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Thread: Compaq Portable First Model Number?

  1. #1
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    Default Compaq Portable First Model Number?

    I am looking to buy a Compaq Portable for my collection but want to make sure I get the original model. Does anyone know the model number scheme they used?

    I have seen Compaq A 2 and Compaq A 3 on the back of the machines... is there an A 1?

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    OK so maybe you can enlighten me a bit. A Plus is not their earliest portable, and differs from one how? The Plus is what I got. Worked fine when I got it, 2005 - 2006, stopped working while sitting in storage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2icebitn View Post
    OK so maybe you can enlighten me a bit. A Plus is not their earliest portable, and differs from one how? The Plus is what I got. Worked fine when I got it, 2005 - 2006, stopped working while sitting in storage.
    I thought the main difference with the Plus was that it came with a hard drive rather than dual floppy? I don't know what the actual model number designation is though. I'm surprised, given the Portable's importance in the scheme of things, that this isn't better documented. Maybe I'll have to start an auction tracker for it like I did with the Apple II and start answering questions.

    It's interesting because on important machines you can always google 'low serial number <insert computer name here>' and you'll always find a collector or such that has an early unit. But can't seem to find anything on google for the Portable.

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    Where would it say the model number on the machine? I have a Portable I can check on that I believe was made within the first year of production although I haven't looked into it yet.

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    It is on the back... around where it mentions the voltages thr machine uses.

  6. #6

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    The original Compaq Portable will say (if it's an earlier unit) "Model: COMPAQ", and nothing else. If it's a later unit, it will say "Model: 101709". This can all be found on the label on the left side of the machine under the sliding cover for the power supply.

    The easiest way to tell is to just look for the silver badge that just says "Compaq" and nothing else. If it has that, it is an original Compaq Portable.

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    I'll check on that tomorrow when I get a chance. I do know the badge on the front just says Compaq so it is an original Portable

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    Quote Originally Posted by compaqportableplus View Post
    The original Compaq Portable will say (if it's an earlier unit) "Model: COMPAQ", and nothing else. If it's a later unit, it will say "Model: 101709". This can all be found on the label on the left side of the machine under the sliding cover for the power supply.

    The easiest way to tell is to just look for the silver badge that just says "Compaq" and nothing else. If it has that, it is an original Compaq Portable.
    Both my Portable and my Plus have "Model 101709" on them.

  9. #9
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    Back in the day I bought a Portable; had 256K ram in it. I don't remember the date, but I paid a bit extra to get DOS 2.11 because it increased floppy storage from 320K to 360K.

    A year or two later I paid the local store to upgrade the memory from 256K to 640K. I was told at the time they needed to swap the BIOS out so the motherboard could see the memory. I've been told here the Plus has the same BIOS as a standard portable. Back then I was told the BIOS not only recognized the greater ram, but allowed booting from a hard drive in a manner similar to the difference between a 5150 and a 5160.

    I do know the Plus machines had stronger power supplies to handle the hard drive. One way to tell the older machines is that the started out with two full-height floppy drives just like the ones on a PC. Later they switched to half-height drives with a full-height face plate.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Casey View Post
    Both my Portable and my Plus have "Model 101709" on them.
    Oops! You’re right, the “101709” can be a plus or original. I forgot about that. Sorry for the confusion. As I said though, just look for the silver badges that just have the Compaq logo and nothing else. Those are the originals.

    The Original and Plus both use the same, 130W PSU. It was the smallest PSU with that kind of power capacity at the time IIRC.

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