RAM limits

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at_random

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Jun 21, 2001
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I got my PC a little over 2 years ago, a P3 450MHz, and I want to add 512M RAM to my current 256M, because I want to have a whole lot of RAM for the next few years. So I bought 512M (on a single chip) and installed it next to my two 128M chips, but my pc gave me errors when I turned it on. It said "memory loss" and something else, and told me to restart my pc. I removed one of my 128M chips, but got the same result. I removed the last 128M chip, with only the 512M left, and when I turned the pc on, the power came on, but my monitor was blank. I tried again, putting the 512M in a different slot, but the same thing happened. So I took it out and put the two 128M back in and everything is fine... but why can't I get the 512M to work? Why would my pc have a RAM limit lower than 512M? Or is it something else??
 
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First, 1gb is the largest amount of ram that Win9x and ME are capable of addressing. But anything over 512mb should be accompanied by a modification in system.ini to limit vcache by including a MaxFileCache entry.

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;q253912

I question the need for more than 512mb, but if you want to use it you should apply the MaxFileCache line such as

MaxFileCache=262144

This is half the maximum but still much more than is normally required.

See also...

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;q184447
 

at_random

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Jun 21, 2001
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I tried what you told me, and neither method worked. Here's the two errors I keep getting, in this order:

1) 232: Extended RAM Failed at offset: 1C
2) Windows Protection Error. You need to restart your computer.

I tried setting my max RAM to 512M, and to 900M as well; both gave me this error when I had the 512M RAM chip inserted with the two 128M chips. (Without the two 128s and only the 512, the PC won't start up at all.)

I also set the maxfilecache to the number you mentioned (262144). Could the problem be that I have a partitioned hard drive? I edited the .ini file for both drives, setting the maxfilecache for both to 262144.

Thanks...
 
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Dec 2, 1999
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It's quite possible your motherboard won't support that large of a dimm. Most of the older boards would only go to 256 meg max.
You need to check the documentation to see what the max ram chip size and max ram the motherboard is capable of.

My abit will only take a 256 max and it's about two years old.
 
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Jun 27, 2000
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When I got my PII 400 it was the fastest chip available and the current Abit board that came with it supports 512 – not sure it will take a single 512 though. I’m not disagreeing with brianF at all that you might well have a MB limitation of 256MB, but there were plenty of boards a PII 450 could have come on that support 512. You need to check that with the computer maker if it a major brand or with the MB maker if it is a custom. It is unlikely it will support over 512Mb though unless it was a top of the line board in a custom computer.

If it should support a single 512 module you might want to check the RAM. This freeware goes on a floppy and runs checks on the RAM at boot: http://www.simmtester.com/PAGE/products/doc/docinfo.asp
 
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