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Compaq Armada 7350MT BIOS on Hard Drive?

Posted on 2003-12-03
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I just received a Compaq Armada 7350MT which was surplussed from our Internal Audit dept.  As a security precaution, they wiped out all of the partitions before returning the machine to us.  Now, I can not get into the BIOS, and can not get the machine to boot off of a floppy, CD, etc.  I have read that some older Compaq laptops such as this one store all/some of their BIOS info on the hard drive.  But, that does not make much sense considering that in order to detect a HDD you would have to use the BIOS info that is stored on the HDD itself.  I have tried everything I can think of in order to get into BIOS, but nothing works.  Can anyone give me any insight on what seems to be the problem?
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Question by:DrPayne
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5 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:CrazyOne
ID: 9868035
Actually in some cases Compaq did but some BIOS info on the disk. You need to contact them to get this info.
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Expert Comment

by:lidsky
ID: 9868714
Actually there is no BIOS info on the hard disk. What there should be on the hard disk is a hidden diagnostic partition which allows the BIOS to be modified. One of the BIOS settings that can be modified is (guess what) Disable Floppy Boot.
If floppy boot has been disabled the only way to enable it will be get a hard drive from a working laptop and install it into yours, and then modify the BIOS.
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Author Comment

by:DrPayne
ID: 9869047
So basically, the only way I can enable Floppy boot is if I have a HD from the same type of Laptop with that hidden partition on it?
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lidsky earned 200 total points
ID: 9869333
>"So basically, the only way I can enable Floppy boot is if I have a HD from the same type of >Laptop with that hidden partition on it?

Basically, yes.

However, there may be another solution, I've never tried it, but it's worth a go.

1. First get an adapter which will allow the disk to be installed on a desktop. Install  this drive as the only drive (make sure it is drive C:).

2. Go to http://h18007.www1.hp.com/support/files/armada/us/locate/4_912.html and scroll down to "Documentation and White Papers". Download the three documents and read through them.

3. Download all the SoftPAQs that will be required and create the floppies.

4. Follow the instructions on creating the diagnostic partition and installing the OS.

5. Once that's done you can put the drive back into the laptop and boot from the hard drive.

Press F10 while the blinking cursor is on the screen to run the BIOS setup utility.
You should then be able to modify the BIOS.
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