Error Messages Occur When Using Msconfig.exe to Limit Memory Usage

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Article ID: 272960
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
If this article does not describe the error message that you are receiving, view the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article to view more articles that describe error messages:
315854 Windows 98 and Windows Me Error Message Resource Center
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Symptoms

In Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me), when you use the System Configuration utility (Msconfig.exe) to limit memory to 8 MB or less, you may receive one of the following error messages when you start your computer:
While initializing device IOS. Error: An I/O subsystem driver failed to load. Either a file in the .\iosubsys subdirectory is corrupt or the system is low on memory. System halted.
While initializing device IOS. Error: Real mode system memory allocation failed. System halted.
VFAT Device Initialization Failed
A device or resource required by VFAT is not present or is unavailable. VFAT cannot continue loading. System Halted.

Cause

This issue occurs because Windows Me requires at least 32 MB of memory.

Resolution

To work around this issue, follow these steps:
  1. Hold down the CTRL key when you restart the computer.
  2. From the Startup menu, click Safe Mode, and press ENTER.
  3. Click Start, click Run, and then type Msconfig.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Click Advanced.
  6. Click to select the Limit the memory to check box, and then increase the amount of Random Access Memory (RAM) to 8 MB or higher.

    NOTE: You can also disable the setting. When you do this, Windows uses all available memory.

More information

This behavior may occur if the total amount of RAM remaining on your computer after Windows Me is installed is 16 MB or less. You may use Msconfig to limit memory usage to less than 32 MB for the purpose of troubleshooting RAM.

To troubleshoot memory in Windows Me, use the memory troubleshooter. To start the memory troubleshooter, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Help.
  2. Under the What Would You Like Help With section, click Troubleshooting.
  3. Click Hardware and system device problems.
  4. Click Hardware, memory, and others.
  5. Click Memory troubleshooter.

For additional information about how to troubleshoot memory issues, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
134503 Parity Error Messages May Indicate Bad Memory

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Article ID: 272960 - Last Review: June 19, 2014 - Revision: 3.0
Keywords: 
kbnosurvey kbarchive kbfatalexerr0d kbfatalexerr0e kbprb KB272960

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