Is 512MB max memory for Win 98SE

Have installed 768MB onto a KA&/100mobo and want to know if the OS only uses the first 512MB anyway. So am I wasting this extra ram ?
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I respectfully differ with Crash;en-us;Q304943
"Windows Me and Windows 98 are not designed to handle more than 1 GB of RAM. More than 1 GB can lead to potential system instability.";en-us;Q181862
yes, if you're only using up to 512mb the rest is wasted.
frogmellaAuthor Commented:
Is there a way around this or shall I just remove the extra ram ?
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Yeah there is a lot misunderstanding about this. Win98SE is more then capable of hanling more then 512MB's of RAM. The problem arises with certain graphic cards specifically NVIDA that can cause some problems with using more then 512MB's. However the fixes in the links that Steve posted usually remedy these problems.

Something else to think about though is that your System Resource percentage may run low before the system even has a chance of using all that RAM.


System Resources are totally unrelated to the amount of RAM installed in your computer and adding more RAM will not affect the System Resources (unless you start running more applications because you have more RAM).

System Resource usage is determined by the number and type of applications that you have running on the computer.  Certain types of applications have been shown to be especially demanding in terms of System Resource usage:
- "Eye and Ear Candy" such as Active Desktop View As Web Page, sound effect schemes, animated mouse cursors and desktop icons, and fancy screen savers.
- Web browsers, as each open browser window requires additional resources.
 -Multimedia applications of all types
- System monitoring utilities such as Norton SystemWorks.

If you are using any applications that have the ability to "preview fonts in fonts list" such as Office 2000 then all of the installed fonts will be loaded into GDI resources when the application is launched.  This will result in the usage of approximately 1% of GDI resources for each 64 fonts that are installed.  If no such applications are in use, or if the "preview fonts in fonts list" is turned off then resources will only be consumed by those fonts that have actually been used by windows or by an application.

If you are running any 16 bit applications (Windows 3.x) then Windows 95/98/Me will treat the System Resources allocated to all of these applications as one block and will not release any of them for reuse unless and until all of the open 16 bit applications have been closed.

Also, when an application is loaded it is quite common that it will also require some additional Windows components to be loaded as well. However, when that application is closed Windows will, by design, retain the Windows components because they are likely to be needed again.  Therefore the resources initially allocated when an application is opened will not all be released when that application is closed.  Most, but not all.


Ron Martell     Duncan B.C.    Canada

Some possible useful information at these links

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.

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.

Computer Speed and Performance May Decrease

..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.

System resources are areas of memory that are used by the input manager (USER) and the graphic display interface manager (GDI) for keeping track of all of the windows that are open in a session and for drawing objects on the screen. Stored in memory in  these heaps and the size of each heap is fixed.

16-bit User heap (64K)
32-bit User window heap (2MB)
32-bit User menu heap (2MB)
16-bit GDI heap (64K)
32-bit GDI heap (2MB) 

The Crazy One
Adam LeinssServer SpecialistCommented:
There's a lot of debate on this.  Personally, anything above 256 MB on Windows 98 is a waste.  You can throw all the technical documents you want at me, but it won't convince me.  Microsoft says that real mode DOS is not available in Windows Me, yet I can find an unoffical patch that changes just 3 files and boom, there it is.  I guess the point is really moot anyways, as everything is (and should) be moving to a NT platform which has much better memory management.

Interesting article I found on USENET:

Try running MS Word, go to Help, then About Microsoft Word, and then System Info...

Now go down to "Software Environment", and "16-bit Modules Loaded"

KERNEL   - the entire Windows kernel is 16-BIT
SYSTEM   - low-level system functions are 16-BIT
KEYBOARD - low-level keyboard input is 16-BIT
MOUSE    - low-level mouse input is 16-BIT
DISPLAY  - low-level display driver is 16-BIT (not the specific card driver, but what interfaces between the card driver and Windows itself)
GDI      - low-level basic graphics is 16-BIT (what draws points, lines, etc...)
USER     - the graphical functions that draw windows, menus, buttons is 16-BIT
MSGSRV32 - another critical component, the message server, this is what passes messages between parts of Windows, it's 16-BIT
MMSYSTEM - low-level multimedia component is 16-BIT
SHELL    - low-level shell is 16-BIT (this is things like the desktop, explorer, etc...)
MMTASK   - this is what schedules the multitasker, it's 16-BIT
OLECLI   - OLE client is 16-BIT (without this and OLESVR, you can't cut and paste or drag and drop)
OLESVR   - OLE server is 16-BIT

13 critical Windows components are 16-BIT. Try and kill any one of these and see if your system still runs.


Basically, NT is fully 32-bit and will better handle the memory then Windows 9x ever would.
Umm aleinss I have tested many a times if Windows 98 would use RAM above 512MB's and I can attest to the fact it does use it. However the machine and its hardware have a lot to do with how well Win98 acheives this. Usually the System Resources run far to low before being able to attain the full use of the RAM. In that sense the extra RAM is wasted. However when one is able to attain the ability of keeping the System Resources from running to low then it is possible for Win98 to use RAM over 512MB's.

Also ME real mode DOS is not available through MS and that patch you mention is not from MS and is not sanctioned or certified by MS. So MS is correct in stating that real DOS mode is not available in ME by MS.

The same holds true with MS stating XP home isn't configured to run IIS. However it can be done but not by any tweaks offered by MS but from other sources. :>)
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