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Thread: Compaq Portable 386 RAM Modules?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Illinois, USA

    Default Compaq Portable 386 RAM Modules?

    Anyone know offhand whether or not the Compaq Portable 386 uses standard-ish RAM? I don't really know a ton about post-4164, pre-DDR stuff as of yet so it's hard for me to say...At any rate, mine's only got 1MB which is a bit skimpy for early Windows/DESQView usage/anything other than "A faster AT" type stuff so I'd like to bump it up a bit. Also, is it normal that the internal IDE controller is borderline incapable of touching the MBR on any sort of solid state media? I had to use a 100GB workbench HDD partitioned down to 300MB to get anything that worked. My DeskPro 386 - similar vintage - could use them just fine, however...
    Last edited by MrArgent; May 27th, 2019 at 10:09 AM.

  2. #2


    The RAM is proprietary and only available in 512K sticks. It also has to be fitted in pairs, so you'll have two 512K sticks fitted to make up the standard 1MB, and two empty slots to add another pair for a total of 2MB. Beyond that there are 1MB and 4MB RAM expansion boards (also proprietary) that fit in the expansion bay in the lower corner of the case, but to use them you also need an adaptor board to actually connect them to the motherboard. Everything about these machines is a proprietary mess, and nothing is ever simple or works quite how you'd expect.

  3. #3


    And if you do find the expansion boards on any auction site, expect to pay a small fortune for them. They're pretty rare, and most sellers know that.


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