View Full Version : New computer problem

11-07-2003, 05:09 PM
I've got an old Compaq Deskpro that I'm setting up. I've got two IDE devices setup, the HD and a CD-ROM drive - part of Windows 98 may still be on the HD - I started to install Linux and halfway through the partition process it died.

When I power up with a bootable Windows 98 CD in the CD-ROM drive, BIOS does its thing, counts the RAM on screen but then I get this message:

Starting Windows 98...

Type the name of the Command Interpreter (e.g., C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND.COM)

It seems although it is trying to find COMMAND.COM which probly isn't there on the HD. And ignoring the CD drive altogether. The CD-ROM drive is connected properly (red line to pin 1 etc).

Any suggestions?


Graham L
11-07-2003, 05:20 PM
Have you still got the BIOS setup accessible. You may have the boot sector protected, so it's still trying to load the deleted W98 on the HD. :D

There are tricks connected with some models of DeskPro and linux. I have printed out the two or three pages from a university guy in the UK I think. I'll try to find this tonight. Try "DeskPro Linux problems in google and you might find it."

It's to do with the maintenance partition (shown as Type 12 in the Linux fdisk). It helps to have it there ... that's what gives you the BIO setup from F10 (or is it F12? :D) when the white square appears on the screen.

You should be able to download the Bios setup "ROMPaq " from Compaq ... that gives you three floppies which you boot and use to reinstall the maintenance section.

11-07-2003, 05:20 PM
From what you have said, (A>) you have a system disk in the floppy drive?

11-07-2003, 05:22 PM
Have you got the bios set up to boot off the cdrom before the HD?

11-07-2003, 05:30 PM
I don't know what A> is, there is physically no floppy drive in the computer.

I am trying to figure out the BIOS 'key' now, I have tryed F10, DEL and F1 with no success. I'm guessing it's one of the fuction keys..

11-07-2003, 05:35 PM
Hey what do ya know....
Ive got the same thing... scored it from an auction...

Anywho... are you trying to keep windows... Ie dual boot...
if not... just fdisk the whole thing and install linux...

Which linux are you using...
Mandrake 9 &9.1 dont like the on board graphics...
redhad 9.0 when on without a hitch...

I had no prob dual booting...

Sorry cant help with your windows prob....

P.s. it is f10 to get into the bios....

11-07-2003, 05:39 PM
When do you press F10, straight after the RAM counts on screen?

11-07-2003, 05:42 PM
I find it even handy on the news of the new to have a floppy drive.... id put 1 on if i was you.....

It is f10.... but even nowing that... it not easy to get in to.... dunno why..... just have to keep trying....

lotsa luck


11-07-2003, 05:44 PM
just keep pressing it.....

dont stop

not yet.....

ok you can stop.....

Graham L
13-07-2003, 03:26 PM
00Falcon may have a DeskPro, and managed to install Linux without problems. Well done. Unfortunately, Compaq have made a "few" models of DeskPros: EN, EP, EP-SB, 6000, 5000,4000, 2000, 4000s, 4000n, XL, 286, 386, 4/33, 4/33s ... off hand. (the X000 part is replaced by other digits for "sub-models") The 286 one I bought at an auction "some years ago" didn't have a BIOS setup in ROM. It needed a programme on the HD (or set of floppies, which I didn't get). The HD had been wiped. I had to use DEBUG to set the HD disk byte in the CMOS to be able to acces the HD. :D Then I wrote a programme to install the rest of the BIOS options. :D

There are problems with various models of DeskPro and Linux. Try "DeskPro nnn Linux problems" on google. (Insert the actual model number -- or name, like "DeskPro Presario"). Despite having the instructions for setting up a DP 5133 for Linux, I didn't bother ... I just let it boot to DOS, and then used LOADLIN and a copy of the kernel in the DOS partition to start Linux. It's no harder to copy the kernel across to DOS than to copy it to /boot, and modify and run lilo. :D

If it doesn't respond to F10, you might have zapped the partition. :D

You should look for the download floppy images to replace it using google (because of the ownership changes of DEC/Compaq/HP). Look for "ROM Paq" or the correct name "Setup/P and PC Diagnostics" ... the RP and Setups will be on the same page of the site for the model.

Graham L
13-07-2003, 04:45 PM
"Deskpro setup/VP" to google is the one. :D Make sure you get the right one for your model.