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I have a 15" MacBook Pro late 2011 (MacBookPro8,2) It has a 2.4Ghz Core i7 CPU and 4GB of stock RAM. I'm trying to run Memtest86 4.0a from boot (Memtest86+ does not work.)

After about 5 seconds into the Memtest86 run the system starts OS X. I can't tell if it reboots because I can't see any POST messages but it does that chime thing (I'm a Mac noob.) So I'm assuming it is. That smells like Memtest86 4.0a is borking because it doesn't support the hardware in my MacBook Pro.

Has anyone got Memtest86 4.0a working from boot on this hardware? If not what do you guys use to test RAM without loading OS X?

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An easy way to get memtest running is the Ubuntu install cd which has memtest as a menu entry.

Note that you previously had to run Boot Camp first to make the system capable of booting Linux or Windows. I do not know if this is still the case with OS X 10.8.

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It must work it supports Apple hardware since 2008. Look at this Youtube video. I guess you have already fixed your problem.

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