> I think your problem is you need another DOS Extender like CWSDPMI, DOS32A or DOS4GW. > Reading now about how DOS memory work I kinda understand why I needed such programs > (specially with emulators) back in the day.
I may have this wrong. It has been awhile. But I think those will not help him. I think programs would use those as an overlay file and then get EMS or XMS out of the way and do it themselves. Sometimes they would barf if himem or EMS was loaded and you have to get creative. Usually if the software needed those it was installed next to it. Usually a sign of a watcom compiler program. What he is trying to do (I think) is use LH and DEVICEHIGH to get more start up memory. I think for lh/devicehigh to work you need himem.sys loaded. I could have that wrong though.
I tried the same emu at586. I then installed DOS622. Just default I was able to get it up to 599K free using the built in memmaker. Which usually does a semi crummy job. By default it also installs smartdrive which probably could get me 10-15 more K just by getting rid of that. Probably do not really need it due to the real OS doing caching. I probably could get a few more K by using DOS=HIGH,UMB Prob could get a bit more using 4DOS. But that can be a bit wonky sometimes with compatibility. The best I ever got I think was about 612k free.
There used to be a nice norton 5 util that showed the memory layout which was really handy for figuring out where in memory to put things.