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  1. #1
    A simple primer on how to get Memtest86+ to boot from a USB Drive or Hard Drive (without having to install an entire distro or DOS).

    note: drive used here is a usb drive located on /dev/sda, so make changes accordingly (eg a hard drive install would use /dev/hdc instead)

    First Step - format the drive
    optional, only suggested if you're drive needs a good cleaning
    (this may take a long time given the size of the drive)
    dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda
    Second Step - create FAT partitions (syslinux requires FAT)

    this will create a FAT16 partition with the boot flag set

    fdisk /dev/sda
    n
    p
    1
    [enter, enter]
    a
    1
    t
    6
    w
    Third Step - format FAT partition
    mkdosfs /dev/sda1
    Fourth Step - install syslinux
    syslinux /dev/sda1
    Fifth Step - mount drive and setup syslinux
    mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/sda1
    (look inside the partition, it should have a file called ldlinux.sys)

    we now need to create a file called syslinux.cfg written with the following:
    default memtest
    label memtest
    kernel memtest
    Sixth Step - copy over the Memtest image
    either grab the source and compile your own binary, or simple download the Pre-Compiled Bootable Binary from the memtest86+ site:
    http://www.memtest.org/download/1.70...6+-1.70.bin.gz

    gunzip the file, and you will find a file called memtest86+-1.70.bin, rename this file to memtest and copy it to the drive:

    cp memtest86+-1.70.bin /mnt/sda1/memtest

    Seventh Step - install MBR
    you can unmount the drive now:
    umount /dev/sda1

    now install the Master Boot Record using lilo:
    lilo -M /dev/sda (note, I installed it on the whole drive, not the partition)

    Done. You can now try booting up the drive. Make sure you make the appropriate changes to your BIOS.


    Errata
    For testing I used an Intel D845 board and a Knoppix 4.0 livecd.

    For posterity sake, I had initially tried using install-mbr to get a working Master Boot Record on the drive, but ran into multiple problems. LILO worked from the start.

    If the admins here would like to add this to the FAQ, please feel free. If there are any mistakes, please contact me.

    Enjoy

    Made by Qbrix

  2. #2
    Bonjour,

    J'ai Fedora 8 x86_64. Je n'ai reussi a trouver lilo ni install mbr dans les repository de Fedora 8 ...
    Il y a t il une alternative a ces 2 programmes ?

  3. #3
    after hours and hours trying to find out how to Memtest86+ to boot from a USB Drive I was so happy to finally come to this. I wondered, why weren't such instructions on the website to start off with. Why?
    And then the bad news--'Oh no it's for Linux" Considering that there are way many more people using windows than linux it would be nice to know how to do it on it (Win XP in my case).
    Does anyone know how to you this memroy testing device on a flash USB drive? (Who has dsikette drives any longer? Didn't they stop including those in PCs about 5 years ago?)

    Thank you
    Last edited by Wichetael; 22/04/2011 at 13h15. Reason: unnecessary quoting

  4. #4
    It's not "for linux", you only need a running linux to make it, but the exact steps are spelled out command by command, anyone can do it. Just get any linux live CD, like for instance an Ubuntu live CD or a Knoppix live CD and you'll be able to create the USB drive on any computer which you can boot from CD with. Apart from that, why not just burn a memtest CD, much more reliable than USB drives.

    Making a quality bootable USB drive from Windows is a right pain in the ass.

  5. #5
    ""now install the Master Boot Record using lilo:
    Lilo -M /dev/sda (note, I installed it on the whole drive, not the partition)""

    Most of the latest Linux image has remove the lilo command.
    How should I use command instead of lilo?

    Thanks.

  6. #6
    Most times you can simply install the lilo package. Note that simply installing the package will not make lilo your boot loader, so it won't mess up your system or anything.

    Alternatively you can install the mbr that ships with syslinux, download syslinux, find mbr.bin in the package and run:

    Code:
    cat mbr.bin > /dev/hda

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Wichetael View Post
    Most times you can simply install the lilo package. Note that simply installing the package will not make lilo your boot loader, so it won't mess up your system or anything.

    Alternatively you can install the mbr that ships with syslinux, download syslinux, find mbr.bin in the package and run:

    Code:
    cat mbr.bin > /dev/hda
    Thanks much.
    I download the lilo package, and it works now.
    But I find compiler source code by the GCC version caused different result when testing memory.
    The older GCC version just works fine.

  8. #8
    Yes correct, GCC versions 4.2 and up use different pointer arithmetic handling, this causes problems in memtest.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Wichetael View Post
    It's not "for linux", you only need a running linux to make it, but the exact steps are spelled out command by command, anyone can do it.
    You might think so from a Linux point of view, but spare a thought for the poor folk who have just graduated from their "all the world is Microsoft" education. The "create a knoppix CD, boot it and get a root prompt" instruction is all hidden in a passing reference near the end to the Knoppix version that Qbrix tested on.

    Also, /dev/sda doesn't always point to the USB stick. In the laptop I stuck my Knoppix CD into, /dev/sda was the system hard drive. Blindly doing "dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda" would have been amusing but only because it wasn't my laptop...

    Andrew

  10. #10
    Hey,

    I tried to use usb image of the latest original MEMTEST instead and it failed.
    It uses syslinux and it works... I has mounted the made with dd USB drive under Linux, copied the Plus' "bootable bin" from gz archive, renamed to memtestp.bin, pointed it as the next, fourth, in syslinux and in boot.txt and tried to run. PC boots, and original MEMTEST86 runs in all the three variants, but when I want MEMTEST86+ just standard Linux' Loading.......................... is displayed and computer hangs. :/
    What am I doing wrong? Maybe got the bad luck and this version of memtest doesn't run on my older AthlonXP?
    Regards,
    Marsjanin (PL)

  11. #11
    The .bin extension has special meaning to syslinux, remove it and you'll be fine. This is also mentioned in the FAQ.

  12. #12
    Sorry for not reading FAQ carefully. I just learned that under Linux no filename extension is important... I didn't even think there should be something about it.

    And well, yes, of course You're right. Now I got both MemTests on one bootable pendrive. Thanks!
    Last edited by Marsjanin; 04/11/2009 at 18h45. Reason: Language monster. :)
    Regards,
    Marsjanin (PL)

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc TB View Post
    First Step - format the drive
    optional, only suggested if you're drive needs a good cleaning http://forum.x86-secret.com/images/smilies/wink.gif
    (this may take a long time given the size of the drive)
    dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda
    If you need to do this, it'll go much faster if you add bs=8M parameter like this:
    dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=8M
    (this instructs dd to write 8MB at once instead of 1 byte).

  14. #14
    Hey all.

    It seems I wasn't the only person who wanted a Windows based guide for running Memtest off a USB key.
    after hours and hours trying to find out how to Memtest86+ to boot from a USB Drive I was so happy to finally come to this. I wondered, why weren't such instructions on the website to start off with. Why?
    And then the bad news--'Oh no it's for Linux" Considering that there are way many more people using windows than linux it would be nice to know how to do it on it (Win XP in my case).
    Does anyone know how to you this memroy testing device on a flash USB drive? (Who has dsikette drives any longer? Didn't they stop including those in PCs about 5 years ago?)

    Thank you
    See this post over at our forums for a pretty straight forward guide that anyone with a Windows machine can do to get Memtest running (not to mention other DOS based tools and apps).

    I hope this helps some people. (and sorry if this is a little off topic.)

    http://www.scorptec.com.au/forum/vie...php?f=8&t=3329

  15. #15
    Isn't memtest modeled after the kernel bzImage format, complete with the initial self boot loader? Shouldn't you then just be able to drop it directly on a disk and have it boot, without the bother of formatting and installing a boot loader? In other words, shouldn't this work:

    dd if=memtest86+.bin of=/dev/sda

  16. #16
    Why not just prep USB stick w/HQ Tool and load the .bin file you mention to it and set Boot Order to "removable device or USB depending on mobo's BIOS ops and reboot? Wouldnt that also boot off USB and much more easily? People use this tool for USB sticks to update their BIOS for ex, wouldnt it work in this case too. Im not talking just Linux either altho' its a moot point as its running off DOS. Any info would be appreciated as Id like to try that. Ive already created the CD version which was very easy as stated. USB's however are quite easy to carry around and cheaply gotten as well.

  17. #17
    Trying to make a bootable usb stick on Ubunto 12.
    I do not appear to have default, label or kernel to do:
    default memtest
    label memtest
    kernel memtest

    or am I missing the obvious, any help appreciated.

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