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Windows 98 SE fails to start, RAM issue?

by Crashdance22 / November 2, 2009 6:05 AM PST

I'm using a Compaq Presario V6000 and have installed Windows 98 SE successfully. It is currently the only OS on the HDD. At first I couldn't get past first time startup because I had 2GB of RAM, too much for vcache's settings. So I removed 1GB and set minfilecache and maxfilecache to 128MB in system.ini. This worked and I was able to set up the user name, system plug 'n play drivers, etc. Once I restarted the system I see DOS updating the config files and continuing to load Windows. But then the system just hangs. It doesn't freeze, as the cursor is still blinking. It just stops. So I do a hard restart and choose the normal startup mode in the "Windows did not start successfully" options. The screen goes blank and I see the startup options screen again, but this time the cursor is blinking in the upper left and DOS doesn't respond to the keyboard.

I try starting in safe mode but get the same problem, although this time I see HIMEM check extended memory and complete the check. Because I saw this, could this be another memory related issue? Here are my specs:

CPU: Intel 1.6GHz
RAM: 1GB, 2GB before I removed a stick
Video: NVIDIA Go 6150

I've gotten this far with Windows 98, I hope I don't have to scrap it because of this. Any ideas?

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Windows 9x has issues with over 512MB RAM.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 2, 2009 9:44 AM PST

If the articles fail to help why not run 98 in a VM? I did this under Windows XP using Virtual Box.

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Hardware acceleration
by Crashdance22 / November 2, 2009 8:26 PM PST

I tried that, but no VM program support full 3D hardware acceleration for games. I was told that this is a memory problem, and Windows 98's memory manager is stubborn and only coded to work with 512MB ir less. Although I'm going to look into a RAMDisk app, once I find out what it is...

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Then we move to VMWARE.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 2, 2009 9:12 PM PST
In reply to: Hardware acceleration
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Tried VMWare and VPC
by Crashdance22 / November 3, 2009 5:44 AM PST

Like I said, I couldn't find a virtual machine program with full 3D hardware acceleration for Windows 98. And Windows 2000 breaks several Win9x games as well.

System.ini is fine, that's not the problem. The issue is that the memory manager can't work with 1GB of physical memory (there's a 512MB limit). I'm reading into a RAMDisk program I can use to limit memory access to the memory manager. I'll try that and post my results.

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RAM Disk works
by Crashdance22 / November 4, 2009 5:11 AM PST
In reply to: Tried VMWare and VPC

I got the RAM drive installed, at first I set the size to 512MB, leaving another 512MB for Windows. Windows still didn't start, neither in normal mode or safe mode, but I could see where autoexec ran and created the RAM disk. I then changed the size to leave 128MB for Windows, the same amount as vcache's min and max values. This time safe mode (but not normal mode) started up! So I looked at the RAM, and it said 1GB (approximately, in megabytes). But doesn't vcache limit the system to 128MB? Or am I wrong about that? I also didn't see F:, my RAM drive. Does autoexec not run in safe mode?

I also looked at 2 log files, FRUNLOG.TXT and NETLOG.TXT (both found on C:\). Both have logs of missing file errors, FRUNLOG.TXT refers to missing DLLs in C:\WINDOWS\OPTIONS, but \OPTIONS doesn't even exist. NETLOG.TXT refers to missing DLLs in C:\WINDOWS and C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM, but neither directory has a single DLL file in them. This may be what's causing Windows to hang... any particular reason why these files and folders are missing? Maybe setup was supposed to create them but failed?

Update: Ran System File Checker and Registry Checker, SFC only found and restored one file but Windows still doesn't start in normal mode. Looks like I'm going to scrap this and use an older machine. Thanks for the help guys.

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