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Thread: Compaq

  1. #1

    Default Compaq

    I wish to upgrade a compaq 133mhz 1.6gb that is about 7 years old with a 20gb hard drive. It will not find it at all. Heard that it is easier to replace mother board, proccesser etc than waste my time. Is this true

  2. #2

    Default Re: Compaq

    The problem with OEM pcs is they use non standard components so replacing the motherboard may not be possible.

    I don't think you would have any problems with the HDD, although you may need to partition it if you have win95a.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Compaq

    Hi Brian, The following article describes how to prepare your hdd as the bios information is stored on the first 4mb of the hdd.

    Compaq Diagnostics, their use and how to load them
    Compaq CMOS SETUP explained
    How to access SETUP
    How to load DIAGNOSTICS and SETUP to disk.
    Unlike the 'clone' MB community which uses a CMOS SETUP routine that resides in
    'silicon' on the MB, Compaq uses a SETUP diskette to access the CMOS in their
    systems and a DIAGNOSTIC diskette to perform system tests and inspect system
    level information. Images of these floppies are loaded to a 4 MB non-DOS
    partition on the hard drive when Compaq configures their systems. The F10 key is
    used to access them from the HDD on boot.
    When upgrading to a new or larger hard drive these diagnostics will not be
    present and a hard drive crash may corrupt these diagnostics. In either case you
    will need the Compaq diskettes to load the diagnostics to the hard drive.
    These procedures are correct for the Compaq desktop products like Deskpro,
    Prolinea etc. I do not know if it is the same for their server product line.
    The steps outlined herein assume standard Microsoft partitioning software
    (FDISK), not the 3rd party 'xxxx magic' partition utilities available. I have
    not tried to move and create a new diagnostic partition on an existing drive
    using these utilities and cannot verify their success or failure. Do so at your
    own risk.
    How do I access the CMOS SETUP routine on my Compaq?
    1. At boot time the cursor will appear as a large block in the upper right
    corner of the screen after beeping twice. Press F10 AFTER the memory test
    completes or when you see the block cursor and the DIAGNOSTIC utility screen
    will appear. Perform your standard CMOS functions from the utility screen.
    NOTE!! If the diagnostics are not loaded on the HDD the block cursor WILL NOT
    appear after the two beeps.
    2. If the F10 at boot sequence fails, boot with disk 1 of 2 of the
    SETUP/DIAGNOSTICS in the drive. Proceed with the standard CMOS SETUP functions
    from the utility screen.

    How can I get the SETUP and TEST diagnostic diskettes if I have lost mine?
    You can create the diskette images from the F10 boot utility if that is still
    functional on your disk. If the hard drive has been wiped and you don't have
    copies of the diskettes perform the following steps:
    1. Go to:
    2. Click on the type of system you need help with (IE desktop, server or
    3. Enter the system model information in the dialogue boxes and press the Locate
    Software button on the page.
    4. Scroll down to the ROMPaq selection for your model. Download the ROMPaq file
    to a temp directory on your disk.
    5. The file is a self-extracting file that will create the SETUP and the
    DIAGNOSTICS diskettes on 3.5' floppies.
    6. Label the disks Compaq diags 1 of 2 and 2 of 2 to have them in the correct
    sequence for booting and creating the diagnostic partition.

    How can I load the diagnostics on a new hard drive-- OR --I repartitioned or
    formatted my hard drive and want to load the diagnostics back?
    This is where the problems occur. You will need the 'SETUP' and the
    'DIAGNOSTICS' floppies to proceed.
    Click on the link above to DL the ROMPaq for your system if you don't have them.
    1. Boot from Disk 1 of 2 and define the HD parameters if installing a new HDD.
    For an existing drive this should not be necessary.
    2. Have NO PARTITONS defined on your hard drive. Delete any and ALL partitions
    you may have created in previous attempts to load diagnostics.
    NOTE! If you try to load the diagnostics with a DOS partition defined it will
    say there is not enough room to load diagnostics because it needs the FIRST 4MB
    of the drive to load them. (Available space on the drive is unusable) If you
    loaded an OS and your applications and want to preserve them, you CANNOT load
    the Compaq diags to the hard drive.
    3. Boot from Disk 1 of 2 and it will detect no diagnostic partition on the hard
    drive and prompt you to create one on the drive.
    4. Follow the prompts to create the partition and insert the diskettes when
    requested. This is a 3 pass operation, to create the non-DOS partition,
    recognize the partition and transfer the diskette images. Now you will have F10
    functionality at boot.
    5. Run FDISK and partition the remaining space on the drive, as you would
    normally do. I personally use a single partition in Win98 to simplify things.
    6. Format the drive with the DOS command FORMAT C: /s and the C: drive will be
    bootable and have the Compaq diage above procedures and loaded standard
    Microsoft Win95/98 (not Compaq's customized version) on the hard drive with no
    This document instructs you on how to prepare a blank HDD to have the F10 boot
    function available and be ready to load/restore an OS.. It is not a tutorial how
    to restore Compaq software configurations. Please DO NOT Email me asking for
    driver info for Compaq products, how to use Quickrestore CD or where is Works
    and Quicken on my Quickrestore CD. . I am not a Compaq guru and other than this
    system, have little experience with Compaq's proprietary OS configurations and
    restore utilities. The best forum for these questions is a newsgroup called
    alt.sys.pc-clone.compaq That is where I gathered the various bits of info for
    this document
    I wrote this document because there was no central point to get Compaq
    comprehensive diagnostic info when I needed to resurrect a 'bare bones' Prolinea
    5120e to donate to a graduating high school senior.
    My system did not contain any unique Compaq options or I/O controllers that may
    have required Compaq specific drivers. It is a bare bones Prolinea 5120e, FDD,
    HDD, CD-ROM (found by Win95/98) and external modem. Installing a NON Compaq
    version of Win95/98 may require installation of drivers for the Compaq supplied
    options and locating these drivers is YOUR responsibility before you proceed.
    .Dick Perron........

  4. #4

    Default Re: Compaq

    I couldn't give a better description. I picked up a Deskpro with a P133 and NO hard disk. I had to find this out the hard way. Compaq seem to do a *lot* of checking when you boot. It takes 'forever' if you have changed something, but it gives you the chance to just F1 to save the new configuration, rather than do a proper setup.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Compaq

    Got it to work. Thank you for your help and detailed procedure. Brian

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