If your computer has 1 gigabyte (GB) or more of random-access memory (RAM) installed, Windows 95/98 may not start. Also, when you try to start your computer, you may receive the following, or similar error message: "Insufficient memory to initialize Windows."
Resolving The Problem
If your computer has 1 gigabyte (GB) or more of random-access memory (RAM) installed, Windows 95/98 may not start. Also, when you try to start your computer, you may receive the following, or similar error message:
"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."
This behavior may also occur during Windows Setup, or when you try to start Windows 95/98 for the first time.
PROBLEM ISOLATION AIDS:
This tip applies to IBM IntelliStation and IBM PC systems capable of supporting 1GB or more of random access (RAM) memory and installed with Windows 95 or Windows 98.
To correct this issue in a sytem installed with 1GB or of RAM, add the following line to the (386enh) section of the SYSTEM.INI file:
This enables the amount of physical RAM that Windows can access to 944MB. To do so, use the following steps:
Use any text editor (such as Notepad) to edit the SYSTEM.INI file. Add the following line in the "386Enh" section of the file.
Save the file, and then restart your computer.
If this error occurs during Windows 95/98 Setup, use the following steps to resolve the issue:
1. Restart your computer. When you see the "Starting Windows 95" message, press the F8 key, and then choose Command Prompt Only from the Startup menu. In Windows 98, press and hold down the left CTRL key as soon as the system completes POST to display the Startup menu.
2. Change to the folder in which you are attempting to install Windows 95/98. Edit the SYSTEM.INI file. To do so, type "edit system.ini" (without quotation marks), and then press ENTER.
3. Add the following line in the "386Enh" section of the file
Save the file, and then restart your computer. Windows 95/98 Setup should continue.
In IBM systems that are capable of supporting 1GB or more of memory, Windows 95/98 will be limited to recognizing the 944MB of memory described above. Utilizing the MaxPhysPage value in the SYSTEM.INI file will allow these systems to boot without a displayed error message.
For those customers whose operating systems and/or applications require 1GB or more of installed memory, the suggested Microsoft solution is to upgrade from Windows 95/98 to Windows NT 4.0.
For additional information, refer to Microsoft Knowledge Base article number Q184447 entitled "Error Message: Insufficient Memory to Initilaize Windows."
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28 January 2019