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Thread: Compaq Contura 4/25 won't power on

  1. #1

    Default Compaq Contura 4/25 won't power on

    A friend of mine gave me an old laptop, from what i can see it's a compaq contura 4/25, 486, 200 mb HD, bw screen, no trackball, no touchpad, no pointing device at all.
    Battery was dead, obviously, my multimeter indicated 0V.
    I changed the CMOS battery, attached a power supply, and a bright yellow light started to glow. But the laptop wouldn't turn on.
    If I take out the battery, neither the yellow led nor the laptop will turn on.

    So, do someone have this laptop? Is it normal that it doesn't power on if the battery is completely discharged or missing?

    BTW, the battery seems to charge a little bit... it is now 1.50 V after about 1 hour of charge. Would a high voltage zap help it, or is it completely useless at this point?
    Last edited by Echoes; February 4th, 2009 at 09:46 AM.

  2. #2


    I have one of these, it works so I never spent much time otherwise on it. Did you check the contacts for the battery?
    @ BillDeg:
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  3. #3


    I'll do it tomorrow, but... could you check, when you'll have the time, if you can power it on with the battery removed?

  4. #4


    My Contura 3/25 had this problem as well (When it was younger) A quick 12v zap to the battery woke it up to that the laptop could charge it.

    Try that, 12V for 10 seconds
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  5. #5


    I just confirmed, you do need the battery installed to boot the computer without having to go through the BIOS setup, but the computer will allow a person to boot from a diskette without the battery. My system boots to Windows 95, but it was originally a 3.1 system that has been upgraded. I have the 4/25c with the color monitor. I remember when these were new.

    Did you try zapping the battery back to life?


    p.s. I am going to leave my Contura powered up for a few hours to recharge the battery.
    Last edited by billdeg; February 5th, 2009 at 05:11 AM.
    @ BillDeg:
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  6. #6


    Well, I zapped the battery about 20 minutes ago. I'll check the status in a few hours.

    BTW, you said

    you do need the battery installed to boot the computer without having to go through the BIOS setup
    But my problem is different! With or without the battery, it doesn't power on at all
    It seems like it needs a charged battery to power on, and I say this because:

    1. Completely discharged (0V) battery + AC charger = no sign of life
    2. Partially discharged battery (1.5V) + AC adapter = leds blink toghether like if it was powering on, then everything dies
    3. No battery + AC adapter = no sign of life
    4. No battery + no AC adapter = just guess this one

    If zapping doesn't work I'll try to connect a 12V stabilized power supply instead of the battery. After that, I'll just try to use it as a fridge magnet.

  7. #7


    The computers seems totally dead.

    I'll get another one (same model, but probably working) in a few days.

    Thanks for your help, guys

  8. #8


    Wow! The contura 3/25 powers on but it has no ram at all (and guess what, the ram connector it's different from the one on the 4/25). And it seems also that a bios eeprom is missing.

    Anyone wants one of those for 5€ + the price of the shipping?

  9. #9


    FYI - Here is a link to pictures of my 4/25c
    @ BillDeg:
    Twitter: @billdeg
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  10. #10


    FIY <- I had to search for this

    I could fix it maybe, but I don't have the time (at least not right now). I think I'll just give it away, this is not a big loss anyway.


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