Laptop does not finish MemTest86. But runs Prime95 for 10 hrs

My laptop a Dell 1464 is not able to finish MemTest86. It reboots before the first pass can reach the 5% mark. It also doesn't finish Windows disk checker program. But the surprising thing is it is able to run Prime95 for more than 10hrs (Blend test).

I am also not able to finish installing Linux distros (Mint 13/14, Fedora 17), which I was able to do earlier. How do I narrow down to the component that is failing me? The laptop is about 3 yrs old.
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More about laptop finish memtest86 runs prime95
  1. Have you replaced the Laptop memory modules?

    If you did, what did you replace them with?

    If Not,
  2. I have two modules in my laptop. I have tried all sorts of combinations - swapping slots, try only one module in idifferent slots. But nothing helps. I have also tried modules from a different laptop (which finish MemTest86 on that laptop), but again they too fail on my laptop. I have tried my memory modules on a different laptop and manage to run MemTest86 successfully on that other laptop. Surely, can't be the modules?

    I have also tried running HDTune Error Check since I started the thread. I got no errors in that test.
  3. Well if you eliminate the system Memory and HDD as a problem then all you're left with is either motherboard or CPU failure.

    Laptop 3 years old, out of warranty, unfortunately sounds like you're at the mercy of Dell.

    You could probably buy a brand new laptop for what Dell would charge to replace the motherboard.
  4. I downloaded and ran Dell PC diagnostic utility. It reports test failure on the HDD. The test that fails is called - "Linear read test - 2".

    HD Tune under the Health tab reports some unstable sectors.

    It looks like its the HDD thats starting to fail. Could that explain MemTest86 also failing to complete?
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