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Old 08-15-2004, 04:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default BIOS Setup and HD formatting trouble

I have an old Compaq 7730 Armada 166Mhz laptop, and I can't find any key to setup the BIOS, when the machine boots. I have tried DEL, ESC, ENTER, F1, F2, and numerous combinations of CTRL+ALT+<something> I've read about.

I haven't unfortunately found which model my BIOS is. When booting, the machine shows just the amount of RAM, no sign of BIOS manufacturer anywhere.

With F10 I can get into some kind of Compaq - setup, but it's not the BIOS Setup I've used to see.

Any ideas, anyone, please? I'd want to boot the machine with the CD-rom. This is not possible currently.

Second,

The machine had an NT 4.0, wich, unfortunately, didn't co-operate very well. I was unable to uninstall the NT (the installation log was missing) nor was I able to clear the HD. So, I used the DISKKILL program.

Then I made a MS-DOS boot disk, but now the C: can't be found. ("Invalid drive specification"). I can't format or even inspect the C: using the Boot disk.

I understand the HD has still the NT file system (is it the NTFS?) or something, and the MS-DOS can't read the HD... I'm I right?

How could I format the HD again and set the BIOS? I'm planning to install Win98, which maybe runs better than the NT in that old machine of mine.

All help is very much appreciated, I'd be very thankful for any advice!

yours,

Matti J.
Finland
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Old 08-15-2004, 05:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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f10 gets you to setup then hit f12 to bios
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Old 08-15-2004, 06:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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http://h18007.www1.hp.com/support/fi...load/8099.html

The trouble with the old compaq's is that they had hardrive bios-firmware. killdisk took that out. I don't know if this will work but above is a link for 98 firmware for your notebook. it's an update,that's why I don't know if it will work for sure.

bear with me I'm trying to learn from this too
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Old 08-15-2004, 08:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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So, there's is light in the midst of darkness, after all... Thank you, derrmc, I'll try those and post here later...
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Old 08-15-2004, 09:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It didn't work out. My device was not supported by this upgrade.

However, I got info about my HD.

* HD Model is IBM-DCRA-22160
* Firmware level is A83AD8

I'd quess it's possible to find something from the net - maybe some other patch or even the original files. I'll try.

Thanks this far.

Matti
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Old 08-15-2004, 10:51 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I found the following post By Mark Sisson at

http://forums1.itrc.hp.com/service/f...hreadId=202485

"The reason you've lost the option to ente rthe BIOS is on the older Armadas the BIOS is accessed through a software partition on the hdd. Since the unit has likely had a retail windows image loaded on it that partition is now missing."


I then downloaded a program,
( see http://h18000.www1.hp.com/support/fi...load/8409.html )

with which I was able to enter setup. I tried to config the HDD, and gave it the IRQ/DMA/memory settings (without any conflicts)

It didn't solve my problems, thou.

This seems to be culminating on one issue: How can I get the machine recognize the HDD? The MS-DOS boot diskette still says "Invalid drive specification" when I try to get into c:\ or format c:\

How is that mysterious software partition recovered, then?
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Old 08-15-2004, 12:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I run the Bios setup from a disk (see link above).

I had two choices: Start setup or install setup. When trying to install, I was told: "A diagnostic partition does no exist. Use the PC diagnostics diskette to create a partition".

How can I get one? Can I create a working HDD with this? Any ideas?
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Old 08-15-2004, 03:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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http://members.driverguide.com/drive...driverid=12708

You might try this if you can get an a: driverguide user name is driver and pw is all. d/l w906 zip and extract to floppy. type ez at a: install ez bios if it detects your hardrive. it will also partion and format it
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Old 08-15-2004, 03:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Latest news:

I've downloaded two files from the Compaq support site.

The other makes me a BIOS setup disk, the other diagnostics disk.

unfortunately, the diagnostics disk isn't bootable like it should.

I registerd on the compaq support forum as well. Let's see...

I'll try that tool of yours as well, derrmc, Thank you!
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