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512MB too much for 98SE?

Last response: in Memory
November 6, 2001 3:48:21 PM

With the prices of SDRAM falling to ridiculous lows, I picked up a second 256MB DIMM from Crucial identical to the one I already had in my system which has been working pretty flawlessly for months.
1GHz Thuderbird
Originally had 1 256MB stick of PC133 CAS2 from Crucial.

When I placed the second identical stick into the second slot and booted, the memory counted up to 500million and change and everything looked good. After logging on and getting to the desktop, immediately a blue screen pops up saying that my system memory was VERY LOW and Norton Auto protect would likely not be able to run. Other programs also would hang or not start at all.

System Resource meter says I'm 66% free. All indications are that Windows recognizes the 512MB. I manage my own swap file to be 512MB. I set the timings of the two banks to be identical in the BIOS. I tried both the new and old RAM DIMMS alone in the system and they each work fine alone.

What am I missing? Is there a setting in windows to "enable" the entire 512MB? I know that there may be a problem with WIN98 and >512MB, but I thought 512MB was OK.


More about : 512mb 98se

November 6, 2001 4:22:34 PM

I have two system, one PIII 1000mhz 512mb ram with Win98SE and Red Hat Linux 7.0, the other is Athlon TB 1333mhz 512mb ram with Win98SE only, both running fine.
Try to set your memory timing slower.
This problem can also cause by power supply, do you have a good power supply in your system? ( ie 3.3v and 5v combine max output = 150w or more)
November 6, 2001 4:42:29 PM

Thank you for replying,
I tried setting the memory timings to the BIOS defaults (EVERYTHING slow) and that didn't change the behavior.

Also, I had just upgraded my 300W Sparkle PS to a new 431W Enermax.

It has been over 10 months on my current installation and I have been wrestling with an intermittant freezing problem that was occurring prior to even messing with the RAM. It may be time to wipe the system clean and restart from scratch.

Any other ideas before I do something drastic as that?
Related resources
November 6, 2001 4:44:17 PM

512 MB is just about enough.

dont go above 512.

<font color=red>No system is fool-proof. Fools are Ingenious!</font color=red>
November 6, 2001 9:28:08 PM

Well I checked out Norton's page and sure enough there was a post from someone else with the same error message I was getting. They pointed me to the Microsoft Knowledge base article saying Win98 VCACHE has a problem with RAM in excess of 512MB...but I don't have MORE than 512, I have 512!

Anyway, I will tinker with VCACHE sizes and see if that helps.
November 6, 2001 11:47:18 PM

That 512MB vcache limitation can be restricted even further depending on your AGP Aperture size.

To completely get around the problem get a copy of Cacheman 5. Cacheman will allow you to fully utilize all of your memory, even beyond 512MB. See below.

<A HREF="" target="_new">Cacheman review.</A>

<A HREF="" target="_new">Download Cacheman</A>

<b>We are all beta testers!</b>
November 7, 2001 11:01:16 AM

Not sure but I THINK they're trying to tell me something!
I will check out Cacheman tonight.

Thanks everybody!
November 7, 2001 11:06:57 AM

And I completely agree with your sig!

We are definitely all beta testers!

Thanks again,
November 7, 2001 5:49:36 PM

your resources are down because of the hidden running programs on start up/
go to run type msconfig
select the selective startup then go to start up folder and remove all check marks this will give you above 90%
November 8, 2001 2:33:04 AM

You can all collect you kickback checks from the makers of Cacheman! The program works!
Seriously, just using the default gaming setting knocked my used resources WAY down. I ran the program, installed the new RAM, and no problems!

Granted, it looks like all it does is edit your config files in the background, but that's the beauty of it. It is a good interface to use if you don't know how to (or don't want to) use the settings of msconfig, and it doesn't seem to use hardly any resources itself.

Thanks everyone for the tip!
November 8, 2001 10:40:41 AM

I downloaded Cacheman 5.

I went to the <i>Settings</i> tab and the <i>Disk Cache</i> icon. Under the <i>Win9x/Me Settings</i> I clicked on <i>Wizard</i>.

On the second page, the last preset setting is "using my computer mainly for gaming"...which I do! :cool:

Does this all sound correct?

November 8, 2001 1:42:02 PM

Oh, that setting. That's cool if that's what you do. No problem. :smile:

BTW, did you run it again <b>after</b> you installed your new RAM so it would optimize your system with it?

<A HREF="" target="_new">My System Rig</A>
November 8, 2001 2:34:26 PM

I haven't dug too far into the different settings, but are there better ones for general gaming? That's my machine's main function.

I did run it again after installing the new 256MB stick, and it basically doubled my MaxCache sizes, and my used resources at startup fell to about half of what they were before.
November 8, 2001 10:50:31 PM

Nah...that's probably fine.

It's supposed to double it, since you have twice as much more RAM. Besides, would you rather Windows use the Swap File than your memory? I don't think so... :smile:

Those resources have little to do with your memory, but more with the programs that are running. Make sure Cacheman is disabled at startup (under options, I think).

<A HREF="" target="_new">My System Rig</A>
November 9, 2001 12:10:53 AM

run win2k.
more stability, no 512mb memory limitation

OEMs selling "High End"PCs with integrated video will be forced into Q3tournaments using a TNT2M64!
November 9, 2001 1:09:23 AM

he says hes a gamer... win2k non-too great for gaming

uh someone told me to set the machine as a 'network server', which is great on this Win95 but what about Win98se?

"Bring out the dead..."
"I'm not dead yet!"
"Yes you are!"
November 9, 2001 4:38:40 AM

I can't verify that statement about Win2K, since I don't game too often.

But, setting the machine as a "network server" creates a setting that allows your computer to cache 2729 files and 64 paths, while the "desktop computer" setting caches only 677 files and 32 paths. It's not that much memory, but a greater speed boost in file browsing.

<A HREF="" target="_new">My System Rig</A>
November 9, 2001 5:04:01 PM

Try change your swap file to a smaller size.
Mine is 300mb permanent.
......or, reinstall Windows?
November 9, 2001 8:03:21 PM

Unfortunately I don't have Win2000. I have been hesitant to move to 2000 or XP due to the potential for problems with older games I have that run fine on 98SE. Sooner or later I may switch, but for now I think I'm OK.
November 10, 2001 1:32:33 AM

haha i wait for a minimum of 6 months (usually a year) after they come out before i'll even consider buying. im still going to be using Win98se when my new comp arrives sometime next week (hopefully).

Win2K is just not for gaming, older games especially have lots of problems, or more to the point, many just dont work on it (well, so i pick up anyway, u might have guessed i dont use win2k lol).

btw, on Win98se, is FAT32 as standard or do i do something to use it? i take it that it is better? i cant remember all the stuff i heard, it was so long ago (i use win95 still).

"Bring out the dead..."
"I'm not dead yet!"
"Yes you are!"
a b } Memory
November 10, 2001 2:31:31 AM

yea for win 98SE FAT 32 is a standard..
win2k the NTSF or something like is a standard
XP u can choose either one
November 10, 2001 3:11:44 AM

fixed size swap file helps but its more of a trial and error method to get the best size for given memory and given usage pattern. a general rule of thumb is to set the size of swap file to 4x memory size. but thats huge. maybe a better value would be 256 MB or so.

and the file should be unfragmented. you could move the swap file to D, defrag c and then move it back to C with a fixed size. quite a work but worth it.


<font color=red>No system is fool-proof. Fools are Ingenious!</font color=red>
November 10, 2001 4:44:54 AM

If you used the Cacheman setting for Conservative Swap File Usage, it won't use the swap file at all unless it has to. I leave my computer running for days at a time now (just turning off the monitor), and I do stuff like watch music videos, listen to mp3s, surf the internet a lot, use programs that hog a lot of resources. And, my swap file has yet to be used (by checking out the overview in Cacheman). I have it set to 128MB on my second hard drive, at the beginning of it. My system has 512MB of RAM as well.

I guess what I'm getting at is that if you have a lot of RAM (in Windows 98, 256MB is plenty I think), your swap file size doesn't need to be 500MB or something.

Anyways, another tip:
If you want to have the swap file optimized on the front of the drive (even if it's in the Windows partition), I suggest you download <A HREF="" target="_new"> VoptMe 6.2</A>. It's a free 30-day trial, but it's fully featured.

<A HREF="" target="_new">My System Rig</A>
November 11, 2001 12:50:20 AM

ok so im going to have a 40gb 7200rpm barracuda, partitioned to 10gb, 25gb, 5gb (or similar). the first partition is basically just for Win98se and anything that only wants to work on C:\. I will have a second 2.5gb drive that is a lot slower basically for file backup and, i was thinking, swapfile. - is it better to put the swapfile on C:\ so its near the front of the fastest (Primary master) drive or on the other disk which will rarely be used otherwise? note im having 512mb PC2100 ddr so not sure how often itll be needed ;) 

"Bring out the dead..."
"I'm not dead yet!"
"Yes you are!"
November 11, 2001 1:05:11 AM

oh man its been too long since i built a comp... since i asked the above i thought of the following question too: so my barracuda is primary master, what do i put my 2.5gb backup(and unless u suggest otherwise, swapfile) disk to, CDROM and later CDRW? i was thinking cdrom: primary slave, secondary master, cdrw: secondary slave. since this way the hdd's are on seperate ribbons and so are the cdroms. but then looking at barracuda manual it goes on about some cable i havent heard of??? also im confused again about the 'fastest first' thing.

"Bring out the dead..."
"I'm not dead yet!"
"Yes you are!"
November 11, 2001 3:26:04 AM

If you'll be imaging your C drive, then put your swapfile on your other hard drive. Download VoptMe to optimize it to the front. With Cacheman, you can see if it even gets used as well. 512MB should keep it quiet for a quite a while.

<A HREF="" target="_new">My System Rig</A>
November 11, 2001 3:34:17 AM

I'm still not quite sure about that. What motherboard do you have? I'm not sure what to recommend. I know ToeJam31 gave me a link from <A HREF="" target="_new">PC</A> that explained that most recent chipsets allow drives to run their rated speeds.

One thing I can answer: make sure your barracuda is using an ATA100 IDE cable.'s the <A HREF="" target="_new">original post</A>...

<A HREF="" target="_new">My System Rig</A>
November 12, 2001 1:02:07 AM

imaging? I thought that was something norton did as a backup?

mobo's a Gigabyte GA-7VTXH (KT266A)
is the ATA100 cable what the manual refers to as "40pin 80 conductor" with blue, black and grey connector? ( i dont have the drive yet, hopefully monday/tuesday).

reading that post I work out that I should stick the swapfile on the primary master (fastest & biggest HDD1) and the small&slower HDD2 as the slave on the primary cable (used just for file backup), with CDROM master and CDRW slave on the secondary cable. This way HDD1 and the CDROM have a cable to themselves during gaming, which would be where performance matters most. Source CD and CDRW on the same cable might not be too great for cd copying, but thatll happen infrequently and in any case i'll probably make it copy onto HDD first to minimise coasters.

Putting the CDRW on the primary cable with the fast drive seems sensible too, in that the CDRW is used least and HDD1 most, but most games require the CD in the first logical drive which would then be the CDRW. Thus the cable's being shared and also the slower yet more expensive CDRW is wearing out instead of CDROM.

seem sensible?

"Bring out the dead..."
"I'm not dead yet!"
"Yes you are!"
November 12, 2001 1:27:58 AM

Two imaging software programs most people use: Drive Image and Norton Ghost. Both are fine, but I just prefer Drive Image (from the recommendation of <A HREF="" target="_new">Fred Langa</A>.

Yeah...that's the ATA100 cable. It came with the motherboard, right?

That setup sounds just fine. Just make sure to get your swapfile to the front of that hard drive.

Good luck! :smile:

<A HREF="" target="_new">My System Rig</A>
November 12, 2001 1:57:37 AM

i'll probly just leave the swapfile, norton defrag puts the OS at the front and swap immediately after, which allows teh swapsize to change without going all over the disk...

i remembered reading lots of games troubleshooting sections and seeing them always say let windows manage virtual memory (tho maybe this is just cause some ppl make silly swapfiles)


"Bring out the dead..."
"I'm not dead yet!"
"Yes you are!"
November 12, 2001 2:59:38 AM

Well, I advise against that. The reason is because that if it isn't a fixed size, and it needs to be resized, you'll have some major hard drive grindage. That's why you should have it fixed. Plus, you have 512MB or RAM. Keep it fixed, and use the ConservativeSwapFileUsage setting. Keep it in front of the disk, and your OS after that. I think it's for the best. (Perhaps set it to 200MB...)

If you still don't think so, then read this article from Fred Langa. I know it's sort of old, but I know it holds true still:
<A HREF="" target="_new">Real-World Answers about Virtual Memory</A>

If you liked that article, here's more of his <A HREF="" target="_new">back issues</A>.

This is his homepage, where he writes his own great newsletter.
<A HREF="" target="_new"></A>

<A HREF="" target="_new">My System Rig</A>
November 12, 2001 6:18:56 PM

youre word seems good enough for me... DLing the voptme trial, but $40/£30 for a #@$%£ defragger? I got my norton utilites 2000 free [with something, not pir8] and can upgrade it to 2002 for £17.50 (USD$25). Even buy it new for £35. I'll use voptme for the thirty day demo, and see if it runs out ;) 

yeah the ATA100 cable came with the mobo... mobo, HDD, CPU and ram arrived today, going to be waiting for the HSF and especially Geforce3Ti200 though :( (

"Bring out the dead..."
"I'm not dead yet!"
"Yes you are!"
November 12, 2001 9:49:42 PM

Well, as I said before, the only reason I used VoptMe 6.2 was to optimize my swap file to the front of the HD. I really only use v5.10 to defragment, since I was able to find a key generator for that...heh heh heh... :wink: I'll hook you up with that one, if you want. It's pretty quick, too, that's why I use it.

GeForce3? Lucky punk... :lol: 

Hope everything runs great!

<A HREF="" target="_new">My System Rig</A>
November 12, 2001 10:24:22 PM

i wont be feeling too smug until i have it in my hands... could be weeks (better f not be!). seems pretty cheap tho, even uk creative shop selling for £35 more(USD$50). my mobo went up in price £15 day after i ordered it too hehehe. and i was surprised to see it arrive with Norton antivirus in the box, so theres another £35 saved hahaha. today i also found i can just upgrade my norton utilities to 2002 version for £17, so hey, another £25 stays in the bank lol. CDRW might not have to wait until xmas :) 

"Bring out the dead..."
"I'm not dead yet!"
"Yes you are!"
November 13, 2001 1:22:02 AM

Aw...that stinks.

Hey, I've read that the Lite-on LTR24102B (24x10x40) is pretty good. I read a review on it here:
<A HREF="" target="_new">;/A>

Here in the US, the cheapest I could find it at is $96 retail. So, I think that's a pretty good price.

Alright then...

<A HREF="" target="_new">My System Rig</A>
a b } Memory
November 13, 2001 12:16:41 PM

hey i just got myself one today
it's damn good..
November 13, 2001 1:48:20 PM

Really? Aw, sweet...hopin' to get one soon.

Anything you could tell me about it? Perhaps like if you were able to run other stuff at the same time or something? I'm just wondering if that review held true that it slows itself down...

<A HREF="" target="_new">My System Rig</A>
November 14, 2001 10:52:33 PM

hurrah they tell me GF3Ti200 will be with me in a week :) 

i was just on my way to post about CDRW's actually, though with price in mind i was thinking strongly about the liteon 16x10x40, which is £73 (US$102, makes me a bit sick really). other contenders with same performance and similar price come from Philips and LG (though only the LiteOn comes from my trusted supplier where i can also aviod shipping, tho thats only a few £).

vague potential for an LG DVD/CDRW combo, at £120ish but performance a little dull, 8x4x32 +8xdvd. reccomendation?

"Bring out the dead..."
"I'm not dead yet!"
"Yes you are!"
November 14, 2001 11:15:52 PM

hmmm scrub that, i just found the 24x10x40 at £90, its that or teh dvdcombo, looking like the LiteOn...

"Bring out the dead..."
"I'm not dead yet!"
"Yes you are!"
November 14, 2001 11:35:41 PM

I dunno. Do you want that DVD Combo bad, or a speedy CD-Writer? My 8x4x32 HP CD-Writer burns a full CD in 12 minutes. So, that DVD combo will probably be the same. If that's fine, then go for it.

<A HREF="" target="_new">My System Rig</A>
November 15, 2001 12:26:05 AM

aw poo, looks like i have another decision i have to make myself ;)  hehe

thinking aloud...slow CDRW with DVD, or new and fast CDRW? I like the idea of having a DVD player, although being honest i expect to have very few DVD's. not sure how good a GF3Ti200 will play dvd films anyhow. but then again, 12 mins is actually pretty fine with me, gut 4-6 mins is just great.... hmmm.

"Bring out the dead..."
"I'm not dead yet!"
"Yes you are!"
November 15, 2001 10:10:45 PM

added the LiteOn to my order about 15 mins after i wrote that. creative seem to think the card has great dvd playback, i think ill just buy a normal dvdrom drive when the cdrom goes kaput. or when i feel like having a dvd player ;) 

nice little chat we're having here lol

"Bring out the dead..."
"I'm not dead yet!"
"Yes you are!"
November 16, 2001 12:14:11 AM

the x24 it was only £15 (usd$20) more :) 

having pangs about no dvd tho, its just remembering watching the Matrix and Fight Club on dvd at a friends place

"Bring out the dead..."
"I'm not dead yet!"
"Yes you are!"