What are the windows 98 memory limitations?


What are the memory limitations from running W/98 Second ed, and can this be changed ?

Thanks, Joe


This question was answered on September 5, 2003. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Windows 98 has the ability to address up to 4GBs of virtual memory, but only 2GBs of physical RAM The catch is that these operating systems will not reliably use RAM beyond the 512MB mark

You may run into problems if you have more than 512MB of physical RAM installed The two most common error messages that users get when attempting to use more are:

There is not enough memory available to run this program Quit one or more programs, and then try again.


Insufficient memory to initialize Windows Quit one or more memory-resident programs or remove unnecessary utilities from your Config.sys and Autoexec.bat files, and restart your computer.

The former error message often occurs when you try to shell to DOS The latter message appears during the boot process, and is often accompanied by the system hanging

Microsoft recommends three methods to avoid these errors:

Use the MaxFileCache setting in the System.ini file to reduce the maximum amount of memory that Vcache uses to 512MB (524,288KB) or less To do this:

Open up the System.ini file in a text editor, such as NotePad.

Find the line about Vcache.

Modify the number next to MaxFileCache to 512MB (524,288KB) or less (you can add the line if it's not there) For example:



Use the system configuration utility to limit the amount of memory that Windows uses to 512MB or less To do this:

Click on the start button, select Run.

In the field, type MSCONFIG and click OK.

Click on the Advanced button.

Near the bottom of the checklist is "Limit memory to." Enter a figure that is 512MB or less.

Reduce the amount of physical memory in your computer to 512MB.

These errors are actually known bugs Microsoft attributes the cause of the problem to cache allocation.

Need Help with this Issue?

We help people with technology! It's what we do.
Schedule an Appointment with a location for help!


Posted by Student of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on September 5, 2003