VOGONS


First post, by khyypio

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This is my friends old Compaq and I´m going to refurbish it for him. However, I could use a little guidance from people wiser than myself 😀

First, this is what I have to work with: The case is very, very dirty but otherwise it´s in excellent condition, no yellowing or bad scratches, so the outside parts will only receive a thorough cleaning. I will disassemble this computer completely and I´m going to paint the bare frame in almost similar beige as the case, it´s a little bit darker than the original beige because the store I visited didn´t have the perfect match but that´s fine. And yes, I will do it right with a proper primer and matt lack finish, it will NOT flake off! The hard drive is missing, but that´s fine because I would´ve replace it with an IDE2SD adapter anyway. I will also throw a SB Live! CT4830 in there mainly because I have an extra one.

Upgrades my friend made in the 90s:
- 200 MHz Pentium CPU
- Orchid Righteous 3D
- two 16 Mb SIMM sticks.

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This computer originally had Windows 3.11 but we agreed that Windows 95 OSR 2.5 would be a better option. There´s something that I´m a bit worried though, and what I could use a little help with: I don´t what kind of driver solution would be best for the integrated on-board chipsets, nor can I even find any. Here´s what we can see from the pictures:
-Opti Viper 82C556M, 82C557M and 82C558M

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- graphics chipset S3 Trio64V+ H0C3CC and S3 Scenic/MX2 GOA3CC

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- and sound chipset ESS Audio Drive ES1788F

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I will be updating this thread as this project proceeds to completion and there will be a new video in the end, of course 😀

Reply 2 of 16, by PC Hoarder Patrol

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Nice looking system 😀

The support files for these old Compaqs are normally remarkably easy to track down as all the SoftPaqs are still available online, both thru the HP ftp site and from the many independant mirrors of the same...e.g. this SoftPaq for the Trio64V+ is SP1879 (there may be newer ones as well) and supports Windows 95 on the Presario 9500 series. Here's a link to the readme file

ftp://ftp3.hp.com/pub/softpaq/sp1501-2000/sp1879.txt

Reply 3 of 16, by khyypio

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Small update:

There was another chip hiding behind the modem

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Here´s the stripped frame

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And here it´s recovering from spray poisoning

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Reply 4 of 16, by chinny22

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This seems like a pretty good page.
http://www.driversguru.com/manufacturer/HP-pi … 63194%3E3768941

If you check the 2nd "Download Now" option for the driver (Not the installer) you can see its linking back to HP's FTP.

It may not have an individual page for the 9538 but alot say the 9500 series (alot of the time the hardware was the same across the series with a small change like a CPU the only difference)

earlier Compaqs accessed bios from a bootdisk/system partition, which if your missing the HDD you won't have. The "Personal Computer Setup" in the list from the site above looks to be what you'll need.

Compaq created their own motherboard chipsets but everything else (like the onboard sound/video) has a 90% chance of working with generic drivers.

I agree should be nice little project. Once you get the new HDD setup all working should be like running up any other PC

Reply 5 of 16, by khyypio

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chinny22 wrote on 2020-05-26, 14:49:
This seems like a pretty good page. http://www.driversguru.com/manufacturer/HP-pi … 63194%3E3768941 […]
Show full quote

This seems like a pretty good page.
http://www.driversguru.com/manufacturer/HP-pi … 63194%3E3768941

If you check the 2nd "Download Now" option for the driver (Not the installer) you can see its linking back to HP's FTP.

It may not have an individual page for the 9538 but alot say the 9500 series (alot of the time the hardware was the same across the series with a small change like a CPU the only difference)

earlier Compaqs accessed bios from a bootdisk/system partition, which if your missing the HDD you won't have. The "Personal Computer Setup" in the list from the site above looks to be what you'll need.

Compaq created their own motherboard chipsets but everything else (like the onboard sound/video) has a 90% chance of working with generic drivers.

I agree should be nice little project. Once you get the new HDD setup all working should be like running up any other PC

Thanks! This is very helpful.

Here´s a couple of new pictures:

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Reply 6 of 16, by khyypio

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I thought that by now this project would be finished with a video but a few parts are still on the way. So, here´s a little photo of my cabling solution.

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Reply 9 of 16, by wiretap

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Looks 95% the same as my Presario 9232. The one in your pictures appears to have the extra 1MB graphics RAM for the onboard Trio64 as well. There's a wavetable header on the motherboard you can use for MIDI in DOS with the ESS sound which is quite good. I put a Dreamblaster S2 in mine. Also, you can find the Compaq Presario 9548 Quick Restore CD on Archive.org which may work on the 9538. I ended up finding the quick restore CD's for my 9232 on eBay.. I believe it also covers the 9500 series, but you need to input your serial number which would normally be on the rear of the case just below the PSU fan exhaust.

Circuit Board Repair Manuals
Turbo Display Project
Dual Socket 8 Project

Reply 10 of 16, by jakethompson1

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Does the cd-rom give you any trouble opening or closing? If so the trick I found out on here about boiling the belt (or replacing it with an o-ring if it's broken) I've been able to revive several drives.

Reply 11 of 16, by khyypio

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Well, here´s the deal: two months ago I ordered an SD2IDE adapter from some sort of importer in Finland which turned out to be just a rip-off. The order had to be paid in advance but the product never arrived, the guy doesn´t reply to my emails and he´s not returning my money. So I had to order it elsewhere and this project got delayed yet again. If not these setbacks, I would´ve finished this project and the video a couple of weeks ago. So, here´s couple of pics to show that this computer is coming together nicely:

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wiretap wrote on 2020-06-12, 01:30:

Looks 95% the same as my Presario 9232. The one in your pictures appears to have the extra 1MB graphics RAM for the onboard Trio64 as well. There's a wavetable header on the motherboard you can use for MIDI in DOS with the ESS sound which is quite good. I put a Dreamblaster S2 in mine. Also, you can find the Compaq Presario 9548 Quick Restore CD on Archive.org which may work on the 9538. I ended up finding the quick restore CD's for my 9232 on eBay.. I believe it also covers the 9500 series, but you need to input your serial number which would normally be on the rear of the case just below the PSU fan exhaust.

Thanks for the tip, I´ll download that restore CD for sure!

jakethompson1 wrote on 2020-06-12, 21:33:

Does the cd-rom give you any trouble opening or closing? If so the trick I found out on here about boiling the belt (or replacing it with an o-ring if it's broken) I've been able to revive several drives.

It indeed gave me trouble, but it started working after tinkering with it a bit. However, it turned out to be a painfully slow 4x CD-ROM so I decided to replace it with a 32X that I had.

Reply 12 of 16, by khyypio

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I finally got the SD adapter and I bought a 16 Gb card for it. There´s a problem though: I don´t know how to boot this thing! 😁 Win95 bootdisk doesn´t work, Personal Computer Setup doesn´t work, I even tried partitioning and installing OS on another computer but it doesn´t help. I partitioned it into two C and D, both 7,5 Gb. Chinny22 said earlier that the new hard disk needs some sort of special boot partition. How do I do that?

Reply 13 of 16, by NautilusComputer

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If the Compaq software to create the partition didn't work, all by itself, you'll need to boot from a floppy and likely do an 'fdisk /mbr' to write the Master Boot Record onto the SD. Might also need to mark a partition as 'active' in fdisk, too.

Reply 14 of 16, by khyypio

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NautilusComputer wrote on 2020-06-25, 10:10:

If the Compaq software to create the partition didn't work, all by itself, you'll need to boot from a floppy and likely do an 'fdisk /mbr' to write the Master Boot Record onto the SD. Might also need to mark a partition as 'active' in fdisk, too.

I created a bootable floppy of the Personal Computer Setup executable but it doesn´t work. I can´t boot even to DOS with Compaq, I partitioned and formatted the SD card with another computer. So, preparing the SD card on another PC step by step:
1. I place the Win95 CD and Win95 bootdisk, and boot from the floppy
2. in A:, I go to fdisk, delete everything, create the new partitions (C as primary and D as extended, 7.5 Gb each)
3. I set C as active and escape to DOS and restart
4. I format C (format c: /s) and D (format d:)
5. Go to A:, and type "fdisk/mbr"
6. Swap the SD card into Compaq

Should everything be set at this point?

Reply 15 of 16, by PC Hoarder Patrol

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I did kind of expect the Diagnostic/SETUP disk SP2141 to work as it mentions restoring 'a destroyed' diagnostics partition

http://cwcyrix.duckdns.org/ftp-archives/compa … 2500/sp2141.exe
http://cwcyrix.duckdns.org/ftp-archives/compa … 2500/sp2141.txt

so maybe try the previous version just in case

http://cwcyrix.duckdns.org/ftp-archives/compa … 1500/sp1363.exe
http://cwcyrix.duckdns.org/ftp-archives/compa … 1500/sp1363.txt

also might be worth trying the the aboves partner disk, Diagnostics/TEST, to see if the machine will at least boot

http://cwcyrix.duckdns.org/ftp-archives/compa … 2000/sp1986.exe
http://cwcyrix.duckdns.org/ftp-archives/compa … 2000/sp1986.txt

Hopefully you don't need a Recovery CD for this as they seem to be only available on request from Compaq

Reply 16 of 16, by khyypio

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PC Hoarder Patrol wrote on 2020-06-26, 10:23:
I did kind of expect the Diagnostic/SETUP disk SP2141 to work as it mentions restoring 'a destroyed' diagnostics partition […]
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I did kind of expect the Diagnostic/SETUP disk SP2141 to work as it mentions restoring 'a destroyed' diagnostics partition

http://cwcyrix.duckdns.org/ftp-archives/compa … 2500/sp2141.exe
http://cwcyrix.duckdns.org/ftp-archives/compa … 2500/sp2141.txt

so maybe try the previous version just in case

http://cwcyrix.duckdns.org/ftp-archives/compa … 1500/sp1363.exe
http://cwcyrix.duckdns.org/ftp-archives/compa … 1500/sp1363.txt

also might be worth trying the the aboves partner disk, Diagnostics/TEST, to see if the machine will at least boot

http://cwcyrix.duckdns.org/ftp-archives/compa … 2000/sp1986.exe
http://cwcyrix.duckdns.org/ftp-archives/compa … 2000/sp1986.txt

Hopefully you don't need a Recovery CD for this as they seem to be only available on request from Compaq

Thanks! I´ll check those out.

Since this project turned out more difficult than I anticipated, I decided to make this a 2-part video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYdpuJPVYC8&feature=youtu.be