Memory Diagnostics Tool

How to Use the Memory Diagnostics Tool in Vista
This will show you how to open and use the Memory Diagnostics Tool to check your computer for problems with the RAM memory.
How to Use the Memory Diagnostics Tool in Vista

information   Information
This will show you how to open and use the Memory Diagnostics Tool to allow you to check your computer for problems with the RAM memory. For more information, see: Microsoft Online Crash Analysis: Windows Memory Diagnostic Users Guide
Note   Note
If you had changed your boot screen, then you will need to temporarily uncheck the No GUI boot to be able to see what is happening when the Memory Diagnostics Tool is running at boot up. For how, see: How to Enable or Replace the Hidden Aurora Boot Screen in Vista

Here's How:
1. Run from within Vista
A)Open the Control Panel (Classic View), then click on the Administrative Tools icon and click Memory Diagnostics Tool.​
B) Open the Start menu, then type MdSched in the search boxand press Enter.​
C) Click on Continue in the UAC prompt.​
D) Click on the choice you want to do. (See screenshot below)​

E) Restart the computer to run the test.​
F) It will take a while to finish. (5 minutes or so)​
G) Go to step 4.​

2. Run from Windows Boot Manager
A) Boot into the Advanced Boot Options screen.​
B) Press Esc on your keyboard while you’re in the Advanced Boot Options screen.​
C) Press Tab on your keyboard to move to the Tools section of the boot manager screen. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: This will highlight Windows Memory Diagnostics.​
D) Press Enter to start the Memory Diagnostics.​

E) Go to step 4.​

3. Run from System Recovery Options
A) Boot into the System Recovery Options screen.
B) Click on the Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool option. (See screenshot below)​

C) Click on Restart now and check for problems and wait for your computer to restart. (See screenshot below)​

4. When the computer restarts you will see this. (See screenshot below step 6)​
5. Press ESC to exit the Memory Diagnostics Tool.​
6. Press F1 to make any changes to the test options.​

7. Press the TAB key to switch between option categories and the arrow keys to select the particular option. (See screenshot below)​
8. Press F10 to apply any changes in the options.​
9. Press ESC to cancel any changes not applied and return to the screenshot under step 6.​

10. When the tests are complete, the tool will automatically reboot your computer, and the next time you log on to Vista the results of the test will be displayed as below only if problems were found now.​
NOTE: If errors are found, the Windows Memory Diagnostics Tool will attempt to determine which particular memory module in your computer is causing these errors. If that information is available, it will be stated in the results. If bad memory is found then you will need to remove that memory and replace it.

11. You can also read the Memory Diagnostic Tool system log in Event Viewer.​

That's it,

Related Tutorials

Last edited by a moderator:
Shawn Brink


I just keep the OS DVD in a drive. complete system backups and system restore is very EZ to get to. If you have the room for an extra DVD drive, that is the way to go.
I ran this tool after a bsod indicated an issue with memory. The result confirms an issue but other than a message to contact the manufacturer tells me nothing else in the way of details. Am I missing something?

Any help appreciated

Hi Martin,

Unfortunately there is nothing you can do with a bad memory stick other than replace it. You will just need to narrow it down to which RAM stick is bad by testing them one at a time as Checkbam suggested.

You might reset the BIOS back to factory default settings if you have made any modifications to the RAM timings, or tried to overclock the RAM any. Afterwards, run the memory test again to see if you get the same report. This can easily cause problems with RAM if the settings were not properly set.

Sorry, :(
Thank you Shawn and Chuckbam.

Presumably I remove one of my three RAMs at a time, and rerun the tool until I don't get a bad report.

Is it normal that the only time I get the bsod is when I play a particular game? Otherwise there are no "symptoms".

It would be better to remove all but one stick, then retest on one stick at a time to see of you still get a bad report of one of them.

If you only get this memory issue with a game, then it may only be a problem with the game trying to access a memory level it should not have instead. See if running the game with Compatibility Mode can resolve the issue with it.
Hi Shawn, I ran the test and while i was watching I saw that it said [ no probs found ] so when it finished there was no result or small icon on the task bar ,am I missing something, also I have four gigs of ram but, in msconfig, in the tool section where you can change your Number of processors to show four or whatever the box beside Maximum memory,that only shows 3072 Hoping you can Help Thanks.
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Hello Jfar,

Actually you should have the Maximum Memory box unchecked there. If you have a 32-bit Vista, then that would be the maximum amount of RAM that you can use. Only a 64-bit OS can use your full 4GB or more.

Hope this helps,
Hi Shawn,

Unfortunatelly my Vista Memory diagnostics tool stopped working, after I recovered my Vista (from the OEM recovery disc) last year. Since the recovery, I attempted 3-4 times to run it with no success.

When I hit the button to initialise the tool, from the control panel, my pc freaks out and asks me to insert the recovery cd. When I do, and try to follow the steps to fix the problem, it comes up with message that some file is missing or is corrupted (all this happens in the DVD-PE enviroment).

So, I cannot use it.

I have tried running the memtest from Microsoft (this is quite an old test, with the mtinst.exe). That went fine and well, after creating an iso image in a boot cd. No errors found.

Still I would appreciate if you would have any suggestions as to how I can make the Vista Default Memory test run again on my pc.

Thanks a lot in advance Shawn.

Thanks Shawn for your prompt reply.

I did run an Sfc /verifyonly, and indeed it found some issues. But when I try to read the log file, it does not allow me to.

Why? I have admin priveleges. How can I read the CBS log?

Thanks in advance.

EDIT: NEW INFO: Have used the elevated command to bring the log file as a text file on my desktop. The [SR] related issues only.
Everything looks fine, except the "recdisc.exe" file. But if you remember, just earlier today I have created the recovery disc (see my other post, in the relevant thread).

LOL, the only error found then by SFC, was the fact that I had replaced the original recdisc.exe with the one downloaded from this forum in order to create my recovery disc. I have kept a copy of the original. I might as well, place it back. It looks as though it tried to repair it. Strange, cos it was only a verify scan. But in the txt file I can see that it attempted to repair it. Maybe I'm reading it wrong.

The good news is that no other file seems to have a problem.

Coming back to memtest, looking inside Windows\Boot\PCAT, I found the memtest.exe with creation date 28/7. That was the date that I had SP2 installed. Maybe the file was replaced with a "good" copy during SP2.

Still, I'm afraid to run the test in case the pc freaks out again with the BSOD and asks for the recovery disc. Like it did for the past months.

But I will never know unless I try it.

So, off I go. I'll report back. Wish me luck.

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Crap...the boot failed due to an error at \boot\memtest.exe.....:(

No luck..I'm trying to replace the memtest.exe at Windows\Boot\PCAT with another file a friend send me (from his Vista), but it does not allow me.

Any ideas?

Thanks alot.

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The memtest.exe file is owned by TrustedInstaller, so you would need to make a backup copy of the file, take ownership of the file, give yourself full control (permission) of it, copy the replacement memtest.exe file into the folder, check and restore TrustedInstaller as the owner of the replacement file.