windows nt needs 512k low memory error
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Thread: windows nt needs 512k low memory error

  1. #1
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    Angry windows nt needs 512k low memory error

    The system we're working with is an older computer.
    It has a 200w power supply/ pentium II, 266mhz cpu/512k EDO ram/ 8 GB hard drive/8x-16x IDE cd-rom drive/ floppy drive.
    Operating system is Windows XP.

    Yesterday we tried to install a new cdrw/dvd rom drive.

    We set the jumpers to the new drive as master, the original cd drive as slave and put them on the second IDE.

    When we went to boot the computer, it would freeze on a screen that said loading os, then eventually we'd get this error:
    "Windows NT has found only 511k of low memory. 512k of low memory is required to run windows NT.
    You may need to upgrade your computer or run a configuration program provided by the manufacturer"

    I tried switching the memory out thinking perhaps that was the problem, not only did that not help, but we got the exact same error even though the new memory we'd put in was only 128mb (bios showed 512 as well).

    I removed the cmos battery, and found the jumper on the mother board to clear the bios, replaced the battery then booted again....exact same error, exact same memory reading.

    I removed the new device and reset all the original hardware to their original settings (cable select on the cd-rom). Rebooted, got the same error.
    Booted to BIOS and selected restore default settings, same error.

    I replaced the original memory stick......
    Still getting the same error...I'm outa ideas.

    Can anybody think of anything I havn't covered??

    Thank you for your time.
    -Faqt
    Faqt


    If you want to make God laugh....make plans.

  2. #2
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    Hi

    I am a bit puzzled, since you have XP, but anyway, here a short resume
    of what has caused that error message years ago...

    Older systems had a different way to manage memory.
    There was a part below 640kB, and an EMS part (above 1MB).

    There were programs below 640kB (TSR-programs often called), but
    also drivers and so on. They use the memory assigned to "640kB".
    And it seems, that it is using 129 kB.

    So how to get that 1 kB in addition.
    Check

    autoexec.bat
    config.sys

    for loaded drivers/programs and try to eliminate one
    unneccessary (trial and error )

    Other tracks, check also:
    Boot Parameters to Manipulate Memory[1]
    Optimise XP[2]
    Disable Prefetch[3]

    Cheers

    [1] http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/de...3e0cde.xml.asp
    [2] http://mywebpages.comcast.net/SupportCD/OptimizeXP.html
    [3] http://www.tweakxp.com/article139961.aspx
    If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.
    (Abraham Maslow, Psychologist, 1908-70)

  3. #3
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    I can't get to the autoexec.bat and config.sys files, I can't get the operating system to load at all. I thought about using a boot disk and editing those files manually...but there isn't a FAT partition on the drive...so, I can't access the drive from the A:> prompt.
    I tried booting with WIN PE which claims to be able to boot anything....but got the same error when booting from cd.
    I've even tried booting from a windows installation disk to run the repair console, but get the same error.

    Same problem with the boot memory idea...I can't gain access to the boot.ini file.
    Faqt


    If you want to make God laugh....make plans.

  4. #4
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    Hi

    Is it an NTFS? You might try to boot with DOS and using
    NTFS4DOS[1] to access your volume.
    Or try mount everything by paragon.ru (just seen it. don't
    know it)...

    (I am just brainstorming around here ... )
    /edit:
    I removed the new device and reset all the original hardware to their original settings (cable select on the cd-rom). Rebooted, got the same error.
    Booted to BIOS and selected restore default settings, same error.
    Didn't get that - oups.

    Cheers

    [1] http://www.datapol.de/dpe/freeware/
    [2] http://www.paragon.ag/
    If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.
    (Abraham Maslow, Psychologist, 1908-70)

  5. #5
    The Doctor Und3ertak3r's Avatar
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    ntfsdos ?How much memory did you have there? 512k ???? then you put in 128MB but still recognised as 512k..?????

    huh.. I assumed you meant 512Mb but now am unsure..

    HAve you tried disconnecting the optical drives.. i

    also during the process some thing may have been bumped.. soo reseating cards, plugs and the cpu... perhaps
    ..
    are you able to image the HDD.. or throw in a nother drive and see what happens with a clean install...?
    "Consumer technology now exceeds the average persons ability to comprehend how to use it..give up hope of them being able to understand how it works." - Me http://www.cybercrypt.co.nr

  6. #6
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    ntfsdos came back with no bad sectors with chkdsk, identified the drive as c: disk1 volume 1 9632mb Windows NT NTFS. Then boots to an A:>
    from there I can dir A....but not c, or the ram drive it says it created d:> I can't cd to anything other then A.
    I also can't find a help file (in english) is there a command that I'm not thinking of?

    To clarify the varios sizes in k and kb.....
    System memory 512kb (durring post...monitor shows total of 65536kb system memory before going to error)
    extended memory 64512kb
    cache size 512k

    Sorry about the confusion...I have trouble with that particular aspect of hardware troubleshooting. (thank god there aren't any gb values thrown in there for further confusion.)
    Faqt


    If you want to make God laugh....make plans.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Well, I am totally confused.

    EDO RAM? ................the smallest stick of that I have seen is 4Mb and they have to be installed in matched pairs.

    You say you put in 128Mb? was that 2x64Mb? as it is quite possible that your motherboard/BIOS only supports 32Mb units. Are you sure that it is EDO RAM.........there should be 72 pins (contacts) along the bottom.

    What was the original memory (capacity and number of sticks) and how many memory slots are there on the motherboard?

    It has a 200w power supply/ pentium II, 266mhz cpu/512k EDO ram/ 8 GB hard drive/8x-16x IDE cd-rom drive/ floppy drive.
    Operating system is Windows XP.

    That is a very low power supply and the whole system is not really up to running Windows XP. Windows 2000, NT4 or 98SE would be my recommendation.

    Boot into setup and see if there is a system memory setting.........it should be 640k NOT 512k.

    From your last figures, it is only recognising 64Mb of RAM. Windows XP will not run stably with that amount, particularly if it is the old EDO RAM and the correct amount is not being recognised by your BIOS.

    I removed the cmos battery, and found the jumper on the mother board to clear the bios, replaced the battery then booted again
    You did what!

    1. Leave the battery alone
    2. With the power off, set the jumper to the clear position and power up.
    3. Power down and set the jumper back to its normal position.
    4. Power up again

    That will reset the CMOS/BIOS

    Just out of curiosity, when you get the error message you are obviously trying to load the OS, so it has gone past the post sequence. Try hitting the F8 key to see if it will boot into safe mode. That will test if it is stuff loading into base memory or not. If it won't boot into safe mode (you will get the usual error message) then it is probably a CMOS/BIOS memory recognition problem.

    Please keep us informed
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  8. #8
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    Hey, I just started having this same problem about a week ago. In my case, I experienced my hard drive making funky noises before I went to bed and when I woke up, I looked at the screen and it said Disk Read Error and that I should hit Ctrl, Alt, Delete to restart.. so I restarted and when it started loading Windows XP it poped up the same message you got, only mine said 447K instead of your 511K. At first I thought my hard drive died or was in the process of dieing.. so I went online and bought a new hard drive.. a couple days ago the hard drive came, I poped it in as a single drive to install windows onto, and if I didn't have "quick boot" in my CMOS it would still give me the error when it tried to run off of the CD (and of course nothing would happen if I didn't have the CD in since it is a new hard drive that is not formatted). If I have "Quick boot" on in my CMOS setup it does load the CD, but I have not tried installing Windows XP on it yet. from what I read on the net so far, I need to get into the autoexec.bat or system.ini, and also heard something about either a Kernel file or kernel drive.. not sure (kept getting my research interupted by dad trying to use my backup computer), but also have no way on accessing those files it seems.. I tried that NTFS4DOS program and figured out that there is a program to let you read the files in the other drieves. I can't remember the specific name of the file, but it is the only one ending with .COM. When I got in by doing that, I couldn't edit the autoexec.bat or system.ini (I believe the command is "edit autoexec.bat" isn't it?)

    Ooh, I forgot to mention that I flashed my bios to see if that would fix it (and also to see if it would detect all 200 gigs of the new hard drive). it didn't fix the low memory problem, and I haven't tried the new hard drive with it yet.

    I just got an email from one of my tech friends and he says that it usually means that your RAM has gone bad when you get that message.. I'm not sure if it is bad or not, but I don't want to spend $25 to replace my PC133 256 MB chip and then find out that I should have just saved my money for a new motherboard. Any help is welcome, and I hope I helped the original person who started this thread. Thanks, and sorry for the babbling/run-on.

    Please leave a PM if you need to.

    system stats that this problem is effecting:
    Gateway brookings motherboard
    BIOS Type: American Megatrends
    Chipset: Intel Whitney 82810E rev 3
    Superio: Winbond 627F/HF rev 7 found at port 2Eh
    CPU Type: Celeron(tm)
    CPU Speed: 950 Mhz
    CPU Max: 1600 Mhz
    BIOS ROM In Socket: Yes
    BIOS ROM Size: 512K
    Memory Installed: 256 MB
    Memory Maximum: 1024 MB
    Death is the true way of life

  9. #9
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Hmmm,

    Get yourself a new memory strip. 256Mb is not enough to run Windows XP as a "good" computing experience, so your money will not be wasted. Insert that and remove the original one.

    Install the new HDD as "master" with the other one REMOVED

    Now try to load your OS ( and make sure that your BIOS has the CD above the HDD in the boot sequence)

    You will not find any files until you format the drive and load an operating system. Your system will see the new (EMPTY!) drive and ignore it. It will probably then look at the original HDD which would be one reason why you get a repeat of the error?

    You might as well clean out your memory slots whilst you are in there and get rid of all the other dust bunnies

    If that works, try installing the original memory strip. If the error comes back then that strip goes in the trash. If not you will have a half decent platform to run XP.

    You will need to update your XP.............get ZoneAlarm or some other free firewall and install it BEFORE you try to go on the net, or you will be owned in minutes.

    Good luck! and let us know what happens
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  10. #10
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    I ended up replacing my board/processor/RAM/fans with a nice little upgrade and will eventually get another DIMM for the old motherboard so I'll have a backup. Although I ran completely fine with my 256 chip (sure it wasn't the fastest, but it worked fine for me and played the games I wanted) but thanks for the advise. Just for some eye candy (yeah yeah, even now it is considered slow.. but it gets me by on a paper route budget), here are the new stats: 3.0 GHZ with hyperthreading, 512 MB of PC3200 RAM (upgradable to 2 gigs, but I don't have money for that yet), added a couple case fans, a hard drive fan, and a nice processor fan (no spiffy lighting though). all for $270
    Death is the true way of life

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