dencorso

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

140 posts in this topic

Mostly, yes. And it'll work for installation.

But, after installation is over, one can set those parameters differently:

MaxPhysPage=48000 (= 1152 MiB ) is about the highest one can go with Win 9x, while, for Win ME, the highest one can go up to is MaxPhysPage=7CB00 (= 1995 MiB ), but in either case one should increase the MaxPhysPage value by steps, until one gets the "not enough memory" error again, and then lower it a little...

And experience has shown that MaxFileCache=393216 (= 384MiB) is good enough for most users, there's no need to set it to 524288 (= 512MiB).

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This topic has been updated!

What's New?

on post #2:

risk_reversal's system has been added: and we've reached the landmark of 40 machines! :yes:

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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Hi Den!

:hello:

You can update my entry, as I have changed my graphics card.

It's now an ATI Radeon X850, with 256 MB memory.

The AGP aperture is now set to 32 MB.

This has resulted in the memory available to Windows 98SE going up to 3583 MB.

Still runs blazingly fast and stable!

:)

Edited by Dave-H
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This topic has been updated!

What's New?

on post #2:

loblo's system has been added;

Dave-H's system has been updated.

One update and two new machines in 24h is great!

Thanks, guys! :thumbup

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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I'm just now getting around to seeing how much ram I can use running win-98se on the Asrock 4-coreDual VSTA board.

So with just 1 stick of DDR2 (1 gb) on the board and with these settings:

System.ini

[386Enh]

MaxPhysPage=40000

[vcache]

MinFileCache=2048

MaxFileCache=65536

Win98 starts up just fine and shows 1022 or 1023 mb ram under system properties. I note that windows sets the swap file to 1 gb, so I change the virtual memory setting to zero (none / disabled).

When I add a second 1gb stick, I can't get win98 to boot, so I replace himem with himemx in config.sys and I start playing around with MaxPhysPage and the himemx's /MAX= setting. The best I can do (max ram) available to windows is 1,213,202,432 bytes (according to Norton System Information) or 1157 mb (according to Windows system properties). This comes with /MAX = 1183800 and Maxphyspage = 48800 (approximately). I find that I can increase the /MAX to 1186176 and MaxPhysPage to 48B00 but it doesn't change the amount of RAM available to windows. If I go any higher with /MAX then Win98 doesn't boot.

Other than himemx and the fact that the system had DOS 7.1 on it before win98 was installed, the system is bone-stock original win-98. No windows update, no third-party tweaks or upgrade packs, no special or altered vcache.sys. No ramdrive being created.

If there's anything else I can do (that's freely available) that will get win98 to see more or this memory - let me know.

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[...] If there's anything else I can do (that's freely available) that will get win98 to see more or this memory - let me know.

No, there isn't, sorry! Quouting myself from other posts:

[...] MaxPhysPage=48000 (= 1152 MiB ) is about the highest one can go with Win 9x, while, for Win ME, the highest one can go up to is MaxPhysPage=7CB00 (= 1995 MiB ), but in either case one should increase the MaxPhysPage value by steps, until one gets the "not enough memory" error again, and then lower it a little...

And experience has shown that MaxFileCache=393216 (= 384MiB) is good enough for most users, there's no need to set it to 524288 (= 512MiB).

[...] The ability to deal with 1150 MiB for 98SE vs 1995 MiB for ME is hardcoded in VMM.VxD and the VMM.VxD from ME cannot be coerced to work with 98SE, nor vice-versa.

So, to go beyond that, you *need* RLoew's one-and-only RAM Limitation Patch.

Now, an intersting fact is that, without the RAM Limitation Patch, you actually don't need HIMEMX with up to 1.5 GiB of RAM, and that leads to perfectly stable setups, while 2 GiB or more won't even boot, in most cases, whithout using HIMEMX or a RAMDISK to hide part of the RAM, and even so, most setups are not very stable, although there are some exceptions, reported in the list, in post #2.

On the other hand, you can add both the MaxPhysPage and MaxFileCache to SYSTEM.CB (Usher's Method) *and* add xRayeR's patch to regain the ability to access Safe Mode, with > 1.5 GiB of physical RAM installed (see post #1, for more details). Now, if you intend to keep using the machine with 2 GiB, not just do it as a temporary experiment, do PM me its specs in the format used in the list (as soon as you deem your configuration definitive) and, of course, I'll add it to the list, in post #2.

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This topic has been updated!

What's New?

on post #2:

RLoew's #2 machine has been updated. Now it is the new RAM record holder for 9x/ME: 16 GiB RAM onboard! :thumbup

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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RLoew's #2 machine has been updated. Now it is the new RAM record holder for 9x/ME: 16 GiB RAM onboard! :thumbup

Now that's just showing off!

:w00t:

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Why is it important, or notable, to know how much ram a system has that is running windows 9x/ME, versus knowing how much ram that win-98/ME is actually making use of?

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Because it is a new *fact*.

(i) Now we know, as opposed to infer, that even 16 GiB is OK with 9x/ME, and no new problem surfaces even with that much RAM.

(ii) RLoew (2) is the de facto total RAM record holder, while RLoew (1) is the de facto maximum amount of RAM available to windows record holder, with 3647 MiB seen by Win 98SE, out of a total 4 GiB.

Patchm.jpg

And, last but not least, because, by using non-XMS ramdisks, all the remaining RAM can be used as fast disks by Win 9x/ME, too. So all the RAM is used, and this is really impossible with the existing free ramdisks, because all of them are based on XMS, and any ramdisk based on XMS bigger than 512 MiB causes instability to Win 9x/ME since they take memory out of the System Arena (see Q125691 - INFO: Overview of the Windows 95 Virtual Address Space Layout for a general Win 9x/ME memory map).

There are a few limitations in Windows 9x relating to Swap Space:

Total RAM + Total Swap is limited to 4GiB.

Swap Space appears to be limited to 2GiB.

XMS RAMDisks take up System Arena Space as does the File Cache. Exceeding a few hundred Megabytes is likely to crash unless you lower your MaxFileCache Setting. A 1GiB XMS RAMDisk is impossible.

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What are stable settings for 1gb of ram?

Everything listed here is over 1gb of ram.

Thanks

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Well, for 1 GiB you can simply add Xeno86's modified VCACHE.VXD, and it should be stable.

Alternatively you can use Usher's method (link and link), and modify both SYSTEM.INI and SYSTEM.CB, with the following statements:

[386Enh]
MaxPhysPage = 40000 ; 1024 MiB

[vcache]
MinFileCache=16384 ; your HDD cache size (optional)
MaxFileCache=393216 ; size recommended for 1+ GB RAM

Now, bear in mind that the idea is to add those statements, but not to remove any other statements that may exist under the [386Enh] or [vcache] sections. If SYSTEM.CB does not exist, it must be created... it's just a plain text file, like SYSTEM.INI is, and it should be in C:\WINDOWS

In fact, you may also use Xeno's VCache and add just the MaxPhysPage = 40000 under [386Enh], to both SYSTEM.INI and SYSTEM.CB... But I bet just adding Xeno's VCache shall be enough. Do let me know your results.

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... RLoew (1) is the de facto maximum amount of RAM available to windows record holder, with 3647 MiB seen by Win 98SE, out of a total 4 GiB.

Patchm.jpg

Greetings.

Gentlemen, I'm astonished by your achievements in expanding the limits of good 'ol Windows 98. That's more RAM than Windows 7 32-bit, as is, can see. I take my hat off :thumbup .

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OK, now this is crazy, but a friend of mine and I were running over a gig and a half nearly 8 yrs maybe 9 yrs ago only because we could not find RAM for older PCs and all the stores were shoving the newer RAM in our faces. Dunno what kind it was, can't recall. But Win 98 SE picked it up and used it well. We just stuck it it and booted.

Any ideas on what type of RAM that could have been? We did build custom boards but saw no real need for more than 512 MB RAM. But no store was selling anything that small and we wanted to play not shop.

Dave

As per the record, a very good friend of mine, Adam Gropp, a specialist in laser and IMPATT diodes, was running 98 SE at 8 gigs several yrs ago. And Adam was an AOL user who claimed that he needed THAT much RAM to make AOL software "... run smoothly owing to such poor programming implemented by AOL... ."

Edited by dw2108
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