1 GB and Enhanced Mode

April 25, 2017 at 04:11:06
Specs: Windows 3.1, Intel / 1GB
After upgrading my old (still loyal) Compaq Evo N610c from 512 KB to 1GB of RAM, I noticed I can no more boot Windows 3.1!
I can only enter Windows 3.1 in Standard Mode. Enhanced Mode seems not to like the new configuration, or so I guess.
For those who may ask, I double-boot on this system between Windows XP and MS-DOS 7.10/Windows 3.11. I use the latter for experiment and fun, not so much for serious work. However, I would still like my machine to boot Windows in Enhanced Mode, though I have not observed any noticeable difference in speed/responce et.c.
I think I should tweak CONFIG.SYS somehow, so that the system accepts Enhanced Mode again. Anyone able to figure out a solution?

See More: 1 GB and Enhanced Mode

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April 25, 2017 at 04:55:34
You have run into Windows 3.1 memory limits. https://support.microsoft.com/en-us...

As 1 GB of memory is of no use to a Windows 3.1 setup the best solution is to revert to your previous configuration.

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April 25, 2017 at 16:30:25

In Config.Sys :
- Add Or Edit The Line of Himem.Sys As:
- Remark/Remove EMM386.EXE Or Any Expanded Memory Simulator/Manager (QEMM,...).

Note : The Default Path Is "C:\DOS", Else, Use and Type True Path.

Good Luck.

message edited by TechDOS

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April 28, 2017 at 09:06:53
@ iJack
Thank you for the answer. I know that I GB of RAM is of no use to Win 3.1, but unfortunately is of use to Win XP, which I also use (in double-boot setup) in my system. So, I think I should not revert in the previous configuration (512 KB).

@ TechDOS
Thank you very much for figuring out an answer, though it idn't help much.
The line you specified already existed in my CONFIG.SYS!
I tried to REM out EMM386.EXE. What happened, was that the system wouldn't boot Win 3.1 at all! It simply went back to DOS 7.10.
So, perhaps the inability to boot Win 3.1 in Enhanced Mode has something to do with the EMM386.EXE line. My CONFIG.SYS, containing this line, is as follows:


Any ideas?

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Related Solutions

April 28, 2017 at 22:29:37
You could try adding
to config.sys.

OR,You could try:

XP would run better on a dual core machine.
That sounds more like an old win98 laptop.

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May 1, 2017 at 15:34:33


SET PATH= ... In config.sys ?
STACKSHIGH=0,0 ... In config.sys ?

Copy config.sys to config.bak
Copy autoexec.bat to autoexec.bak
Comman Line (C:\>), Type : copy c:\config.sys c:\config.bak
Comman Line (C:\>), Type : copy c:\autoexec.sys c:\autoexec.bak

Edit/Change config.sys File As :


Edit autoexec.bat File and Add :

Reboot, Test, And If Success Add Other Device Drivers and System Configuration Settings From config.bak to config.sys.
Such As :
DEVICE=C:\COMMAND\IFSHLP.SYS -> Networking and ...
DEVICE=C:\COMMAND\SETVER.EXE -> Simulates other Versions of DOS !
DEVICE=C:\COMMAND\ANSI.SYS /X -> Console Enhanced Services !

Good Luck.

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May 9, 2017 at 00:59:29
@ watler

Can you please give me more information about this file HIMEMX.EXE? Is it something like HIMEM.SYS?

"That sounds more like an old win98 laptop"
To be frank, it is a Compaq Eo N610c. Came with Win XP preinstalled. I managed to dual-boot Win XP and DOS 7.10/Win 3.1 on this system, because I really like the DOS/Win 3.1 combi.

@ TechDOS

Thank you very much for the useful information.
I followed your directions by stripping-down the CONFIG.SYS and modifying BUFFERS, FILES and STACKS. After rebooting, the system presented me with the following error string:

"ERROR: PageOverCommit value in SYSTEM.INI is too large. Decrease the value or, if not present, add a setting that is less than 4".

I entered the system in Standard Mode and opened SYSTEM.INI. I found that a PageOverCommit line already existed, as follows:


I decreased the value to 1 and, after rebooting, I was able to enter Windows 3.1 in Enhanced Mode again!
However, not everything was perfect: some applications could not run at all. I was able to run winfile.exe or write.exe, but when trying to do the same with other applications I use, I was presented with a memory error. This is why I thought that, in the end, my problem was a memory management problem.
So, I fancied out that I needed a memory manager added to my stripped-down CONFIG.SYS. Consequently, I added the following line to it:


Next time I rebooted the system, I was able to enter Enhanced Mode and work with my applications - so far, without problems at all!
Seems that the issue in my system is solved. Thank you to everybody here in computing.net who has bothered to help by figuring a possible solution, esp. TechDOS!

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May 9, 2017 at 19:45:43
HIMEMX.EXE is an open source replacement for Microsoft's HIMEM.SYS

If you use the himem.sys included with win16, SETXMSTO.EXE could enable up to 2gb of ram.

Standard mode will globalalloc less than 512mb of ram.
Enhanced mode will globalalloc less than 256mb of ram.
Both modes allow 4gb address space for bus mastering hardware.

EMM386 may cause problems for 16-bit windows drivers which make use of 32-bit or 64-bit hardware.

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May 26, 2017 at 02:05:45
Thank you, watler!

Have downloaded HIMEMX.EXE and will give it a try.
By the way, what is your opinion about JEMM386.EXE? Is it better than EMM386.EXE? Should I use it alongside with HIMEMX.EXE?

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May 26, 2017 at 16:03:19
Windows 3.1 does not require EMM386 or JEMM386.

Features introduced with the 386 processor allow software to buffer hardware and memory access.
By using these CPU features a 386 manager can create virtual (fake) hardware and memory..

EMM386 was designed to provide DOS applications and drivers virtual services.
JEMM386 takes the place of EMM386 for DOS applications.

While Win386 is active, it takes the place of EMM386 for DOS applications.
Enhanced mode Windows provides its own 386 virtual device services to both win16 and DOS applications.

Although Standard mode Windows win16 applications do not use EMM386, DOS programs running while Standard mode windows is swapped out may use EMM386 services.

Real mode Windows 3.0 may benefit from EMM386.
Perhaps windows applications run by HX-DOS benefit from JEMM386.

If you want virtual hardware and memory services for DOS applications you will need a 386 virtual memory manager such as EMM386,JEMM386 or WIN386.

For that laptop a 386 manager is quite appropriate.
The choice of VMM is rather application specific.

Since this is the Windows 3.1 forum, I recommend not using EMM386 or JEMM386.
For more details on EMM386 and JEMM386 look in the MS/PC-DOS forum.

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November 1, 2017 at 17:33:38
It's been awhile since I have visited this forum, but nostalgia drew me back.

Windows 3.1 (and even 95-98SE) really can't deal with more than 512MB of RAM.
But you can fool all of the above OSs by using a standard feature of MS DOS, RAMDRIVE.SYS.
IF RAMDRIVE.SYS is loaded before Windows starts its boot process, then Windows will only see the 512MB of RAM that it can handle.
And you can even put your Windows swap file, temp directory, or even whole programs on it.
Check this link for a full explanation:
Good luck.

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