No-nonsense MemTest86 bootable USB keys

Software

No need for nasty GUI-based bootable memory key generators or other convoluted 15 step processes, you can just dd MemTest86’s USB image:

#!/bin/sh
key="/dev/sdb" ## TRIPLE CHECK this drive location first
curl -OL "http://www.memtest86.com/downloads/memtest86-usb.tar.gz"
tar xzvf memtest86-usb.tar.gz
sudo dd if=memtest86-usb.tar.gz of=${key} bs=10240 conv=sync

And for the obligatory caveats:

  • Triple check the destination for your key. Easy hack, run dmesg immediately after plugging in your key. I won’t be held responsible for lost data.
  • memtest86+ may have an equivilent generic bootable image, I haven’t checked. Last time I tried to, it required converting an ISO which I’m not interested in doing.
  • As an alternative, many live bootable Linux distros also have memtest86+ in their boot options.

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Ruben Schade is a technical writer and IaaS engineer in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person in bios. Wait, not BIOS… my brain should be EFI by now.

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