I think it's a Compaq mainboard, but i'm not sure.

How-to identify your motherboard ?
Post Reply
jondavey
New visitors - please read the rules.
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2002 2:21 pm

Hi, I've got this Compaq 486 that i salvaged which oddly had a bios on the first partition of the hdd. I thought that there must be one on the mainboard aswell and that Compaq had installed this, their own Compaq bios, ontop of that. So I deleted the partition containing the Bios and now when I try to boot the machine I get I/O error after the memory count and*nothing* else.Having checked the mainboard there does'nt seem to be a bios chip on there but I'm pretty sure it's a Compaq mainboard.
What shall I do is it simply a case of contacting Compaq to see if they'v got a softwear Bios for download ?.
soupy
Absentee administrator
Posts: 1086
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2002 1:06 am
Location: Ontario, Canada
Contact:

Yep, you need to ID the system it came from, (ie: Compaq DeskPro 433) visit the Compaq website and download the files needed to rebuild that partition.

Funny, though, it should boot without the partition. What does the error message say?
Flash your BIOS at your own risk.
jondavey
New visitors - please read the rules.
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2002 2:21 pm

It says:- Disk I/O error
Replace the disk, and then press any key
edwin
The Hardware Archivist
Posts: 6273
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2002 7:11 pm
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

Um, is tis booting from the harddisk or a bootable floppy? If from the harddisk, did you partition and format tat and made sure it is bootable?
edwin/evasive

Do not assume anything

System error, strike any user to continue...
jondavey
New visitors - please read the rules.
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2002 2:21 pm

How can I make sure that the hdd is bootable ?.
edwin
The Hardware Archivist
Posts: 6273
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2002 7:11 pm
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

8O

format c: /s

or

sys c:

from a bootable floppy. why did you throw out that bios partition in the first place?
edwin/evasive

Do not assume anything

System error, strike any user to continue...
jondavey
New visitors - please read the rules.
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2002 2:21 pm

It was a Compaq softwear bios and due to my inexperiance I assumed that there would be a bios on the mainboard that Compaq had overridden. I would have much prefered to be using an intergrated bios, plus I did'nt like the Compaq one ;) silly I know and I've learnt my lesson.
jondavey
New visitors - please read the rules.
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2002 2:21 pm

I can boot from a floppy but according to that the C: does'nt have a valid FAT partition. So I guess bios problems are secondary at the moment.
soupy
Absentee administrator
Posts: 1086
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2002 1:06 am
Location: Ontario, Canada
Contact:

Yep. Use FDISK to create your partitions and FORMAT to make them readable.

HOWEVER: using this method you will NOT be able to install the Compaq partition afterwards, since you need about 5MB blank space at the beginning of the HDD. I suggest you reinstall the Comaq software first.
Flash your BIOS at your own risk.
Joe
Chip off the ol' block
Posts: 98
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2002 6:30 pm
Location: Clarence, New York
Contact:

System should still boot without that setup partition present, you may have issues with the hard drive controller/cable/on drive settings.

-Joe
KachiWachi
The New Guy
Posts: 1451
Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2002 10:32 pm
Location: Pennsylvania, USA

Compaq seems to have their own scheme of things...

Is there a way to flash their BIOS using a standard AWARD or AMI flasher, or do you need to use their own ROMPAQ utility?

How can you rescue one of their boards that you think has a blown BIOS, using a EEPROM burner?
Joe
Chip off the ol' block
Posts: 98
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2002 6:30 pm
Location: Clarence, New York
Contact:

I don't think Award or AMI flashers will work with Compaq image files. What compaq does is only reprogram part of the EERPOM with the update, they don't clear and reprogram the whole EEPROM.

Usually when you unpack a downloaded "RomPaq" it creates files sized 143k, 164k or 183k ect ect in sizes..

Once in a while, you'll get an actual 128, 256 or 512k file you can use, but that is rare.

The only way that I know to revive a Compaq MB with BIOS issues is to find a working board of the same model and read the image file from the ROM or create a backup of the ROM, then reprogam the bad board with it.

Uniflash may work if you get the whole image.

Almost 90% of compaq BIOS EEPROMS are soldered PLCC and TSOP packages.

Joe
KachiWachi
The New Guy
Posts: 1451
Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2002 10:32 pm
Location: Pennsylvania, USA

Guess I'm SOL unless someone out there has a Deskpro 4000...

I do have access to an EEPROM burner, and new EEPROMS for that matter...
Joe
Chip off the ol' block
Posts: 98
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2002 6:30 pm
Location: Clarence, New York
Contact:

Kachiwachi, send me that rompaq file I've been having good luck de-compiling sony - compaq and dell .exe bios files.

aqs12@broadviewnet.net

Joe
edwin
The Hardware Archivist
Posts: 6273
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2002 7:11 pm
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

Good. Care to share that knowledge? Have hit their brick walls long enough now.
edwin/evasive

Do not assume anything

System error, strike any user to continue...
Post Reply