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Help: Windows 98, System Resources Drops Quick (1 Viewer)

Chuck C

Senior HTF Member
Jan 6, 2001
I have Windows 98, an ethernet connection, the bare minimum startup items, and one problem: Each day I find myself restarting my computer in order to get my system resources up or else it crashes. I blame it on the ethernet.
some other info: I defrag the C drive, run scandisk, and do a disk cleanup once a month. I also leave AOL instant messenger on all day.
Does anyone have a solution to my problem?
Chuckster's HT Site
The At-Home Home Theater (E.L.)
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Senior HTF Member
Dec 3, 1999
I'll take a shot...
Double-check to make sure there isn't stuff running in the background. Many apps are sneaky.
From the 'Start' menu select 'Run' and type "msconfig.exe". MSconfig will show you everything currently running -and allow you to stop them.

Kimmo Jaskari

Feb 27, 2000
You can also improve your available system resources by optimizing your DOS boot files. Windows 98 and even ME are still basically DOS shells, as evidenced by the fact that they still rely on DOS based memory handling tools etc.

Ah well, that's another thread.
Step one is to look at the AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files. In CONFIG.SYS you want to add a line like:
devicehigh=c:windowsemm386.exe noems
just below line one, which should be:
And in AUTOEXEC.BAT you should try adding LH in front of programs that load there, for instance they KEYB command if you have that. Ie, change:
KEYB=..whatever it says here
LH KEYB=...whatever
Those can help you get more free system resources once you boot Win 98.
There is also a resource monitor available in Windows, under Accessories, system tools. If there isn't, you need to install that by going to the Control Panel, open Add/Remove Software and clicking on the Add/Remove Windows Components tab (not sure if its called exactly that, was a while since I used 98 now). You can keep that running to keep an eye on your available resources and then reboot the system if resources drop too far (if you run out, the whole machine will just crash, so better to reboot).

Jesse Leonard

Second Unit
Jun 8, 2000
The basic fact is that Windows 9x sucks at memory management. I highly recommend you go to AnalogX and download MaxMem . It should help you out some.
The ultimate solution is to do a formate and clean install of Windows 98 and one by one reinstall programs until you find the one that is causing this problem (more than likely it is one program that isn't playing fair with your memory resources).
Or you could always upgrade to Windows 2000 or Windows XP!
Jul 3, 2000
When using Win98 with more than 64 MB of RAM you must add this line to the [386ENH] section of your SYSTEM.INI file:
Windows will now only hit the Swapfile when RAM is 80% full instead of at 40%.

Kimmo Jaskari

Feb 27, 2000
Actually, it's not risky at all. Windows 9x always loads HIMEM.SYS for example, it is required to handle memory. It just does it on its own if you don't specify it in the CONFIG.SYS file. The CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files are actually plain text files, and can be edited by starting a DOS Command prompt in Windows and typing EDIT C:CONFIG.SYS or EDIT C:AUTOEXEC.BAT
Loading drivers and resident programs like KEYB into high memory was absolutely required in the old DOS and Win 3.x days if you wanted a prayer of getting enough usable RAM in your DOS sessions.
Just copy CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT to backup files, for example call them CONFIG.BUP and AUTOEXEC.BUP, and then try performing those changes. If you don't like the effects on your system memory, just copy the old files back and reboot.
For me, doing roughly the change I describe above (with a little more tweaking) I had a system that had about 60% system resources left after just being rebooted and had the necessary programs started go to just below 90% resources free.
Here's a Google search on the topic, you should find a slew of links that discuss freeing up the greatest available DOS memory. Worth reading for Win 98 users as well.
Sep 28, 1999
Resources usually dry out because some programs leak memory. And if these programs are in memory (for example, your AOL messenger, it might be trying to check the network every few minutes and if there is a memory leak in that part of the program, you will slowly lose resources), you will run out of memory pretty quick.
Remove all programs from your startup (use msconfig )
Put back one program in startup and watch resources over a period of time without much activity
Keep adding until you can find the culprit
If you still cannot find it, try disabling the Power options (On screen saver settings tab). I have found these to cause problems. Also turn screen saver off.
Try applying the service pack(s) from microsoft http://www.microsoft.com/windows98/d.../corporate.asp
If none of these work.....somebody else please...

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