Compaq Presario 5000 restore

I just received a compaq 5000 and have to reinstall windows ME from scratch...I dont have any restore cd's but i do have a copy of windows ME and the Key sticker is on the case....Ive downloaded drivers for the model onto another computer....

I chatted with hp about seeing if there was a way to restore the computer without the restore cds...to note is that there is a 2nd partition on the drive that says "system sav" ..>Can i restore the system from the hd without the cd...and/or at least i have an original windows ME disk.....

I am currently trying to access the bios but dont know which key is needed to get into the bios to boot off the cdrom drive.....as if i cant restore from the 2n partition...ill try to boot from the cd and redo the system this way...

Hp told me i needed the restore cds but think this is kinda b/s as im thinking why cant i reinstall the os from an original disk and simply download the drivers and manually install.....I hate when someone trys to sell me on something that should not be needed especially if i have an original ms disk....Proprietary is garbage and support along with it as far as im concern.....just my angle on it...
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frogglegsAsked:
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tmj883Commented:
The hidden partition on a Presario contains BIOS information that is necessary to make the BIOS fully functional. Without this partition, many BIOS settings are not accessable. You do need the restore CDs, as using a retail Windows ME cannot utilize or restore this partition.
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frogglegsAuthor Commented:
Bios fully functional?? ive never seen this....sounds like a very dumb design to me....I will try another way and see if i can boot and install windows ...if not maybe your absolutely right and i would need to purchase the restore cds......in that case...my bad ;)
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frogglegsAuthor Commented:
just wanted to add...if a hd crashes then im assuming the restore disks would reset everything up again??.....ibm compatible is so much easier....guess thats what i get for taking in a compaq
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maramomCommented:
The compaqs and hp's have a 'hotkey' that when entered at bootup, will restore your system to factory settings using your hidden partition. It's usually F8. This will delete your data, so it may be a good idea to retrieve it first. You can use a live cd to try to copy your files to another source (CD's/DVD's/Different Hard Drive)
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PUNKYCommented:
Frogglegs, I totally argeed with you. Most computers are now sold without cd recovery which if we wanted later we have to purchase (more money taking out of our pocket ... kinda hidden price!). I belived that not only you felt that way.

Regarding your system now, just follow Maramom's suggestion first see if it works. If not, why dont format and re-install os. Try keys F5, F10, F8, or F2 see if you can access bios and setup boot from CD?
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Let's not "guess" !!   The manual for this PC is readily available on HP's web site.

It says:  "If you need to restore the original software on your PC, Compaq has provided a convenient solution right on your hard drive..."   ==> and includes detailed instructions for accessing the recovery partition.   To access the restore partition you press F10 while the Compaq logo is displayed at startup.


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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
... If the PC will still boot, you can also access the recovery partition by going to Start, All Programs, PC Help & Tools, and clicking on Compaq System Recovery
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
... while anything's possible, I do NOT believe there is any "BIOS information" in the additional partition.   I've installed various OS's on Compaq's -- including 5000's -- and simply deleted all of the original partitions (including the restore partition) and in a couple of cases just used different hard disks entirelyl  ==> and I can assure you the BIOS functioned just fine.   By the way, XP runs just fine on a 5000 :-)
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frogglegsAuthor Commented:
yeah gary....ive never heard of this bios info ...and actually ive just installed me on the c: drive and have installed all but the modem driver successfully....ive simply formatted the 2nd partition ...and i will download acronis and simply make a backup image on the partition....willl probably have to resize though....

I actually contaced hp back and the 2nd tech was prepared to walk me through the procedure for restoring ME from the "system sav" partition....the problem that was present was i had already formatted the first partition and he said I needed it to access the mbr which is setup for starting the preload for the OS on the hidden partition....

Anyhow it works and just to let someone else know....at least on the presario 5000...YOU CAN INSTALL ME WITH MS ORIGINAL ME DISK....i simply put in the os disk....booted off the cdrom....wiped the c: drive and reinstalled ME......then I put in a nic card....went to the internet (im on a router) and downloaded the drivers and am now good to go......

No need to purchase the restore disks from compaq if you have a copy of windows ME or a decent technician that can walk you through the system restore......

Least im smiling again ...thx guys ;)
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
... as I noted, I've installed multiple OS's on a 5000 => ME, 2000, XP -- and ALL install just fine.   In fact, XP "knows" about all of the hardware, so you need NO additional drivers.  Let me know if you have any problem finding the modem driver -- I've probably got a copy squirreled away somewhere, and can probably find a link (but I'm sure you can find it too).
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willcompCommented:
There are quite a few iterations of Compaq 5000 PCs with different hardware.  Use the specific model number located inside the CD storage door to locate drivers.

Older Compaq PCs had a non-DOS partition that was used to store changeable BIOS information.  The BIOS chip had basic configuration information.  When a HDD was replaced, the first order of business was to restore the BIOS partition using a set of diskettes.  Don't believe I've seen this used since Pentium CPU days.

Just completely wipe the HDD removing all partitions, and install OS from an OEM CD.  It's rather painless as you may have gathered.

I've had mixed results trying to restore Compaq PCs from the system save partition.

If you want to run XP, ensure you have at least 256MB RAM.  Win2K is an excellent option for 128MB Compaq 5000s.
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frogglegsAuthor Commented:
thx guys...my apologies tmj 883 as this could have been the case with the BIOS info...the thing is is that i have never seen that...I remember working on an old olivetti where you had to run a diskette to configure the bios.....that was the pre-pentium days though....386-486...

Gary , the modem driver was on compaqs site so im just looking for a good firewall....(had problems gettting zonealarm goin) have avg....just about time to have er finished...

I guess i didnt consider all the possible models for the 5000 series.......still is frustrating that the one tech didnt know that info and set me up on the right track the first time around...oh well...its good to go now ;)
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willcompCommented:
If you are running 2K or XP, here's another very good, free firewall:

http://www.sunbelt-software.com/Kerio.cfm
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
I'm surprised ZoneAlarm is giving you trouble -- particularly with Windows ME.   Perhaps the newest version doesn't work well with 9x systems.   I'd just install v4.5.594, which works very well with Win9x systems.   You can get it here:  http://www.oldversion.com/program.php?n=zalarm

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Dushan De SilvaTechnology ArchitectCommented:
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frogglegsAuthor Commented:
thx gary...i did find and old version of sygate on oldversion.com and put that on and it works....wont be able to get updates though...the system is a dial up internet system so im not overly concerned there....
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Glad all's well -- sounds like the system's ready to go :-)
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