Can windows 98 operate with 512 MB memory

Hello,

I have a Windows98 machine with 256 MB of memory.  The user of the machine needs to install additional applications which the vendor is stating will require at least 512 MB of memory to run smoothly.  Now can windows 98 operate effectively with that much memory?  Are there any problems or limitations on how much memory windows 98 can run with?

Thanks,

Joe
jvieiraAsked:
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AvonWyssCommented:
I would advise you to limit the size of file cache Windows may use; the cache management is quite inefficient with much memory (starting with 64MB or more). Otherwise I know no limitations with 512 MB.

To limit the cache, open SYSTEM.INI, locate the [VCACHE] section and insert the following lines:
MaxFileCache=32768
MinFileCache=8192

This will foce Windows to use 8..32 MB of file cache memory; raise the values up to 1/4 of your ram if you have applications which are very disk-intensive.
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CrazyOneCommented:
If a computer that is running any of the versions of Windows listed above contains more than 512 megabytes (for example, 768 megabytes) of physical memory (RAM) installed, 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.

http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q253/9/12.ASP?LN=EN-US&SD=gn&FR=0&qry=vcache&rnk=2&src=DHCS_MSPSS_gn_SRCH&SPR=W98

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).
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AvonWyssCommented:
Thanks for the additional info. I wasn't aware of the crashes, but when I installed 128MB of ram in my desktop four years ago I noticed Windows 95 swapping out applications while increasing file cache to more than 120MB of physical memory. So I went looking for a solution - that's the one I posted above.

And amazingly it's still valid through up to Windows ME.
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jvieiraAuthor Commented:
Well just to clarify things.  I'm ok with 512MB but if I go hire than I'll run into problems.  Or did you guys run into this problems before that.  Right now the machine has 256 MB and occassionaly we get insuficient memory errors.  I'm wondering if this could be the cause.  It could also explain why when only running three application system monitor reports that all the physical mememory is being used.

Thanks,

Joe
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CrazyOneCommented:
>>>Right now the machine has 256 MB and occassionaly we get insuficient memory errors.

Sounds like you are running low on system resources or your virtual memory settings need to be changed.
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CrazyOneCommented:
>>>It could also explain why when only running three application system monitor reports that all the physical mememory is being used.

Windows does some allocating of memory that from time to time it will make it appear that all the physical RAM is being used but in reality it may not be.

I use a memory manager called Ram Idle found at http://customizer.tripod.com which helps to keep the memory flushed and in turn helps keep more physical RAM available for use. There are other utilites like this so shop around on the net if this one is not to your liking.  

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SysExpertCommented:
IF these are GDI or other resources that are getting low.
try the folloing utils.
Free memory utility GDI resources memory leaks
From: ozphil    Date: 02/27/2001 04:45AM PST
                   Irwan, i'm after a permanent fix. I have a memory recovery tool from  http://www.meikel.com
From: irwank       Date: 02/27/2001 03:45AM PST
                   Have you try memory leak recovery tools?
                   I'm using AnalogX Maxmem (free).
                   Get it from www.analogx.com.
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CrazyOneCommented:
Here is another one

http://www.memturbo.com/faqs.htm
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pallidinCommented:
Hold on here a minute!!! WHAT application reguires 512 MB of system RAM memory?? Are you sure the requirments are not in regards to 512MB of Hard Disk space? I would present that the HD space issue is likely the case. If so, that issue can be dealt with by a)Emptying your Recycle Bin b) Deleting your .tmp files in Windows Explorer c) Basically running Disk Clean-up in START, PROGRAMS, ACCESSORIES, SYSTEM TOOLS, DISKCLEANUP. Just some thoughts...
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CrazyOneCommented:
pallidin
>>>The user of the machine needs to install additional applications

Umm, Its plural not singular. :>)
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nancy_bumblesCommented:
Strange conversation!!  i have heardwindows 98 has an upper memory usage of 128mb!!
so even tho it will recognise morememory of this, and create suitable virtual memory space etc on your hard drive it will only ever utilise 128mb

I know people are going to disagree with this, and thats cool but there you go it is just what i have heard...

OS's such as NT workstation 4 and win 2000 have more capability with such large amounts of information, hence there use for running large applications such as heavy mathematical operations and also large Graphical design
programs!!
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DreamMasterCommented:
nancy_bumbles > That's true, I heared that too...you can put more in, but you will not notice speed increases at all...in fact the system might get slower as the computer has more memory to allocate and Windows 98 doesn't know what to do with all the extra RAM....

Cheers,
Max.
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CrazyOneCommented:
nancy_bumbles  DreamMaster  

Early on, Windows 95 code could only see 64MB of memory. Osr2 moved this 96MB, and Windows 98 (first release) moved this to 128MB. The final release of 98 moved this number to 800MB, which is the maximum that the 98 kernel can handle without a complete rewrite.
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AvonWyssCommented:
I have to disagree with CrazyOne. I used Windows 95 myself with 128MB of ram and it did use the ram when editing large bitmap images. This was both visible in the system monitor (page file size, used memory, total memory) as well as felt by the speed things worked.

However, as mentionned very early in this question, the disk cache manager of all Windows 9x and ME versions does pretty bad with that much RAM. What happens is that the cache manager allocates all memory to itself, making other programs having virtually no real RAM to run and thus being slowed down. This can, however, be fixed by changing the maximal file cache setting also as described above by me since the disk cache manager then cannot take the memory away from other applications.

People not believing me should go to the MS site and browse the knowledge base. You'll find articles describing the stupid behaviour of the disk cache manager; CarzyOne posted one of these as followup to my post.

What is true is that programs running in a DOS box may not see more than 64MB of ram - but that's not a Windows issue but a XMS manager issue. The XMS manager can report a maximum of 64MB of free memory, however this doesn't limit the actual memory which can be allocated by the DOS programs.
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nancy_bumblesCommented:
well just popping back on to mention that although in the system monitor these figures are shown, not every thing in windows 95 was perfect and although it was showin a total of 128 it will still only be performance monitoring with respect to the first 64MB like in the earlier editions of 98....

anyway i am sure i am not alone when i enquire as to what these applications are that are requiring 512MB of memory to run???

curiosity has got the better of me!!!
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DreamMasterCommented:
Yeah...me too...that is one HECK of a memory requirement!!

What could it possibly be? A 3D-Graphics program that calculates all the optimal positions at the same time while letting you play a game where you are designing it for which has the graphics rendered real time from the non-finished graphics??? And not to mention, finish them for you as you play???

;-)

Max.
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jvieiraAuthor Commented:
Well to clarify all your question.

Yes I am talking about RAM not HD space.  The applications are Oracle Application Desktop Intigrator ver 7.1 it is the client application to Oracle Applications 11i enterprise suite.  The Reason that we need so much memory in the machine is that our accountants will be using this application along with several other at the same time such as Lotus notes, MS Excel, Platinum (an accounting applications), and several other applications.  I can't have them opening an closing these application since they are going back and forth to them at any given time.  They need to be able to have these applications open simultaniously and still have them machine perfrom at a reasonable speed.  Before we started using the oracle application a machine with 64MB of memory was more than enough.  Our Oracle admins stated that we needed machines with at least 256 MB of memory which is what we got for our accountants.  However, once they started using the Oracle application they started getting 'not enough memory' errors.  Using system monitor I saw that the memory usage was over 256.  So now the oracle admins are stating that the machines need at least 512 MB of memory.

Now I personally think that these admins are full of it, there is actaully a different problem and they are too stupid or lazy to figure it out.  So either Windows 98 has a problem running with so much memory (256 MB), The admins screwed up the installation and configuration of the application on the accountants computers, or memory chip makers payed oracle alot of money to build an application that is a memory hog.

I'm going to edit the system.ini file and specify the vcache section to a max of 256 MB and see what happens.  Wish me luck.

Thanks,

Joe
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KasparsCommented:
Theoretically, maximum is 2GB.
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AvonWyssCommented:
jvieira, after reading your posting, I just want to ask why you aren't considering the use of Windows 2000 for all your programs. System stability and memory management as well as security issues are way better in Win2K.
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jvieiraAuthor Commented:
There were apparently some issues with Windows 2000 and the oracle client applications.  Actually it turns out there weren't any issuses but the Oracle administrators stated there were so we stayed with Windows 98.  The problem I'm having is just a small part of a bigger problem which is a group of developers and amdinistrators and management who know nothing about Oracle applications and how to effectively implement it.  Since I have no power to solve that problem I'm stuck with having to solve all the little problems that arise from it like this one.

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AvonWyssCommented:
I see, it's not in your power to decide which OS to use. To return to your original question, it will work and as long as you limit the cache size you should run into no problems or performance issues; even though be aware that the performance gain will be far away from doubled when you do double physical memory.
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CrazyOneCommented:
As had been advised, if you are not already using a third party memory manager I would strongly suggest it.

Still sounds like a system resource problem or the virtual memory needs to be reconfigured.

If I understand your comments correctly you are saying you have to have all these applications running at the same time and because of that if you went to   My Computer > Properties > Performance   and look at the "System Resources" when you are encountering problems I suspect that the percentage it shows is below 10%. If this is the case than adding more RAM will not fix it and the following links explain it better then me.

A program that "leaks memory" is a program that does not release your computer's system resources (or memory) correctly. This can lead to your computer's system resources becoming so low that your computer may become unstable. If you restart your computer, all of your system resources should be available.
http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q185/8/32.asp?FR=1

For compatibility reasons, Windows does not free system resources abandoned by Windows 3.1-based programs until all Windows 3.1-based programs have been closed. Only when there are no Windows 3.1-based programs running can Windows safely release abandoned system resources.
http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q146/4/18.asp?FR=1

Computer Speed and Performance May Decrease
http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q259/1/61.asp?FR=1

http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q194/9/24.ASP?LN=EN-US&SD=gn&FR=0&qry=system%20resources&rnk=9&src=DHCS_MSPSS_gn_SRCH&SPR=SDK3.

http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q248/0/18.ASP?LN=EN-US&SD=gn&FR=0&qry=system%20resources&rnk=10&src=DHCS_MSPSS_gn_SRCH&SPR=SDK3.

http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q190/2/17.ASP.

…..If your system resources are substantially less than they were before you started the program, the program may be creating a memory leak. To resolve this issue, contact the manufacturer of your program to inquire about the availability of a fix for this issue. To work around this issue, restart your computer after you quit the program.
http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q259/1/61.ASP?LN=EN-US&SD=gn&FR=0&qry=free%20system%20resources&rnk=6&src=DHCS_MSPSS_gn_SRCH&SPR=W95
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CrazyOneCommented:
I quess what I am trying to get across is that your problem doesn't appear to be an issue of not enough physical RAM. 512mb should be enough. I am curios of how much free disk space the machine in question has? Believe it or not the lack of free disk space can cause "out of memory errors", this is part of the virtual memory settings.

The virtual memory size is set by the system at boot time, based on several factors. RAM is one factor, free disk space is another. The system must be able to allocate enough space for the swap file on disk. Windows, by default, allows the size of the swap file to be a maximum of 4 times larger than available RAM. This constant (4) can be modified by setting PageOverCommit in the 386enh section of the SYSTEM.INI file. Valid settings are between 1 and 20. Setting PageOverCommit to a value larger than 4 will result in less efficient usage of resources and slower execution, but it will allow you to run applications that otherwise are not able to run.
http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q117/8/92.asp?LN=EN-US&SD=gn&FR=0&qry=free%20system%20resources&rnk=5&src=DHCS_MSPSS_gn_SRCH&SPR=SDK3

So as you can see in your case it would suggest that you would use 2 gigabytes of free disk space for 512mb of RAM. If you dropped the RAM down to 256 then you would just use 1 gigabyte.
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AngelFireMateoCommented:
the only thing you've to check is your memories types(specially speed), and if you have free memory slots
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AL041000Commented:
I run with 768 megs of ram, using 412megs at all times with 65% resources free. No problems---if the hdwr and config is correct.
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zman1Commented:
I'm using my machine to render 3D .obj files in Bryce 5 on a Win 98 SE operating system with 512MB of RAM and a 2GHz processor with a 120 MB Hard Drive. I run into "Unexpected system error out of memory" all the time. On the site where I bought my program it states clearly that Windows 98 SE will only use 128MB for each program that is running (during multitasking you may have multiple programs running each being able to use up 128 MB of your total RAM). Rendering graphics is RAM intensive and its easy to go above that boundry even before you attempt to do a final render. If there is a Win 98 update that allows the system to use up to 800 MB per app as listed above then I need to track that down because it would solve all my issues without having to switch to XP (resistance is not futile).
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