup.
Modify the boot device order, to boot from the USB device first.
NOTE: The following is a reference screenshot only and the BIOS settings menu might differ based on the BIOS used in the system.
Save the changes to the boot order and reboot the system, Memtest86+ boots and starts running as shown below,
Click “ESC” to exit Memtest86+ and restart the system.
The following is the list of tests available in the Memtest86+ 5.01 utility,
Test 0 [Address test, walking ones, no cache]
Test 1 [Address test, own address, Sequential]
Test 2 [Address test, own address, Parallel]
Test 3 [Moving inversions, ones & zeroes, Parallel]
Test 4 [Moving inversions, 8 bit pattern]
Test 5 [Moving inversions, random pattern]
Test 6 [Block move, 64 moves]
Test 7 [Moving inversions, 32 bit pattern]
Test 8 [Random number sequence]
Test 9 [Modulo 20, Random pattern]
Test 10 [Bit fade test, 2 patterns]
Test 11 [Random number sequence, 64-bit]
Test 12 [Random number sequence, 128-bit]
Refer to http://memtest.org/ , under “About tests performed”, for detailed documentation.
- If Memtest86+ utility cannot be used due to the lack of legacy boot support, as an alternative, the Memtest86 utility (free edition) from PassMark® Software Pty Ltd. can be used. Refer to http://www.memtest86.com/license.htm for more details.
- Pressing F2 key within a few seconds of booting into the Memtest86+ utility can result in a hang throwing the error message “SMP: After STARTUP IPI: err = 000000efSMP”.
- Inconsistent behavior might be observed if the Memtest86+ utility has been customized by pressing ‘c’ for configuration. For instance: Configuring Memtest86+ to run selected tests by providing a test number as input might cause a different test case to be invoked or can cause the application to hang.