the 3 Gb switch in boot.ini reallocates address space so that you can use more RAM in exchange for less address space for the OS to use. unfortunately, it's impossible for me to tell you if you're using this switch. you would have to check for yourself in boot.ini.
as for resource problems, luckily i didn't have to do anything manually. the 3 Gb switch was the cause of my lack of address space - so getting rid of the switch in my boot.ini solved my problem.
This is what is in my file. Not that I can understand what it means but, it does not look to be anything in there to do with reallocating address space. Am I right? If so, I'll just go ahead and get a cheap secondhand card and see if it works-although one of the technicians at Dell support assures me that it won't. But he says you can never get a PCI E card to work together with a PCI card.
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
1 x PCIE 1 x PCI . No problems encountered at all, in spite of the fact that three people from Dell technical support told me it wouldn't work on my Dimension 9150.
Added an old PCI card. Start up Windows. Windows recognizes the new PCI card and allocates the drivers from the original PCI E card to the new card.
No problem. Right click on desktop. Properties/settings/advanced and for the new card (the only one that exists in Windows at this time) select Adapter/update. Then use the CD that came with the new PCI card to install the correct drivers.
Reboot Windows XP and Windows again associates the original PCIE card drivers with that original card, while keeping the new PCI card matched to the just installed drivers.
Runs perfectly. So why did the guys at Dell technical support make such a meal of it?
For what it is worth: My 2Cents... I have been running multi monitors since 1999 on a Windows 98 machine with an ATI dual head graphics card. Then in 2003 I moved to a Dell 4600 with an AGP graphics card (nVidia ) with two monitors on it, and added a PCI ATI dual head video card. Four monitors worked fine and I had no issues. You do not need to change any Bios settings or do any thing fancy - just right click on the desktop (display properties), go to settings and click on the monitor to add, click "Extend my Windows desktop to this monitor". You can then drag the monitors into the proper physical location to match how they are set on your desk. (Be sure to hit "Apply")
By dual head video card, I mean one with two outputs - one usually a DVI, one a VGA. Use an adapter if your monitor is the wrong flavor (VGA or DVI).
P. S. I have just purchased a Dell Precision T3400 with Dual PCIe video slots, with two dual DVI output video cards. Four monitors and all is well! I may add one of the PCI cards for an additional two monitors, but I will need a bigger desk!
Note: I am going to post a new note in a new thread concerning how many applications can be run simultaneously in Windows (XP). As I see it, 2GB Ram is plenty, and any more is a waste since it isn't used. I also do not think processor power is an issue - I think Windows operating system issues are the present limit to multitasking.
I hope this was useful.