View Full Version : Compaq Portable III Setup floppies...

September 1st, 2013, 08:50 PM
I just purchased a compaq portable III and this computer is so cool. It boots but I get the all to famous:

00640 KB OK
162-System Options Not Set-(Run Setup)
Insert DIAGNOSTIC diskette in Drive A:


Now I did not receive any boot, diagnostics or setup disks with the machine, but I know they can be made, but that would require a working 5.25" floppy drive and/or 3.5" floppy to burn the image... I do not have any yet. I remember the day I looked at my dual 3.5" / 5.25" floppy drive, you know the one that fits in the standard 5.25" bay, saving space... and said to myself should I keep this, nah, I'll never need this thing again... and chucked it... oh, well.

I was hoping someone would of created a set to sell on EBay.com for all those people who are selling units displaying such a message as above... maybe there is not enough demand for them as I think there is =)

Any how, I was wondering, out of the wealth of vintage computer enthusiasts, here on vintage-computer.net, that someone probably has an extra set for sale, if so, I need the 5.25" floppy version... please PM me and let me know how much, etc.

I would appreciate it very much... =)


September 2nd, 2013, 01:15 AM
Whereabouts on the world are you?

September 2nd, 2013, 01:19 AM
Honolulu, Hawaii
-> Home of Hawaii 5-0 the TV Show... =)

September 2nd, 2013, 03:39 AM
Scan some threads here about Compaq Portable III repairs. In one of them, I was given the link to the digital files and recreate the disks from scratch. Sorry that I can not paste you the links. Reading the old threads made me completely refurbish my CP3. Coming up with the disks myself was part of the fun.
In case you still don't have it in 2weeks time PM me..maybe I can copy and send you the disks.

September 2nd, 2013, 03:32 PM
Yes I agree, I have mine in parts right now, doing the wash treatment and learning how to take it apart, and put it back together again. I actually want to fix that rotting keyboard first... Its a real bummer that you can have such a clean unit but the darn keyboard cable is always brittle and falling apart. So I am looking through the forums for that too. I actually found some really good pictures someone took while refurbishing their CP3... Hey, I am going to call to call this project CP3-Oh play on words for C3P0... But I love this site because its a really great resource for those of us who still like to tinker with the "good 'ol stuff" =) And the folks here are pretty friendly so far... and that makes all the difference!

September 2nd, 2013, 04:20 PM
When I had a Compaq portable II had the same cable rot. What I did basically was I trashed the old cable except the 2 connector ends. I then wired/spliced in a cable from a junker keyboard I had. Just had to match the ends for clock, data, ground 5volts etc. Looked really nice when done. And cost almost nothing except time ohming out the cable and figuring which wire went where.

So something to think about.

Look here near the bottom for the reference disks. Which have the setup program. http://oldcomputers.net/compaqiii.html

September 3rd, 2013, 11:56 PM
Thanks Chromedome45!

Yes, I found those links and even a still working compact/hp ftp directory that had those files, but the problem is putting them on a 5.25" floppy, I do not have any computers with 5.25" floppy drives except for the cp3 which I am trying to fix.

I am actually getting a setup disk from a member now - so I am focusing on the keyboard cord... I too am going to use a second-hand keyboard I picked up on EBay... I think its an IBM model M w/ a DIN connector. I also picked up a brand new IBM model M cord (only) w/ an RJ-45 connector. I am not sure if I snip off the RJ-45 connector if the wires are the same, but I figure if I have enough to match up the ends, any extras, if any, could be disregarded... and since I have my cp3 open I am going to change the battery as well. Any tips on that? I saw a suggestion or link to a battery site that sold compatible batteries for the cp3... links on my other computer. At any rate, thanks for tip!

October 7th, 2013, 01:52 PM
Okay, this is embarrassing but I will post it here just in case it might help someone else =)
I received setup disks from a couple members and when I received them I tried to use them and the drive could not read them so I was bummed... here is what I did not know and the embarrassing part, I placed the disk in the drive but did not lock it. On my compaq portable plus I would put a disk in my 5.25" drive then turn the switch/level to the right to lock the drive and go about my business... I am use to that kind of 5.25" drives, but I never had to "push button" type of locking mechanism found on the compaq portable IIIs... sheeesh.

So you put the floppy into the drive then push the button in until it clicks or locks... now the drive will read the disk... if not, then it is something BIGGER and might need some adjusting, but for a working drive, that's how you do it = P

hope that helps...