dencorso

Day-to-day running Win 9x/ME with more than 1 GiB RAM

140 posts in this topic

I have completed work on a 64-Bit RAMDISK as well as a 32-Bit RAMDISK, neither of which use XMS Memory.

Since Windows does not know this memory exists, it doesn't manage it or allocate precious System Arena space for it.

I have been able to create and use 2GB RAMDISKs without problems.

I haven't as yet determined the difference in behavior between HIMEM.SYS and HIMEMX.SYS, there isn't anything obvious in the source code for HIMEMX.

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I have done some further research on HIMEMX.

HIMEM is recognized by Windows during Windows Startup, so it is hooked, letting Windows take over management of all XMS calls. Any XMS Memory that was

allocated before Windows Startup is not included in available Memory for Windows but is mapped into the System Arena so Windows can support the Programs

and Drivers that reserved the Memory. Since most RAMDISKs use XMS Memory, they tie up System Arena space. This is why a large XMS based RAMDISK

cannot be used because the System Arena runs out of space.

HIMEMX is not recognized by Windows so calls to it are executed in Virtual Mode. HIMEMX uses the BIOS Interrupt 15 call to manipulate Extended Memory.

Windows hooks this Interrupt so it can manage the Memory. Windows uses the standard XMS calls to take over the Free Memory during Startup. The difference

is that Windows does not know about XMS Memory that was Allocated before Startup so it doesn't reserve space in the System Arena for it. This is why there

seems to be more space for DOS Boxes etc. The problem is that actually using this Memory invokes the Interrupt 15 call which then causes Windows to allocate

Pages to the System Arena to manage it. Reading or Writing a Large RAMDISK quickly fills up the System Arena and leads to a crash.

You can setup a large XMS RAMDISK using HIMEMX but your system will crash if you try to fill it up.

I also observed a problem combining HIMEMX with EMM386 whenever exceeding approximately 1408MB. EMM386 appears to allocate all of the XMS memory and

then release what it doesn't need. Above 1408MB EMM386 does not release approximately twice the amount of Memory above 1408MB, so the available memory

actually decreases as the total amount of RAM increases.

Edited by rloew
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I've been doing some tests with RLoew's non-XMS RAMDSK32... Here are the results:

Gigabyte i-RAM hardware ramdisk vs. RLoew's software-only non-XMS RAMDSK32

GB i-RAM 1.5GiB (Win 98 SE) FAT-32

------------------------------------------------------------------

CrystalDiskMark 2.2 © 2007-2008 hiyohiyo

Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/

------------------------------------------------------------------

Sequential Read * : 122.1 MB/s

Sequential Write * : 120.4 MB/s

Random Read 512KB : 115.1 MB/s

Random Write 512KB : 119.4 MB/s

Random Read 4KB : 44.3 MB/s

Random Write 4KB : 41.0 MB/s

*Test Size : 100 MB

Obs: The GB i-RAM is a SATA-I device, so its theoretic

maximum allowable data transfer is 150.0 MB/s...

=====================================

RLoew's RAMDSK32 1.5GiB (Win 98 SE) FAT-16

------------------------------------------------------------------

CrystalDiskMark 2.2 © 2007-2008 hiyohiyo

Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/

------------------------------------------------------------------

Sequential Read * : 275.7 MB/s

Sequential Write * : 180.2 MB/s

Random Read 512KB : 269.6 MB/s

Random Write 512KB : 82.5 MB/s

Random Read 4KB : 248.9 MB/s

Random Write 4KB : 41.0 MB/s

*Test Size : 100 MB

Obs: using the SYSENTER Method.

Edited by dencorso
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Now, to provide a comparison with another very reliable software ramdisk (this one works only under the Win NT family OSes) here are some more results:

Gigabyte i-RAM hardware ramdisk vs. Gavotte's software-only NT-only RRAMDISK

GB i-RAM 1.5GiB (Win XP SP3) FAT-32

------------------------------------------------------------------

CrystalDiskMark 2.2 © 2007-2008 hiyohiyo

Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/

------------------------------------------------------------------

Sequential Read * : 132.9 MB/s

Sequential Write * : 126.2 MB/s

Random Read 512KB : 132.9 MB/s

Random Write 512KB : 125.8 MB/s

Random Read 4KB : 58.6 MB/s

Random Write 4KB : 51.7 MB/s

*Test Size : 100 MB

Obs: The GB i-RAM is a SATA-I device, so its theoretic

maximum allowable data transfer is 150.0 MB/s...

=====================================

Gavotte's RRAMDISK 1.5GiB (Win XP SP3) FAT-32

------------------------------------------------------------------

CrystalDiskMark 2.2 © 2007-2008 hiyohiyo

Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/

------------------------------------------------------------------

Sequential Read * : 308.4 MB/s

Sequential Write * : 315.6 MB/s

Random Read 512KB : 270.7 MB/s

Random Write 512KB : 276.1 MB/s

Random Read 4KB : 36.1 MB/s

Random Write 4KB : 34.9 MB/s

*Test Size : 100 MB

Obs: 1)Gavotte's RRAMDISK.SYS is a WDM device that

only exists after Win XP has fully initialized.

2) RRAMDISK.SYS v. 1.0.4096.5_200811130 was used for this test.

Edited by dencorso
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RLoew's seventh machine has been added (and it has 8 GiB and a triple-core CPU!!!)

Now that's just showing off!

:D

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RLoew's seventh machine has been added (and it has 8 GiB and a triple-core CPU!!!)

Now that's just showing off!

:D

Not until I figure out how to use all the cores in the Triple Core in Windows 9X.

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RLoew's seventh machine has been added (and it has 8 GiB and a triple-core CPU!!!)

Now that's just showing off!

:D

Not until I figure out how to use all the cores in the Triple Core in Windows 9X.

That's very interesting to hear.

Any news on the resource expander front btw ?

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Not until I figure out how to use all the cores in the Triple Core in Windows 9X.

Perhaps then I can get Windows 98 to recognise both of my two physical processors too!

:)

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This topic has been updated!

What's New?

on post #1:

a link to my recent ramdisk performance tests has been added. In case you're intersted here are direct links to them:

in post #27 is Gigabyte i-RAM hardware ramdisk vs. RLoew's software-only non-XMS RAMDSK32, and

in post #28 is Gigabyte i-RAM hardware ramdisk vs. Gavotte's software-only NT-only RRAMDISK.

OK, Gavotte's RRAMDISK runs only on NT-family OSes, so it doesn't relate directly to Win 9x/ME... but since the Gigabyte i-RAM is a hardware designed to look like just another SATA HDD from the OS point-of-view, I can compare

RLoew's RAMDSK32 with the GB i-RAM directly under Win 98SE and can also compare directly Gavotte's RRAMDISK with the GB i-RAM directly under Win XP SP3, and so provide indirect, but correct, comparison between two ramdisks that exist exclusively under each different Windows OS family.

on post #2:

RetroOS's system has been updated.

Let's keep the list up-to-date:

If you are using 9x/ME with more than 1 GiB RAM, do PM me your info and you shall be added to the list!

Edited by dencorso
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It is definitely possible. I have actually used 3647MB of RAM with Windows 98 SE using my Patch.

Where can I download your patch from?

Thanks.

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Here you go -

http://rloew1.no-ip.com

It's not free, but worth every penny in my opinion.

(And no, I'm not a personal friend or relative of Rudolph, just a very satisfied customer!)

:yes:

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Here you go -

http://rloew1.no-ip.com

It's not free, but worth every penny in my opinion.

(And no, I'm not a personal friend or relative of Rudolph, just a very satisfied customer!)

:yes:

Thank you!

PS: Is this the program mentioned by rloew, or there's another one?

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Here you go -

http://rloew1.no-ip.com

It's not free, but worth every penny in my opinion.

Thank you!

PS: Is this the program mentioned by rloew, or there's another one?

There is no other! It's the one and only RAM Limitation Patch! :thumbup

BTW, if you had read post #1 looking for it, you'd've found it. The link is there, among the last few lines... :whistle:

(And no, I'm not a personal friend or relative of Rudolph, just a very satisfied customer!) :yes:
The same goes for me: I know him only through the internet. However, since we have been discussing Win 9x/ME here for a long time now, and across many threads, by now I do consider RLoew among my MSFN friends, and have his posts in very high regard. :yes:
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There is no other! It's the one and only RAM Limitation Patch! :thumbup

I was sure I had read it before, but I could not remember where.

Thanks!

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This topic has been updated!

What's New?

on post #2:

frankminek's system has been added.

Let's keep the list up-to-date:

If you are using 9x/ME with more than 1 GiB RAM, do PM me your info and you shall be added to the list!

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