ID:A2 AST Premium 286 setup
Quarterdeck Technical Note #122
by Stan Young
First, let me say that this technical note does not eliminate
the need on your part to read Appendix B in the DESQview manual
concerning the setup of DESQview on machines with exPANDed and
exTENDed memory. This appendix explains the fundamentals of setup
on such machines, but Appendix B is recommended (read that
This note is designed to point out the differences in setup
between an IBM AT with an AST RAMpage, as documented in Appendix B,
and the AST Premium 286.
The first important difference is that all of the memory
supplied on the FASTRAM cards, including the memory that is
normally allocated to motherboard or base RAM, is EEMS capable.
Therefore, IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO DISABLE ANY BASE MEMORY when
using the FASTRAM cards. Normally, out of the box, these machines
come with 1 meg of memory. 640K is base memory and the rest is
configured as expanded memory with the use of the REMM.SYS driver.
So in the default configuration, in the parlance of Appendix B, it
is set up as though you had a 1 meg RAMpage board backfilling to
The one change that you may want to make to the FASTRAM board
switches would allow using the DESQview QEXT.SYS file so that it
might use 64K of exTENDed memory. Again, read Appendix B
concerning the use of extended memory and the QEXT.SYS file. As
mentioned, the machine comes configured to have 640K of base and
384 of exPANDed memory. Assuming that you only want enough
exTENDed memory to support QEXT.SYS, you would want to set up your
machine to have 640K of base, 128K of exTENDed and the rest
expanded memory. To do this, you must change the switches that are
on the FASTRAM card that set the Linear Memory Size from 640K (the
default) to 768K. These settings are listed on page B-5 of the AST
User's Reference and will not be duplicated here.
Once you have set the switches to 768K, ignore the Setup error
that occurs on reboot, and run the AST SETUP program and configure
the machine so that it shows 640K base, 128K of extended and the
rest expanded. Load the QEXT.SYS and REMM.SYS drivers in your
CONFIG.SYS file and you should be ready to load DESQview using the
XDV.COM file (again, read Appendix B concerning this file.).
Copyright (C) 1991 by Quarterdeck Office Systems
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