When you view the Performance tab in System properties, the amount of
memory reported may differ from the actual amount of memory installed in
This behavior can occur for any of the following reasons:
- Himem.sys is not using all the memory on an EISA computer.
- A driver or program loading from the Config.sys or Autoexec.bat file
is claiming a portion of random access memory (RAM).
- A virtual device driver loading from the System.ini file is claiming
a portion of RAM.
- A protected-mode driver is causing the memory mismatch.
- The registry is damaged.
- A CMOS setting is disabling some of the RAM.
- You have the "maxphyspage=" setting in your System.ini file set to
restrict Windows from using some of the installed memory.
- Ramdrive.sys is being loaded in the Config.sys file.
- You are using a video adapter that is integrated into the motherboard.
To resolve the issue, use the method in the appropriate section.
Himem.sys Not Using All the Memory on an EISA Computer
If you have an EISA computer, determine whether Himem.sys is addressing
all the available memory. To do so, please see the following article in
the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
ARTICLE-ID: Q82712 82712
TITLE : HIMEM.SYS /EISA Switch
Device or Program Loading from the Config.sys or Autoexec.bat File
To determine whether a real-mode device or program is claiming a portion
of RAM, follow these steps to bypass the loading of the Config.sys and
- Restart your computer. For Windows 95, press the F8 key when you see
the "Starting Windows 95" message, and then choose Step-By-Step
Confirmation from the Startup menu.
For Windows 98, press and hold down the CTRL key after your computer
completes the Power On Self Test (POST), and then choose Step-by-Step
Confirmation from the Startup menu. For more information about Windows
98 startup, see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
TITLE : No "Starting Windows 98" Message at Startup
- Press Y at each prompt except the following prompts:
Process your startup device drivers (CONFIG.SYS)?
Process your startup command file (AUTOEXEC.BAT)?
- After Windows loads, check the memory reported on the Performance tab
in System properties.
The real-mode CD-ROM driver from Teac for their 4x CD-ROM drive loading in
the Autoexec.bat file has the parameter "xmssize= -1." This parameter can
cause this behavior. The resolution is to change the parameter to
Virtual Device Driver Loading from the System.ini File
To determine whether this behavior is caused by a virtual device driver
being loaded from the System.ini file, replace the System.ini file with a
clean version. To do so, please see the following article in the Microsoft
TITLE : Creating a New System.ini File Without Third-Party Drivers
Protected-Mode Driver Causing Memory Mismatch
To determine whether a protected-mode device driver is causing a memory
mismatch, perform the following steps:
- Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-
- Click the Device Manager tab.
- Double-click a listed device, and then click the Original Configuration
(Current) check box to clear it. When you are prompted to restart
the computer, click No.
- Repeat step 3 for each listed device.
NOTE: Do not repeat step 3 for devices listed on the System Devices
branch. When you disable the hard disk controller, click Yes to
restart the computer if the hard disk controller is a Peripheral
Component Interconnect (PCI) device. PCI hard disk controllers cannot
be loaded and unloaded dynamically.
For additional information about PCI hard disk controllers, please see
the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
TITLE : Re-enabling CMD PCI IDE Controller Hangs Computer
- Restart the computer.
- After Windows loads, check the memory reported on the Performance
tab in System properties.
Registry Is Damaged
To determine whether the registry is damaged, replace the current registry
with a backup copy. For information about how to do so, please see the
following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
TITLE : How to Troubleshoot Registry Errors in Windows 95
A CMOS Setting Is Disabling Some of the RAM
Some computers have CMOS settings that can disable a portion of the
computer's RAM or prevent Windows from recognizing the RAM. Computers
known to have such a setting include:
- The Cyrix 166. This computer has a CMOS setting labeled "Hold to 15 MB
RAM." If this setting is enabled, Windows reports only 15 MB of RAM
on a computer that has more than 15 MB of RAM installed. Disable this
CMOS setting to cause Windows to recognize all the RAM in the computer.
Maxphyspage Setting in System.ini File
Remove or disable the "maxphyspage=" line in the System.ini file, and then
restart your computer. To disable the line, use a text editor (such as
Notepad) to edit the System.ini file and place a semicolon (;) at the
beginning of the line.
Ramdrive.sys Being Loaded
Check your Config.sys file for a line containing "Ramdrive.sys." If you
have this line, it means you are using a RAM drive. To disable the RAM
drive, remove or disable the line in the Config.sys file that contains
"ramdrive.sys." To disable the line, use a text editor (such as Notepad)
to edit the Config.sys file and place a semicolon (;) at the beginning of
Article ID: 146912 - Last Review: January 19, 2007 - Revision: 1.2
- Microsoft Windows 95
- Microsoft Windows 98 Standard Edition