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Kelsenellenelvian

512 MB ram and above?

67 posts in this topic

I know what a swapfile is and how it works :)

My point is that if a system is not swapping, because 1gig is huge for Win98, the ramdisk is not used. This ram is just sitting there. There is no real effective difference with capping the mem with maxphyspage. It's only usefull when you run a dualboot with a os that can handle 1gig better.

My apologies for assuming so noguru. I had admittedly rushed out the post due to having just woken up and was due to leave for work within a few minutes.

However, instead of using the maxphyspage setting I figured at least have the ram available for use if it does come to the case whereas it actually becomes needed. I myself have come to times when it has come rather close to reaching 1gb (50mb short of it) used during a typical game of diablo 2 (using a glide wrapper) or running some games such as quake 4 on ultra high.

Edited by Chozo4
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....

Using a freeware tool called XMS-DISK can effectively let you use up to 3GB (1gb direct + 2gb through a ramdisk) of ram overall and use it all as well without any troubles. Unzip it into a folder such as 'ramdisk' into your c drive. Then add the following line to your autoexec.bat file:

C:\ramdisk\xmsdsk.exe 262144 Z: /C1 /T /Y

Z: will be the drive letter it will be assigne dto so as not to interfere with your other drive lettering order. The number 262144 is to handle 256mb additional ram (256 x 1024). So if you have say 1.5gb ram , set it to 512000.

Once in windows - you'll need to set your swapfile to the new ramdisk (z:) to it's fullest size so that windows can use the ram above 1gb in the form of a ram-based swapfile (rather than disk-based).

Now, there is a drawback to using this workaround. To access safe-mode you'll need to use the step-by-step method to load your config.sys & autoexc.bat (set no to load registry and no to loading drivers). Otherwise the ramdisk will not utilize the ram above 1gb in safemode and the PC will likely self-reboot before hitting even the safemode GUI again.

Additionally another drawback - being that the ramdisk is now using that extra ram above 1gb - your 'my computer' property sheet will only show 1gb of ram as it's allocated the rest above it for the ramdisk (now used as a RAM-swapfile).

I use this code

XMSDSK 40960 /t /y

If I remember it uses only the memory needed to store what's on the virtual disk leaving the rest of the ram free.

I wonder if with this method the effect is the same...

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Couple of important things we all need to know about properly using XMSDSK:

http://www.mdgx.com/newtip12.htm#RAM

Please read about the /T switch under "IMPORTANT:" [red + bold fonts].

HTH

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I recently upgraded my system from 512MB to 1.5GB Ram. Let me share my experience with Win98SE and 1.5GB Ram.

In the first place, posts in this forum like "I'm running Win98 with 1.5GB with no problems" and unofficial Service Pack patchnotes stating "512mb problem solved" encouraged me to buy more Ram.

After installing it, i ran into the "Insufficient memory to initialize windows." error message.

The necessary settings have been discussed here more than enough.

System.ini

[386Enh]

MaxPhysPage=40000

[vcache]

MinFileCache=2048

MaxFileCache=65536

The MaxPhysPage setting effectively limits the Ram Win98SE can see (and use) to 1GB and the MaxFileCache Setting avoids a bug of win98's filecache with more than 512MB Ram installed. I do not need a file cache of 512MB, so i chose smaller values. Together these settings lead to a clean boot.

Running my favorite game World of Warcraft convinced me: Win98SE does not only claim to have 1GB installed, but actually uses the Ram (and let applications use it). WoW performed significantly better with 1GB than it did before with 512MB.

I, however, have been unable to get the system use 1.5GB. Removing the MaxPhysPage entry or setting it to 60000 did not work.

So, what to do with the idle 512MB Ram left? Right, a Ramdisk, put the pagefile on it, and i am done: 1GB directly usable, 512MB through the swap file located in Ram.

Sounds good in theory, in practice, things are more complicated.

First Question: Which Ramdisk? I need one which uses the 512MB ram, which windows cannot see. Windows based Ramdisks are not useful, since they use the Ram, Windows already can see. Win98's Ramdrive.sys disqualifies itself by its 32MB maximum disk size limit. So i tried XMSDSK 1.9i and SRDisk 2.09 as DOS based Ramdisks. SRDisk has no option for using the memory from top, so creating a 512MB SRDisk Ramdrive left another 512MB available for Windows.

XMSDSK 1.9i did the trick. 1GB for Windows and another 512MB through a ramdrive usable in Win98.

Config.sys

DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\HIMEM.SYS

Autoexec.bat

D:\DOWNLOAD\RAMDISK\XMSDSK.EXE 524288 G: /t /y

No problems at this point. Everythings ok in the device manager. 32-bit access to all drives. But the Virtual Memory Settings dialog does not offer the Ramdisk as a target drive for the page file.

So i changed that manually:

System.ini

[386Enh]

PagingDrive=G:

After a reboot, windows creates the page file on the Ramdrive. But suddenly the Virtual memory works in MS-DOS compatibility mode.

Some Sandra Performance Tests reveal:

The Ramdrive is pretty slow for a Ramdrive and has a datatransfer rate of around 100MB/s. The directly accessable Ram transfers data @ around 2.2GB/s, which is a typical value for my DDR ram @ 333Mhz.

Further performance tests with and without a ramdisk including a page file on it confirmed:

The MS-DOS compatibility mode for the Virtual Memory system does not affect other parts of the system.

All regular harddisks are still using 32-bit access and perform according to the specs of my hardware vendor.

Besides these tests, the system does not "feel" slower with compatibility mode active.

My harddrive, that used to hold the page file, a Seagate Barracuda 200GB harddrive, transfers data @ 50MB/s. The Ramdrive in MS-DOS compatibility mode performs twice as fast (i have not measured seek times, yet, but they should be higher on a real harddisk than on a Ramdrive).

A breathtaking success story, don't you agree? My 512MB ram module (50EUR) doubles the speed at which my computer accesses the swap file :P

Looking back, I'd just upgrade by 512MB for a total of 1GB Ram due to the cost-value ratio. Also 1GB seems to be enough for my purposes. Playing WoW and using a Browser did not lead to an extensive page file usage.

XMSDSK 1.9i is able to manage Ramdrives of a size up to 2GB. So, a setup with a total of 3GB ram should be possible. Sure enough, i have not tested this, since i do not have 3GB ram.

I hope, this report sheds some light on Windows98SE with more than 512MB/more than 1GB Ram.

Best regards

Christian Charles

msdoscompat.jpg

edit:

Hardware used:

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-7N400-L capable of holding up to 3GB Ram, manual see http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Support/Motherb...Name=GA-7N400-L

CPU : AMD Athlon XP 2600+

Ram Modules: 2x512MB DDR 400MHz CL 3, 2x256MB DDR 400MHz CL 3, running at 333Mhz, installed for Dual Channel operation according to the motherboard manual (double sided 512MB modules in Dimm Slots 1 & 2, single sided 256MB modules in Dimm Slots 3 & 4)

Graphics : Ati Radeon 9600XT 128MB onBoard RAM with Bios Setting AGP Aperture Size: 128MB

Harddisk : Seagate Barracude ST3200822A 3.01 200GB

During POST the Bios recognizes 1.5GB Ram and enables Dual Channel Technology.

A MemTest86 3.0 test reports no errors.

My old debian installation, which resides on the harddisk behind the 137GB limit, recognizes 1.5GB ram, as well as the Knoppix 3.4 live cdrom does.

Edited by tscharlii
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tscharlii, i'm not joking, your story had me on the edge of my seat ... will he succeed in getting his OS to use all his hardware? This is a Microsoft OS we're talking about, so there was immediately some suspense ... I liked how you managed to raise the tension level as you took us thru the adventure ...

Very cool of you to add your experience to these forums, thanks for the good read with only 10 minutes to go to the end of my week of wage slavery, I nearly didn't leave right on the dot!! :D

Edited by soporific
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Any description of the hardware you used? It can't go above 1Gb diretly? Have you tried increasing MaxPhysPage in small increments? Does MaxPhysPage=40001 work or immediately fail?

Might be just something about the mobo/chipset memory controller's way of handling the memory addresses... as you've probably read, I was fine with 2Gb. This is (was) an i865 chipset.

The filling of the DIMM slots might also have something to do with it...

Edited by LLXX
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I just tried D975XBX board with E6600 processor and 1GB RAM - and no luck, the

Insufficient memory to initialize Windows.

Quit one or more memory-resident programs or remove unnecessary utilities from your CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files, and restart your computer.

message described in http://support.microsoft.com/kb/184447 appeared even if I set MaxPhysPage=30000 or MaxPhysPage=20000, and maxfilecache=522240 and smaller values - no success, Windows 98 SE never booted.

Petr

Edited by Petr
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Well, the 975 chipset support in 98se is already flaky, so I wouldn't have expected any success either.

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Well, the 975 chipset support in 98se is already flaky, so I wouldn't have expected any success either.

I had no probem with 955X chipset so I supposed that it should be similar, southbridge is the same.

Petr

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After reading you guys are saying i shouldn't waste my money buying more than 512mb

because Win98SE doesn't support even with the tweaks and unofficials packs.

Thanks for the heads up u saved me a few $

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Is it possible and if yes very useful to force the virtual ram drive to use one full physical module and Windows the other ones?

Thanks to tsharlii for sharing his experience!

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Any description of the hardware you used? It can't go above 1Gb diretly? Have you tried increasing MaxPhysPage in small increments? Does MaxPhysPage=40001 work or immediately fail?

You were right, i just tried settings of 40000, 50000 and 60000.

After a lot of reboots and narrowing my personal maximal MaxPhysPage value, my system boots with values up to 48AE4(hex), while a value of 48AE5 and above leads to "Insufficient memory to initialize Windows."

A very strange number imo. Changing the AGP Aperture Size or MinFileCache and MaxFileChache values does not affect this MaxPhysPage limit on my computer.

MaxPhysPage=48AE4 yields 1161MB Ram.

Edited by tscharlii
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I currently have 1.75GB in three sticks on my Abit NF7-S v2 board and I use them all without problems under Windows ME. Just had to set the Vcache value under 512MB as not to break DOS programs operation.

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Any description of the hardware you used? It can't go above 1Gb diretly? Have you tried increasing MaxPhysPage in small increments? Does MaxPhysPage=40001 work or immediately fail?

You were right, i just tried settings of 40000, 50000 and 60000.

After a lot of reboots and narrowing my personal maximal MaxPhysPage value, my system boots with values up to 48AE4(hex), while a value of 48AE5 and above leads to "Insufficient memory to initialize Windows."

A very strange number imo. Changing the AGP Aperture Size or MinFileCache and MaxFileChache values does not affect this MaxPhysPage limit on my computer.

MaxPhysPage=48AE4 yields 1161MB Ram.

Please post your hardware configuration.
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