IF EMM386.EXE LOCKS UP THE COMPUTER
If EMM386.EXE locks up the computer, follow these troubleshooting steps:
• If the DEVICE=EMM386.EXE in the CONFIG.SYS file contains the HIGHSCAN
parameter, remove HIGHSCAN from the command, save the CONFIG.SYS file,
and restart your computer. (HIGHSCAN cannot be used on some computers.)
• Start EMM386.EXE with the exclude option.
EMM386.EXE may have incorrectly identified an area being used by the
system as a "hole" (a region that can be used as a UMB or an EMS page
frame). As a result, EMM386.EXE overwrites a portion of memory that is
used by a hardware adapter in your computer.
By excluding addresses in the range A000-EFFF, EMM386.EXE does not
use any part of the excluded region for a UMB or EMS page frame.
Identifying the correct region(s) to exclude requires experimentation.
Start by excluding a large region and then reducing the size of the
region. For example:
DEVICE=EMM386.EXE NOEMS X=A000-EFFF
DEVICE=EMM386.EXE NOEMS X=C000-DFFF
DEVICE=EMM386.EXE NOEMS X=C800-CFFF
You can use multiple exclusions on the EMM386.EXE device line. For
DEVICE=EMM386.EXE NOEMS X=C000-C7FF X=E000-EFFF
Refer to the documentation included with your hardware device(s) for
information on the upper memory addresses the adapter card uses.
Examples of devices that use upper memory addresses include network
cards, SCSI adapters, video cards, and scanners.
• If your computer has a SCSI disk controller and requires a device
driver for the SCSI adapter, be sure the DEVICE= line for the SCSI
driver appears before the DEVICE=EMM386.EXE line. Examples of SCSI
device drivers include ASPI4DOS.SYS and USPI14.SYS.
• If you are experiencing problems with the computer hanging, try loading
the SMARTDrive double buffer driver.
NOTE: The SMARTDrive double buffer driver line should appear
before the DEVICE=EMM386.EXE line in the CONFIG.SYS file.
MS-DOS 6.0 or later, Windows 3.1 or later, or Windows for Workgroups
If you use MS-DOS 6.0 or later, Microsoft Windows 3.1 or later, or
Microsoft Windows for Workgroups the SMARTDrive double buffer driver is
loaded from the CONFIG.SYS file as follows:
In the AUTOEXEC.BAT file, add a /L to the end of the SMARTDRV.EXE line.
If the problems persist, add a plus sign (+) to the end of the double
buffer device line as follows:
If you use the SMARTDRV.SYS driver included with MS-DOS 5.x the
SMARTDrive double buffer driver is loaded in the CONFIG.SYS as follows:
• Experiment with different HIMEM.SYS A20 handlers. This is done using
the /MACHINE: switch on the HIMEM.SYS device line.
For information on the HIMEM.SYS /MACHINE: switch and troubleshooting
A20 handler problems:
HOW EMM386.EXE LOCATES UMBs AND THE EMS PAGE FRAME
UMA Scanning Algorithm
By default EMM386.EXE scans the following UMA region:
MS-DOS 5.0: C800-DFFF
Windows 3.1, Windows for Workgroups 3.1: C600-DFFF
MS-DOS 6.0 and later, Windows for Workgroups 3.11 and later: C000-EFFF
The E000-EFFF region is handled differently on certain hardware (see the
Under MS-DOS 6.0 and later and Windows for Workgroups 3.11, the F000-F7FF
range can be included by using the HIGHSCAN switch.
EMM386.EXE and the E000 Segment
On Compaq machines, the E000 segment has either shadow RAM or the segment
is unused. For shadow RAM, the shadow area is reclaimed by EMM386.EXE if
the Int 10 vector has not been hooked before EMM386.EXE loads. This is
because the shadow region contains a remapped copy of the video ROM from
the C000 region.
EMM368.EXE excludes E000 on MCA machines (IBM PS/2s) since the E000 segment
has the system ROM.
On other machines, E000 may be excluded by default. If you think the E000
range is available, you can explicitly include the E000 segment by adding
I=E000-EFFF to the DEVICE=EMM386.EXE command in the CONFIG.SYS file.
NOTE: When EMM386.EXE encounters the include switch, it includes the region
without scanning it for potential conflicts.
COMMON EMS ISSUES
WARNING: Unable to Set Page Frame Base Address--EMS Unavailable
This error is displayed if EMM386.EXE cannot locate a 64K contiguous "hole"
in the UMA for the EMS page frame.
According to the LIM 3.2 specification, a page frame consists of four
contiguous 16K pages, and a LIM provider must set the page frame.
According to the LIM 4.0 specification, an EMS provider need not set a 64K
page frame, but it should set a 16K page at the minimum.
Although EMM386.EXE conforms to the LIM 4.0 specification, it does not load
as an EMS provider if it does not find a 64K contiguous hole that can be
used for the page frame. This is because the majority of LIM 3.2
applications assume the existence of a page frame.
EMM386.EXE can be forced to load without a LIM 3.2 (64K) page frame by
using the Pn parameters. If you force EMM386.EXE to load as a LIM 4.0
provider, do not attempt to run LIM 3.2 applications. Consult with your
application vendor to determine the required LIM version.
NOTE: If you require a LIM 3.2 (64K) page frame, it may be necessary to
modify the settings on your hardware devices to free a contiguous, 64K
region in the UMA.
Size of Expanded Memory Pool Adjusted
This error message is displayed if EMM386.EXE cannot provide all the EMS
memory requested on the command line. For example, if you use the
DEVICE=EMM386.EXE 2048 and your computer only has 1024K of XMS memory,
EMM386.EXE displays this error message and provides as much EMS as
possible. (Note that EMM386.EXE uses some XMS memory for its own code and
data, and this reduces the amount of XMS memory available for EMS.)
Windows Cannot Provide EMS with the NOEMS Switch
According to the LIM 4.0 specification, an EMS page can also reside in
conventional memory (0-640K). The EMM386 EMS line starts at 256K by
default. If the NOEMS option is specified, all the holes in the adapter
region A000-FFFF are used for UMBs, and EMM386.EXE does not provide any
Once Windows 3.0 is started and an MS-DOS session is started, EMM386.EXE
may or may not be able to provide EMS. If Windows is running in 386
enhanced mode, EMM386.EXE can provide EMS in an MS-DOS session; however,
the EMS pages are in conventional memory. This can cause problems because
of the behavior of LIM 3.2 applications as described above.
In a Windows 3.1 386 enhanced mode MS-DOS session, EMS is not provided.
EMM386.EXE VERSION HISTORY
MS-DOS 5.0 4.20
MS-DOS 5.00a 4.33
MS-DOS 6.0 4.45
MS-DOS 6.2 4.48
MS-DOS 6.21 4.48
MS-DOS 6.22 4.49
Windows 3.1 4.44
Windows 3.11 4.44
Windows for Workgroups 3.1 4.44
Windows for Workgroups 3.11 4.48
Windows 95 4.95
Windows 98 4.95
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