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Thread: Compaq Portable ii boot disk

  1. #1

    Default Compaq Portable ii boot disk

    Picked up a very nice Compaq Portable ii today. Doesn't want to boot off the provided boot disk. I found this executable file (SP0316.exe) googling around. It seems to unpack two more files when you run it. I am assuming they are disk images that I should be able to just write to a 360K disk in my 5170?? Doesn't seem to be working. Get a "non-system disk or disk error" when I power on.

    The two unpacked files have kind of strange extensions. Not something I have seen on a normal disk image before.

    The unpacked files are


    Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks, Chris

  2. #2


    They're in Compaq QRST (Quick Release Sector Transfer) format. You'll need to write them to a floppy using Compaq's tool (qrst.exe) or LibDsk.

  3. #3


    Found it, thanks.

    That is what I get for running the extraction in a folder that already had some files in it. Didn't even see that little QRST file hiding in plain sight. Making disks now, wish me luck

  4. #4


    No luck with the new disks. Guess I need to accept the possibility that if could be the drive that is the problem.

    Any recommendations? The drive light comes on like it's trying to read the disk. Then it gives a "non-system disk or disk error" message.

    I should also add that the CMOS battery is out. Was dead as a door knob. Wouldn't think that would stop it from booting up though?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Northern Nevada


    If your Portable II has the push-button floppy drive, make sure you push the button in after inserting the disk, this clamps the spindle and moves the heads into position...

    Ask me how I know... :P

    BTW, I've read that if the battery is too low to hold the settings, you can put a AA alkaline in place... it will hold the settings but the clock will run slow. The Tadiran 3V lithium battery is available on Amazon.

    My 20MB hard drive is bad, but I put a compact flash to IDE adapter in one of the card slots and it works great with a 1GB Sandisk CF card being used as a 503 MB hard drive.

  6. #6


    Yeah, I figured out the push button about an hour ago. Boots up fine now. I did just order a new battery from Amazon a few minutes ago. May try sticking an AA in to see if it will hold the settings short term till the new battery arrives. Would make it easier to play with if I don't have to go through the setup every time I turn it on. Machine seems like it has seen remarkably little use. Doesn't even have the usual dust collected inside the power supply. Still need to wipe it down and scrub a little but expect it will clean up very nicely. Only real flaw is the cracked and deteriorating keyboard cable. All of the keys seem to work for now. Guess we will see how long those foam discs hold up. Any ideas on where to source a new keyboard cable??

  7. #7


    Does anyone know if the keyboard cable is the same between the Compaq Plus and Compaq II?


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