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PCBUILD  July 2003

PCBUILD July 2003

Subject:

Re: Win 98se + 1.5Gb Ram

From:

Bill Cohane <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

PCBUILD - Personal Computer Hardware discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 24 Jul 2003 04:02:41 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (85 lines)

At 13:12 07/05/03, <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>Does anyone know how Win 98se will work with 1.5Gb of DDR? I heard
>that win98 had a Ram limit. Is that true? Thank you! Andre Chiasson


Hi Andre

Sorry to answer your question so late...but better late than never.

I found three articles at Microsoft describing problems with using
Win9X and large amounts of RAM. Here are links to these articles,
and underneath each link is a short excerpt from the article.

..........

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;253912

If a computer that is running [Win9X or ME] contains more than
512 megabytes (for example, 768 megabytes) of physical memory (RAM),
you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
You may be unable to open an MS-DOS session (or command prompt)
while Windows is running. Attempts to do so may generate the
following error message:
"There is not enough memory available to run this program."
The computer may stop responding (hang) while Windows is starting,
or halt and display the following error message:
"Insufficient memory to initialize windows."

CAUSE: The Windows 32-bit protected-mode cache driver (Vcache)
determines the maximum cache size based on the amount of RAM
that is present when Windows starts. Vcache then reserves enough
memory addresses to permit it to access a cache of the maximum size
so that it can increase the cache to that size if needed. These
addresses are allocated in a range of virtual addresses from
0xC0000000 through 0xFFFFFFFF (3 to 4 gigabytes) known as the
system arena.

On computers with large amounts of RAM, the maximum cache size can
be large enough that Vcache consumes all of the addresses in the
system arena, leaving no virtual memory addresses available for
other functions such as opening an MS-DOS prompt (creating a new
virtual machine).

WORKAROUND: To work around this problem, use the MaxFileCache setting
in the System.ini file to reduce the maximum amount of memory that
Vcache uses to 512 megabytes (524,288 KB) or less.

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;304943

If your computer has more than 1.5 gigabytes (GB) of memory (RAM),
the computer may reboot continuously when you try to start Windows ME
or Windows 98. Or, when you try to install Windows Me or Windows 98
with more than 1.5 GB of RAM installed, Setup may stop responding
(hang) or reboot continuously.

CAUSE: Windows Me and Windows 98 are not designed to handle more than
1 GB of RAM. More than 1 GB can lead to potential system instability.

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;184447

If your computer has 1 gigabyte (GB) or more of random-access memory
(RAM) installed, Windows may not start. Also, when you try to start
your computer, you may receive the following error message:
Insufficient memory to initialize Windows.
This behavior may also occur during Windows Setup, or when you try to
start Windows for the first time.

RESOLUTION: To work around this issue, add the following line to the
[386enh] section of the System.ini file: MaxPhysPage=30000

..........

My guess is that you may be able to get away with running Win9X with
larger amounts of RAM than 1 GB if you follow the advice in the above
articles concerning Vcache (caching for your disk drives) *and* you
make sure that the sum of your RAM memory and your virtual memory
(the swap file) are less than 2 GB.

Regards,
Bill

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