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Windows ME on a newer machine

by lostviking2420 / July 11, 2010 12:48 AM PDT

I have a Dell that's about 5 years old. Just for fun I installed ME on it to run older games. The install seemed to take but every time I try to start it the Windows ME screen shows for a moment but won't launsh. I can't get it to start in safe mode either. The machine has a pentuim 3.2GHZ with a GeForce graphic and SoundBlaster audio. I reformatted a spare 160g hdd to use for this. Any thoughts?

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It could have too much RAM.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 18, 2010 8:16 PM PDT

Windows 95,98,ME had issues beyond 512MB and even had issues at 512MB. You didn't tell much but too much RAM is a common failing.

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PS. Kees noted the big drive issue.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 18, 2010 9:03 PM PDT
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Excessive RAM can be controlled in SYSTEM.INI
by otr_man / July 31, 2010 4:25 AM PDT

Windows ME is capable of being stable even if the installed RAM is larger than 1GB, provided that appropriate control entries are made in the [vcache] section of the file C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM.INI

The lines MinFileCache=xxxxxx and MaxFileCache=xxxxxx are needed in that situation, with limiting values proportional to the total amount of RAM on the system.

There is a lot of information about this on-line, as to how to calculate the optimum values to use.

If RAM is less than 512 MB no adjustment should be needed, as WinME is more stable than Win98SE.

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Re: 160 GB hard disk
by Kees Bakker / July 18, 2010 8:30 PM PDT

Having such a big (for ME-days) hard disk might be an issue also. Making a smaller partition might help then.


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Har Disk exceeding 137 GB with Windows 9x
by otr_man / July 31, 2010 4:43 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: 160 GB hard disk

The size of the hard disk is not necessarily important.

If the motherboard's BIOS chip uses 48-bit LBA (i.e. a typical post-2001 WinXP system) then any size of hard disk can be installed. It is only if the BIOS uses 28-bit LBA (i.e. a typical pre-2001 motherboard) that the system will be unable to support a hard disk if it's size exceeds 137 GB.

However, in no case can Windows 9x be installed on a partition that exceeds 126 GB. That is the maximum size of partition which a 32-bit FAT can support, because 32-bit addressing (in reality, it is actually 28-bit addressing in key respects) can only provide cluster addresses up to that size of partition, under the restrictions of the FAT32 system.

Windows ME will fall over if the partition size exceeds 126 GB, or the partition address extends beyond the 137 GB barrier, unless special arrangements exist.

Those limitations can be removed in various ways (e.g. installing a PCI Card disk controller using 48-bit LBA, installing R Loew's patches for VFAT.vxd and ESDI_506.pdr, installing the Intel Application Accelerator if the m/board has an Intel chipset, installing OnTrack's Dynamic Disk Overlay boot loader, etc); but without such special precautions it is fatal to install Win9x onto a 160 GB disk.

See this page for further details, and other solutions -

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to much RAM
by dominicskywalker / June 2, 2011 8:25 AM PDT

Windows ME supports up to 1.5 GB of RAM so i would reremending to remove some RAM to met this requirerment
and also only supports single microprossers but can have as many GB in the hard drive.

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Back in my day, Windows ME failed to hibernate with only 512
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 2, 2011 8:35 AM PDT
In reply to: to much RAM
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by easeltine / July 11, 2011 2:10 PM PDT

Come on! Put XP on it and stop fooling around, for goodness sakes!

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