Esoteric DOS tip of the week

If you've installed Windows 3.x in IBM PC DOS 7.0/2000 and it reports insufficient conventional memory, you may be running the wrong version of SmartDrive.

Insufficient memory or address space to initialize Windows in 386 enhanced mode. Quit one or more memory-resident programs or remove unnecessary utilities from your CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files and restart your computer.

Potential fix

If you've installed Windows 3.x in IBM PC DOS 7.0/2000 (wait, didn't I already say that?) and received the above error message regardless of the amount of conventional memory you've painstakingly freed by loading everything into UMBs like a good DOS memory managing guru, chances are you're attempting to use the PC DOS version of SMARTDRV.EXE instead of the one provided by Windows.

While the PC DOS version uses less memory (ironically), I've never been able to get it to work with Windows 3.x. The only workable solution I've found is to go into your AUTOEXEC.EXE and CONFIG.SYS files and replace:

C:DOSSMARTDRV.EXE [/FLAGS]

with:

C:WINDOWSSMARTDRV.EXE [/FLAGS]

The DOS version of EMM386.EXE works however, and is newer than the one offered with Windows 3.x.