View Full Version : Compaq Portable 2 - Unable to boot from Hard Disc

May 27th, 2013, 12:41 PM
As the title states, I now own a Compaq Portable 2 that was given to me along with several vintage computers, mostly Apple's, and Macs.

However the Portable 2 computer won't boot, throwing an error stating "System Options not set; Insert Diagnostic disc in drive 'A'" . I went to and downloaded a setup disc image which I was able to extract using my 5150. The problem with the setup I got though, is that it was released for use with the Compaq Portable 3. So of course, it won't work. So far the only setup discs, or disc images I've found are all for the Portable 3.

The computer will boot from floppy in the A drive, but without the floppy, the system cannot see the hard disc at all, which is why I need to get the BIOS utility.

Does anyone have a copy of the BIOS setup disc for the Compaq Portable 2? Once I run the setup, I have no doubt that the computer will be up and running just fine.

So far, the keyboard on the Portable 2 feels good and solid, the case and all of the logos are present and in great condition; even inside! It is apparent that someone took very good care of this machine; unlike my Portable 1 which needs a new replacement for the outer plastic shell, and proper hard disc drive cover along with a complete keyboard refurb.

Any insight will be helpful.

May 27th, 2013, 01:01 PM
Hey BB 1st off you posted in the wrong area the Portable 2 is a 286 class machine.

PM Me your email and I will send the setup/Diags disks.

May 29th, 2013, 04:07 PM
Update... Thanks for the assist on this computer, but I have another issue that is keeping me from using the disc images on the computer. Unfortunately, I only have 360Kb floppy drives and discs, and the computer needs 1.2 Meg diskettes in order to hold the disc images for the BIOS setup program. At this point, we don't know if there is anything on the hard drive, only because the computer can't see it in the BIOS.

I hate to ask, but does anyone here have the 2 discs I need in order to run the BIOS setup program? Also, is there a battery backup that helps the computer keep those settings once setup has been completed? If there is a battery backup, I'll replace the battery if possible, with a "AA" battery pack, and load it with new Alkaline batteries.

Please contact me via PM to discuss how to get the BIOS setup to me.

Thanks again.

May 29th, 2013, 04:40 PM
Unfortunately, I only have 360Kb floppy drives and discs, and the computer needs 1.2 Meg diskettes in order to hold the disc images for the BIOS setup program.Methinks you need to rethink/rebuild your tweener. Get a 1.2MB drive. I've got lots of 5.25" DS/HD 1.2MB disks.

May 29th, 2013, 04:46 PM
Me thinks we need to buy some 1.2 Meg floppy discs too. I have a 360Kb/1.2Meg drive somewhere, but I think it had some problem or other. So I'm already looking into buying another to add to the tweener. The tweener will actually have 2 5.25" floppy drives, and 1 3.5" drive. The system will accept 4 diskettes, so it shouldn't be too big of a problem. The only thing holding me back is the money. I can grab a few bucks to pay someone for a set of BIOS setup discs for the Portable 2, but I can't afford another drive just yet.

Thanks though. I know if you would have had what I needed, we wouldn't be having this conversation. I would be sending you a few bucks to compensate for the discs, and shipping and I would be a happy camper.

Oh, well. I'll keep my eyes and ears open.

May 29th, 2013, 05:11 PM
Send me the images and I'll send you the disks. :-) I'm already going to the PO tomorrow to send some other disks out.