VOGONS

Common searches


Compaq armada 1750

Topic actions

First post, by Joakim

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

I bought a Compaq armada 1750 very cheap. Seems like a good retro gaming laptop with ok sound card and graphics card also has both floppy and cd and built psu. There were not much info other than that it posted with a hard drive error. I probably will change it anyway to an SSD if there is room for a 44 pin to sata converter.

The general condition looks ok, the battery has probably gone bad but also that is ok.

I never owned such an old laptop but I read something about the bios being stored on the hard drive, what is up with that 🤣.

Thoughts? Anything interesting I should know
about this about it? I will post some pics later.

Last edited by Joakim on 2021-05-25, 14:14. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 1 of 67, by chinny22

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Yeh BIOS on the HDD was one of the things that made Compaq "different" till around the P2/P3 era
Someone tried to tell me it was to make life easy for System administrators. 1 Central disk so replicate the same settings on multiple machines.
I'm not sure I'm buying that though 😜

Anyway looks like sp8975.exe is the "softpack" your after. Run that and it'll create the boot disk for you.
http://cwcyrix.duckdns.org/ftp-archives/ftp.c … paq/sp8501-9000

Don't know much about the laptop itself but think it'll be late enough to work on generic drivers... probably, maybe

Reply 2 of 67, by Joakim

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Cool thanks. Seems to be a quite common machine so should be possible to find drivers...

Oh here is the recovery cd. What ever that is. Bloated windows 98 maybe! Sounds like like a fun experience! Maybe I'll get a free month of aol.

https://archive.org/details/compaq_quickresto … 100_40212100295

Reply 3 of 67, by Joakim

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

So I picked it up and the disk you chinny22 referred to works. Floppy works, fan is spinng and battery is at least not completely dead. Cmos battery is dead but what who cares. The reason why the computer was not working is that the previous owner removed the hard drive. Which is ok. What is less ok is that he threw away the entire HDD caddy. He was quite clear with it not working so I won't return it.

Are these connectors proprietary or can I get an adapter and fit it to an SSD and fill the space with cardboard or what ever? I don't have the right measuring tools but I'd say the connector is about 32 mm wide. And I count 50 pins. I think 2.5" IDE are 44 pins?

Now that I think about it, I think this is the compact flash interface. I think I saw someone repairing an old laptop and just putting a CF card into the slot.

IMG_20210525_192932.jpg
Filename
IMG_20210525_192932.jpg
File size
841.98 KiB
Views
684 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

Reply 4 of 67, by Rikintosh

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

The connector is proprietary, but many companies from that time use it.

I had several 1750. Did you get it with a big screen or a small screen? There are several versions of it. The ideal is with an 8MB ATI video card, you recognize it, because on the right side, there is a video output connector for TV. This is ideal for games. The other version, has a weak video card, which in addition to not running 3d games, also cannot stretch the image on the screen, without everything being checkered and out of proportion.

I recommend you to put some plastic restorer on it, as it is known to dry the carcass, and break it into pieces. Also clean the hinges, and lubricate them, if they are too hard, some of mine broke when opening, as they were too hard. It has an amazing sound system, great speed, capable of working with windows xp fluently, and if your video card is ATI, it will run many old games perfectly.

In the days of glory, I loved turning it on in the living room tv, and playing rollcage

189928982_1843504975825224_1123327899670034270_n.jpg?_nc_cat=106&ccb=1-3&_nc_sid=730e14&_nc_ohc=CZmQwadayyAAX8d5NMP&tn=XlNAftIAGRKhK8lz&_nc_ht=scontent.fcgh10-1.fna&oh=aa2f986a64b4c8d8ecf52c9f9bd2e67b&oe=60D2D62B

I'm developing a game manager frontend for Win 9x, take a look: https://rikintoshsmultimediamanager.blogspot.com/

Reply 5 of 67, by Joakim

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Well there is a composite out on the right side if that is what you are referring to. The bios does not state the ram, but it sais ati rage pro lt. It's a 300 MHz processor and the screen is around 14 inches which is a nice size. Model number can be seen on the back.
What do you think?

IMG_20210526_075043.jpg
Filename
IMG_20210526_075043.jpg
File size
991.05 KiB
Views
656 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception
IMG_20210526_075158.jpg
Filename
IMG_20210526_075158.jpg
File size
1.08 MiB
Views
656 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

I have never heard of "plastic restorer" I will try to find it. I do agree that the plastic is brittle at some places. I changed the cmos battery yesterday and I one of those clips holding down the keyboard broke in (two!) places. I managed to glue the clip together though.

Generally the thing was just a little dirty on the speaker outlet / palm rest, HDD caddy missing and a little more than normal amount of scratches on the top lid. Someone seems to have been scratching away a marking. I figure it was once owned by a company with their own marking there.

The Compaq logo had a yellowed plastic cover that I managed to carefully peel away which made it look much better I might cover it with some protective film later.

IMG_20210526_081820.jpg
Filename
IMG_20210526_081820.jpg
File size
1.09 MiB
Views
656 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

Reply 6 of 67, by Rikintosh

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

excellent, ATI Rage, is perfect for games of that time.

If you want to pan the internet, there are accessories for this model, some compatible dockstations / port replicators have been launched. One that comes to mind, is the Armada Convenience Base II with USB, Monitor Stand-Conversion Kit. There was even something that made it a kind of desktop, with a monitor on top. You can also remove the disquette, and install a second battery, or this rare accessories: Zip Drive, SuperDisk LS-120 Drive, DVD-ROM Drive Kit.

Other accessories: External Battery Charger, Portable Video Conferencing Kit, Armada Headset with microphone, Universal Monitor Stand, and several compaq laptop cases

This is the small screen
41ug1O6LGzL._AC_SX355_.jpg

This is the bad version (crappy video card), without tv out port . Note that next to the USB port there is no TV outlet
s124188753423935592_p92_i2_w960.jpeg

There was a version with a large screen, which had a high resolution display, I don't remember what the resolution is now, but it was above 1024x768.

You can see all the factory settings by looking at the label below it:

"ARMADA 1750 6300/T14/6400/D/M/1"

Several companies have this.

Armada = Serie
1750 = Model
6300 = Intel serie 686 (Pentium II), at 300mhz
T14= 14.1 inches TFT screen (and a "T" "alone", if the screen is 13 ou 12 inches)
6400 = HD Size (6.4GB)
D = ?
M = ?
1 = ?

I don't remember those last ones, but it has to do with the amount of ram, video card and factory operating system. Something hypothetical: D = 64mb ram, M = ATI RAge, 1 = Windows 98 (where: 0 = win95, 1=win98, 2 = win NT)

Mine originally came with a 13-inch 800x600 display. But I bought this bigger one, 1024x768. You can change the display for a higher resolution without making any changes, just open and change the parts. His processor, if I'm not mistaken, can also be replaced. Mine's is 366mhz. But I believe that there were versions up to 450mhz.

Just out of curiosity, if you really liked this model, there are cousins of this guy, his cousins are the Compaq Presario 1200 (With thousands of spec variants. Some have a funny flaw: They just erase the bios out of nowhere! So you buy one that is not calling, that probably has this defect, will pay a trifle, and with a bios recorder, you rule the rom, and have a functional retro notebook for a bargain!), and the Compaq Presario 1800. Going a little further, there is a model with a debatable taste, but it was the first notebook created to run games. The Compaq Armada 7800. He has an S3 ViRGE / MX, which was a commercial failure. But it is very interesting for collection purposes.

-----------------------
edit: In fact it has bios like any other computer. It is just not accessible, there is no configuration utility in the rom, because the compaq would like to be "different". Then there is a program that you can download on the internet, which will create a floppy disk, you boot from that floppy disk, and it will create a small partition on your hard drive, which will store the configuration utility that manages the bios. You will access the bios by pressing F10 (as in all hp and compaq). I believe that you will easily find the original factory restoration cd on archive.org, this cd has the ultilitario that creates the partition in hd for the ultility of the bios.

I'm developing a game manager frontend for Win 9x, take a look: https://rikintoshsmultimediamanager.blogspot.com/

Reply 7 of 67, by Joakim

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
Rikintosh wrote on 2021-05-26, 22:28:
excellent, ATI Rage, is perfect for games of that time. […]
Show full quote

excellent, ATI Rage, is perfect for games of that time.

If you want to pan the internet, there are accessories for this model, some compatible dockstations / port replicators have been launched. One that comes to mind, is the Armada Convenience Base II with USB, Monitor Stand-Conversion Kit. There was even something that made it a kind of desktop, with a monitor on top. You can also remove the disquette, and install a second battery, or this rare accessories: Zip Drive, SuperDisk LS-120 Drive, DVD-ROM Drive Kit.

Other accessories: External Battery Charger, Portable Video Conferencing Kit, Armada Headset with microphone, Universal Monitor Stand, and several compaq laptop cases

This is the small screen
41ug1O6LGzL._AC_SX355_.jpg

This is the bad version (crappy video card), without tv out port . Note that next to the USB port there is no TV outlet
s124188753423935592_p92_i2_w960.jpeg

There was a version with a large screen, which had a high resolution display, I don't remember what the resolution is now, but it was above 1024x768.

You can see all the factory settings by looking at the label below it:

"ARMADA 1750 6300/T14/6400/D/M/1"

Several companies have this.

Armada = Serie
1750 = Model
6300 = Intel serie 686 (Pentium II), at 300mhz
T14= 14.1 inches TFT screen (and a "T" "alone", if the screen is 13 ou 12 inches)
6400 = HD Size (6.4GB)
D = ?
M = ?
1 = ?

I don't remember those last ones, but it has to do with the amount of ram, video card and factory operating system. Something hypothetical: D = 64mb ram, M = ATI RAge, 1 = Windows 98 (where: 0 = win95, 1=win98, 2 = win NT)

Mine originally came with a 13-inch 800x600 display. But I bought this bigger one, 1024x768. You can change the display for a higher resolution without making any changes, just open and change the parts. His processor, if I'm not mistaken, can also be replaced. Mine's is 366mhz. But I believe that there were versions up to 450mhz.

Just out of curiosity, if you really liked this model, there are cousins of this guy, his cousins are the Compaq Presario 1200 (With thousands of spec variants. Some have a funny flaw: They just erase the bios out of nowhere! So you buy one that is not calling, that probably has this defect, will pay a trifle, and with a bios recorder, you rule the rom, and have a functional retro notebook for a bargain!), and the Compaq Presario 1800. Going a little further, there is a model with a debatable taste, but it was the first notebook created to run games. The Compaq Armada 7800. He has an S3 ViRGE / MX, which was a commercial failure. But it is very interesting for collection purposes.

-----------------------
edit: In fact it has bios like any other computer. It is just not accessible, there is no configuration utility in the rom, because the compaq would like to be "different". Then there is a program that you can download on the internet, which will create a floppy disk, you boot from that floppy disk, and it will create a small partition on your hard drive, which will store the configuration utility that manages the bios. You will access the bios by pressing F10 (as in all hp and compaq). I believe that you will easily find the original factory restoration cd on archive.org, this cd has the ultilitario that creates the partition in hd for the ultility of the bios.

Interesting info! I have yet to find a hard drive caddy though. Created an other thread about this. Would be fun to test it out. I have grown somewhat fond of it already..

Reply 8 of 67, by BitWrangler

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Mine has the ATI, yay... I haven't given it very much attention in the past, had a trashed win98 install on it that I couldn't be bothered sorting out, and FIPs partitioned the drive to put a knoppix variant on it... which isn't working now, I don't remember if it even installed right or whether I was still trying to fix it. I was mostly booting it off a Puppy CD after that... which is also not working right now... think it snuck a save file somewhere with broken settings. (Many live CD linuxes seem to have screwed up setting saving and screwed up install to HDD options, multiple fails on multiple machines with multiple distros and release versions) . Anyhooooooooooooo thanks for the tip about the Rage, it was getting detected as Mach64 and Mach64 drivers weren't quite working right... not entirely sure it doesn't still have a hardware bug to work out though. I'm gonna try the right drivers, and give CMOS setup the once over. Probably rejected this as a DOS gamer in the past due to lack of screen scaling, but the screen is very responsive, no blur.

2017: Basement full of ancient PC stuff, starting to go through it. 2021: Still starting, heh, many setbacks. So what's this BitWrangler guy's deal ??? >>> Taming the pile, specs to target?

Reply 9 of 67, by Rikintosh

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

I would recommend you to buy another 1750, even if it is damaged, but it has the caddy. You will pay the same price as the caddy, but you will have spare parts, which are every day, but rare and expensive.

I'm developing a game manager frontend for Win 9x, take a look: https://rikintoshsmultimediamanager.blogspot.com/

Reply 10 of 67, by Joakim

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
Rikintosh wrote on 2021-05-27, 18:39:

I would recommend you to buy another 1750, even if it is damaged, but it has the caddy. You will pay the same price as the caddy, but you will have spare parts, which are every day, but rare and expensive.

yes the thought has crossed my mind. its like what they do with vintage cars. 😀

Reply 11 of 67, by Rikintosh

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

Exactly. I worked with computers and cars, it is amazing how the knowledge of one is applicable to the other, even though they are different things.

I'm developing a game manager frontend for Win 9x, take a look: https://rikintoshsmultimediamanager.blogspot.com/

Reply 13 of 67, by Joakim

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

According to this site

http://www.fabiware.com/compaq-caddy-caddie-r … -1750-p-78.html

The following notebooks have the same caddy (as the armada 1750):
Compatible: Compaq Armada 1505DM - Compaq Armada 1510DM, 1520DM, 1550DMT - Compaq Armada 1530DM w/MMX - Compaq Armada 1540DM w/MMX - Compaq Armada 1560DM - Compaq Armada 1571DM - Compaq Armada 1573DM - Compaq Armada 1575DM - Compaq Armada 1580DMT w/MMX - Compaq Armada 1585DMT w/MMX - Compaq Armada 1590DMT w/MMX - Compaq Armada 1592DMT - Compaq Armada 1598DMT - Compaq Armada 1700 6233/T/4000/D/M - Compaq Armada 1700 6266/T/4000/D/M - Compaq Armada 1750 6300/T/4000/D/M - Compaq Armada 1750 6333/T/6400/D/M - Compaq Armada 1750 6366/T/6400/D/M - Compaq Armada 1750 6400/T/10000/D/M - Compaq Prosignia Notebook 120 6233/T3200 - Compaq Prosignia Notebook 122 6266/T4000 - Compaq Prosignia Notebook 140 6266/T4000 - Compaq Prosignia Notebook 144 6333/T4000 - Compaq Prosignia Notebook 160 6300/T6000 - Compaq Prosignia Notebook 161 6333/T4000 - Compaq Prosignia Notebook 162 6366/T6400 - Compaq Prosignia Notebook 165 6333/T4000 - Compaq Prosignia Notebook 165 6366/T6400 - Compaq Prosignia Notebook 165 6400/10000 - ATTENTION , incompatible:ARMADA 1500C

Maybe this list will be helpful for someone in the future.

Reply 14 of 67, by BitWrangler

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Finally got to installing the proper graphics drivers and the setup on my 1750 last night, yay. I might wanna do a full reinstall though, 98 seems to have some components missing. However, I got it to play some games, in postage stamp mode, then I dug through the ATI driver advanced panels and found the scaling option. Which might seem to save a setting to the card??? I don't know how but seems to have fixed DOS mode scaling too, but IDK if that was an anomaly.

DOSsy stuff was working great too, DN3D, wolf3D even, I had thought that wolf ran too fast but I must have been using older versions, because the one I found on a PC Gaming mag disk was 1.4 and it worked great.

MIA is my NFS3 disk 🙁 wanted to see how that did, but guess I could DL the demo.

2017: Basement full of ancient PC stuff, starting to go through it. 2021: Still starting, heh, many setbacks. So what's this BitWrangler guy's deal ??? >>> Taming the pile, specs to target?

Reply 15 of 67, by Joakim

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Cool. What installation did you use? I'm planning on trying out the restore cd or whatever (win 98) I found on archive.org. it should have the drivers preinstalled I guess. But at some point I would probably grow tired of the bloat and install regular win 98 se. Don't think I will dual boot this machine with DOS 6.22.

Reply 16 of 67, by BitWrangler

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

I didn't use one yet, just the install that came on it which I'm not sure was right.

edit: oh the graphics drivers were sp8940 but looking for newer, they only support dx7 thinking of trying sp17515 (Ati packaged 98/2k/xp together, not sure compaq did)

2017: Basement full of ancient PC stuff, starting to go through it. 2021: Still starting, heh, many setbacks. So what's this BitWrangler guy's deal ??? >>> Taming the pile, specs to target?

Reply 17 of 67, by Joakim

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Oh ok. I'm investigating this lack of caddy still.. seems like the list I posted should be complemented with armada 3500 and armada 4100. I've been looking in all the different series' maininrnce manuals and noted the names of the hard drives that they shipped with. No luck on finding one yet. 😒

Reply 18 of 67, by BitWrangler

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

I am hoping one turns up for you soon.

Today I got SP16706 which only listed the E and M Armadas, which shared some previous graphics driver updates, because it was a 2001 release and there was nothing later than Jan 99 listed for 1750, which wouldn't know about DX8. So I unpacked it, then did it as a driver upgrade from device mangler in case the compaq installer barfed on it not being an E500.. which told me it wasn't the best driver because it wasn't WHDL signed, but ignored that and made it install anyway. DXdiag will now happily spin it's boxes in DX8 and DX9 mode. The game that complained, monster truck rumble, now ran, though shadows are a bit weird on it, black squares or a big black patch in ogl renderer. With them off it ran acceptably. The game is nowhere near as good as Monster Truck Madness, Screamer 4x4 or 4x4 Evolution though. Extreme Motocross (From the same bargain pack) ran fast and was quite fun when I could stay on the bike. Might get into that more when I hook up a gamepad.

2017: Basement full of ancient PC stuff, starting to go through it. 2021: Still starting, heh, many setbacks. So what's this BitWrangler guy's deal ??? >>> Taming the pile, specs to target?

Reply 19 of 67, by Joakim

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

I'm not much of a racing gamer to but I remember Microsoft motocross madness being fun. Like many other games I only played the demo though. I had to spend my money on renting star trek voyager on VHS or something instead of games. 😉