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Topic: How to get Win98 to see more RAM?

  1. #1

    How to get Win98 to see more RAM?

    Hi Gang.

    I am running GS on a Win98 PC. I started out with 512 MB of RAM, and things were working alright, apart from the fact that I could only load up 16 or less slots with instruments before hitting the limits of my system memory.

    I just got another 512 MB, and was hoping to increase my memory to around a gig. When the computer starts up, however, it hangs on an error message which seems to indicate that it cannot make use of the new memory.

    Is this a limitation of Win98? Can it see more than 512MB of RAM? Or is there something I can do to make it work?

    In case it matters, it is RAMBUS memory, and should (according to Asus, my motherboard manufacturer) work fine with this model.

    Thanks a lot for your advice.

  2. #2

    Re: How to get Win98 to see more RAM?

    I experienced this with my small dell machine. Some motherboards are limited to only 512 megs. They have 2 slots to handle 2 256mb chips but they wont go beyond a gig. When shopping for Giga computers, that is an importants spec to be aware of. That may be what your encountering.

  3. #3

    Re: How to get Win98 to see more RAM?

    Bluescreen - does it hang when Windows is loading? So the BIOS finds the 1gb alright? If so, make sure you have VCACHE settings in your system.ini - if there are no settings, and you use more than 512mb, Windows will get into all sorts of troubles.

  4. #4

    Re: How to get Win98 to see more RAM?

    Hi Guys.

    Thanks for your replies.

    Dave-- the motherboard literature states that it can hold up to 2 gigs, so I don\'t think that is the problem.

    Simon-- I have edited the system.ini file by adding the following lines to it: Under the [386Enh] section, I added


    And under the [vcache] section, I added 2 lines:


    So far, no results. When the computer boots up, I see it perform the memory test and find over 1 Gig of RAM, but the error message comes up pretty quickly afterward, well before I can get to my desktop.

    Any ideas? Is there more I can edit in the system.ini file or elsewhere?

    Thanks again.

  5. #5

    Re: How to get Win98 to see more RAM?

    Blue, then I am blank really. However, the \'maxphyspage\' set to 40000 will limit your available memory to 512mb wont it? You shouldnt add that, if you want to use your extra 512mb.

  6. #6

    Re: How to get Win98 to see more RAM?

    Bluescreen, when I first put 1gb in my mobo, which had four slots, I put 2x512 sticks of ram.

    It didn\'t work.

    After a little searching, I found out that although I had four slots, I wasn\'t allowed to put more than 256 in one.

    When I switched to 4x256, the machine read the ram properly.

  7. #7

    Re: How to get Win98 to see more RAM?

    Hi Simon + Chadwick.

    Thanks for your replies.

    I think I may have accidentally stumbled upon the answer, and I will post back here to let you know if it is it.


    Yeah, I checked out the mobo stats and it says that each slot can take up to one 512 MB chip. I have each of the four slots occupied by a 256 chip like you mentioned.


    According to Microsoft, by telling Win98 to limit the amount of available RAM through the MaxPhysPage parameter, you are actually tricking it into seeing the additional RAM. But here\'s where I think I blundered: the number specified by the MaxPhysPage should be 3C000, not 30000. This is a multiplier, and the corresponding amount of RAM is related by means of a formula (it\'s on the Microsoft KnowledgeBase, for the curious)

    I think I will try setting the MaxPhysPage to this number and try again.

    Wish me luck!

  8. #8

    Re: How to get Win98 to see more RAM?

    A-ha!! It works!!

    I set the MaxPhysPage to 3C000 and kept the lines in the [vcache] section and it works! I then upped the MaxPhysPage to 40000 and it saw even more RAM! (I don\'t know why it didn\'t work before, but there you have it)

    Thank you, all, for your help. I am so psyched that this works!! Hooray!!

  9. #9

    Re: How to get Win98 to see more RAM?

    Perhaps you can clear me up on this issue. (I\'m more a user than a tech supporter these days so pardon my ignorance,my head has been buried in library work and composing)

    If you set a limit like this to limit the amount of RAM windows will use, will that free up the rest of the RAM for the GigaStudio or does that number also include the RAM for the GigaStudio. In other words, what would happen if I limited windows to 256 megs on a 1 gig RAM system. Would that free up the other 700 or so for the Giga software samples or would that actually limit the Giga software as well to what is left over of that 256 megs.
    Thanks for the info.

  10. #10

    Re: How to get Win98 to see more RAM?

    Hi Dave.

    I\'m no expert on the Wintel side of life, but my understanding is that the MaxPhysPage parameter limits the amount of RAM available to your entire system, including to any apps like GigaStudio.

    I noticed that when I first added the MaxPhysPage number alone my computer still refused to boot up with the additional memory installed. It was only when I added the lines to the [vcache] section of my system.ini file that everything seemed to gel.

    Someone told me how the vcache works a while ago. Left to its own devices, the cache would take so much memory that the amount left over would be insufficient to allow Windows to start. By limiting the amount of memory the cache can takeover, you ensure that it will leave plenty leftover for Windows to start up, and, subsequently, the additional RAM will benefit any apps like GigaStudio as well.

    I could be wrong, here, but that is my understanding.

    By the way, thanks for giving such a cool presentation at SCL last month. My friends and I learned a lot and enjoyed meeting you. Good luck with your writing. It would be cool if you posted something we could hear sometime.

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