VOGONS


First post, by trannks

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I got Win98 working on h87 performance with i5 4690k and 16gb ram and ati x600.It boots from win98 from usb and sata.

On z690 ud ddr4 with i7 12700k, 32gb ram(tried with 16gb ram too, does not work).It does not boot win98 from usb nor sata.
Disabled cores, lowered cpu and ram clocks, etc and it still does not work.
(normal boot or safe mode its the same error)(with ram limit in system.ini and himemx.exe with ram limit)

I get vcache protection error.
bootlog ends at: "[00142D3F] DEVICEINIT = VCACHE"

Saw a video with a russian guy getting the same vcache protection error on z390, he then used an adapter and 2gb ddr4 sodimm and it was the same.

I installed softice(I don't know how to use it):

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Reply 1 of 5, by OMORES

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Well, I ran into VCACHE Windows protection error yesterday, after a BIOS upgrade on my Biostar X470 GTA/Ryzen 3900x/Vooodoo 3 PCI. Windows 95A, 98SE & Me all returned this error with no hardware change. As soon I reverted to the old BIOS all 9x systems worked great again...

So clearly something is breaking the compatibility with Windows 9x at BIOS level and it's not an actual hardware incompatibility...

Almost all consumer motherboards are running AMI BIOSes now. (Are there any new motherboards with Phoenix BIOS?)

The good part that there are official tools to fiddle with AMI BIOSes. AMIBCP to enable/disable menus and options and MMTool to insert/extract BIOS packages. Back to my motheboard, the old „PciBus” section had 79KB, but the latest version has only 75KB. Maybe I can reuse some old packages with a new BIOS release. In my case the reason for upgrade is Ryzen 5000 series compatibility.

Anyways, I'm almost sure that VCACHE error it has something to do with RAM, because I saw on a socket 1200 motherboard some legacy settings concerning the RAM operation. (unfortunately I don't have that board anymore)

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Reply 2 of 5, by darry

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Windows 9x has issues with more than 512MB or so of RAM in a machine.

You can limit available RAM seen by Windows by using Himemx and configuring for less RAM use (instead of using himem.sys), try some system.ini tweaks or use one of the patches available to address this issue .

Searching Vogons and Google for 512MB and Windows 98 should give you some useful info on the matter as this is has been known and documented for decades, so lots of testimonials and good info exist.

Reply 3 of 5, by OMORES

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darry wrote on 2022-05-07, 15:38:

Windows 9x has issues with more than 512MB or so of RAM in a machine.
You can limit available RAM seen by Windows by using Himemx and configuring for less RAM use (instead of using himem.sys), try some system.ini tweaks or use one of the patches available to address this issue .

Yes, these tweaks is system.ini are working great when everything else is OK.

But on some newer motherboards I suspect that the BIOS itself may cause a Windows 9x protection error. I installed Windows 98SE on a Ryzen 3900X with 64GB (4x16) and Windows didn't care as long the available RAM was limited to 256MB in system.ini (MaxPhysPage=20000).

I blame it on BIOS because on my system AMD X470/Ryzen 3900x - all Windows 9X and NT systems are working great with the original and 2nd edition of the BIOS.

With the latest BIOS (06/2021) I get VCACHE error on Windows 95, 98 and Me.

Some newer motherboards came from the factory with this 9x unfriendly BIOS version (all BIOSes are made by AMI now for consumer boards) and people just assume that maybe the CPU, motherboard or memory are too new to run Windows 9x and give up... Actually might be just a stupid BIOS inconsistency regarding RAM or disk operation which trigger one of these situations:

If a real-mode driver and a protected-mode driver are in conflict. If the registry is damaged. If either the Win.com file or the […]
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If a real-mode driver and a protected-mode driver are in conflict.
If the registry is damaged.
If either the Win.com file or the Command.com file are infected with a virus, or if either of the files are damaged.
If a protected-mode driver is loaded from the System.ini file and the driver is already initialized.
If there is a physical input/output (I/O) address conflict or a RAM address conflict.
If there are incorrect complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) settings for a built-in peripheral device (such as cache settings, CPU timing, hard disks, and so on).
If the Plug and Play feature of the computer’s basic input/output system (BIOS) isn’t working correctly.
If the computer contains a malfunctioning cache or malfunctioning memory.
If the computer’s motherboard isn’t working properly.

Reply 4 of 5, by Baoran

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I limited ram to 512MB with my Athlon64 systemwith himemx, but I still get out of memory errors randomly in win98se just by opening normal file explorer windows and trying to copy files.

Reply 5 of 5, by OMORES

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Baoran wrote on 2022-05-08, 18:59:

I limited ram to 512MB with my Athlon64 systemwith himemx, but I still get out of memory errors randomly in win98se just by opening normal file explorer windows and trying to copy files.

How about the original himem.sys? Right now, I run Windows 95/98/Me on a Ryzen3900x/32GB with no RAM issues. I just edited system.ini once and didn't think about RAM since then.