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Manual Memory Window Allocation

Two common MCE software queries result from the same problem :

Q1.1a I always get the message “Unrecognised card type” when I put a card in the slot. What's wrong with my installation? OR

Q1.1b I get the big blue screen program crash when I start MCE in NT4, 2000 or XP.  What's wrong with my installation? 

The most likely problem will be that the installation process has not successfully reserved a P.C. memory window for MCE/MCEDEMO to use. The default set-up is D0000-D3FFFH. Until a memory window is correctly allocated MCE WILL NOT WORK and on NT platforms MCE will crash.

The installation process cannot always make all of the changes that may be necessary on your PC or laptop. The manual set-up process for this can appear a little daunting at first but this guide is designed to help you work through it.  If you can identify the key factors described below then jump to the set-up plan that matches those options.

Key Factors

The changes required by your system will depend upon a number of factors which include :

  1. The Operating System. This splits into 2 groups - the Windows 9x group and the NT group. 9x includes 95/98/ME, NT includes NT4/W2000/XP.

  2. Your PCMCIA hardware. Setting up for a high memory window requires PCI type PCMCIA adapter hardware. A high memory window is any window starting at an address greater than 1Mb. =100000H (Hexadecimal)

    • Elan J-Series or other PCMCIA adapter hardware with PC bus ISA interface.=Low mem win
    • Elan P-Series or other PCMCIA adapter hardware with PC bus PCI interface.=hi mem win
    • Laptops generally have PCMCIA adapter hardware which are PCI Cardbus devices=hi mem win 

    Please note that PCMCIA adapter devices that connect to USB or printer port are not supported by MCE.

  3. Your issue of MCE/MCEDEMO.Acquisition of a Memory Window has changed in recent issues and this affects the set-up process.

    • ISSUES before 3-05 - no high addressing available
    • ISSUES 3-05 to 3-12 - high addressing allowed for NT4 group 
    • ISSUES 3-13 and later - high addressing for all apps. Win 9x group Set-up no longer requires config.sys or system.ini mods system.ini mods.
  4. Desktops vs Laptops: Desktops have BIOS memory settings that may need adjustment. For Laptops memory options are not generally available.

    Motherboards & BIOS may restrict where the MCE high memory window will work. (this is particularly true if Win9x Card and Socket Services are using high memory and in this case setting the MCE window address within the same 1M block should work)   Use the Microsoft utility msinfo32.exe to explore your PC memory allocations.


Identify the Correct Set Up for your System:

  1. MCE ISSUE 3-13+ software - PCI based PCMCIA card adapter Windows 9x or NT groups (Most users)
  2. MCE ISSUE 3-13+ software -  ISA based PCMCIA adapter  Windows 9x or NT groups. (Desktops with ageing PC hardware)
  3. MCE ISSUES 3-05 to 3-12 - ISA/PCI based PCMCIA adapter Windows 9x or NT groups.
  4. MCE ISSUES BEFORE 3-05 - ISA/PCI based PCMCIA adapter  Windows 9x or NT groups.

Important Notes : 


SetUp Plan (1) for MCE Issue 3-13+ software,
PCI based PCMCIA card adapter
Windows 9x or NT groups.

High Memory Window set-up or Low Memory Window set-up possible 

  1. If your installation is on Windows 9x then in file
    1. config.sys remove x=d000-d3ff from emm driver line which may look like:
      device=c:\windows\emm.exe x=d000-d3ff noems 
    2. system.ini remove line in section [386Enh] which looks like:
      EmmExclude=d000-d3ff
    NB : remember to reboot your system if you make a change!
  2. Set the Memory Window on the application target line.
    1. Locate the MCE icon and right mouse click on it and then select 'properties'
    2. Find the target line "c:\ElanPCCard\Memory Card Explorer\mce.exe"
    3. Modify the target line as follows :
      (Notice that the window field comes after the quotes and with a space character separating the w field.
      • For a high window of hex address 300d00000 add w300d0 :
        new target line = "c:\ElanPCCard\Memory Card Explorer\mce.exe" w300d0
        Possible high memory addresses : any - up to 5 digit address field limit in steps of 4. 
        Suggestions to try:
        • w300d0
        • w100d0
        • wfff90
        Determine an address near other memory reservations (such as 9x's Card & Socket services...run msinfo32.exe utility to view PC memory usage)
      • For a low window address of d4000 add wd4 :
        new target line = "c:\ElanPCCard\Memory Card Explorer\mce.exe" wd4
        possible low memory addresses (steps of '4'): wc0, wc4, wc8, wcc, wdo, wd4, wd8, wdc, wdeo, we4
    4. Retry MCE with new window setting

SetUp Plan (2) for MCE Issue 3-13+ software
ISA based PCMCIA adapter
Windows 9x or NT groups.

Low memory window option available for ISA hardware.

Follow SETUP PLAN 1(a) & (b) above but setting up for a low memory window only.

NOTE: BIOS settings (for Desktop PCs) may clash with MCE low memory requirement.


SetUp Plan (3) for MCE Issues 3-05 to 3-12
ISA/PCI based PCMCIA adapter
Windows 9x or NT groups. 

  1. Windows 9x group - low memory settings available only. Make Consistent Changes in up to three places. (See 4.(a),(b),(c) & (d))
  2. Windows NT4 group - low or high memory window allocation allowed (High will require PCI hardware) Only the target line needs to be set to override the default window see 1(b)

SetUp Plan (4) for MCE Issues Pre 3-05
ISA/PCI based PCMCIA adapter
Windows 9x or NT groups.

Low memory options only available; NT4 users do not need to perform steps (a) or (b).

  1. config.sys - if you load the driver EMM386 you have to exclude segment address range D000-D3FF by adding x=D000-D3FF
    e.g. device=c:\windows\emm386.exe noems x=D000-D3FF
  2. system.ini - the installer adds EMMExclude = D000-D3FF under section [386Enh]
  3. The PC memory to use can be passed into MCE on the command line (Command line option w.). e.g. add to the program shortcut the default memory window for D0000: 
    "c:\ElanPCCard\Elan Memory Card Explorer\mce.exe" wd0
  4. BIOS settings may need to change to make sure the MCE window is available to MCE alone.

To change from the default memory address changes must be made consistently through these mechanisms.

Example :

To modify settings on 9x platform to try a low memory window of d8000 change 

Remember to re-boot after making changes

Example :

To modify settings on NT4 platform to try a low memory window of dc000 change target line: 
"c:\ElanPCCard\Elan Memory Card Explorer\mce.exe" wdc


Other Potential Problems

(More information is given in the MCE Frequently Asked Questions list)

If you are still having problems...

If you have tried to set-up a memory window following this guide but MCE is still not working please email us for assistance and include the following information :