Increasing RAM causes system instability

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dionski

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Joined
May 20, 2003
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45
I have an ongoing problem of general system instability when ever I try and bump RAM up from 512 to 1024. System does any number of things: freezes; crashes; stops recognizing components; refuses to boot in normal mode; etc. Sometimes I won't have any problem for a couple of weeks following the memory increase, and then there will be a gradual and increasing onset of problems, generally starting with an inability to recognize the modem. Other times adding the memory will cause a major system crash within a couple of days. (AcaCandy rescued me once in the past). Other than when the computer will only boot in safe mode, all problems disappear when I remove the new memory. It's possible I suppose that the problem is that the new memory bar is defective--I haven't had an opportunity to try a different one.
Or is this a common problem with increasing RAM?

System
P4 2.4G Win98

Thanks--
dion
 
Joined
Oct 5, 2003
Messages
118
Hi dion:)

Your problem is that your trying to increase your ram in windows 98:)

Win 98 does not register memory over 512mb, so you should get messages that there is not enough memory when you try and open dos or something.

Here is a "way around" it from Micro$oft.

"Out of Memory" Error Messages with Large Amounts of RAM Installed (Q253912)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The information in this article applies to:


Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition
Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition
Microsoft Windows 98
Microsoft Windows 95
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SYMPTOMS
If a computer that is running any of the versions of Windows that are listed above contains more than 512 megabytes (for example, 768 megabytes) of physical memory (RAM), you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

You may be unable to open an MS-DOS session (or command prompt) while Windows is running. Attempts to do so may generate the following error message:

There is not enough memory available to run this program.
Quit one or more programs, and then try again.
The computer may stop responding (hang) while Windows is starting, or halt and display the following error message:

Insufficient memory to initialize windows. Quit one or more memory-resident programs or remove unnecessary utilities from your Config.sys and Autoexec.bat files, and restart your computer.


CAUSE
The Windows 32-bit protected-mode cache driver (Vcache) determines the maximum cache size based on the amount of RAM that is present when Windows starts. Vcache then reserves enough memory addresses to permit it to access a cache of the maximum size so that it can increase the cache to that size if needed. These addresses are allocated in a range of virtual addresses from 0xC0000000 through 0xFFFFFFFF (3 to 4 gigabytes) known as the system arena.

On computers with large amounts of RAM, the maximum cache size can be large enough that Vcache consumes all of the addresses in the system arena, leaving no virtual memory addresses available for other functions such as opening an MS-DOS prompt (creating a new virtual machine).


WORKAROUND
To work around this problem, use one of the following methods:

Use the MaxFileCache setting in the System.ini file to reduce the maximum amount of memory that Vcache uses to 512 megabytes (524,288 KB) or less.

For additional information about how to use the MaxFileCache setting, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Q108079 32-Bit File Access Maximum Cache Size
Use the System Configuration utility to limit the amount of memory that Windows uses to 512 megabytes (MB) or less.

For additional information about how to use the System Configuration utility, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Q181966 System Configuration Utility Advanced Troubleshooting Settings
Reduce the amount of memory that is installed in your computer to 512 MB or less.


STATUS
Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.

MORE INFORMATION
Vcache is limited internally to a maximum cache size of 800 MB.

This problem may occur more readily with Advanced Graphics Port (AGP) video adapters because the AGP aperture is also mapped to addresses in the system arena. For example, if Vcache is using a maximum cache size of 800 MB and an AGP video adapter has a 128-MB aperture mapped, there is very little address space remaining for the other system code and data that must occupy this range of virtual addresses.


I have never had to do this so dont take my word on it that it will work.


if you wanna safely use over 512 then move to xp or 2k.


Hope this helps:)
 

dionski

Thread Starter
Joined
May 20, 2003
Messages
45
Thank you! No one had ever mentioned to me that 98 was limited to 512.

D
 
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