X-linked mental retardation (XLMR) is a common, clinically complex and genetically heterogeneous disease arising from many mutations along the X chromosome. Although research during the past decade has identified >90 XLMR genes, many more remain uncharacterized. In this study, copy-number variations (CNVs) were screened in individuals with MR from 144 families by array-based comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) using a bacterial artificial chromosome-based X-tiling array. Candidate pathogenic CNVs (pCNVs) were detected in 10 families (6.9%). Five of the families had pCNVs involving known XLMR genes, duplication of Xq28 containing MECP2 in three families, duplication of Xp11.22-p11.23 containing FTSJ1 and PQBP1 in one family, and deletion of Xp11.22 bearing SHROOM4 in one family. New candidate pCNVs were detected in five families as follows: identical complex pCNVs involved in dup(X)(p22.2) and dup(X)(p21.3) containing part of REPS2, NHS and IL1RAPL1 in two unrelated families, duplication of Xp22.2 including part of FRMPD4, duplication of Xq21.1 including HDX and deletion of Xq24 noncoding region in one family, respectively. Both parents and only mother samples were available in six and three families, respectively, and pCNVs were inherited from each of their mothers in those families other than a family of the proband with deletion of SHROOM4. This study should help to identify the novel XLMR genes and mechanisms leading to MR and reveal the clinical conditions and genomic background of XLMR.