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 Hard disk and a Compaq Portable 386 View next topic
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JaumeCAT



Joined: 05 Oct 2007
Posts: 24
Location: Catalunya

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 8:20 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi, i got a Compaq Portable 386, from ebay.

The thing never booted from hard disk, but after many trouble making the setup disk ( i needed to put a 5.25 drive in my daily use rig), now i can boot it with the DOS 5 bootdisk of my XT and run the Compaq's setup.

I configured all the things that needed it, but the Hard Drive can only be configured via the old "Type numbers", i don't know the size or the type number of the Hard Disk.
At least a partial disassemble revealed me that the disk got a Compaq sticker, making sure the fact of a original drive.


I tried all the drive numbers of a PDF service manual of the Compaq with no luck. (I made the change, reboot whith no luck, and when i use the Setup program again it keeps changing the Hard Disk tipe to "None")

This makes me think about a toasted Hard Disk.... Confused I got some old 3.5 Hard Disks fooling around, but i don't know if the machine would recognize them. (one 250MB and one 1040MB)

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T-R-A



Joined: 02 Oct 2004
Posts: 578
Location: Western NC

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:22 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Had a Portable III (quite similar, but a 286) at one time. As I remember, it had an RLL or ESDI drive in it. You might be able to use the 250MB drive, if the machine has an internal slot for a IDE interface card, but the 1 Gig would never be recognized as such (you might could format it for the maximum available). Almost all Compaq's of that era used Softpaqs to set up the BIOS settings, likely find it here:

http://oldcomputers.net/compaqiii.html

To determine the size drives the BIOS will directly support, I use a utility called ROMTABLE. Used to be on NCR's site, but can't find it now. It displayed all the drive types and their C/H/S geometry settings...
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386er



Joined: 27 Jan 2007
Posts: 274
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 5:29 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

its probly a 40mb conner. try type 22 or was it type 27? anyways check that old dallas 1287, make sure it still got some battery left too. if ya do decide to replace the hdd, u can use a 1040 mb drive, but you have to use disk overlay software.
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T-R-A



Joined: 02 Oct 2004
Posts: 578
Location: Western NC

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:29 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Another thing, the Portable III/386 series was known as somewhat of a BOG machine (blaze of glory) due to consistent power-supply issues (which is how I lost mine). 3 things that might help:

1. Keep the inside occasionally vacuumed out.
2. Avoid putting it where high-temps could be experienced.
3. Never operate the machine in a dusty environment (or store in same).

Once the P/S goes, there's little you can do except troubleshoot at the component level to try and get it going again...
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