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bluejay

Compaq Portable II Questions

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Damn, I was experimenting with VMs and was trying to get a hdd image onto a cf card on machine running compaq dos(the vhd didnt seem to work with compaq dos, and compaq dos only.)

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When creating a VM, use a "Flat" image.  winimage can work with that. (rather, use winimage to create said flat image FROM the CF card, load that in the VM as a "Flat image", do the setup there, then use winimage to put the image back onto the CF card.)

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1 minute ago, wierd_w said:

When creating a VM, use a "Flat" image.  winimage can work with that. (rather, use winimage to create said flat image FROM the CF card, load that in the VM as a "Flat image", do the setup there, then use winimage to put the image back onto the CF card.)

k i'll try that. thanks!

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Posted (edited)

@wierd_wHmm, I thought you couldn't create a vhd image out of nothing?(the cf card is empty)

Edited by bluejay

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The issue you will have though, is that the "system options not set" literally means that the hard disk type and other such things are NOT set in the CMOS RAM.  As such, the system is not able to see the hard disk.

 

You will need a bootable floppy diskette, and the setup diskette.  Once you run the setup program, it will set the system date and time, set the hard disk type, and all that other needful, and THEN it will be able to boot from the HDD/CF card.

 

You can possibly use something like this thing--- to hook a legit floppy drive to a USB port.  I dont know if it supports other densities besides 1.44. You would need an adapter to convert the IDC34 connector to the appropriate female card-edge connector for a 5.25" diskette drive.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32868879944.html

 

 

As concerns disk image creation:  You could always use win-dd instead.  Still would be a flat image.

http://www.chrysocome.net/dd

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Damn, that's not what I had in mind. After some quick searching I found out that, to my disappointment, it only supports 1.44mb floppy drives. Maybe I'll have to ask someone here in AA to whip up a floppy for me and buy it from him/her. Thanks for the help though!

Edited by bluejay

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hmmm...

 

I have in my possession, a somewhat antique athlon64 based systemboard and CPU.  It has a floppy diskette controller.  It also needs RAM (which I dont have any of on hand.)

I also obtained (via an ebay listing) a TI 99/4A PEB, with diskette drives.  HOWEVER-- these are schuggart configured, not IBM configured.  I would have to check to see if they can be reconfigured for IBM systems.

 

If nobody else picks up the request, I could set about getting this paperweight transformed into a floppy creating workstation.

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Since nobody else has responded, I have went ahead and ordered some kit.

 

Ordered:

DDR2 RAM

400W PSU

Floppy drive cable (because I only have a shuggart cable)

10pk 5.25" DS,DD (360k) diskettes with sleeves.

 

 

No idea when the diskettes will get here-- Not a prime seller. Could be slow-boat from china. We'll see.

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23 hours ago, wierd_w said:

Since nobody else has responded, I have went ahead and ordered some kit.

 

Ordered:

DDR2 RAM

400W PSU

Floppy drive cable (because I only have a shuggart cable)

10pk 5.25" DS,DD (360k) diskettes with sleeves.

 

 

No idea when the diskettes will get here-- Not a prime seller. Could be slow-boat from china. We'll see.

Wow, thanks a lot. I'm itching to play some ms dos games on original 80s hardware!

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Diskettes and cable arrived today, way ahead of the other parts.

 

Investigating, the shugart drive I have is indeed dual sided (yay!!), so it should be at least 360k. It has appropriate jumpers on the drive to set it up properly to use in an IBM system.

I dug out the old motherboard, and the old full tower chasis I have floating around.  Installed the board and the disk drive. Still waiting on RAM and PSU.

 

Once they get here, I should be able to make this thing somewhat fun to play with. Also found (after scrounging)

 

nVidia TNT2 (256mb), ESS Audiodrive PCI. (Also found Areal 3D, but very few DOS games know what that is.)

 

 

Diskettes I intend to cook:

 

3 disk set for compaq DOS 3

FX diskette

Setup Diskette (s)

Simple boot diskette (Compaq DOS 3)

 

Anything else you think you will need?

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I don't think so; all I need is the stuff to set the bios settings and boot into dos, and then i can use the cf2ide to load whatever programs i may want. Thanks a bunch!

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Posted (edited)

Amazon suggests the RAM and PSU will arrive Wednesday.

 

After I cook the diskettes, I will need an address to mail them to.

 

OH--

 

I also have some 512mb SD cards.  That would be ideally sized for your device. I bought them for doing Wii hacking (because indiana pwns only works with old, NON-SDHC cards), but it came in a multi pack. I have some extra.  Do you want one?

Edited by wierd_w
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I've been down this road. What a pain

  I found a set of Compaq setup disks and was ready to upgrade to a CF card. There are 42 options. None worked. So I tried another card, and then 5 others. Never got it to work. Thought it maybe the IDE controller that comes with the unit so I swapped it out for a generic. That one won't even let the computer post. Apparently the stock IDE board is the only one that works with these computers due to the custom bios in ram thing. 

    The one I have still has a noisy but working 32meg HD and it looks like I'm stuck with it forever as I can't get ANY IDE drives or CF adapted drives to work in it's place. I'll be following to see if you have better luck than I did as it was a LONG month of trying. It takes over an hour to boot and reboot for every HD option per drive. 10 years ago i had a dedicated computer with an old 360K floppy for writing disks, These days I have nothing that will play well with that type of drive, and the Compaq won't do 3 1/4 drives. 1.2 meg or 360K 5 1/2 is the only working format. 

    When i got mine I figured as soon as I had Dos 6.22, Dosshell, and a Comm program loaded onto the HD, I'd just telnet the rest of the files to it, but I never even got that far. Such a shame too as it's a really nice looking computer.

 

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If push comes to shove, he can use ezbios / diskmanager with it.  Older versions support old computers.

 

I guess that is one thing I can build for him... Maybe. (try to get ezbios to fit on a 360k diskette) That should give him LBA access even on antiquated hardware. I still think that using a 512mb SDCard and giving it type 47 (with custom values for heads, sectors, and cyls) should work fine though.

 

 

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If the cf2ide doesnt work there has to be some kind of program that lets me send stuff via the serial port from my pc to the Compaq. Or I could get an ide to usb thingy to write stuff directly onto the original hard drive I pulled out when installing the cf2ide(it was a pain in the rear because the ide cable was too short but that's another story). XTCF is a bit too expensive for me.

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Posted (edited)

FastLynx (FX.exe) does exactly that thing--

 

Send files over serial (or parallel) port. (Parallel port is much faster.)

 

I will make a diskette with it on it.

 

Personally though, I would attempt ez-drive first.  I would make use of the "1:1 disk image clone" approach to set up a virtual machine, then use the virtual machine to put the DDO onto the image, configured manually with a specific type. (even if it is user type 47, with numbers that dont match the whole drive.) Once set up, I would put it into the Portable II, and use the setup program to set the disk type to that disk type.  It should then work.

 

This would get around the "Needs 4mb RAM!" issue, because it only REALLY needs the 4mb RAM to run the installer. The actual DDO uses like, 8k of conventional, if that, and should work just fine on this system.

Edited by wierd_w

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Posted (edited)

Well, bad news.

 

That athlon boar does NOT want to come up.  It has somehow failed while in storage.  Sad.

 

Oh well..  I will look into getting an era appropriate board from Ebay.

 

---

 

Ordered: Pentium 4 motherboard that has the floppy controller I need/want.

Edited by wierd_w
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Pentium 4 system arrived today. It likes the RAM I had bought previously.

 

System does not have an option for 360k floppy in the cmos setup though. I set it as 720.  I will manually tell DOS what kind of disk it is when I format. Drive produced seek light on access, so I must have jumpered it right to work in a PC.

Setting up win98se on the beastie right now.

 

 

Edited by wierd_w
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Alright, After some setbacks (Turns out the P4 system is very picky, and will only let drive B be a 360k drive-- AND--- this is only after manually prodding the CMOS with an old generic cmos setup utility, because the rom provided one does not give options for drive B.  The controller can handle it just fine though. The BIOS wants to overwrite any manually prodded value with 1.44mb high density designator, which was causing me great fits of rage. BUT, manually prodding drive B in has allowed me to start making diskettes!) I have several diskettes made.

 

Sadly, I cannot test booting from the diskettes, because of the kludge I had to accept with the 360k diskette drive being drive B.

 

Here very shortly I should have the full disk set created. I am including same-said "Generic AT CMOS setup program" on one of the diskettes, in case the compaq setup does not work.

 

Time to make the compaq dos diskettes now.

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OK. Disk are all made.

 

Please PM me an address.  The post office is literally a block away. If you get me the address, I can probably get it out the door today.

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