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First post, by urbanus

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About
I have created a Memory Patch collection for Windows 98SE for use on more modern machines with large amounts of RAM, and DOS Sound Blaster compatibility.

My test machine was an AMD Athlon 64 X2 with 4GB of RAM.

Video demo: https://youtu.be/CWHTlMbuxMc
(Video demo is of an older version, matches Option 3 in the new menu)

The 4 memory configurations
1. Max 512MB of RAM is seen by Windows
2. Max 512MB of RAM, PATCHMEM (Rudolph R. Loew)
3. Max 512MB of RAM, HIMEMX.EXE, UMBPCI.SYS
4. Max 2048MB of RAM, PATCHMEM (Rudolph R. Loew)

Reason
I had issues getting my Sound Blaster Live card and the DOS driver to not crash Windows on bootup when also using memory patches. So my version allows it to use the DOS driver while also running on a machine with more than 1 GB of RAM.

This allows retro gaming on less attractive hardware, and enables dual booting with more modern operating systems, I have tested with Windows XP and Windows 10.

The patch
More links and info about the patch is available in the video https://youtu.be/CWHTlMbuxMc .

Last edited by urbanus on 2022-01-28, 10:05. Edited 3 times in total.

Reply 2 of 13, by urbanus

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His patch didnt solve my issue getting the Sound Blaster DOS driver to work in Windows when I was testing with 4GB RAM.

Also his patch aims to support using more RAM I believe in Windows 98, while my goal was more a compatibility thing. So in my case I limit Windows to only see 512MB.

I can do some retesting now that I have a working config to compare to. But I'm not sure it's a silver bullet for this issue. My problems started when installing VXD drivers etc, before that adding some system.ini settings was enough 😋

Edit: Also, my is a compilation of 2 patches/files and some system.ini settings. So I have used existing things, just in a specific combination.

Reply 3 of 13, by Byrd

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Warlord wrote on 2021-12-30, 21:44:

We were already given rloew patches from his family after he passed away, isn't this reinventing the wheel. How are yours compared to his?

I think the answer you were supposed to post, was thank you, person from the internet for doing something to support our hobby instead of this demanding unpleasant comment.

Reply 4 of 13, by urbanus

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Wow...I got it working with the rloew patch as well.
On mobile and it's late, so I will be brief.

My setup in installation order:
- Windows 98SE installed with the same system.ini settings as before (see youtube video and description)
- Service Pack 3 and Main updates (can probably skip this)
- Rloew "patchmem"
- Phils computer lab Sound Blaster driver (again check video)
- autoexec.bat: removed "sbinit"
- config.sys: removed "himem.sys" and "emm386.exe"

Voila!
Sound Blaster and General midi worked in all games I tested.

I did test removing my system.ini settings, and while it boots and shows 3.5GB RAM, DOS games crashes Windows or shows error messages in the command line window.

Now I guess I have to test if just system.ini settings work, what the differences are between the setups (pros/cons) and perhaps make another "patch collection " and bootable Windows 98SE media 😜

Reply 5 of 13, by urbanus

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Ok, so I did another test with just the system.ini settings. No rloew or himemx etc patches.

DOS sound worked fine in Windows.
All I had to do extra was to remove himem and emm386 from config.sys.

My setup in installation order:
- Windows 98SE installed with the same system.ini settings as before (see youtube video and description)
- Phils computer lab Sound Blaster driver (again check video)
- autoexec.bat: removed "sbinit"
- config.sys: removed "himem.sys" and "emm386.exe"

Soooo...why are we memory patching Windows 98SE again? 😜

Reply 6 of 13, by Warlord

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Byrd wrote on 2022-01-01, 03:16:
Warlord wrote on 2021-12-30, 21:44:

We were already given rloew patches from his family after he passed away, isn't this reinventing the wheel. How are yours compared to his?

I think the answer you were supposed to post, was thank you, person from the internet for doing something to support our hobby instead of this demanding unpleasant comment.

Thats your opinion, I didn't ask for it, but you're certainly entitled to one.

Reply 7 of 13, by henk717

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I also had issues with Rloew's before, but judging the patch set it contains quite a lot of stuff for something that can be done pretty simple (Although a proper pack would be valuable).

But of feedback from personal experience, NUSB is not the best USB driver you could use. That credit goes to U98SeUSB since it has all the USB drivers you need on 98 including stable USB2.0 and Xbox 360 controller support without artifacts like it mentioning Windows ME.

I think in general its better to keep that part separate since people looking for a ram patch may not want a USB driver messed with.

Then you have multiple drivers including HIMEMX, the latter i also originally used but then your limiting your users to an unofficial implementation.

The one you want is the Windows 98 Memory Burn Driver. That one goes as the first driver in config.sys and then you have that same 512MB of ram everything else still being original.

Its the most stable implementation you can get, if you want to make it a pack combine it with for example rloew or a config tweak that lets safe mode work properly. Then you'd have a really good pack.

Reply 8 of 13, by urbanus

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henk717 wrote on 2022-01-09, 04:13:
I also had issues with Rloew's before, but judging the patch set it contains quite a lot of stuff for something that can be done […]
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I also had issues with Rloew's before, but judging the patch set it contains quite a lot of stuff for something that can be done pretty simple (Although a proper pack would be valuable).

But of feedback from personal experience, NUSB is not the best USB driver you could use. That credit goes to U98SeUSB since it has all the USB drivers you need on 98 including stable USB2.0 and Xbox 360 controller support without artifacts like it mentioning Windows ME.

I think in general its better to keep that part separate since people looking for a ram patch may not want a USB driver messed with.

Then you have multiple drivers including HIMEMX, the latter i also originally used but then your limiting your users to an unofficial implementation.

The one you want is the Windows 98 Memory Burn Driver. That one goes as the first driver in config.sys and then you have that same 512MB of ram everything else still being original.

Its the most stable implementation you can get, if you want to make it a pack combine it with for example rloew or a config tweak that lets safe mode work properly. Then you'd have a really good pack.

I have updated it today before I saw your post.
It now contains a menu with 4 different configs.
But I will take a look at your suggestions, a further update may come 😀

Edit: I have to clarify that the USB driver is provided, but not installed. So its still the users choice.

The reason for including it is convenience when copying files after installing Windows. So I intend on including one, but I may change it to your suggestion 🙂

Reply 9 of 13, by urbanus

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Using patchmem when also limiting RAM to 2458MB allows many DOS games to work and use Sound Blaster sound. Like Keen6 or Stunts.

BUT games that rely on dos4gw (or dos32a) do not work regardless of what version I try etc. Like Duke3D or Doom.

I get the error "DOS/16M: Error message [6] Not enough memory".
This also happens using "patchmem /m" with or without SPLIT8MB.

Limiting RAM to 512MB resolvs all issues.

The actual amount of RAM installed all the time is 4GB.

Reply 10 of 13, by henk717

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On my own system 512MB indeed works for most but not all, 256MB is safer which is why i use 512MB inside 98 and 256MB inside DOS. Might even lower it further in the future on my own config since does really doesn't need that much.

Reply 11 of 13, by urbanus

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henk717 wrote on 2022-01-16, 07:46:

On my own system 512MB indeed works for most but not all, 256MB is safer which is why i use 512MB inside 98 and 256MB inside DOS. Might even lower it further in the future on my own config since does really doesn't need that much.

I'm tempted to include a set of batch scripts that will update the RAM limit in the SYSTEM.INI file.
So a script for max 128MB, 256, 512, 768, 1024 etc.

Maybe I could have one also where you can enter in MB what you want, and it could then convert that to the number SYSTEM.INI uses 😀

Reply 12 of 13, by urbanus

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PATCHMEM + 2GB of RAM = Duke3D works!

I have added an update, PATCHMEM now has a config where RAM is limited to 2048 MB of RAM.
This allows DOS4GW games like Duke3D to work.
The previous limit of 2458MB (or there about) caused errors, while simpler games like Keen 6 worked.
So this increases compatibility for gaming.

So now all 4 configs allows DOS games to run and work with the PCI sound card.

Links to everything is available as previously in the video:
https://youtu.be/CWHTlMbuxMc
(Video demo is of an older version, matches Option 3 in the new menu)

Reply 13 of 13, by urbanus

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Duke Nukem 3D running on 2GB of RAM with PATCHMEM applied.

Duke3D_1_2048MB_RAM.png
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With too much RAM you will get an error like the one below, so 2GB seems to be the practical limit while keeping DOS gaming compatibility.

DOS/16M: Error message [6] Not enough memory