****** Installation Stumbling Blocks ******

All of the Windows based programs found here were created before large hard discs and large amounts of RAM were as common as they are now. They were created, along with their setup programs, using tools (Microsoft's Visual Basic Version 4 and its "SetupWiz" application) that were considered (apparently by Microsoft) adequate for Windows 95.

Unfortunately for me those tools were not capable of recognizing modern large hard discs, and/or more than 512 MB of RAM. As a result of that the setup programs created using the SetupWiz program seem to return erroneous information when they query user discs about the amount of free space that is available for installation of some applications. Further discussions such problems and possible "work arounds" are given below.


1) If your computer is set up using disc partitions greater than 2.1 GB, then the setup process may indicate that you do not have enough disc space to allow installation. In fact the dialog box m ay even show that the amount of available space is negative! That situation seems to be a result of the inability of the Windows 95 SetupWiz installer to handle the larger (or NTFS) partitions. If you are reasonably sure that you have more than about 5 MB of freespace on your base Windows drive (usually C:), it is probably safe to ignore the warning and click the "Install Now" button.

2) Of course you always should be cautious if the installer indicates that an existing file will be replaced if you continue installation. If the file in question is LF90WIOD.DLL, I have found that it is safe to continue the installation at that point. If the file to be replaced has some other name, then you probably should cancel the installation and contact this author regarding the situation.


****** "Out of Space or Memory" Error Messages ******

In actually performing calculations with programs such as MieTab you may find that they crashe with an "out of memory error" if your machine contains more than 512 MB of RAM. The only known ways around that problem are:

  • A) remove any RAM chips associated with memory beyond the 512 MB,
  • B) use a computer that falls at or under the 512 MB limit or,
  • C) tell you computer at boot time to limit the amount of RAM that it will recognize. I located a way to do that under Windows XP/SP2 via a Google search. I am willing to share it with users, but because it requires modifying the hidden "boot.ini" file, implementing it is not for the faint of heart. There is a risk of making your computer unbootable if it the change is not done correctly. If you understand and are willing to accept such risks, you may wish to compare your BOOT.INI file with the portion of my own shown below:

    [boot loader]
    timeout=10
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional 512MB" /fastdetect /maxmem=512

    To view or edit the BOOT.INI file requires that you first make it visible. You can do that by opening a CMD.EXE (MSDOS command window) using the "Run" option on the Windows Start Menu. Then you need to execute a console command such as:

    ATTRIB -S -HG -R BOOT.INI

    Before you try to edit the BOOT.INI file you shoud probably make a backup copy via something like:

    copy c:\BOOT.INI c:\BOOTINI.REF

    and then protect it by

    ATTRIB +R BOOTINI.REF

    You can then edit the actual BOOT.INI file using any TEXT editor (NOT A WORK PROCESSOR!!!) such as NOTEPAD.EXE. What you want to do is add a line like the one shown in BOLD type in the sample shown above. What I did was to copy and paste the line BELOW the one that reads "[operating systems]", and then I just added the "/maxmem=512" line to copied line. Put a space code between "/fast detect" and "/maxmem=": for some reason my browser drops it from display. DO NOT MODIFY ANY OF THE LINES THAT ALREADY EXIST IN BOOT.INI!

    AS SAID ABOVE, THE MODIFICATION OF THE BOOT.INI FILE CAN MAKE YOUR SYSTEM UNBOOTABLE IF DONE INCORRECTLY!

    DO NOT TRY THAT MODIFICATION UNLESS YOU THINK YOU FULLY UNDERSTAND THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE RISKS! THE AUTHOR EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR PROBLEMS THAT MAY ARISE FROM IMPROPER ADDITIONS TO THE BOOT.INI FILE!

    Once the addition is made successfully you can just choose the /maxmen=512 mode at boot time.

    If you try the modifications and something goes wrong, you can probably boot your Windows system into the SAFE mode and copy your saved BOOTINI.REF file over onto the modified BOOT.INI file. That could be done entirely from a command prompt. NOTE, HOWEVER, THAT I SAID "PROBABLY"! I MYSELF HAVE NOT HAD OCCASION TO NEED TO DO THAT SO I CANNOT REALLY AY THAT IT WILL OR WILL NOT WORK TO RESTORE YOUR SYSTEM.


    MieTab for MS WIndows was originally created as a sort of hobby project after my retirement from the NMSU faculty. As such I have not been strongly inclined to purchase a version of Visual Basic later than version 4.0. As a result, the program has not been really kept up to date with later versions of Visual Basic that are (presumably) more compatible with newer disc drives and memory sizes. If anyone out ther would care to donate a copy of Visual Basic 5 or 6 to me, I might try to revise the code so that it would run smoothly on more modern machines. The Linux version of MieTab does not encounter the memory and disc size problems that now pester the Visual Basic 4.0 code.