1 2 Previous Next 15 Replies Latest reply on Feb 7, 2012 9:22 AM by wss

    Using DOS OSD on systems with 4 GB of memory results in an XMS alloc error

    Rookie

      Hello,

       

      I am trying to load two new images for the Dell E4300 and E6400, I am using suite 8.7, in the boot menu i get past the boot server IP.....downloading DOS boot diskette image, .... transfering control to boot diskette image,  then it freezes on the picture, and get the error   *** XMS RAMdisk v1.91 (FU - 09/98): XMS alloc error

       

      Any help will be appreciated

       

      IMAGE_185.jpg

       

      Message was edited by: Paul Hoffmann

        • 1. Re: Loading a new image
          phoffmann SupportEmployee

          How much memory do your boxes have?

           

          I seem to recall a problem a few years ago (which would still be applicable) that devices with 4GB of memory would essentially kill off the DOS boot (because the XMS memory driver simply can't cope with the quantity of memory). The workaround would be to yank out some memory to get the imaging done.

           

          My DOS memory is getting a bit dated, but I think that both EMS and XMS could only cope with a maximum of 2 GB, if that (EMS in particular would be likely to use less, from what I recall).

           

          Alternatively - the much better option - would be to use WinPE as an environment ...?

           

          Paul Hoffmann

          LANDesk EMEA Technical lead

          • 2. Re: Loading a new image
            Rookie

            4GB each

            • 3. Re: Loading a new image
              phoffmann SupportEmployee

              Well - that's your problem confirmed then .

               

              Either yank out some of the memory (which will get interesting if all you have is 2 GB sticks), or switch over to WinPE (which would be my personal recommendation).

               

              DOS is very much out of its depths with that much memory to manage.

               

              Paul Hoffmann

              LANDesk EMEA Technical Lead

              • 4. Re: Loading a new image
                Rookie

                IT WORKED!!!!!  Do you know i have spent 2 Days trying to sort this out, I even called Landesk support, and they recommended upgrading SP  etc.......RESULT!!

                • 5. Re: Loading a new image
                  phoffmann SupportEmployee

                  To be honest, I wouldn't blame anyone for not remembering much about DOS these days.

                   

                  My main excuse is that I've still got a functioning 386 somewhere at home and lived through the whole DOS stuff (and this particular issue). My recommendation would be to get away from it, DOS is just bad really (and the driver situation is not likely to get better). But, at least for now it's solved.

                   

                  P.S.: I'll change the subject line a little bit, so that people may find the thread a bit easier in a search.

                   

                  Paul Hoffmann

                  LANDesk EMEA Technical Lead

                  • 6. Re: Loading a new image
                    Rookie

                    What do you reccomend 

                    XMS RAMdisk v1.91 (FU - 08/98) xms alloc error?   or another tittle?

                    • 7. Re: Loading a new image
                      phoffmann SupportEmployee

                      It's OK - I'd changed the title already to include part of the error message (which is usually the kind of string people search for), thanks .

                       

                      Paul Hoffmann

                      LANDesk EMEA Technical Lead

                      • 8. Re: Loading a new image
                        Rookie

                        One suggestion for 4GB machines that has them imaging just fine for us using DOS PXE.....open the DOSUNDI.1 and extract autoexec.bat

                         

                        Open autoexe.bat and you should see a line in the autoexec.bat that looks similar to the following:

                         

                        dos\xmsdsk 2096 r: /y /t

                         

                        Change the line above so it looks like this:

                         

                        dos\xmsdsk 3072 r: /y /t

                         

                        I don't know why it "overrides" the default DOS 2GB limitation, but it does allow us to keep using DOS PXE to image 4GB memory machines without pulling 2GB of memory from the machine just for imaging, this works on Dell and HP models (we prefer DOS because WinPE is slow, by comparison).

                         

                        Other file edits we made to improve imaging speed (from 50-60 minutes down to 25 minutes) were to edit the Protocol.ini and TCPUtils.ini files in the DOSUNDI.1 and BOOTMENU.1 images.   In the protocol.ini, we set nbsessions=3 (the default says 8) and we set tcpwindowsize=5800.    We also added a [TCPIP_XIF] section to the protocol.ini as follows:

                         

                        [TCPIP_XIF]

                        tcpsegmentsize=1450

                        tcpwindowsize=5800

                         

                        You can either replace these files in the boot disks of already deployed PXE Reps, or simply remove (uninstall the PXE Rep), then reinstall the PXE Rep to get the edited files in place.

                         

                        Hope this helps someone, I know I was happy to discover these solutions

                        • 9. Re: Loading a new image ("Unable to control A20 Line")
                          Apprentice

                          Apologies for resurrecting a dead thread but we just got the "Unable to control A20 Line" error when trying to PXE Boot a HP 2560P laptop (with 4GB RAM).  We had previously increased the RAMDISK to 4096 (dos\xmsdsk 4096 r: /y /t) to accomodate the 3GB HP 2540P laptop, but it didn't make any difference for the 4GB HP 2560P laptops.  We used Microsoft's suggestion (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/73713) to add the /M:1 switch to HIMEM.SYS within Config.sys in the Bootmenu.1 file on each PXE Rep.

                           

                          DEVICE=C:\DOS\HIMEM.SYS /M:1

                           


                          Hope this helps others.

                           

                          Scott

                          • 10. Re: Loading a new image ("Unable to control A20 Line")
                            ProServices

                            ..And for anyone else who gets nostalgic about this sort of stuff, or school children researching electronic computing devices from the closing years of the last century... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A20_line might be interesting....

                            • 11. Re: Loading a new image ("Unable to control A20 Line")
                              EMiranda Expert

                              Scott wrote:

                               

                              Apologies for resurrecting a dead thread but we just got the "Unable to control A20 Line" error when trying to PXE Boot a HP 2560P laptop (with 4GB RAM).  We had previously increased the RAMDISK to 4096 (dos\xmsdsk 4096 r: /y /t) to accomodate the 3GB HP 2540P laptop, but it didn't make any difference for the 4GB HP 2560P laptops.  We used Microsoft's suggestion (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/73713) to add the /M:1 switch to HIMEM.SYS within Config.sys in the Bootmenu.1 file on each PXE Rep.

                               

                              DEVICE=C:\DOS\HIMEM.SYS /M:1

                               


                              Hope this helps others.

                               

                              Scott

                               

                              DOS...

                               

                              There are so much fun and exciting things you can do in WinPE with image deployment....make the change haha

                              • 12. Re: Loading a new image ("Unable to control A20 Line")
                                phoffmann SupportEmployee

                                Generally, using more than 2 GB with DOS is a pain in the backside (as I've come to conclude over the years).

                                 

                                I *strongly* recommend to people to use WinPE instead - especially as it's now freely available with the 2008 / Windows7 - WAIK to be used with LDMS 9.0.

                                 

                                I'm more than a little surprised that there's still NIC-drivers being made for that ... they were mostly unreliable 10 years ago, I doubt that's gotten much better now (heck, 10 mbit @ half-duplex was a common default speed for a lot of DOS-time NIC-drivers I've seen).

                                 

                                Switch to WinPE - you'll do yourself a big favour .

                                 

                                I'm tempted to call it a miracle if you've got working NIC-drivers at the moment .

                                 

                                That said - thanks for your contribution here Scott. I know some folks still use DOS, and your info could help them along a little bit hopefully if they run into this particular open knife .

                                 

                                - Paul Hoffmann

                                LANDesk EMEA Technical Lead

                                • 13. Re: Loading a new image ("Unable to control A20 Line")
                                  Apprentice

                                  Thanks guys.  We have WinPE working on our LDMS 9.0 SP2 core and fully intend to migrate as soon as the environment is ready to go.  I don't want to use DosPE as much as anyone (even though it does work).  I merely posted this fix to help others.  Don't shoot the messenger  

                                  • 14. Re: Loading a new image ("Unable to control A20 Line")
                                    phoffmann SupportEmployee

                                    No shooting involved .

                                     

                                    Just some more ammo for "why not to use DOS" (as I've found - much to my surprise - that there's some folk who are very difficult to convince to move to WiNPE, even if it's free), that's all .

                                     

                                    Your sharing of info is certainly appreciated .

                                     

                                    - Paul Hoffmann

                                    LANDesk EMEA Technical Lead

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