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98SE

RLoew's non-XMS Ramdisk and related Software

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Posted (edited)
Quote

If you bought something from me, you did not identify your MSFN handle when you did so. PM or E-Mail me with the info.
If you are planning to do any serious testing, you will need to buy the RAMDisks.
 

No I was not buying something from you then because I was a MSFN user.  I created the MSFN account at the time looking for Windows 2000 tips to install on a Z77 at the time since there were not any SATA AHCI drivers and it seemed to be a dead end and never bothered to use the forums much again except an occasional drop in to see if any Windows 2000 progress happened.  Most dealt with BlackWingCat but his site is mainly in Japanese so it wasn't easy to translate everything he was doing and XP did pretty much what I needed Windows 2000 for so I moved on.  For Windows 2000 I ended up just using IDE mode and later just did XP with AHCI.

When I opened my MSFN account it had nothing to do with you or any of your software as you had no relation to Windows 2000 which was what I was focused on getting to run on the Z77 in AHCI mode.  I found your software from googling around that often linked to your site many years ago on other forums about breaking the 98 memory barrier BSOD problem but I was hesitant then about spending some money on some unknown site for some program that may or may not work but saw plenty of positive feedback on other sites that one day I finally decided to just buy the program and hold for storage in case say one day you disappeared or your site went dead I wouldn't be able to try it out.  I was preparing to install 98SE on a Z77 down the road when I had more time and was very busy then and because of DOSBOX and at the time I didn't really have that many 98 titles that I wanted to play but now I do thanks to some purchases on eBay and GOG years ago that I stockpiled.  I was also not in dire need of your program then but just purchased it as a backup plan in case my 512MB DDR3 test failed to work since I based my theory on the too much memory causing the install to fail.  When I finally got the memory and I was installing 98SE on a Z77 that worked successfully that your program sat unused indefinitely as a result.  So in a way you could say that purchase turned out to be a donation.

As for your Ramdisk I would consider buying it when it gets perfected and had more features I am looking for.  This is something that appears you aren't interesting in doing which is fine as it is your program and your design to do what you want.  I still think it's a viable product since you stated it's the only one capable of > 4GB and works in DOS/9X/ME for now.

18 hours ago, rloew said:

The 32-Bit and 64-Bit RAM areas ARE separate. I could only assume you wanted a single Drive Letter.
Each invocation is separate, so there is no specific limit to the number of Drives.

I haven't tested on an XHCI Port, but booting from one would probably work even better as Windows 9x would not reset it as it does with older Ports. Keyboards and Mice should work too, All would run in BIOS emulation.

The System Arena is in Virtual Memory, not Physical Memory. Space can be reserved in it even if no RAM is actually committed. It is always 1GiB regardless of the amount of Physical RAM.

Does each Ramdrive letter act as a virtual partition?  Could you format it in DOS like a normal disk?

The idea was to have an all in one Ramdisk program that could manage lower 32-bit and upper 64-bit memory that could run on 32-bit and or 64-bit CPUs and it would recognize if it was a 32-bit CPU it would only allow access to the 32-bit memory range.  But on a 64-bit CPU it would allow the option to create in either bit range or both combined.  Having three individual Ramdisk versions unless you are packaging them as one program to sell together instead of individually would only make sense so the user would have access to choose which program they needed to run since the Dual mode program can't even auto detect or function on 32-bit only CPU from what you have stated.  Also you threw in this tidbit "Also HIMEMEX uses PSE".  I assume that you cannot write an DOS executable that could run on either 32-bit or 64-bit CPU and still be able to work as an all in one Ramdisk program.  So at the minimum you will need the 32-bit and the Dual Ramdisk program as a standard package otherwise the user would be screwed if they bought the Dual Ramdisk and then needed to work on a P4 or some older machine.

Quote

Allocating on a 1GB or any other specific boundary would be riduculous.

Deallocating or reallocating requires memory tables to be maintained. This would definitely increase the footprint.
HIMEMEX currently uses progressive allocation. No deallocation allowed.
What would you do that needs to keep reallocating RAMDisks?
You could just as easily create Folders within one RAMDisk and use SUBST.

I think the simplest is a feature to uninstall all your Ramdisks then you won't have to keep track of any memory table of deallocated and allocated memory regions and it should work as if were a clean slate before adding any Ramdrive.  Problem solved.  If you premap where HIMEMEX would only use memory say starting at 4GB> End of Max Memory then there shouldn't be any worries about where the boundaries are located.  You're just wiping everything in between 4GB > End of Max Memory and no DOS programs will touch above 4GB and no 9X/ME 32-bit programs touch above 4GB either correct?  I'm glad you are explaining what's going on on your end and what the difficulties are in implementing it.  This is probably why I didn't get into it because it takes a lot of work to create an idea into code.

XXMS RLOEW /U

Quote

512 Bytes is the sector size, no useable Filesystem is going to fit in it. The theortical limit is 2K.

When you say theoretical limit is 2K of what do you mean here?  Are you talking about AUS?

Does your non XMS Ramdrive allow Allocation unit sizes of 512 bytes to 64KB to be specified for each Ramdisk or can be manually formatted as such?

Quote

Incidentally, I would not recommend the 7950GX2 because the second Controller is not initialized and won't be recognized by 9x. It costs more and takes up more MMIO than a single Controller card with no advantage.

Regarding the 7950GX2 if two of the video cards were emulated to perform a virtual Quad SLI wouldn't it be fine under your Mem Patch?

They would only use a combined max of 1GB of video RAM space basically hogging the entire 3GiB-4GiB memory region.  But this should leave the first 3GiB to 98SE.

Edited by 98SE

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20 hours ago, 98SE said:


 

I associate the Grub4Dos with Linux origins.  I try not to mix anything non DOS non Windows with Linux or MAC OS when it comes to the bootloader.

Well that is only *somehow* ideoology (pointless BTW) what the good Chinese guys did was to make the good GRUB (0.99) into something capable of booting *any OS* BESIDES Linux, adding an endless number of useful features, some strictly unique to it and that are missing in ALL other bootmanagers.

I guess you won't also touch (and never touched) Syslinux/Isolinux or MakebootFAT and ALL its derivatives (as they may have some Linux roots).

Don' t EVEN THINK of testing Beatzero's Winbuilder project, as it is contaminated by grub4dos.

jaclaz
 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, jaclaz said:

Well that is only *somehow* ideoology (pointless BTW) what the good Chinese guys did was to make the good GRUB (0.99) into something capable of booting *any OS* BESIDES Linux, adding an endless number of useful features, some strictly unique to it and that are missing in ALL other bootmanagers.

I guess you won't also touch (and never touched) Syslinux/Isolinux or MakebootFAT and ALL its derivatives (as they may have some Linux roots).

Don' t EVEN THINK of testing Beatzero's Winbuilder project, as it is contaminated by grub4dos.

jaclaz
 

Not for a main system.  As a test system I don't care.  This might be good for Mac OS X and Linux mixing but I wouldn't do it for my DOS and Windows MultiBoot.

Which specific "features" are missing in ALL other boot managers that make you use it?

Can you put this on a floppy disk to boot and if your boot drive got corrupted what's the recourse in restoring just the boot manager portion without overwriting the entire partition?

Edited by 98SE

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11 hours ago, 98SE said:

Which specific "features" are missing in ALL other boot managers that make you use it?

You will never know until you will be blinded by your "ideology", unfortunately.

Now if I gave you all these info, you would probably see the light, but I would likely be accused of proselitism, and seeing suddenly the light after years of (self-inflicted) blindness may represent a risk for your sanity.

11 hours ago, 98SE said:

Can you put this on a floppy disk to boot and if your boot drive got corrupted what's the recourse in restoring just the boot manager portion without overwriting the entire partition?

Sure, and it can also make coffee ;) (black, strong, two of sugar for me, thanks).

I will provide you with an example (fasten your seat belt and put your sunglasses on, please ):

http://reboot.pro/topic/20674-solution-spyhunter-made-windows-7-unbootable/

(chainloading a Windows loader bypassing any MBR and PBR code on another partition and fake it is in the right one)

Also, how exactly do you think we can have Windows 2K/XP/7 in ramdisK (using Firadisk or Winvbock)? :dubbio:

jaclaz

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, jaclaz said:

You will never know until you will be blinded by your "ideology", unfortunately.

Now if I gave you all these info, you would probably see the light, but I would likely be accused of proselitism, and seeing suddenly the light after years of (self-inflicted) blindness may represent a risk for your sanity.

The Grub Floppy process takes more steps.  But I found a good tutorial for those to use it with Legacy OS.  It's best for Windows, Linux, and MAC OS X bootloader if you prefer Linux style.

http://clubweb.interbaun.com/~mward/grub.html#use

DOS/9X/ME/2K/XP/Vista/W7/W10 bootloader will be around 22MB and no problems when choosing any OS.

The DOS/9X/ME/2K/XP bootloader is much smaller I think around 2MB and can be modified all under DOS with just Edit after Attrib you can do pretty much anything necessary.

Quote

Sure, and it can also make coffee  (black, strong, two of sugar for me, thanks).

I will provide you with an example (fasten your seat belt and put your sunglasses on, please ):

http://reboot.pro/topic/20674-solution-spyhunter-made-windows-7-unbootable/

(chainloading a Windows loader bypassing any MBR and PBR code on another partition and fake it is in the right one)

Also, how exactly do you think we can have Windows 2K/XP/7 in ramdisK (using Firadisk or Winvbock)?

jaclaz

Keep the shades on maybe you will be the first.  Only problem I can think of is after storing the XP image onto Ramdisk using that Linux Ramdisk will the Windows Ramdisk software in XP be able to use the rest of your memory or not?

http://reboot.pro/topic/9830-universal-hdd-image-files-for-xp-and-windows-7/

http://reboot.pro/topic/20253-windows-xp-64-booting-into-ramdisk/page-3

http://reboot.pro/topic/13005-real-xp-sp3-booting-from-dvd-into-ramdisk/

98SE

Edited by 98SE

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No.

Do not confuse GRUB with grub4dos.

That tutorial:

http://clubweb.interbaun.com/~mward/grub.html#use
 

 is a very old one and it is about GRUB.

They are DIFFERENT tools, grub4dos is an evolution of the first, GRUB only has a small subset of the capabilities of grub4dos, which was named "for Dos" for some reasons...

There is no "Linux Ramdisk" anywhere involved in the threads on reboot.pro you linked to.

You still seem like having an obsession with "Linux". :dubbio:

I don't know where did you find those "crazy" multi-Mb sizes. :w00t:

The boot manager and loader of NT up to XP (NTLDR), including the accessory files (NTDETECT.COM and BOOT.INI) is in the hundreds of Kb range, and as well the NT 6+ (BOOTMGR and \boot\BCD\) are only slightly larger.

DOS/9x/Me do not have a "real" bootloader, IO.SYS is the system file that is also the bootloader.

Boot floppies for all those OS can be done easily, and they are (talking of a coommon 3.5" 1.44 floppy more than half empty (for a single OS).

jaclaz


 


 


 

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6 hours ago, jaclaz said:

No.

Do not confuse GRUB with grub4dos.

That tutorial:

http://clubweb.interbaun.com/~mward/grub.html#use
 

 is a very old one and it is about GRUB.

They are DIFFERENT tools, grub4dos is an evolution of the first, GRUB only has a small subset of the capabilities of grub4dos, which was named "for Dos" for some reasons...

There is no "Linux Ramdisk" anywhere involved in the threads on reboot.pro you linked to.

You still seem like having an obsession with "Linux". :dubbio:

I don't know where did you find those "crazy" multi-Mb sizes. :w00t:

The boot manager and loader of NT up to XP (NTLDR), including the accessory files (NTDETECT.COM and BOOT.INI) is in the hundreds of Kb range, and as well the NT 6+ (BOOTMGR and \boot\BCD\) are only slightly larger.

DOS/9x/Me do not have a "real" bootloader, IO.SYS is the system file that is also the bootloader.

Boot floppies for all those OS can be done easily, and they are (talking of a coommon 3.5" 1.44 floppy more than half empty (for a single OS).

jaclaz

Jaclaz your signature has a bunch of empty space lines you can remove 5 or 6 empty lines to save space in your messages.

The Grub was the oldest one that dealt with DOS I could find in a tutorial.  You have a better one for DOS 6.22/9X/ME/2K/XP with Grub4DOS?

If it's not a Linux Ramdisk then where is the XP ISO stored?  There is no XP Ramdisk outside of XP is there for a PE?  I thought the whole point of that was to have XP running inside a Ramdrive with a Linux bootloader.  Once in XP you would use an XP inbox Ramdisk program to access the remaining memory.

Are you talking about the sizes of the bootloader?  I call the bootloader the program which lets you choose the OS.  If you haven't tried a 9X/ME/2K/XP/Vista/W7/W8/W8.1/W10 bootloader then you won't know what I mean.

I used a DOS imager of the primary boot partition.  To break it down these are the major Windows Bootloaders.  You're going to need an actual DOS imager or a program that can do it in Linux that images and restores the image successfully.  These are MBR based.

I double checked and the smallest is 98SE DOS at 316KB.

9X and XP 686KB <--- Why DOS/9X/ME/2K/XP bootloader is efficient

Vista/W7 16MB <--- Bloat occurs

W8/8.1/W10 22MB <--- Continued Bloat trend with new GUI interface

.

The Windows 8 and 10 Boot Loaders are bloated and add a GUI and a front end that takes some time to load.  The best one is 98SE/XP bootloader.  Vista/W7 requires BCD which can't be edited easily in DOS like Boot.Ini.

Windows Boot floppy for 2K/XP/Vista/W7/W8/W8.1.W10 I'd like to see.  Or are talking about using Grub4DOS?  That doesn't contain the entire bootloader it just does the redirecting.  It becomes the primary bootloader then points to the Windows bootloader.

Try separating the partitions out.  Use a 2GB Primary Partition and then once you've installed Grub4DOS try installing 9X, image that boot partition and see how large it is.

Do the same after adding each of these OS one at a time 2K, XP, Vista, W7, W8, W8.1, W10.  Check the size of the image after imaging the primary boot partition.  They should be similar in size.  Don't install the OS to the same boot partition.  Create a new partition for each OS.  This will isolate the Windows bootloader to the Primary partition separating it from the OS files.

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Grub4dos is NOT GRUB.

Rest assured that the bootloaders are the files I mentioned, whatever you call "bootloader" remains a mistery.

9x/Me and NT/2K/XP have a very different booting mechanism.

All the rest of the world has made boot floppies for all these OS's, if you want a couple examples, see here:

http://www.xxcopy.com/xxcopy33.htm

http://www.multibooters.co.uk/floppy.html

And you will need some time to read about how Firadisk and/or Winvblock work (together with grub4dos).

jaclaz
 

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On Friday, June 23, 2017 at 9:46 AM, jaclaz said:

Grub4dos is NOT GRUB.

As I said before do you have a better tutorial for DOS 6.22/9X/ME/2K/XP with Grub4DOS?

Quote

Rest assured that the bootloaders are the files I mentioned, whatever you call "bootloader" remains a mistery.

9x/Me and NT/2K/XP have a very different booting mechanism.

Yes I know that.  But the bootloader contains the boot code and the boot menu together at least for Windows.  For 9X you could disable the Bootmenu in MsDos.Sys and run it in pure DOS mode.  But for XP there is no bootable floppy method from Windows to get to the DOS prompt.  They used their own PE and since I used the 9X boot loader = DOS and Windows Boot Menu you could stack later Windows on top of it.  Windows will add their on bootloader and boot menu on top so you can still access 9X or XP at the Boot Menu.

If you don't do it the old school way of overlaying the newer OS on top of the older ones you won't see the new Boot loader and Boot Menu.  If you install the newer OS first you will overwrite the older OS boot loader / menu.

Quote

All the rest of the world has made boot floppies for all these OS's, if you want a couple examples, see here:

http://www.xxcopy.com/xxcopy33.htm

http://www.multibooters.co.uk/floppy.html

And you will need some time to read about how Firadisk and/or Winvblock work (together with grub4dos).

jaclaz

Interesting links.  But I usually image my boot partition and save for later.  There wouldn't be a need for those other programs because the USB bootable floppy or can be done in USB SSD/Flash drive if you need more speed and the size is very compact as it is so I can include some DOS programs on the floppy or more on the SSD.  With the 98SE DOS I can then access the DOS disk image to restore back any OS bootloader/menu I had saved so there wouldn't be any special need to be using those other tools for my purposes.  They might have come in handy if there was no way to image the boot partition in DOS.

I suggest you delve deeper in the XP loaded entirely into Ramdisk possibility maybe you will find a way to do this yourself first and share.

:w00t:

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Posted (edited)
On sabato 24 giugno 2017 at 10:06 PM, 98SE said:

As I said before do you have a better tutorial for DOS 6.22/9X/ME/2K/XP with Grub4DOS?

Start by reading the guide:

http://diddy.boot-land.net/grub4dos/Grub4dos.htm

 

Although now more than a bit dated (more recent grub4dos 0.4.5c and 0.46a series have countless added features) it still cover the basics nicely.

I see however that there is still a communication problem between us.

Our conversations are becoming pretty much pointless as you (I have to presume deliberately) continue to largely ignore the information I try to share with you and attempt - at every interaction - to shift the topic at hand to something else, I won't even try to comment on these

On sabato 24 giugno 2017 at 10:06 PM, 98SE said:

Yes I know that.  But the bootloader contains the boot code and the boot menu together at least for Windows.  For 9X you could disable the Bootmenu in MsDos.Sys and run it in pure DOS mode.  But for XP there is no bootable floppy method from Windows to get to the DOS prompt.  They used their own PE and since I used the 9X boot loader = DOS and Windows Boot Menu you could stack later Windows on top of it.  Windows will add their on bootloader and boot menu on top so you can still access 9X or XP at the Boot Menu.

If you don't do it the old school way of overlaying the newer OS on top of the older ones you won't see the new Boot loader and Boot Menu.  If you install the newer OS first you will overwrite the older OS boot loader / menu.

Interesting links.  But I usually image my boot partition and save for later.  There wouldn't be a need for those other programs because the USB bootable floppy or can be done in USB SSD/Flash drive if you need more speed and the size is very compact as it is so I can include some DOS programs on the floppy or more on the SSD.  With the 98SE DOS I can then access the DOS disk image to restore back any OS bootloader/menu I had saved so there wouldn't be any special need to be using those other tools for my purposes.  They might have come in handy if there was no way to image the boot partition in DOS.

As I tried to tell you before it is YEARS that several different methods to run XP entirely in RAM exist, there is nothing to be invented or added to them:

On sabato 24 giugno 2017 at 10:06 PM, 98SE said:

I suggest you delve deeper in the XP loaded entirely into Ramdisk possibility maybe you will find a way to do this yourself first and share.

Personally I believe that using either Winvblock or Firadisk is easier and more handy than using the good ol' Euhenio's way (making use of the MS Ramdisk.sys coming from server 2003 SP1) but of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

jaclaz



 

Edited by jaclaz

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On Wednesday, June 28, 2017 at 3:08 AM, jaclaz said:

Start by reading the guide:

http://diddy.boot-land.net/grub4dos/Grub4dos.htm

 

Although now more than a bit dated (more recent grub4dos 0.4.5c and 0.46a series have countless added features) it still cover the basics nicely.

I see however that there is still a communication problem between us.

Our conversations are becoming pretty much pointless as you (I have to presume deliberately) continue to largely ignore the information I try to share with you and attempt - at every interaction - to shift the topic at hand to something else, I won't even try to comment on these

As I tried to tell you before it is YEARS that several different methods to run XP entirely in RAM exist, there is nothing to be invented or added to them:

Personally I believe that using either Winvblock or Firadisk is easier and more handy than using the good ol' Euhenio's way (making use of the MS Ramdisk.sys coming from server 2003 SP1) but of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

jaclaz

I have bookmarked the link.  But like I said I only intend to use it for Linux and MAC OS Hackintosh setups where I will need to use Linux commands to tweak it to work.

As for the XP OS loaded into Ramdisk using either method did you actually try this already and then use another 3rd party XP Ramdisk or Gavotte's which is your favorite to use the remainder of the unused RAM as a large Ramdrive?

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, 98SE said:

I have bookmarked the link.  But like I said I only intend to use it for Linux and MAC OS Hackintosh setups where I will need to use Linux commands to tweak it to work.

I a not particularly interested in what you will use it for, I was only pointing out how grub4dos is NOT Grub (nor Grub2) and you asked specifically for "a better tutorial for DOS 6.22/9X/ME/2K/XP with Grub4DOS", now you have it, do with it whatever you see fit.

12 hours ago, 98SE said:

As for the XP OS loaded into Ramdisk using either method did you actually try this already ...

Of course not, I never test the tools or the booting methods that I (sometimes, and just a little) contribute to develop.

12 hours ago, 98SE said:

.... or Gavotte's which is your favorite to use the remainder of the unused RAM as a large Ramdrive?

The Gavotte's Ramdisk (AFAIK) is not a bootable Ramdisk (unlike Winvblock or Firadisk), and is - I believe - the only one actually "hooking" the past 3.x Gb ram for use as Ramdrive, not much choice here.

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz

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