VOGONS


Compaq prolinea 486

Topic actions

First post, by Baoran

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
compaq1.jpg
Filename
compaq1.jpg
File size
1.78 MiB
Views
715 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception
compaq2.jpg
Filename
compaq2.jpg
File size
1.91 MiB
Views
715 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception
compaq3.jpg
Filename
compaq3.jpg
File size
1.42 MiB
Views
715 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

I got my hands on an old compaq prolinea 486 pc. I generally don't like pre-built PCs because of non-standard parts that are not easy to replace if something breaks.
It seems this compaq pc has some good things about it though:

1) it seems to have ps/2 ports for both mouse and keyboard.
2) It has a coin battery on the motherboard so no leaking.
3) Based on the jumper settings diagram it seems to be able to accept lots of different 486 CPUs.
4) There does not appear to be any electrolytic capacitors on the motherboard. At least I have not been able to find any.
5) The PC appears to be quite small, so it doesn't take a lot of space.

I have not been able to test it because the vga connector on the motherboard appears to require a vga cable that has 1 pin missing, but the person who I got it from says that it works.
Before I decide if I want to keep it or not, I have few questions for anyone who has experience of these prebuilt systems.

1) is the power supply that these compaqs use a standard AT power supply that can be replaced?
2) Do these have PCs any cache on the motherboard?
3) If they have cache, how much ram can be cached?
4) Are there anything else good or bad about these PCs that I should consider when I decide to keep or not to keep it?

Reply 2 of 29, by Baoran

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

I think it is prolinea 4/50S
I tried finding out the answer online to those questions before asking them here and I got the impression that all of those prolinea 486 PCs are pretty much the same except the cpu, the amount of ram and hard drive changes. This one seems to have been upgraded bit already because it seems to have 32Mb of ram, cd-rom drive and 3Gb hard drive.

Reply 3 of 29, by Caluser2000

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Can't find official system L2 info but I'd imagine it'd be 126k-256k possibly upgradible to 512. Those Prolineas are damn solid systems. Found this- https://www.atarimagazines.com/compute/issue1 … rolinea_450.php

Just drill a hole in the connector for the vga cable to fit. Also I'd upgrade the processor to a 486/DX2/66 processor.

There's a glitch in the matrix.

Reply 4 of 29, by Baoran

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
Caluser2000 wrote:

Can't find official system L2 info but I'd imagine it'd be 126k-256k possibly upgradible to 512. Those Prolineas are damn solid systems. Found this- https://www.atarimagazines.com/compute/issue1 … rolinea_450.php

Just drill a hole in the connector for the vga cable to fit. Also I'd upgrade the processor to a 486/DX2/66 processor.

How small drill bit I would need to drill something like that without breaking it?

Reply 5 of 29, by torindkflt

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
Baoran wrote:

How small drill bit I would need to drill something like that without breaking it?

the tip of a safety pin or bulletin board push pin should be fine. If the plastic in the port is soft enough, that's all you might need...otherwise, you might also have to heat up the tip of the pin with a lighter to help it push into the plastic and form the hole.

Reply 7 of 29, by Baoran

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
torindkflt wrote:
Baoran wrote:

How small drill bit I would need to drill something like that without breaking it?

the tip of a safety pin or bulletin board push pin should be fine. If the plastic in the port is soft enough, that's all you might need...otherwise, you might also have to heat up the tip of the pin with a lighter to help it push into the plastic and form the hole.

Thanks. I will try that. Now only one question remains. Anyone knows if the power supply can be replaced with something considering it must be 25 years old? Main thing is if the power connectors on the motherboard are standard AT connectors and if the power switch can be used with another AT power supply or perhaps with ATX power supply and an adapter?

Reply 9 of 29, by oeuvre

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Prolineas and Prosignias used proprietary power supplies. Liek Cal said, keep 'em clean and dust-free and they should be okay.

HP Z420 Workstation Intel Xeon E5-1620, 32GB, RADEON HD7850 2GB, SSD + HD, XP/7
ws90Ts2.gif

Reply 10 of 29, by Baoran

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
oeuvre wrote:

Prolineas and Prosignias used proprietary power supplies. Liek Cal said, keep 'em clean and dust-free and they should be okay.

Still they will fail one day and it is kind of disappointing to me that nothing exists that can be used to replace failed one when it happens.

Reply 11 of 29, by Ultrax

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

The inside of that looks *exactly* like the inside of my Deskpro. I'd assume my Deskpro as well uses a proprietary power supply. Which reminds me, I need to crack open that power supply and give it the air compressor treatment. 😀

Very, very solid machines. Definitely keep it.

P.S. About the CMOS battery, I believe this a replacement one with the tabs and everything. If you get one of these from any retailer, be sure to make sure the number on your battery matches. It's a solder-in replacement AFAIK. I'm going to be purchasing this for my Deskpro soon since it's battery is gonzo, and since it has 32 MB of RAM, going through the RAM check twice isn't fun. https://www.amazon.com/RAYOVAC-BR2335T3L-BA-B … N/dp/B00DKYJ1FS

I wouldn't worry about the power supply. As everyone else has said, keep it dust-free and you are fine. However, you should consider having it recapped in the coming years. Do that, in conjunction with not power cycling it a lot, and it'll last a very, very long time. Even so, I see replacement PA-4151 units all over the place.

Ultrax
__
Presario 425|DX2-50|8MB|SB V16S|D622/WFW3.11 😎
Deskpro XE 450|DX2-50|32 MB|NT4.0/95
SR2038X|Athlon 64 X2 3800|2G|GT710 WINXP
Dimension 4400|P4 NW 2 GHz|256M|R128U AGP|WINXP
HPMini311|N270|2G|9400M|WINXP
Libretto50CT|P75|16MB|YMF711|WIN95 😎

Reply 12 of 29, by Tiido

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

I have had a number of these sort of Prolinea 486 machines and they used standard AT PSU, nothing non standard. High quality capacitors in them too and proper heatsinks etc., very nice things.

The main issue with these machines is lack of cache. ET4000/W32 is nice and makes Windows very smooth but no cache makes these machines way slower than they should be...

T-04YBSC, a new YMF71x based sound card & Official VOGONS thread about it
Newly made 4MB 60ns 30pin SIMMs ~
mida sa loed ? nagunii aru ei saa 😜

Reply 13 of 29, by chinny22

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Another option is to snap the pin off the vga cable as cables are cheap.
As everyone has said and you are noticing with the motherboard Compaq (pre HP merger) parts were always good quality it the non standard that's the only issue, but It'll accept isa cards, CPU's, IDE drives fine and the LPX form factor is nice and stackable, It'll be a nice little dos machine IMHO

Reply 14 of 29, by Baoran

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

I finally managed to actually turn the pc on and test it. It is surprisingly quiet pc.
It seems that the bios settings + diagnostic software is on a separate hard drive partition.
Anyone knows if there is any way I can backup that software in case the hard drive fails or I decide to change the hard drive?

Reply 15 of 29, by Caluser2000

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

The setup softpaq for your system should still be available on HPs ftp site. I never really used used it. When swapping drives as long as the drive was usually within size parameters the system usually auto detected it.

There's a glitch in the matrix.

Reply 17 of 29, by Baoran

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
Caluser2000 wrote:

How did you figure out which one is correct for it? Just wondering because that file is older than the pc I have. All the parts in my pc seem to be from 1994.

Edit: Also the file seems to be way too small to be the software. It should be at least couple of megabytes.

Reply 18 of 29, by Caluser2000

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
Baoran wrote:
Caluser2000 wrote:

How did you figure out which one is correct for it? Just wondering because that file is older than the pc I have. All the parts in my pc seem to be from 1994.

Edit: Also the file seems to be way too small to be the software. It should be at least couple of megabytes.

Ok, try sp4711.exe found that on this site it's certainly described as being correct:
-
https://drivers.eu/PC/Compaq/ProLinea%204%2F50s/Firmware

Crap more stuff here as well https://drivers.eu/PC/Compaq/ProLinea%204%2F50s

There's a glitch in the matrix.