VOGONS

Common searches


Reply 20 of 27, by Unknown_K

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

386max was included with some Microsoft C programming packages.

QRAM was the memory manager for 286 systems with QEMM needed a 386 or better.

I tended to use DOS 6.22 and QEMM 7.5 for gaming, Desqview/X has its own version of QEMM it needs, regular Desqview also had its own version of QEMM.

QEMM was pretty stable except on some systems when it used stealth. I never used it with DOS 7 or W9x machines. It was the best at getting the most RAM available.

Collector of old computers, hardware, and software

Reply 21 of 27, by Gonduron

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

I play early and late DOS era games on real 486 hardware. If you have a lot of TSR - i.e. due to Win 3.11 and many expansion cards that need a driver loaded at start - then this reduces your free conventional memory. However, some DOS games require quite a lot of free conventional memory to launch the game.

One way to free up some conventional memory is MEMMAKER, which is included in DOS. It moves TSRs from the conventional memory to some higher memory area. Even though it works ok and stable, it does not give you a big plus. QEMM frees up much more conventional memory, but some games do have a problem with it. The latest version released for DOS is v8.x, with the basic release disks v8.00 and update release disks to v8.03.

My "Pixeli": Intel 486DX4-100 -- Asus VL/I-486SV2GX4 -- 16 MB -- Diamond Stealth64 S3 Vision868 2 MB VLB -- AWE64 Gold -- Roland LAPC-I and SCC-1 -- Adaptec AVA-2825 -- IBM 1 GB SCSI-2 -- Plextor 8x -- Teac 3,5" + 5,25" -- EIZO S2133

Reply 22 of 27, by Yoghoo

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
Gonduron wrote on 2022-01-28, 06:40:

The latest version released for DOS is v8.x, with the basic release disks v8.00 and update release disks to v8.03.

The latest version is 9.0x. See here f.e. https://winworldpc.com/product/qemm/9x.

Reply 23 of 27, by Highwinder

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
Gonduron wrote on 2022-01-28, 06:40:

...Even though (MemMaker) works ok and stable, it does not give you a big plus. QEMM frees up much more conventional memory, but some games do have a problem with it. The latest version released for DOS is v8.x, with the basic release disks v8.00 and update release disks to v8.03.

You can install the final version of QEMM (v9, or "QEMM 97") in DOS, even though it had an additional new installer for Windows. It works in all DOS-based versions of Windows, from Win3 up to WinME. I suggest using a commercial boot mamanger like System Commander to allow you to switch back and forth between pure DOS and 3rd party memory managers (or even completely different operating systems), which allows quick alternatives in case they start giving you problems.

My favorite gaming config:
1. Load up DOS, get all my drivers installed, and then let Memmaker smooth it out (it really does do a far better job than we give it credit for). Do not install any other memory manager yet.
2. Install System Commander and set up a few duplicate pure DOS boot options. This allows other DOS booting options for later, such as adding QEMM, 386MAX, etc.
3. Install Windows 98SE, which becomes another entry in System Commander.
4. Using the spare DOS boot entries you popped into System Commander, now you can install QEMM, 386MAX, etc. Or create even more boot options with different config files to allow DOS to be booted with or without common memory managers for specific games.

Now you have an incredibly flexible and convenient (downright slick) DOS Box that can also run any DOS or Windows game of the time as well as having a pure DOS box with all devices available (sound, mouse, video, CDROM, etc) when you "Shut Down to DOS Mode" in Windows. And when you drop to DOS and do a "mem /c /p", you see that you still have all the memory available that MemMaker set up for you before installing Windows. And that's just in Win98SE, not including the other boot options you might have set up in System Commander. Just remember to keep the hard drive at FAT16 so everything works and plays nice.

This is the most common build config I use for retro gaming boxes for 1990s gaming. It's a very effective method of whipping up a wonderfully decent retro gaming box that can literally do it all, even allowing you to bounce around in different OS's, like DOS, Windows, and even OS/2 (again - keep it FAT16 to do this).

My other option is using swappable Compact Flash and SD cards as hard drives, which basically gives you dirt cheap SSD drives. The IDE-to-CF/SD adapters are also dirt cheap on Amazon. This provides for that much more flexibility, especially if different file systems are wanted or required. Very handy for ArcaOS, any flavor of NT, Linux, etc.

😀

AOpen AX59Pro
K6-2/400MHz
64MB
VIA Chipset
SB16 (CT2910)
S3 ViRGE GX 4MB
DOS/98SE/OS2
CF/SD Drives

MSI K7N2
Athlon XP 3000+
512MB
NVidia nForce 2 Chipset
SB Live! (CT4620)
GeForce 6800GT AGP
98SE/XP/ArcaOS
CF/SD Drives

Reply 24 of 27, by shamino

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

I used to use QEMM back in the 90s, it always worked fine for me.
I did occasionally get QEMM crash messages, especially on my 486, but it was merely detecting crashes not causing them. My 486 wasn't stable and it would crash just as often with or without QEMM, the only difference with not loading QEMM was whether I'd get a message or not.
It's been too long since I used it to remember exactly how I set it up, but I basically just ran the OPTIMIZE utility and I was conservative with the "Stealth" feature, not sure if I used it at all.

I haven't used my current DOS machine much and haven't installed QEMM, but it's possible I could end up using it again. I need to optimize the memory usage a bit but I'd rather put some more effort into doing it manually first.

Reply 25 of 27, by Highwinder

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
Yoghoo wrote on 2022-01-27, 22:14:
Highwinder wrote on 2022-01-27, 21:23:

In my experience, there wasn't a single DOS configuration that QEMM produced that proved to be stable. QEMM is the most crash-happy memory manager of all time, and though it's always so tempting to use it, once you start gaming with it, you'll be crashing repeatedly. DOS gaming crashes QEMM (or vice versa) with disgusting reliability. QEMM is the most exciting, miraculous, badly-needed, feature-packed, amazingly functional, brilliantly marketed DOS game crasher in computing history.

Well that's your opinion/experience. My experience is quitte different. I used it back in the day and I am still using it on one of my retro pc's. No problems running games or at least no more then running under plain MS DOS. Please give some examples of problem games so I can give it a try. Always like to tinker with those kind of problems. 😀

I have one for you. I use a SoundBlaster Live! 5.1 for DOS and Win98SE gaming, a well-known sound card that is easily and reliably used for both. To use this card in pure DOS, SBEINIT.COM must be loaded as a TSR for PCI-to-ISA emulation for DOS games. However, this TSR crashes QEMM with perfection (no problems with MemMaker). Once SBEINIT is in the autoexec. QEMM just goes into a perpetual crash/reboot cycle. Crashes Optimize too. In fairness, I should mention that no QEMM fan should feel bad about this, as SBEINIT crashes Qualitas's 386MAX as well.

At the very least, MS-DOS 6.22 and MemMaker have absolutely no problem with it (actually does a great job and gives me 606k executable).

I would be extremely grateful for a solution if you've got one. And though MemMaker is doing me right with still providing me with 606k with the kitchen sink loaded up, SBEINIT.COM keeps me from using any other memory manager, and I really would like to at least have the option of running QEMM if desired.

Mucho Thanko

AOpen AX59Pro
K6-2/400MHz
64MB
VIA Chipset
SB16 (CT2910)
S3 ViRGE GX 4MB
DOS/98SE/OS2
CF/SD Drives

MSI K7N2
Athlon XP 3000+
512MB
NVidia nForce 2 Chipset
SB Live! (CT4620)
GeForce 6800GT AGP
98SE/XP/ArcaOS
CF/SD Drives

Reply 26 of 27, by Yoghoo

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
Highwinder wrote on 2022-02-06, 23:02:

I have one for you. I use a SoundBlaster Live! 5.1 for DOS and Win98SE gaming, a well-known sound card that is easily and reliably used for both. To use this card in pure DOS, SBEINIT.COM must be loaded as a TSR for PCI-to-ISA emulation for DOS games. However, this TSR crashes QEMM with perfection (no problems with MemMaker). Once SBEINIT is in the autoexec. QEMM just goes into a perpetual crash/reboot cycle. Crashes Optimize too. In fairness, I should mention that no QEMM fan should feel bad about this, as SBEINIT crashes Qualitas's 386MAX as well.

Wish I could take a look but I am only using ISA cards in all of my DOS pc's. But looking at some posts I found with Google it seems this one really only works with emm386. To fix that you need to decompile this file (with IDA f.e.) and change the low level call it makes. Unfortunately not used assembly for a very very long time so this is a little above my current skill level.

Reply 27 of 27, by Highwinder

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

I understand. My prized DOS box is actually an AMD 486DX4-120 (love that 40MHz bus) with an SB16 and Diamond Stealth VLB - an exact replica of my very best 486 I had built back in the day. The machine I'm playing with right now is the AOpen system in my signature, however. I took out the SB16 and put in a Live!, but that darned driver is killing my fun with the memory managers I like to play with (totally wonderful otherwise). I might just slap the SB16 back in and be done with it, or use an AOpen Cobra, which also has great pure DOS compatibility.

Anyway, thanks for responding.

AOpen AX59Pro
K6-2/400MHz
64MB
VIA Chipset
SB16 (CT2910)
S3 ViRGE GX 4MB
DOS/98SE/OS2
CF/SD Drives

MSI K7N2
Athlon XP 3000+
512MB
NVidia nForce 2 Chipset
SB Live! (CT4620)
GeForce 6800GT AGP
98SE/XP/ArcaOS
CF/SD Drives