a long time has passed and my computer expertise has improved significantly.
i solved my memtest problem. a poster suggested that there was a special way of burning the ISO to the disk. i received a tip to try this programme.http://isorecorder.alexfeinman.com/isorecorder.htm
i recommend for anyone downloading this programme, and perhaps any other ISO burning programme, that temporarily disabling antivirus, antispyware, and firewall may be necessary. i always temporarily disable my AV and AS, but it would not download without disabling my firewall.
once i downloaded and installed isorecorder, i downloaded the memtest iso file and right clicked on it (the iso icon). the isorecorder automatically takes over the process. once a pop-up saying "burning or the iso file is complete" has been displayed, and the disk tray pops open. the successful, useable memtest disk is made and ready to use.
as was advised to me, without a specific iso burner, i could have burned and wasted 1000 disks, and tried each of them 1000 times and none of them would ever work.
once the useable disk is made, i reclosed the tray, and restarted the computer. after the "compaq" screen (my computer is a compaq), a blue screen with "memtest 86" in red appears with text that is definitely indicative of a memory test being done. the blue "memtest 86" screen appears almost immediately after the "compaq" screen. not even a half minute passes before the test takes place. when the memtest is running, you definitely know it.
thanks for all replies.