Dosbox Emulator FAQ: How to Increase the Amount of RAM Available to a DOS Program or Game

Author: Glenn Scrima

Dosbox has a default setting of 16 MB of Ram that it allocates to any program or game you use while running it. While changing this amount usually won't affect Dos programs there are the occasional exceptions. If you happen to be running one of these programs here is how it is done.

First: Look for the file dosbox.conf. This is the configuration file for Dosbox. It essentially tells Dosbox which settings are wanted each time Dosbox launches.

Now: When you find the file right click on it. Click "open with" & select notepad.


Next: With the Dosbox config file open find the line "memsize=16" under the section labeled [dosbox]. Change this number to the amount of RAM you feel you need. For example changing this setting to "memsize=32" would change the amount of RAM available to 32 MB. When you finish save and exit the config file.


Next time you launch Dosbox the amount of RAM available will be changed to your new setting. If you feel that you have made a mistake or want additional RAM just revisit this setting using the steps above. Something to keep in mind is that DOS has a RAM limit of 64 MB. It is unlikely that any DOS program would need that much anyway but it is a limit to keep in mind when changing this setting.

FAQ:
The config file is missing what do I do?
The game won't run on Windows Vista. What should I do?
The game runs sluggish. Is there a way to improve this?
How do I make the game launch in fullscreen mode?
How do I change the amount of RAM available?
How do I mount a hard drive or CD-ROM drive in Dosbox?
How do I change my machine type in Dosbox?
How do I capture a screenshot during gameplay?
I can't download from Abandonia. What should I do?
How do I close or exit Dosbox?

8 comments:

Aboikos said...

I used the advice on this blog succesfully. Thx.

Doc Boje said...

Thanks! I had an issue with Blood where it would only allocate 14mb of memory (23 is needed), but I stumbled across your tip and cranked the memory available up to 64mb. Now, I don't get the warning anymore and the game runs smoothly.

Anonymous said...

How would you do this on the Mac OS X version of DOSBox?

Glenn Scrima said...

Hi, it would work essentially the same way. First you need to create a config file and open it up. Instead of adding commands below the [autoexec] section just scroll to the section labeled [dosbox] and follow the instructions above (they would work that same if implemented on a mac also).

Best,
Glenn

Anonymous said...

hi glenn , thanks for the awesome instructions. i have followed them down pat although when i go to launch the game. carmen.exe file its comes up with the following error message:

The version of this file is not compatable with the version of windows running. check systems information to whether i need a x86(32bit) or x64 (64bit) version of the program and then contact the software publisher.

I have windows Vista. could you please help me? thanks and much appreciated

Glenn Scrima said...

Hi, are you running the carmen.exe within Dosbox. It sounds like from the error that Windows is having an issue running a 16-bit file. This would come up running the .exe file directly because 64 bit Windows will not run 16 bit files (32 bit Windows will however). Either way though if this is the case the file can't be run outside of Dosbox due to most DOS files not being properly supported in Windows anymore.

Best,
Glenn

Anonymous said...

im having trouble loading john madden football II, no matter how much ram ive adjusted to it still tells me that there is not enough memory for the graphics.

Glenn Scrima said...

Hi, which site did you download the game from or is it a personal copy?

Best,
Glenn