Sfor

Large ramdrive in Windows 98

31 posts in this topic

I want to do a few experiments related to CPU demanding video playback. I would like to compare the results while playing from ram drive and HDD. To be more specific, I would like to test the efficiency of the Windows 98 disk caching system. I'm curious if the ramdrive will be faster than the disk cache. Or rather which way saves more of the CPU power.

The task demands to create a large ramdrive (512MB or so). I've tried XMSDSK.EXE so far, but I was not able to start GUI along with it.

Are there any other suitable ramdrive solutions available? I do understand different ramdrive drivers can work with different efficiency. So, the DOS based ones do not seem to be a good choice, probably.

The test computer does have Windows 98 SE SP 2.1 with 1GB of RAM. It works fine without any ramdrive for the time being.

Edited by Sfor
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The task demands to create a large ramdrive (512MB or so). I've tried XMSDSK.EXE so far, but I was not able to start GUI along with it.

If I remember right, 98 has what amounts to two startup sequences. One system wide, one for command prompts. If you get that driver into the system-wide part, there shouldn't be any reason why it shouldn't run, as long as you don't take too much memory away so Windows itself can't start.

Assuming 98 can use all the memory (1 GB might be too much, I don't know?), it should be fine, especially since you should be able to run MS RAMDRIVE.SYS without a problem...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The task demands to create a large ramdrive (512MB or so). I've tried XMSDSK.EXE so far, but I was not able to start GUI along with it.

Why? Describe in more details your setup for the ramdisk and what is happening, please.

It does work. I used such a configuration for about two years.

Others in the > 1 GiB List have done so too:

dencorso (I)

=========

OS: Windows 98SE (w/98SE2ME)

Memory: 1.5 GiB RAM (PC3200 - Kingston 1x 1 GiB, 1x 512 MiB @344 MHz, timings 3-5-5-9, 2T)

Motherboard: ASUS A7V600-X

CPU: Athlon XP-M 2800+ @2410 MHz

Video card: MSI MS-8817 V1 nVidia GeForce2 MX400 PRO32S (32 MiB; AGP 4x)

AGP aperture: 64 MiB

config.sys:

DEVICE=HIMEMX.EXE /NUMHANDLES=80 /TESTMEM:ON

INSTALL=XMSDSK.EXE 387072 N: /C1 /T /Y

autoexec.bat: no relevant entries

system.ini:

MaxPhysPage=48600 ; 1158 MiB

MaxFileCache=114688 ; 112 MiB

ChunkSize=2048

VCACHE.VxD: Xeno86's 4.10.0.2223, VMM.VXD: original 4.10.0.2226

[...]

tscharlii

======

OS: Windows 98SE

Memory: 1.5 GiB RAM (Dual Channel, PC3200 @ 333 MHz, 2x 512 MiB, 2x 256 MiB)

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-7N400-L

CPU: Athlon XP 2600+

Video card: Ati Radeon 9600XT onBoard (128 MiB; AGP 8x)

AGP aperture: 128 MiB

config.sys:

DEVICE=HIMEM.SYS

autoexec.bat:

XMSDSK.EXE 524288 G: /t /y

system.ini:

ConservativeSwapfileUsage=0

PagingDrive=G:

MaxPhysPage=40000

MaxFileCache=65536

vmm32.vxd: plain vanilla (with 4.10.0.2222 vcache.vxd and vmm.vxd inside)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my particular case the gui does not start, after loading XMSDSK.EXE 512000 from the AUTOEXEC.BAT.

The CONFIG.SYS does contain just the FILES=240 statement and code page related settings. The AUTOEXEC.BAT contains just the XMSDSK,exe and some code page related entries, as well.

The Microsoft ramdrive.sys is unusable, as it is unable to manage ram drives exceeding 32MB.

Edited by Sfor
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's do it differently...

Modify MSDOS.SYS in the following manner:

Don't change anything in the [Paths] section.

Then add the following to the [Options] section:

BootDelay=0

BootMulti=0

BootGUI=0

LoadTop=1

DoubleBuffer=1

DblSpace=0

DrvSpace=0

AutoScan=2

Logo=0

DisableLog=0

Then set config.sys with the following:

DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\HIMEM.SYS /TESTMEM:ON /EISA /V

DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\IFSHLP.SYS

DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\DBLBUFF.SYS

DOS=HIGH

FILES=240

LASTDRIVE=Z

BUFFERS=64,8

FCBS=40,8

STACKS=18,256

And use no autoexec.bat.

With this set-up the system will boot to the DOS prompt and stop.

Then run manually these 4 commands:

XMSDSK.EXE 524288 Z: /C1 /T /Y

XMSDSK

VOL Z:

WIN

The first sets up a 512 MiB ramdisk Z:

The second reports the status of the ramdisk, so you can verify it was created.

The third reports the label of the ramdisk.

The last starts the windows GUI.

Then please report your results.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The ram drive is working and VOL command works correctly, all right. But the Windows stops on IOS device initialization (Bootlog.txt). ASD reports problem with reading ESCD data from PnP BIOS.

I'm experimenting with Dell Optiplex GX260. I was unable to get Ati All In Wonder 9000 working with ACPI in this particular computer. So, I had to fall back to APM to get the grahics card working. The same problem happend with NVidia GPU, so it seems there are some BIOS related problems here.

The problem with GUI booting along with the ram drive does not seem to be related to a specific GPU, as the same story happens with the onboard Intel 845 graphics controller.

I'm using XMSDSK.EXE 1.9I

I've noticed my MaxFileCache setting was a bit below 400000. So, less than a half of memory was used for file caching. I understand, why I had doubts in large file caching efficiency, now.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My command line in autoexec.bat is:

XMSDSK 131072 /t /y

It works fine and it's the same version as yours. Can't help more... :-(

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The ram drive is working and VOL command works correctly, all right. But the Windows stops on IOS device initialization (Bootlog.txt). ASD reports problem with reading ESCD data from PnP BIOS.

I'm experimenting with Dell Optiplex GX260. I was unable to get Ati All In Wonder 9000 working with ACPI in this particular computer. So, I had to fall back to APM to get the grahics card working. The same problem happend with NVidia GPU, so it seems there are some BIOS related problems here.

The problem with GUI booting along with the ram drive does not seem to be related to a specific GPU, as the same story happens with the onboard Intel 845 graphics controller.

I'm using XMSDSK.EXE 1.9I

I've noticed my MaxFileCache setting was a bit below 400000. So, less than a half of memory was used for file caching. I understand, why I had doubts in large file caching efficiency, now.

XMS RAMDisks such as XMSDSK.EXE are managed by the Windows Memory Manager. This ties up System Arena space which is limited to 1 GiB total.

There is not enough space in your configuration to support a 512MiB RAMDisk so Windows crashes during boot.

Replacing HIMEM.SYS with HIMEMX.EXE will allow you to boot since it delays recognition of the space used by the RAMDisk, but it will crash if you fill up the RAMDisk.

I have written non-XMS RAMDisks that do not have this issue as they are not managed by Windows.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RLoew's hypothesis is easier to test than mine. So, get Japheth's HIMEMX.EXE and check whether the machine boots OK and starts the GUI OK. If so, then do a scandisk on the ramdisk, using the Windows Explorer Properties for the ramdisk, and direct it to do a surface test.

If RLoew is right, you'll be able to get to the GUI, but the surface test will crash the machine.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally I've found some time to get back to this issue. The HIMEMX.EXE changed nothing, I'm afraid. Other time consuming tests will have to wait.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try again with HIMEMX.EXE, but this time set MaxFileCache=32768.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are there any other suitable ramdrive solutions available? I do understand different ramdrive drivers can work with different efficiency. So, the DOS based ones do not seem to be a good choice, probably.

SRDISK:

http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=109574

http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=109574&st=13

http://sourceforge.net/projects/srdisk/

jaclaz

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try again with HIMEMX.EXE, but this time set MaxFileCache=32768.

It does not seem to make any difference.

Are there any other suitable ramdrive solutions available? I do understand different ramdrive drivers can work with different efficiency. So, the DOS based ones do not seem to be a good choice, probably.

SRDISK:

http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=109574

http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=109574&st=13

http://sourceforge.net/projects/srdisk/

jaclaz

I did not have much time to read through all the provided links, but the outcome is significally different in this particular case. I mean, I'm getting a following error message:

"VFAT Device Initialization Failed

A device or resource required by VFAT is not present

or is unavailable. VFAT cannot continue loading."

I had an opportunity to play the same video on two computers with the same single core P4 2.4GHz CPU. One was running Windows 98, the other a standard installation of Windows XP. As expected, the quality of output video on the Windows 98 was significantly higher. The output from the XP was quite a choppy one, while on Windows 98 video was freezing only during complicated scenes with both moving text and images blurring one to another. Apparently, CPU has to work much more during such scenes.

As for all DOS based ram drives. In theory, they would require the CPU to switch between 16bit and 32bit modes in order to function. The construction of the single core P4 CPU should make every such a change to be a significantly long one. So, it is quite possible, loading the whole file in the windows file cache, could give better results, as the CPU mode switching would not be necesary. However, I was not able to prove the point, as I was unable to run Windows 98 with large enough ramdrive, so far.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As for all DOS based ram drives. In theory, they would require the CPU to switch between 16bit and 32bit modes in order to function. The construction of the single core P4 CPU should make every such a change to be a significantly long one. So, it is quite possible, loading the whole file in the windows file cache, could give better results, as the CPU mode switching would not be necesary. However, I was not able to prove the point, as I was unable to run Windows 98 with large enough ramdrive, so far.

I realy don't think the CPU mode switching causes any perceptible slowness... in fact, my ramdisk performance tests show them to be faster even than a hardware ramdisk, like the Gigabite i-RAM (which is itself already wonderful, BTW). While the XP only Gavotte is a windows driver, RLoew's non-XMS ramdisk is a DOS program, loaded before Win 9x.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.