VOGONS


First post, by NoNameNeeded

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Does anyone know where to get a manual for this thing (not service manual but the normal operating manual)?
Also, does anyone know where to get the floppy drive images you need to create the BIOS partition?
I've read it doesn't have a real BIOS but a partition on the hard drive which serves as a BIOS partition...

Reply 1 of 8, by jaZz_KCS

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All the necessary drivers and diskette images as well as all existing manual types can be found here.

I used this to restore and fully install my Contura 400c.

--> https://support.hp.com/us-en/product/compaq-c … s/96242/drivers

Reply 2 of 8, by Nvm1

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NoNameNeeded wrote:

Does anyone know where to get a manual for this thing (not service manual but the normal operating manual)?
Also, does anyone know where to get the floppy drive images you need to create the BIOS partition?
I've read it doesn't have a real BIOS but a partition on the hard drive which serves as a BIOS partition...

True it uses a small partition for the Bios and Systemhealth tools. I have a 400CX in fully working condition.
Since I am at work I cannot look now but somebody has a site dedicated to Contura and Contura Aero notebooks which has the best and latest drivers all on it.

Reply 3 of 8, by jaZz_KCS

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Also keep in mind that the Diagnostic/BIOS partition is not necessary for normal operation. (It is even tedious to implement if you use smth like overlay software for example.)

You can simply use the BIOS bootdisk set (2 disks, "setup" and "diag/inspect") to enter the BIOS Setup Utility.

The partition is simply used to copy over the contents of the two floppies so you're able to open the BIOS at system startup without the need of the BIOS Floppy.

You can forego the BIOS partition and just store the BIOS diskette somewhere safe. It's all you need to enter BIOS.

Like in the oldern days where you needed a "System Reference Disk" in order to change BIOS/Hardware settings.

Reply 4 of 8, by NoNameNeeded

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Ok, thx for your answers but I've already found the software anyway.
And as you said, you don't really need to install the stuff onto the "hard disk" (in my case it's a cf card sitting on an IDE adapter), the floppy disk seems to be enough. But I've tried to install it and everything seemed to work fine and when you hit F10 it loads the mouse driver, shows the compaq screen for the blink of an eye and then it complains about a "Bad Command Interpreter", so for some reason it won't load the BIOS settings from the hard disk anyway.
But since I can use the floppy disk instead, it doesn't really matter to me.

Does anyone have a manual for the computer?
I still can't figure out how to reset this thing, apart from pressing ctrl+alt + the power button which completely shuts down the notebook.
Nor can I figure out how to use the Fn functions.
Or at least not all of them, e.g. I can set the brightness and contrast (at least I think so) but only in DOS mode (that's why I can't say much about the contrast since everything is just black and white anyway) but this doesn't seem to work in Windows.
In Windows I don't get to see the settings box and the brightness doesn't seem to change.

Reply 5 of 8, by AmiSapphire

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If it existed at some point, it may be MIA anyway. (Unobtanium?) Even after exhausting Google and DuckDuckGo, I pretty much searched Compaq's old archived website from 2000 all the way to 1996.

I was actually downloading an archive of the original Compaq FTP server (not the current HP server) so I can mirror it to my server (like the Intel FTP archive contents). That server was online until it was finally yanked by HP in mid-2017, a few days after I discovered it by accident. However, I am not sure if even the original Compaq FTP archive has such a manual; I may know by mid-May. I'm not optimistic, however. [Quite frustrating, most information pre-Pentium either disappear from the Internet quite early or never actually made it in the first place.]

--

Short of removing the CMOS battery (and of course the main battery) and waiting a few minutes, I am not sure of a known shortcut key combo to reset CMOS.

The Hotkeys should be similar to the Armada, though only one hotkey doesn't exist for the Armada:

Fn Hotkeys

F3: Shift Lock (?)
F4: Display Switch
F5: PC Speaker Volume Control
F6: QuickLock/QuickBlank
F7: Power Management Selection
F8: Contrast
F9: Brightness

Computer in my collection that had too much work done is... Compaq Armada 1573DM!

- Original DSTN panel replaced with an HPA panel
- Left hinge repaired twice
- Front panel replaced twice
- Replaced busted inverter
- Chassis replacement

Reply 6 of 8, by NoNameNeeded

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Thx for your answer!

I didn't mean to reset the CMOS battery but only to reset the machine, like you would do by pressing ctrl+alt+delete but sometimes that doesn't work so you need to reset the machine in order to get it to work again.

And yes, at least the brightness control, the power management and volume control do work, but only in DOS, not in Windows. Maybe that's normal?

Reply 7 of 8, by Nvm1

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If I remember correct the SP1329.exe from the Compaq/HP FTP has some drivers/tools for the hotkeys under windows 95.
The original download location is gone so you need to google yourself where to download it 😵

Reply 8 of 8, by NoNameNeeded

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Yes, I've alraedy fount it and I've installed all the stuff and there is a tab called "Hotkey popup" in "Display properties" now which lets me choose the position of this popup but these popups only seem to work in Dos, not in Windows...
Strange.