If ghost says you don’t have enough memory..

Tuesday 27 January 2004This is more than 19 years old. Be careful.

I’m trying to use Ghost 7.0 to backup a hard drive that seems to be failing, and the backup works great. When trying to restore to the new drive, Ghost says “Insufficient conventional memory”. Our best theory is that the laptop has too much memory: 1 GB.

This is a classic problem with the hyper-inflation of hardware capabilities: software written to understand the possibilities last far too long for its own good, and can’t fathom the gigantic numbers it’s seeing. It reminds me of old kids’ games I still have running on my home machine. Every time they startup they warn me that they need 256 colors to display properly. When they were written, 256 seemed like the upper limit, so there’s probably a line of code in there like,

if (nColors != 256) {
    ::MessageBox("I need 256 colors");

Who could have imagined 24-bit color?


Conventional memory is a DOS concept. It's the 640K chunk used for DOS. Sounds like Ghost is bumping into memory used by drivers that are installed on your laptop.
A classic example of not considering newer hardware is when installers check for free disk space. There was a time when having a drive larger than 2 GB would cause the installer to only account for the disk space above 2GB. The end result was that sometimes it would refuse to install the app even through there was plenty of space.

A similar problem occurred when apps were moving from 16-bit Windows 3.1 to 32-bit Windows 95. A lot of existing 16-bit applications did a faulty check of the return results of the GetVersion API function. Microsoft froze the behavior of the call for 16-bit applications and added GetVersionEx for newer 32-bit code to call.

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