Compaq- DeskPro5100-Setup Hard Drive

Posted on 2000-05-06
Last Modified: 2010-04-27
My Brother purchased a used Compaq and the seller installed Win95 using a second computer hooked up to my brothers.
All is fine.
Question now is he cant get into the BIOS and it appears the Hard Drive is not set up correctly in that there is supposed to be a non dos Partition.
Since we cant get into BIOS we cant boot from A drive.
We downloaded a file from
This file is SP3737.exe and according to the instructions it will make 4 floppy disks which disk 1 and 2 are the ones we need.
Can any experts tell us the correct way to proceed to setup the hard drive.
I know we will lose all information on it.
Question by:muschep
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LVL 10

Accepted Solution

tonnybrandt earned 200 total points
ID: 2784718
First of all
What happens if you press F10 on bootup when a white square appears in the upper right corner of the screen ?.
Can you get in ?.
If you can, then change the bootorder to a: then c:.
This will allow you to boot from the downloadet disc, which are probably diagnostics and configuration.
If you can't get in to bios, my suggestion is to physically unhook the ide cable to hd and cdrom, which should allow you to boot on the downloadet disc. Now change the bootorder.
Plug the cables back in hd and cdrom.
Boot a win 95 bootdisk, with Fdisk on it.
Use Fdisk to remove all partitions on HD.
Switch off the computer and put the 1'st Compaq disc in, This should be the diagnostics disc. (as far as i remember)
Turn on you computer. As i recall it you now have the option to put the disgnostics and configuration in a nondos partition on the HD, as it originally was meant.
After setting everything up in bios, and have saved it, boot on the bootdisk and create a primary partition to install windows.
Reboot and format the partition as fat 16 or 32. (depends on the version of win 95.
Now you should be set to install windows.

If you need a bootdisk with cdromdriver try

Hope this helps

Author Comment

ID: 2784804
F10 did not come up with the white square. Will try your suggestions and get back to you probably on Monday. If everyone else holds off till we try this I would appreciate it unless theres something terribly wrong with the first suggestion.This way we dont have too many people involved.

Expert Comment

ID: 2784999
The F10 option only comes up on a machine that has the non dos partition on it. You don't have to have the partition, you can run setup and diagnostics from the floppies you make, and you can make the floppies on any machine. Tonny's procedure is correct if you want to set it up the way Compaq originally had it, but if it was me, I would make the disks, set the boot order to a,c and just keep the floppies handy if you need to make a configuration change. Seems like a bit less trouble
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Author Comment

ID: 2786091
Shoul I reopen this question or post a new one. The computer will not seek the A drive even after disconnecting the hard drive completely from the cable (no CDRom installed)
THe problem then is how to get into the BIOS?
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 2786525
You shouldn't have awardet the points, when your problem isn't solved.
However, let's see what we can do about your problem. (so i can earn the points)

What model is the Compaq ?.

2 suggestions that might work regardless of what model it is.

1. (should work)
Unplug the powercable to the computer.
Try taking the cover of the computer.
Can you locate the battery ?.
If you can, and it is not soldered to the mainboard then take it out, wait 10 minutes and put it back in.
This should clear the CMOS. It will also make the computer forget the settings for the harddrive, but it should redetect it on bootup. You should now be able to boot from the A: drive now.

2. (might work. the uncertainty is the possible version conflict of the and the compaq specific files)
Take the HD out of the Compaq, and put it in your own machine.
It should now show as d: drive if you only normally have a c: drive.
Format the HD and be sure to check transfer system or use the doscommand
format d: /s
Copy the contents of both of the Compaq floppys to the hd, DON'T OVERWRITE ANY FILES.
Take the hd out of your machine and reinstall it in the compaq.
Boot and you should now be able to change the bootorder.

If all went OK then follow the advice i gave earlier, that is if you don't want to follow swwelsh's suggestion about only using the floppy's to get into bios.
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 2786570
Just realized the model number was in the question header.
Looked at this document at Compaq:
It seems that the battery is not soldered to the mainboard, from what i can see in the schematic drawings, seen in the document, so go for suggestion 1.

Author Comment

ID: 2789603
ok Sorry for the confusion. We removed the battery as instructed and now we are able to boot from A drive using the win 95 diskette. How ever it will not boot from disk 1 of the  compaq sofpaq diagnostic disks. Dont want to proceed to Step 1 as suggested by you until we resolve this. Right now the computer will not search for the HD on bootup althought we can access drive from DOS and of course we have no acess to CMOS.

Author Comment

ID: 2789858
For no obvious reason the computer now seeks both HD and flopy and now boots from HD and win95 disk. I tried the sofpaq disk in my computer and it says non-system disk please insert system disk and press any key. Obviously the CMOS plays a part here and both computers have been setup with primary dos partitions. I think we can take it from here and leave everything as is until a real emmergency.
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 2789860
It may or may not be the correct software, you downloadet.

I searched the compaq site for the correct file and came up with this:

The documentation states that it is the second disc, it creates that is bootable

Try it.

LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 2789970
I still think you should download and create the diskettes from tha URL, as i suggested in my previous comment. That way you do have an oppertunity to get into bios, if nescesary.
Glad you got your problem fixed.

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