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The 65MB Win98 ram limit

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First post, by MXDash

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So recently there appeared this mysterious 65MB ram limit issue in my Windows 98. Not 64MB. 65MB! A very strange number indeed. I Did some experimenting with different sticks of ram (256, 512, 1024MB) but it always says 65MB. But I thought long and hard about it. I tried to retrace my steps and I came to this realization:
memmaker capped my ram! And I am 100% certain because memmaker does set 65MB as the default for upper memory. I was experimenting with it while in dos because some old dos games needed some changes to the way memory is handled in order to run. But now I don't need it anymore because I recently got myself an original 486DX machine for playing those types of games. But I cannot reverse what memmaker has done to my Windows 98 machine. and I really don't want to have to reinstall it. I tried to reverse what I did but with no luck.

I do remember in the past when win98 would boot: you would see the win98 splash screen, and then it would show a black screen and a dos cursor blinking, and then it would take you into windows itself. But now instead of just a blinking dos cursor, I now see a dos program lauching called HIMEM. This is probably the catalyst because if I boot in safe mode it bypasses this and then windows can read ALL my ram.

Tell me what I should do
Thanks. 😄

Reply 1 of 33, by cyclone3d

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Look in c:\config.sys

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Reply 2 of 33, by MXDash

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I did. I saw that it launches HIMEM.sys, but removing it prevents windows from starting. So I have to revert it back while in safe mode (windows in safe mode showing the full 512MB, like it's taunting me 🤣)

Reply 3 of 33, by Jorpho

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MXDash wrote on 2020-03-05, 00:01:

memmaker capped my ram!

memmaker isn't magical. As per the help page, all it does is modify your config.sys, autoexec.bat, and system.ini. And apparently it leaves behind backups and a logfile as well.

How exactly were you running memmaker on your system? Are you dual-booting Windows 98 and DOS 6.22 somehow?

Reply 5 of 33, by MXDash

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CONFIG.sys:

DEVICE=C:\ZIP\DOS622\DOS\HIMEM.SYS
DEVICE=C:\ZIP\DOS622\DOS\EMM386.EXE NOEMS NOMOVEXBDA
BUFFERS=12,0
FILES=30
DOS=UMB
LASTDRIVE=Z
FCBS=4,0
DEVICEHIGH /L:1,16976 =C:\WINDOWS\SETVER.EXE

there is nothing in autoexec (although there used to be a memmaker session that did nothing but tell me off on how I was using memmaker wrong 😜)

To answer the previous post: I actually am not booting dos when booting windows. At least I think I'm not. I just ran memmaker once, then it did a couple things and...well, here we are.

Reply 6 of 33, by matze79

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Do you use a OLD Himem Version ?
Old Versions of Himem support only 64Mb.

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Reply 7 of 33, by GigAHerZ

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Don't use DOS' himem and emm386 with windows! Use the ones in Windows folder.

"640K ought to be enough for anybody." - And i intend to get every last bit out of it even after loading every damn driver!

Reply 10 of 33, by Jorpho

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MXDash wrote on 2020-03-05, 12:32:

Already tried that. I got CONFIG.SYS to say DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\HIMEM.SYS but then the boot sequence said "windows protection error. you need to restart your computer."

Did you only replace the line about HIMEM.SYS, or did you replace the EMM386 line as well?

I hope you haven't been randomly overwriting files in your Windows directory with old DOS versions. You shouldn't have SETVER in your CONFIG.SYS either unless you need it for something in particular.

Reply 11 of 33, by GigAHerZ

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Just install a fresh win98 in vm and bring the autoexec.bat and config.sys from the vm into your machine. If necessary (in case you have overwritten them) bring other files as well, like himem.sys and emm386.exe

"640K ought to be enough for anybody." - And i intend to get every last bit out of it even after loading every damn driver!

Reply 12 of 33, by MXDash

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Thanks, guys. I think I'll get out another harddrive and install win98 and copy the files to my main drive. I mean, yeah, I always could've done that from the start, I was just hoping that I didn't have to. Just to clarify, I haven't been overwriting my files with old dos files, I just ran memmaker, that's all.

I have seen many old posts from the late 90s and early 2000s where people were complaining about the 65MB limit issue. None of them were able to resolve it. I feel sorry for them. If only they knew it was memmaker or some other DOS app that was screwing with windows 98.

Reply 13 of 33, by Jorpho

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MXDash wrote on 2020-03-05, 18:55:

Thanks, guys. I think I'll get out another harddrive and install win98 and copy the files to my main drive.

That's overkill. To restate the above: memmaker can only possibly change exactly three files, and they're not particularly mysterious ones. That is the extent of memmaker's capabilities! People edit their AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS all the time. (I might wonder about SYSTEM.INI, but according to https://www.infania.net/ms6kb/Q93377.htm , that only gets changed if you're running Windows 3.0.)

I don't know what you did to try to reverse the changes, but apparently your original CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT are saved as CONFIG.UMB and AUTOEXEC.UMB.

I have seen many old posts from the late 90s and early 2000s where people were complaining about the 65MB limit issue.

Perhaps you can link to some of them?

Reply 14 of 33, by MXDash

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Jorpho wrote on 2020-03-05, 19:15:

That's overkill.

I agree! I tried to avoid it.

Jorpho wrote on 2020-03-05, 19:15:

To restate the above: memmaker can only possibly change exactly three files, and they're not particularly mysterious ones. That is the extent of memmaker's capabilities! People edit their AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS all the time.

Well, could you tell me how to fix it?

Jorpho wrote on 2020-03-05, 19:15:

I don't know what you did to try to reverse the changes, but apparently your original CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT are saved as CONFIG.UMB and AUTOEXEC.UMB.

All I did is go back to memmaker to see if I can reverse what I did. No dice. Also, where are thse *.UMB files located?

Jorpho wrote on 2020-03-05, 19:15:

I have seen many old posts from the late 90s and early 2000s where people were complaining about the 65MB limit issue.

Perhaps you can link to some of them?

Here:
https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/win98 … ze-help.499482/
http://discussions.virtualdr.com/showthread.p … ver-65MB-of-RAM

Reply 15 of 33, by Jorpho

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MXDash wrote on 2020-03-05, 21:19:

All I did is go back to memmaker to see if I can reverse what I did. No dice.

The Help page I previously linked to suggests you just need to type "memmaker /undo". Is that what you did?

Also, where are thse *.UMB files located?

If they're not in an obvious place, then running "dir /s *.umb" from the root directory will find them.

Reply 16 of 33, by MXDash

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OK, Thanks Jorpho.

Can I also ask one more favor from the Vogons community? Can someone please upload their config.sys, autoexec.bat, and system.ini files from their win98 machine (where they have access to more than 65MB of memory 😉 ) so that I can see what they're supposed to look like? Thanks.

Reply 17 of 33, by GigAHerZ

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When i get home, i can do it.
I have P266MMX with 256MB of ram. Though, i load XMS memory manager and then create a ramdisk on the top 192MB so that windows after that only sees first 64MB of ram. (which is the part that motherboard can cache)

"640K ought to be enough for anybody." - And i intend to get every last bit out of it even after loading every damn driver!

Reply 18 of 33, by MXDash

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GigAHerZ wrote on 2020-03-06, 11:26:

i load XMS memory manager and then create a ramdisk on the top 192MB so that windows after that only sees first 64MB of ram.

Well, thanks but that's really not gonna help. I just want to see what these files look like when windows is using more than 64MB.

Reply 19 of 33, by leileilol

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MXDash wrote on 2020-03-06, 11:10:

Can I also ask one more favor from the Vogons community? Can someone please upload their config.sys, autoexec.bat, and system.ini files from their win98 machine (where they have access to more than 65MB of memory 😉 ) so that I can see what they're supposed to look like? Thanks.

It isn't uncommon for a functional Win98 machine to have completely blank AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files...

by the way, DOSBox is not for running Windows 9x