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MemTest86 now maintained by PassMark Software

18 February 2013, Mike Williams

The classic free memory diagnostic tool MemTest86 has been maintained by author Chris Brady since 1994, but this has finally changed, with Australian company PassMark Software taking over the program this month.

It doesn’t seem like there’s any need for MemTest86 fans to be concerned, though. The program code remains open source, and so of course it’s still available to download for free.

The only major commercial addition we noticed was a new option to purchase a bootable USB key with MemTest86 pre-installed, yours for $16 plus postage, which seems a reasonable price (although you can still download an ISO file and configure a USB drive yourself for free, if you prefer).

MemTest86 is remaining an open source product, free to download and use

Anyone who wants to order a CD or USB key will now benefit from new options to pay by credit card, or have their order delivered by FedEx as an alternative to regular airmail.

PassMark has also created a MemTest86 forum on their own support site where users can discuss any issues and ask for help.

And the company has pledged that there will be “more active future development on new versions, with some type of UEFI version of the application being the immediate priority”.

Does this mean the beginning of the end for the free version, though? PassMark suggest not, as they hope to earn some income by “selling pre-made bootable USB drives, support services and using some of the MemTest86 algorithms in our other products”.

And as the company already maintains a great free product in OSForensics, with no particular restrictions or annoying marketing hassles, we’d say there’s good reason to be optimistic that this move won’t be a problem, and in fact could bring new life to the MemTest86 project.

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