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My new - Compaq DeskPro 386s/20

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Reply 20 of 60, by AlphaDangerDen

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Love the old school Compaq machines, I like the old Compaq logo better 😀

How warm does that 386-DX get? I'd imagine if you're playing a game like Doom, it might get a little toasty. Also, even though this is an OEM desktop, any jumpers for overclocking? That'd be interesting.

Reply 21 of 60, by GXL750

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With the Deskpro 486s/25m I used to own, there were some microswitches on the CPU board to adjust multiplier amongst other things. With both, the 386 and 486, there were no locked frequencies and the 386 and 486 boards for these systems were usually the same save for the actual chip put in place.

Last edited by GXL750 on 2015-05-06, 22:40. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 22 of 60, by AlphaDangerDen

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GXL750 wrote:

With the Deskpro 486s/25m I used to own, there were some microswitches on the CPU board to adjust multiplier amongst other things.

Very interesting to hear that. You can't even overclock almost all OEM PCs now unless they're one of those custom PC building companies (Digital Storm, Velocity Micro, etc.).

Reply 23 of 60, by GXL750

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These old /m systems were usually shipped without any parts required by an optional but not ordered component. Your best bet is to order a 5.25" floppy drive from one of these things with the fittings intact. Also, there were various Prolinia systems from the 1991 to 1994 timespan as well as some very early Prosignia systems that shared fittings with these machines.

Reply 24 of 60, by AlphaDangerDen

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I used to own a 5.25" floppy drive manufactured by Canon that was meant to be used in one of these old Compaq desktops, I could tell because the drive was not tall enough to cover up a single 5.25" bay. I got pissed about that and sold it 🤣.

Reply 25 of 60, by tayyare

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foey wrote:

I bought a 12x Sony SCSI CD-ROM for the Compaq the other day, fitted it and working perfectly...
...however it does not fit in the drive cage, the drive is far to small, either side if you place it in the middle is 1cm each side. Almost like I need drive rails. I've tried fitting screws like HPs/Compaqs use either side of drive to slide in but even then its to small.

I can't find anything about this machine on the net! nor anyone else fitting a CD-ROM drive!? Any ideas?

If the window in the plastic front is ok, you can use longer screws and some plastic bushes. What you will need is M3 screws of a length that fits in your case (normal ones are 5mm long so you need 15mm as per your "1cm space on the sides"" definition) and some appropriate plastic bushes (10mm, again according to your estimate)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/100pcs-Metric-M3x16mm … =item1c3572ae21

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nylon-Round-Spacer-fo … =item232732049f

Links are just here to give you an idea, you can of course find them in any local hardware store (for better prices and in smaller numbers).

GA-6VTXE PIII 1.4+512MB
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Adaptec AHA29160
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Gotek+CF Reader
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Reply 26 of 60, by tayyare

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foey wrote:
Thanks, I've ordered a Creative CT1770 SB 16 - just waiting for it to turn up! Now need to find a early SCSI CD-ROM (4-8x) which […]
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Sutekh94 wrote:

CT1770.

Thanks, I've ordered a Creative CT1770 SB 16 - just waiting for it to turn up! Now need to find a early SCSI CD-ROM (4-8x) which does not cost the earth!

With regards to upgrading the memory in this machine, I'm assuming I will need a EISA memory board?
I'm going to investigate the battery this evening.

I've seen your post too late, otherwise I would suggest another SB16 or even a SB32 with IDE port, so you could have a much cheaper IDE CD-ROM. Now that you already sorted it out, it's ok though. 😎

By the way, since I have not much idea about the OEMs, seeing that you only have one HDD, why can't you add an IDE CD-ROM to the on board controller directly?

GA-6VTXE PIII 1.4+512MB
Geforce4 Ti 4200 64MB
Diamond Monster 3D 12MB SLI
SB AWE64 PNP+32MB
120GB IDE Samsung/80GB IDE Seagate/146GB SCSI Compaq/73GB SCSI IBM
Adaptec AHA29160
3com 3C905B-TX
Gotek+CF Reader
MSDOS 6.22+Win 3.11/95 OSR2.1/98SE/ME/2000

Reply 27 of 60, by GXL750

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^Because in those systems, the IDE ribbon only has two connectors: hard drive and mobo and the latter is proprietary. Compaq, it'd seem, REALLY didn't want people changing around hardware in these computers. In fact, if I remember right, you need a floppy boot disk with BIOS configuration software anytime you change the arrangement of the ISA/EISA cards.

The computers were decently powerful and built like tanks and featured an easily accesible modular design so it's a wonder they steped in and made it such a pain in the rear to actually do anything to these machines.

If I still had my old Desktop 486, I'd probably have sprung for an EISA SCSI controller and went with SCSI for CD and hard drive as I imagine that would result in much smoother data movement than the built in IDE. Also, for these machines in particular, changing hard drives and such would be less annoying.

Reply 28 of 60, by Anonymous Coward

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If your drive bays are proprietary, then maybe an external SCSI enclosure for the CD-ROM drive would be the way to go.

"Will the highways on the internets become more few?" -Gee Dubya
V'Ger XT|Upgraded AT|Ultimate 386|Super VL/EISA 486|SMP VL/EISA Pentium

Reply 29 of 60, by 386_junkie

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That is a very nice machine, thank you for sharing. Your thread has caught me right in my Compaq phase / period.

I have been meaning to write these last few days but there is a few things I mean to cover here so will be a longer than ussual post. The first part I’ll address is the technical side which I hope will help get your system off the ground (if you haven’t got there already!).

Below are a set of links to the Softpaq file you’re looking for, which contain the latest Setup / Configuration Utility. You’ll need a floppy drive & disk to run and unpack the program onto to create a boot disk. I have spent so much time on the HP ftp servers these last few months searching, downloading and archiving peripheral drivers and EISA config utilities… lots of fun! Though these should serve your needs for this now…

ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softpaq/sp0000-0500/sp0308.txt
ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softpaq/sp0000-0500/sp0308.zip

ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softpaq/sp0000-0500/sp0316.txt
ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softpaq/sp0000-0500/sp0316.zip

Compaq bios utils 286/386

The more copies that are made and archived of these files... the less chance our hardware will be come completely useless. One of the downsides to our OEM, if you don't have the correct software, the hardware is useless.

Regarding the memory… you will need to be careful. There are a few memory expansion daughterboards out there and each has their own individual slot pin-out and can be similar to each other. The board you are looking for is here (not cheap I know): -

MEMORY EXPANSION BOARD COMPAQ 129160-001

For my own knowledge, what are both your system FSB and CPU core frequencies? I see it’s a DX processor in a s/20 machine, with a cache controller running at DX-25MHz.

I have a couple of older Compaq systems myself… the older Deskpro 386s/20 (SX version), and a Deskpro 486/33L. I also have a duo core 386 Systempro, but unfortunately it is without the original case.

The Deskpro 486/33L and Systempro (386/33 x 2) are pretty much identical in system design. The main difference though is that the Deskpro is smaller and has room only for one processor be it either a 386 or 486 compared to the Systempros ability to run two CPU's. The systems are compatible enough that you can transfer and interchange peripherals between these two systems… so I can upgrade the Systempro to a single 486 using the Deskpro processor, or, I can downgrade the Deskpro to a 386 transferring one of the processors to the Deskpro.

It is good to know that I am not the only one who is persistant with the conservation and preservation of these Compaq tanks. Again, excellent thread and lovely machine... a pleasure to see it.

Compaq Systempro; EISA Dual 386 ¦ Compaq Junkiepro; EISA Dual 386 ¦ ALR Powerpro; EISA Dual 386

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Reply 30 of 60, by foey

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386_junkie - Thanks for the comments. As I've been involved with other builds the machine has been up in my loft for a little while. I keep meaning to bring it down and have a play. We are in the process of having an extension so will have a office to myself then where I can setup all of the machines 😀

I'm sure I've tried the SP0308 file(s) the last time I made a setup disk SP0308.EXE, It runs but the setup part is not compatible with the EISA system.

I might try again with the links you've provided. I've not ordered another hard drive since it will require configuring in the bios. I have next to nothing on the hard drive with Windows 3.11 installed now! I'll try and grab some photos this week of the CD-ROM bay.

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Reply 31 of 60, by 386_junkie

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I was hoping to catch you before you posted again... as I've since realised you have already tried a few Softpaqs.

Something stuck me as odd before and I didn't think anymore of it... and it may just solve your EISA problem too! What I realised was the motherboard that you have in the case is part number; 129124-001 and is the same board used in the Deskpro M: -

Deskpro M Family

By scrolling down to "System bds"... you will see there is only one eisa bus part (which you have) and a list of parts showing all the combinations of different systems specs you can change to.

What this essentially means is... you should be using the Softpaq for the Deskpro M as the hardware contained inside the case is more aligned technically than the original 386s/20, if you get my meaning?

Here is a ready and updated Softpaq for you to use: -

ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softpaq/sp19501-20000/sp19619.txt
ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softpaq/sp19501-20000/sp19619.exe

Hopefully this one will help.

Compaq Systempro; EISA Dual 386 ¦ Compaq Junkiepro; EISA Dual 386 ¦ ALR Powerpro; EISA Dual 386

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Reply 32 of 60, by 386_junkie

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Systempro... in the making: -

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  • Two I say!.jpg
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Compaq Systempro; EISA Dual 386 ¦ Compaq Junkiepro; EISA Dual 386 ¦ ALR Powerpro; EISA Dual 386

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Reply 33 of 60, by foey

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Fantastic work 386_junkie - As soon as I get home I'll give the file a try and will report my findings 😀

Great work with the System Pro! What are the specs and have you any more photos of it?

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Reply 34 of 60, by 386_junkie

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foey wrote:

Fantastic work 386_junkie - As soon as I get home I'll give the file a try and will report my findings 😀

Great work with the System Pro! What are the specs and have you any more photos of it?

I did say... "Your thread has caught me right in my Compaq phase / period." 🤣

It turns out Compaq never made any outright EISA 'only' 386 machines. All the 386 s/e/n-20 derivations were all ISA. This would explain as to why you could never get your EISA working.

Here's a list of the 386 motherboards they produced: -

https://th99.bl4ckb0x.de/m/m386_2.htm

Just search the word "Compaq".

Will post more pictures / even make a thread of the Systempro later. It's specs are (2 x 386's w/ 16Kb hybrid cache) locked at 33MHz by the Crystal Osc... I have two motherboards, so I plan to mod one upto an 80MHz crystal to make FSB 40MHz. I have about 100 and something MB RAM in various sticks... most 80ns, some 70ns. Will make a proper thread post for sure.

For now... here's the rest of the family (meet 386s/20, 486/33L): -

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  • 486-33L.JPG
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Compaq Systempro; EISA Dual 386 ¦ Compaq Junkiepro; EISA Dual 386 ¦ ALR Powerpro; EISA Dual 386

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Reply 35 of 60, by foey

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386_junkie - I downloaded the setup files tonight and created the four disks. It loads up however the System setup asks for a disk - which I don't have, I've tried disks 2-4 but they are incorrect.

Compaq_1_zpsviidoclm.jpg

Compaq_2_zps2w6tyngm.jpg

Compaq_3_zpshsinva3a.jpg

I've had a nose round and none of it seems relevant for the machine. With the 308 disks it complained about EISA, but did display the system summary - although most of it was missing. 😕

EDIT :- Booted from the 308 disk again...

Compaq_308_zpsurgscntr.jpg

Ignoring the warning and pressing enter presents a very vague inspect...

Compaq_308_1_zps1kjiyrh0.jpg

Cyrix Instead Build, 6x86 166+ | 32mb SD | 4mb S3 Virge DX | Creative AWE64 | Win95
ATC-S PIII Tualatin Win9x Build :- ATC-S PIII Coppermine Win9x Build Log [WIP] **Photo Heavy**

Reply 36 of 60, by 386_junkie

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It's never plain sailing with these older proprietary systems... i've sat a couple of nights until 4am staring at the screen just to try and get the SCSI RAID Card to boot with NT3.1.

What I did was slightly unfair, I wrote to you the links for the most recent version of the CFG util which I have not yet tried.

Another suggestion would be to try these earlier releases: -

ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softpaq/sp1001-1500/sp1234.txt
ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softpaq/sp1001-1500/sp1234.exe

ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softpaq/sp1001-1500/sp1263.txt
ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softpaq/sp1001-1500/sp1263.exe

ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softpaq/sp1001-1500/sp1368.txt
ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softpaq/sp1001-1500/sp1368.exe

These are in the order of their release... I have tried and can confirm that sp1368 (3 disks) works for sure, with both the Systempro and Deskpro.

I hope one of them will work... as after this, I'll be fresh out of ideas. Having said, technically it should... as your EISA board is listed by Compaq as a Deskpro M part number.

Keep me posted.

Compaq Systempro; EISA Dual 386 ¦ Compaq Junkiepro; EISA Dual 386 ¦ ALR Powerpro; EISA Dual 386

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Reply 37 of 60, by 386_junkie

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p.s. Those screens are becoming second nature the amount of times I've had to cycle through them.

I was looking to ask you two things: -

1) What is your FSB for your system and the core of your CPU?

2) How do you post pictures like that in your thread, is there any special syntax used?

Thanks

Compaq Systempro; EISA Dual 386 ¦ Compaq Junkiepro; EISA Dual 386 ¦ ALR Powerpro; EISA Dual 386

EISA Graphic Cards ¦ EISA Graphic Card Benchmarks

Reply 38 of 60, by 386_junkie

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Schtop tha bus!

After some deep digging that even Ron Geremy would be proud of... I found a guy who bought the exact same machine as yours on the 9th of March 2014... I can confirm with conclusive certainty that you own a 386/25M... in a 386s/20 case. The link to the guys purchase is below: -

Compaq Deskpro 386/25M

The plot thickens...

This poor guy has been having problems of his own... not trying to get EISA to work (because that would be no fun at all would it?). Instead he is trying to install a tape drive, but unable to get his DMA to work on specific channels. Below is his story over on VCF & photo journal: -

His story over on VCF

Photo journal

In any case (excuse the pun!)... he does have his EISA working, albeit problems configuring his tape drive. The softpaq file he used was sp6144.... you're hoping for another link right about now, correct?

Well, have two: -

Direct from HP website

From google drive

What a journey... I rest your case.

Compaq Systempro; EISA Dual 386 ¦ Compaq Junkiepro; EISA Dual 386 ¦ ALR Powerpro; EISA Dual 386

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Reply 39 of 60, by spburke

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I just thought I set some things straight. I was the Product Manager for this product and it is actually not a DESKPRO 386s/20. This PC has the wrong logo on it. This is a Compaq Deskpro/M chassis and the processor inside is either a 386DX 25 or 33MHz. The Deskpro 386s/20 had a 386SX processor and the chassis was totally different. Note the processor board picture with the Intel processor clearly stating "DX". This Deskpro/M system has a separate Processor board, Memory board, Video board, and slide out I/O board. It was introduced in 1991. Pardon my nostalgia!