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Thread: Compaq Deskpro 386/20e Restoration

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Maidstone, Kent - United Kingdom
    Posts
    2

    Wink Compaq Deskpro 386/20e Restoration

    Hi All,

    I'm new here - about 5 years ago I saved a Deskpro 386/20e from being put in a wheely bin, it sat in a cupboard until last night. Managed to get it booted up

    I'm planning to restore and relive some of my 80s childhood memories and I'm sure this forum will be of massive assistance to me in the process.

    All The Best.
    Karl

  2. #2

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    With the unicorn CRT. Well done! The 386/20e is my favorite Compaq (well, right after the original SystemPro). The perfect combination of size and power and I really like the feel of the keyboard. Wrote a lot of code on one of those.

    Dave...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    434

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    As stated before Coolest desktops Compaq put on the market... and indeed with the unicorn CRT, just love the power switches on the desktop and screen. Really awesome!
    Oh man, this isn't happening... it only thinks it's happening. - Kevin Flynn

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Maidstone, Kent - United Kingdom
    Posts
    2

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    I've ordered a 16Bit SB Pro Card (later model CT4170 but it was v. inexpensive) some Retr0brite, and have started searching for memory expansion board - any pointers as to good places to look other than eBay would be much appreciated.

    My networking skills are pretty non-existant - but given that I've been gifted an NE2000 compatible ISA card, I'm planning to try and get that set up so that I can share files easier than lots of 3.5" disk swapping.

    I'm sure in the process you'll find me back here asking for advice on a regular basis.

  5. #5

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    Memory expansion boards are pretty rare for that system. Biggest problem is that most people who are using them won't part with them, and those that do part with them know what they have and charge premium prices for them.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the 386/20e an EISA system???

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by T-R-A View Post
    Memory expansion boards are pretty rare for that system. Biggest problem is that most people who are using them won't part with them, and those that do part with them know what they have and charge premium prices for them.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the 386/20e an EISA system???
    The memory boards aren't anything like the Portable 386's - if you're a little patient they will show up on eBay (even though the OP doesn't want to look there).

    The 386/20e was still ISA - the first EISA desktop from Compaq was the 386/33L. Pretty much the same design language, but a full width box (and man are they heavy!).

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by resman View Post
    The 386/20e was still ISA - the first EISA desktop from Compaq was the 386/33L. Pretty much the same design language, but a full width box (and man are they heavy!).
    Yep, I remember now. Sad to think that this was during Compaq's heyday. Most Deskpros, SystemPros and early Prosignias were the most reliable and stable systems I ever ran across. Configuring some were a little strange, but I don't think I ever had one lose a P/S (and thankfully---since they're proprietary). Had an opportunity to grab a Dual-386 Systempro, but passed on it (really dumb)....

  8. #8

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    I have 4 NOS memory expansion boards, and have access to more. Just let me know if you want any and I'd probably part with a couple.

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