VOGONS


First post, by bevist

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

Hello all, I'm putting together a 486 machine with MSDOS 6.22, however any command I enter either does nothing / hangs the machine, or gives me: "Memory allocation error - Could not load COMMAND - System Halted'.

I've tried reinstalling with 4 different drives (2x CF-to-IDE, 2x 4GB HDDs), 3 different DIMMS (1x 8MB and 2x 32MB) and I've tried disabling LBA and disabling external cache.

Any pointers would be much appreciated, I'm going crazy here,
Thanks!

Reply 1 of 21, by waterbeesje

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Some thoughts.

Since you have 8 and 32MB I suspect you're using 72 pin ram.

Are you sure you're using fastpage and not Edo? Lots of 486s have trouble with Edo.

Could you set the timings to their slowest? Our at least fail-safe settings?

You say you disabled external cache. How about internal? Just for troubleshooting.

Are you able to try DOS 7 from a Windows 9x boot disk? Just to make sure it's not a corrupted command.com

Have you loaded any other programs/tsr? Try renaming autoexec and config to *.old and reboot without those. Just basic dos without himem or so. Any other memory optimiser is a major suspect as well.

Try to use a small hard disk, say about 256MB max.

Stuck at 10MHz...

Reply 2 of 21, by CoffeeOne

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
bevist wrote on 2022-06-21, 16:00:
Hello all, I'm putting together a 486 machine with MSDOS 6.22, however any command I enter either does nothing / hangs the machi […]
Show full quote

Hello all, I'm putting together a 486 machine with MSDOS 6.22, however any command I enter either does nothing / hangs the machine, or gives me: "Memory allocation error - Could not load COMMAND - System Halted'.

I've tried reinstalling with 4 different drives (2x CF-to-IDE, 2x 4GB HDDs), 3 different DIMMS (1x 8MB and 2x 32MB) and I've tried disabling LBA and disabling external cache.

Any pointers would be much appreciated, I'm going crazy here,
Thanks!

Just a wild guess: You are using an 486DX2 - 66 without radiator / cooler. We had this case here in the forum lately 😁

EDIT:
486 Setup freezes suddenly

Reply 3 of 21, by bevist

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
waterbeesje wrote on 2022-06-21, 17:31:
Some thoughts. […]
Show full quote

Some thoughts.

Since you have 8 and 32MB I suspect you're using 72 pin ram.

Are you sure you're using fastpage and not Edo? Lots of 486s have trouble with Edo.

Could you set the timings to their slowest? Our at least fail-safe settings?

You say you disabled external cache. How about internal? Just for troubleshooting.

Are you able to try DOS 7 from a Windows 9x boot disk? Just to make sure it's not a corrupted command.com

Have you loaded any other programs/tsr? Try renaming autoexec and config to *.old and reboot without those. Just basic dos without himem or so. Any other memory optimiser is a major suspect as well.

Try to use a small hard disk, say about 256MB max.

Thanks for the response, I've tried the things you've suggested:

It is 72-pin RAM, however I'm not sure how to tell if it's fastpage or Edo. The 8MB stick is the one the board came with.

I don't see any fail-safe settings but I attempted to set timings to their slowest speeds with no change (It's the AmeriBIOS with the 'GUI').

Disabled internal cache with no luck.

I'm able to run from a Windows 9x boot disk fine, can run edit and other utilities from the disk just fine. I can only install (but not practically use) DOS 6.22 and a DOS 7.1 installation hangs at initialization.

No programs or tsr, I've done nothing except a fresh install of the OS and using a bootdisk to modify my config.sys to disable the HIMEM memory test as it causes the system to hang.

Reply 4 of 21, by bevist

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
CoffeeOne wrote on 2022-06-21, 18:14:
Just a wild guess: You are using an 486DX2 - 66 without radiator / cooler. We had this case here in the forum lately :D […]
Show full quote
bevist wrote on 2022-06-21, 16:00:
Hello all, I'm putting together a 486 machine with MSDOS 6.22, however any command I enter either does nothing / hangs the machi […]
Show full quote

Hello all, I'm putting together a 486 machine with MSDOS 6.22, however any command I enter either does nothing / hangs the machine, or gives me: "Memory allocation error - Could not load COMMAND - System Halted'.

I've tried reinstalling with 4 different drives (2x CF-to-IDE, 2x 4GB HDDs), 3 different DIMMS (1x 8MB and 2x 32MB) and I've tried disabling LBA and disabling external cache.

Any pointers would be much appreciated, I'm going crazy here,
Thanks!

Just a wild guess: You are using an 486DX2 - 66 without radiator / cooler. We had this case here in the forum lately 😁

EDIT:
486 Setup freezes suddenly

It's a DX4-100 but I already have a heatsink and fan on it. Thanks for suggestion though!

Reply 5 of 21, by Datadrainer

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Does it freeze in the BIOS setup utility? Does it freeze when running DOS from floppy? Are the contacts for SIMM modules clean (not oxidized)?

Last edited by Datadrainer on 2022-06-21, 20:15. Edited 1 time in total.

Knowing things is great. Understanding things is better. Creating things is even better.

Reply 6 of 21, by bevist

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
Datadrainer wrote on 2022-06-21, 20:12:

Does it freeze in the BIOS setup utility ? Does it freeze when running DOS from floppy ? Does it freeze if you swap RAM modules or use only one (I suppose you have done that from your explanations) ?

It doesn't freeze in the BIOS. It doesn't freeze when running 6.22 from floppy but does when trying to use 7.1. It still freezes if I swap RAM modules, and I'm only using one stick at a time in bank 0.

Reply 7 of 21, by Datadrainer

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

And if you are running DOS 7.1 in safe mode with nothing except the command prompt?
Edit: Accessed by F8 when Starting MS-DOS... is displayed. Then No for everything.

Last edited by Datadrainer on 2022-06-21, 20:19. Edited 1 time in total.

Knowing things is great. Understanding things is better. Creating things is even better.

Reply 8 of 21, by bevist

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
Datadrainer wrote on 2022-06-21, 20:17:

And if you are running DOS 7.1 in safe mode with nothing except the command prompt?

I'm using a standalone DOS 7.1 from WinWorld. I can't even get the setup to boot past the initialization screen.

Reply 9 of 21, by Datadrainer

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

MS-DOS 7.1 is a custom mod extracted from Windows 98. But as Windows 98 can run on 486 DX2, it should work. I don't see where the issue can be located here 😒
Anyway, I would stay on MS-DOS 5.0/6.x for a 486 DOS PC. Why would you use MS-DOS 7.x? For the long file name support? Maybe FreeDOS would be a better option as it have a lot of useful programs compatible with LFN included.
Edit: And the like for FAT32 support.

Knowing things is great. Understanding things is better. Creating things is even better.

Reply 10 of 21, by bevist

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
Datadrainer wrote on 2022-06-21, 20:26:

MS-DOS 7.1 is a custom mod extracted from Windows 98. But as Windows 98 can run on 486 DX2, it should work. I don't see where the issue can be located here 😒
Anyway, I would stay on MS-DOS 5.0/6.x for a 486 DOS PC. Why would you use MS-DOS 7.x? For the long file name support? Maybe FreeDOS would be a better option as it have a lot of useful programs compatible with LFN included.
Edit: And the like for FAT32 support.

I suppose I was only trying it out of desperation as it had worked in the past haha. Might try FreeDOS though and see if that helps any.

Reply 11 of 21, by CoffeeOne

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
bevist wrote on 2022-06-21, 19:57:
CoffeeOne wrote on 2022-06-21, 18:14:
Just a wild guess: You are using an 486DX2 - 66 without radiator / cooler. We had this case here in the forum lately :D […]
Show full quote
bevist wrote on 2022-06-21, 16:00:
Hello all, I'm putting together a 486 machine with MSDOS 6.22, however any command I enter either does nothing / hangs the machi […]
Show full quote

Hello all, I'm putting together a 486 machine with MSDOS 6.22, however any command I enter either does nothing / hangs the machine, or gives me: "Memory allocation error - Could not load COMMAND - System Halted'.

I've tried reinstalling with 4 different drives (2x CF-to-IDE, 2x 4GB HDDs), 3 different DIMMS (1x 8MB and 2x 32MB) and I've tried disabling LBA and disabling external cache.

Any pointers would be much appreciated, I'm going crazy here,
Thanks!

Just a wild guess: You are using an 486DX2 - 66 without radiator / cooler. We had this case here in the forum lately 😁

EDIT:
486 Setup freezes suddenly

It's a DX4-100 but I already have a heatsink and fan on it. Thanks for suggestion though!

You might still have a hardware issue.
I would install Windows 98 to test the hardware. I am serious. But of course I don't know if this is an option for you.

EDIT: Wait, you are not consistent. First you wrote the problem is with DOS 6.22. Later you wrote the problem is only with DOS 7.1?

Last edited by CoffeeOne on 2022-06-21, 20:44. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 12 of 21, by bevist

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
CoffeeOne wrote on 2022-06-21, 20:39:
bevist wrote on 2022-06-21, 19:57:
CoffeeOne wrote on 2022-06-21, 18:14:

Just a wild guess: You are using an 486DX2 - 66 without radiator / cooler. We had this case here in the forum lately 😁

EDIT:
486 Setup freezes suddenly

It's a DX4-100 but I already have a heatsink and fan on it. Thanks for suggestion though!

You might still have a hardware issue.
I would install Windows 98 to test the hardware. I am serious. But of course I don't know if this is an option for you.

I'll give it a shot, couldn't hurt

Reply 13 of 21, by jakethompson1

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
bevist wrote on 2022-06-21, 16:00:

I've tried reinstalling with 4 different drives (2x CF-to-IDE, 2x 4GB HDDs), 3 different DIMMS (1x 8MB and 2x 32MB) and I've tried disabling LBA and disabling external cache.

Probably won't help, but when you switch between LBA enabled and disabled, you really should be repartitioning your drive and reinstalling.
You say it works perfectly fine booting and running from floppies, just not booting from hard drive? Weird, because the opposite way usually indicates something wrong with L1 write-back cache. So you could try disabling internal cache also as an experiment...

also try fdisk /mbr

Last edited by jakethompson1 on 2022-06-21, 20:52. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 14 of 21, by CoffeeOne

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
bevist wrote on 2022-06-21, 20:40:
CoffeeOne wrote on 2022-06-21, 20:39:
bevist wrote on 2022-06-21, 19:57:

It's a DX4-100 but I already have a heatsink and fan on it. Thanks for suggestion though!

You might still have a hardware issue.
I would install Windows 98 to test the hardware. I am serious. But of course I don't know if this is an option for you.

I'll give it a shot, couldn't hurt

Yes, please do it. I am 99% sure you will fail.

Reply 15 of 21, by Gmlb256

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
Datadrainer wrote on 2022-06-21, 20:26:

Anyway, I would stay on MS-DOS 5.0/6.x for a 486 DOS PC. Why would you use MS-DOS 7.x? For the long file name support?

The only practical reason is FAT32 partition support for MS-DOS 7.1 unless the OP wants to run Windows 3.x (and certain low level disk utilities) without any compromises and/or doesn't need more than 8GB (each FAT16 partition is limited to 2GB).

Maybe FreeDOS would be a better option as it have a lot of useful programs compatible with LFN included.
Edit: And the like for FAT32 support.

FreeDOS isn't still 100% compatible despite improvements in recent versions and most (if not all) of the utilities can be used with MS-DOS without any problems.

Reply 16 of 21, by bevist

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
jakethompson1 wrote on 2022-06-21, 20:45:
Probably won't help, but when you switch between LBA enabled and disabled, you really should be repartitioning your drive and re […]
Show full quote
bevist wrote on 2022-06-21, 16:00:

I've tried reinstalling with 4 different drives (2x CF-to-IDE, 2x 4GB HDDs), 3 different DIMMS (1x 8MB and 2x 32MB) and I've tried disabling LBA and disabling external cache.

Probably won't help, but when you switch between LBA enabled and disabled, you really should be repartitioning your drive and reinstalling.
You say it works perfectly fine booting and running from floppies, just not booting from hard drive? Weird, because the opposite way usually indicates something wrong with L1 write-back cache. So you could try disabling internal cache also as an experiment...

also try fdisk /mbr

Disabling internal cache and running fdisk /mbr seems to have zero effect.

Reply 17 of 21, by bevist

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
CoffeeOne wrote on 2022-06-21, 20:47:
bevist wrote on 2022-06-21, 20:40:
CoffeeOne wrote on 2022-06-21, 20:39:

You might still have a hardware issue.
I would install Windows 98 to test the hardware. I am serious. But of course I don't know if this is an option for you.

I'll give it a shot, couldn't hurt

Yes, please do it. I am 99% sure you will fail.

Well it failed, couldn't even get half way through the setup without getting "CDR101 - Device is not ready". Keeps doing it on 2 different CD drives, 2 different IDE controllers, and 2 burns of 98 First Edition.
I'm about ready to throw this thing out the window 🤣

Reply 18 of 21, by CoffeeOne

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
bevist wrote on 2022-06-21, 21:44:
CoffeeOne wrote on 2022-06-21, 20:47:
bevist wrote on 2022-06-21, 20:40:

I'll give it a shot, couldn't hurt

Yes, please do it. I am 99% sure you will fail.

Well it failed, couldn't even get half way through the setup without getting "CDR101 - Device is not ready". Keeps doing it on 2 different CD drives, 2 different IDE controllers, and 2 burns of 98 First Edition.
I'm about ready to throw this thing out the window 🤣

Yes, make nice pictures and put it on Ebay and sell it as "untested".

But wait, you post on Vogons, there are people that could actually help.
So what about reveiling things about the used hardware? Model of the mainboard? Pictures?
So it looks like either a mainboard problem or indeed IDE controller problem. Or both.

Reply 19 of 21, by Datadrainer

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
Gmlb256 wrote on 2022-06-21, 20:51:
Datadrainer wrote on 2022-06-21, 20:26:

Anyway, I would stay on MS-DOS 5.0/6.x for a 486 DOS PC. Why would you use MS-DOS 7.x? For the long file name support?

The only practical reason is FAT32 partition support for MS-DOS 7.1 unless the OP wants to run Windows 3.x (and certain low level disk utilities) without any compromises and/or doesn't need more than 8GB (each FAT16 partition is limited to 2GB).

This is what i added in my edit... But it is totally manageable to use a 486 with 4 2 GB FAT partitions.

Gmlb256 wrote on 2022-06-21, 20:51:
Datadrainer wrote on 2022-06-21, 20:26:

Maybe FreeDOS would be a better option as it have a lot of useful programs compatible with LFN included.
Edit: And the like for FAT32 support.

FreeDOS isn't still 100% compatible despite improvements in recent versions and most (if not all) of the utilities can be used with MS-DOS without any problems.

I know that, but that's mainly a few games that have problem with FreeDOS. FreeDOS is to to be seen as an open source core OS with many open source projects around it who compose its library. And the tools that support long file name will not use it under MS-DOS below 7. Added to that it is more simple to install a FreeDOS from a boot bootdisk than to install an MS-DOS and then copy every soft needed from a FreeDOS media.
Anyway, the purpose of what I explained was to get a non crashing computer where it is possible to make some test to find where the issue is instead of having a fully working computer to enjoy everyday. Maybe I wasn't clear enough.

Knowing things is great. Understanding things is better. Creating things is even better.