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It says 'out of memory'

I get the message 'You do not have enough free conventional memory to run ZONG.'


ZONG for DOS requires a lot of conventional memory (575 KB). Conventional memory is the very first 640 KB (0.625 MB) of your computer’s RAM. Modern operating systems such as Windows 95 typically use very little of this memory, leaving roughly 600 KB free. However, old device drivers (which are loaded from your C:\CONFIG.SYS file) and memory resident programs (which are loaded from your C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT file) can use up additional amounts conventional memory. This can leave insufficient RAM for ZONG (which needs to keep its sound effects and music in the first 640 KB of memory).


If you don’t mind turning off the music in ZONG, an easy way to quickly resolve the situation is to invoke ZONG with the “/NOMUSIC” parameter from your DOS command prompt, as follows:


This allows ZONG to run in as little as 470 KB of conventional memory. If this is still insufficient, you can reduce the memory requirements further by disabling sound effects as well (although then the game will not have any sound), by using the “/NOSOUND” parameter from your DOS command prompt, as follows:


This will disable all sound effects and music, and reduce the conventional memory requirements to 410 KB.

For a more permanent solution that allows you to keep both music and sound effects, you need to edit your C:\CONFIG.SYS and C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT files. If you are using Windows 3.1 or Windows 95, typically they should look similar to this in an optimal configuration:

DEVICEHIGH = ATAPI.SYS ... (insert parameters here)
LH MSCDEX ... (insert parameters here; this line for Windows 3.1 only)

If they are longer than this under Windows 95, you are likely loading old 16-bit device drivers you do not need. You should contact your system manufacturer to obtain new 32-bit drivers for your devices.

Be certain to make backup copies of your C:\CONFIG.SYS and C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT files before editing them so that you can restore them in the event of a problem. If you are unable to resolve the situation, you should contact your computer manufacturer for more information on freeing conventional memory.

This article was last reviewed on 08 Oct 2000.

Last reviewed:
08 Oct 2000

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