My 486 Windows 3.1 system is giving me out of memory errors...

Question

A fellow instructor owns a Compudyne '486 computer with 4 Meg of RAM soldered onto the motherboard running Win3.1. He is getting out of memory messages and I tried to help him expand the memory by using the 4 open 30 pin SIMM sockets. If I add memory to Bank 0 and 1, the computer won't boot. Bank 2 and 3, it won't recognize. We have no instruction manual, so I am not sure if there is a BIOS/CMOS setting or a jumper I need to change. Tried all the BIOS entry key combinations like CTRL-ALT-INS....Looked at all the jumpers, but with no manual??? Any suggestions short of buying a new computer?

P.S. Compudyne disowns it, CompUSA where they bought it never heard of it, and the EPROM has an Acer label on it???

Answer

This question was answered on September 30, 1999. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

A couple of things that may or may not help The actual "out of memory" messages that he is getting could actually be referring to the conventional memory (the first 640k) which would not be helped if you add more memory Before you go to all of the trouble of adding memory, try running the MEMMAKER utility that is included with DOS6.0 or higher In addition, you may want to check the virtual memory settings on the system Try setting the swap file to none, re-booting the system, then running defrag before re-creating a new permanent swap file If the drive was fragmented when the original swap file was created, it may be too small or if it is set to temporary, a fragmented hard drive will not allow Windows to grab enough of a contiguous section of the hard drive for an ample swap file A lack of hard drive space could also cause the system to give you the message Most older 486 boards did use a series of jumpers for memory settings, so without the manual or information silk screened on the motherboard, you may be out of luck.

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Author

Posted by Ken of Data Doctors on September 30, 1999