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DOS 4GB RAM, 0 KB FREE…Huh?

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Got a real mystery here folks. Got a friend with a Dimension 8400. He has turned into into a dedicated DOS box for a project. He is running MS-DOS 7.10 on an 8 GB flash drive on the Dimension, booting as an HDD. The DOS machine has a 10 GB hard drive.

Basically, for some reason…without any programs running it hogs all the RAM. He is trying to install a Soundblaster Card but he cannot because there is no memory Free. How do we get DOS to stop hogging all the memory? What is going on here?

I’ve included an image for your review.

http://imgur.com/a/YeOXV

 

“The world is a vampire and I am the throat upon which it feeds…” – S.T. Gill

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1 Answer

  1. DOS can handle 640 MB of RAM.
    Some drivers can be loaded in the so called upper memory.
    That is the memory part between 640 MB and 1G.

    The thing is, you have to load drivers into the upper memory.

    This can be done as follows:

    Content of the config.sys file:

    DOS=HIGH,UMB
    DEVICE=HIMEM.SYS
    REM if needed, you can load EMM386.EXE here, by remove the REM infront of the DEVICE=EMM386... line
    REM but EMM386.EXE itself needs memory to run
    REM DEVICE=EMM386.EXE noems
    
    REM change driver_name1 and 2 with the names of the drivers, you need to load
    DEVICEHIGH=driver_name1.sys
    DEVICEHIGH=driver_name2.sys
    

    Content of autoexec.bat file:

    LH driver_name3.exe
    LH driver_name4.exe
    

    Where LH stands for LOADHIGH.

    So whenever it’s possible to load drivers into upper memory, it will be done by LH in autoexec.bat or by using DEVICEHIGH in config.sys.

    Content of msdos.sys, if you’re using MSDOS version 6.22 or 7.x and msdos.sys is not a binary file.

    [OPTIONS]
    logo=0
    SystemReg=0
    Bootmulti=0
    DisableLog=1
    LoadTop=1
    

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