Installation, updates, general problem solving and assistance.
JiaoTongNan

2019-10-04 21:32 »

Ah, thank you so much! I'll try these out on my Thinkpad R60 when I get the chance to install Windows ME on the hard drive! :)

My apologizes for sounding so grumpy earlier in this threat :oops:

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Steven W
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2019-10-04 22:11 »

Glad to see you back! I hope that one of these works for you. If you're already running another version of Windows, you may wish to see if you can get the Device ID before installing WinME. Perhaps we can figure out if it's one of the ones that will 'just work' before you install.
JiaoTongNan wrote:
2019-10-04 21:32
My apologizes for sounding so grumpy earlier in this threat :oops:

Much like my alleged privilege, I can't find your grumpiness. :lol:

JiaoTongNan

2019-10-04 23:28 »

Steven W wrote:
2019-10-04 22:11
Glad to see you back! I hope that one of these works for you. If you're already running another version of Windows, you may wish to see if you can get the Device ID before installing WinME. Perhaps we can figure out if it's one of the ones that will 'just work' before you install.
JiaoTongNan wrote:
2019-10-04 21:32
My apologizes for sounding so grumpy earlier in this threat :oops:

Much like my alleged privilege, I can't find your grumpiness. :lol:
At the moment, my Thinkpad R60 has Bodhi Linux (not really responsive). So, I might as well make a fresh Windows ME installation soon!

Is it possible to modify Windows ME to only see 512mb ram with a fresh installation? I don't wanna have to remove ram and risk breaking my laptop again >_<

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Steven W
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2019-10-05 00:04 »

JiaoTongNan wrote:
2019-10-04 23:28
Is it possible to modify Windows ME to only see 512mb ram with a fresh installation? I don't wanna have to remove ram and risk breaking my laptop again >_<
You'll need a DOS RAMdisk of some sort, lets you treat some user defined memory as a drive.

http://www.mdgx.com/dos.htm#RAM

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Steven W
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2019-10-05 00:16 »

Now that I think about it, when I was installing 98SE on a new machine I used himemx. It's a DOS memory manager that allows you to set a limit:

himemx.exe /MAX=1048576k

viewtopic.php?p=2938#p2938

https://www.ibiblio.org/pub/micro/pc-st ... imemx.html

That's probably a lot simpler.

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Steven W
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2019-10-05 01:51 »

Oh God! I forgot about Windows ME not using real DOS.

http://www.mdgx.com/dos.htm

Search for the following text on that page:
Windows ME (WinME) Patch
I'm not gonna say this is impossible, but it's not gonna be even as straight-forward as even installing 98SE like I did was (and that wasn't exactly straight-forward).

If you want my advice (bear in Mind I haven't dealt with ME very much at all):

I'd have several thing ready:

I'd try to have my drive partitioned and formatted in FAT32 (You could do this with a 2000 or XP setup).

I'd try to SYS the drive using a Windows 98/SE Boot Disk/CD, basically where the thing would boot to a Command Prompt:

Set up HimemX in the config.sys on that partition.

Personally, I'd get a Linux Live CD/bootable media of some sort, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu are probably the quickest and easiest to deal with. My logic here, is if you need to modify/download/delete something if and when the install craps out - you have another way to access things....Obviously have a ethernet cable from your router available if your wireless doesn't work on the Live CD/bootable media...Having something like that *might* allow us to mod ME to have real mode DOS before we boot - who knows.

I'll try to help you, but not sure how much help I'll be.

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Steven W
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2019-10-06 03:20 »

JiaoTongNan wrote:
2019-10-04 23:28
Is it possible to modify Windows ME to only see 512mb ram with a fresh installation? I don't wanna have to remove ram and risk breaking my laptop again >_<
You may be okay with up to two GB RAM (a slight mod at exactly 2 GB needed) installed, get a load of this:

http://taris111.blogspot.com/2011/11/wi ... emory.html
Yes, the answer is almost 2 GB RAM!
And it's perfectly stable like this, I've run memory tests.
winme_maximalmemory.jpg
winme_maximalmemory.jpg (138.54 KiB) Viewed 87 times
Experience with installing 98SE on various computers tells me this could vary a bit from PC to another.

I must say, that makes WinME attractive in some ways.

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2019-10-07 04:06 »

Taris111's IT blog

2011. november 29., kedd
Windows ME Maximum Memory
If you ever wondered how much memory is the maximum that the older Windows 9x/ME line of Windows systems supports actually, take a look at this picture:

Yes, the answer is almost 2 GB RAM!
And it's perfectly stable like this, I've run memory tests.

I've read many posts on the internet, that they not recommend to use more than 1 GB of RAM for the Win9x/ME versions, because it causes many problems, and even Windows won't start in some cases.

So I've fired up VMware (version 7.1.5 in this case) and begin testing on the freshly installed Windows ME English version (without any updates).
I've not noticed any problems with 1 GB of RAM, but if I increased RAM to 2 GB on the virtual machine, it wouldn't boot up.
Either locked with VMM bluescreen or powered off the virtual machine :)

That was because there is a bug with Win9x/ME's memory manager, and the file cache.
Every time Windows starts, it checks how much memory is in the computer, and adjusts the file cache to some percent of it. That works fine with memory up to 512 MB.
Just with this much memory, the VMM driver can't handle it and just freeze the system completely (it was designed to work with maximum 2 GB memory). With memory just below 2 GB, the system can start, but then the other bug comes with VCache (the file cache) which eats up all memory available from Windows, then not enough memory to load itself.

So we have to fix 2 problems at the same time, to get a boot with memory over 1,99 GB.
First of all, tell Windows that don't use more memory than 1992 MB.
That is done in the system.ini file (C:\Windows\system.ini) with this option, add this line under the [386Enh] section:

MaxPhysPage=7C6FF

It's in HEX format, and I've used an online DEC-to-HEX converter to get this value (however it must always end with FF, because if not, Windows may give funny values to the RAM limit, once I managed to boot with 6 MB RAM - it took a while and the network driver failed too :)).
[Please note that maybe Windows will only boot with even less RAM defined here, every system is different. If it won't work at first, try to use less value, by calculating a different HEX value]

Then, to make the VCache to work correctly, use these settings, also in the file system.ini, at the [VCache] section:

MinFileCache=5120
MaxFileCache=524288

This will limit the memory to use for the file cache to a maximum of 512 MB, and minimum value of 5 MB.
You can use any value you like, just make sure to stay below about 1700-1800 MB, as Windows still needs memory to load.
Also, I've read that with certain system configurations, with a big AGP aperture size, even less cache size is required to get a boot.
So be careful about giving it too big value.
I think 5 MB for starting size is good, it won't use memory when it's not needed. And 512 MB maximum is more than enough for anything you would ever use on such a Windows version :)
Maybe 128 MB is also enough.

Remember, both options are needed, or otherwise it won't boot. Believe me I tried many times.

In case you use wrong values and Windows doesn't boot, don't panic, just use a Win98 boot floppy or a WinPE/Linux live boot CD which can access the C: drive of Windows, and just modify the system.ini file from there, to give lesser values.
Or just take out the extra memory from the computer to have less than 2 GB, and modify after Windows boots up.
On a virtual machine this is much more easy, just mount the virtual hard drive as writable, and modify system.ini from the host system.

Here is this section of my customized system.ini file for reference:

[386Enh]
;Limit RAM to 1.99 GB: MaxPhysPage=7C6FF
MaxPhysPage=7C6FF

[VCache]
;Minimum 5MB file cache
MinFileCache=5120
;Maximum 512MB file cache
MaxFileCache=524288

Have fun and enjoy! :)

More info can be found here, what Microsoft says about the problem:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/253912

Also, good to read this board for more info:
http://www.msfn.org/board/topic/109574- ... n-win98se/

Now you may ask, why would anybody want to use the old Windows 9x/ME system nowadays, and do this crazy thing to feed it with more than 2 GB memory.
The answer is just, because I can, then why not?
Nowadays we have insane amount of memory in our computers, according to the time of these systems, then it's good to test out how they behave in such extreme circumstances.
And I like Windows ME, with a disabled System Restore [it's buggy, disable it!] it works like a charm (and much faster than Win98 with enough RAM).

Next time I will check how much memory can Windows 3.x handle :)
Cached the link text.

JiaoTongNan

2019-10-12 11:02 »

Steven W wrote:
2019-10-06 03:20
JiaoTongNan wrote:
2019-10-04 23:28
Is it possible to modify Windows ME to only see 512mb ram with a fresh installation? I don't wanna have to remove ram and risk breaking my laptop again >_<
You may be okay with up to two GB RAM (a slight mod at exactly 2 GB needed) installed, get a load of this:

http://taris111.blogspot.com/2011/11/wi ... emory.html
Yes, the answer is almost 2 GB RAM!
And it's perfectly stable like this, I've run memory tests.
winme_maximalmemory.jpg

Experience with installing 98SE on various computers tells me this could vary a bit from PC to another.

I must say, that makes WinME attractive in some ways.
In theory, would dual-booting a Linux distro do the job? That way I can access the vcache file in 9x through the hard drive and modify it from there! :)

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Steven W
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2019-10-15 03:50 »

JiaoTongNan wrote:
2019-10-12 11:02

In theory, would dual-booting a Linux distro do the job? That way I can access the vcache file in 9x through the hard drive and modify it from there! :)
It could, keep in mind that ME will have to be on the primary partition (it will have to be the active one). That could potentially complicate things. I'm not 100 percent certain that you'll have to have even worry about any of this, who knows, it could be easy. One way I could imagine simplifying what you're speaking of here is to make two partitions and go ahead install Linux, if you could switch which partition is active easily somehow... That's one potential complication, Windows ME install might overwrite or replace GRUB or whatever bootloader you use for Linux. An older Linux might be good if you're worried about the system having enough resources to run the Live CD/USB whatever...
Personally, I have a Kubuntu 10.04 CD, that gives me access to a web browser and text editor.

Does your laptop have a functioning CD-Rom drive you can boot from? Can you burn CD-Rs? If you can boot a 98/ME boot CD, you should be able to switch the active drive/partition.

Don't let me over-complicate this either. What's the worst thing that's gonna happen if the install fails your first try? It won't be the end of the world. :lol:

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