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Thread: Compaq Prolinea 4/50: Mystery connector

  1. #1
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    Default Compaq Prolinea 4/50: Mystery connector

    I recently managed to obtain a Compaq Prolinea 4/50 system, sadly missing its CPU thanks to one of those gold scrapper types. I noticed a strange expansion slot next to the CPU socket.

    https://i.imgur.com/qyiKJgL.jpg

    What is this expansion slot for? I imagine it's for some piece of hardware that a higher ranked model of Compaq would have had but what would that have been?

  2. #2

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    Possibility that it's for a RAM/cache expansion card. Where's the location of the current memory and how much is installed?
    Last edited by T-R-A; August 5th, 2019 at 12:42 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-R-A View Post
    Possibility that it's for a RAM/cache expansion card. Where's the location of the current memory and how much is installed?
    There's 3 sticks in the 3 RAM slots, two identical GoldStar branded sticks of unknown capacity and then a single 4MB stick. I'd imagine the GoldStar sticks are probably 8MB each because they're double sided (a bunch of chips on one side and then like 3 or 4 on the other). I won't know for sure how much each stick is until I either look up the part number or find a CPU to test this thing.

  4. #4

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    Spent some time digging through the old Compaq Quickspecs CD...apparently they called your model a "Prolinea - Enhanced", at least for purposes of the CD info. For starters, here's a jumper settings list in case you need it:

    Prolinea450Jumpers.JPG

    Couldn't find any specific info on the board, though I did find a photo of it. The parts listing shows a 128Kb cache module, part # 197005-001. A Google image search for that turns up an ebay auction photo of something that looks like it would fit in that slot, though the link to the ebay auction is dead. Looks to me like T-R-A guessed correctly.

    Wesley

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by itsvince725 View Post
    I'd imagine the GoldStar sticks are probably 8MB each because they're double sided (a bunch of chips on one side and then like 3 or 4 on the other). I won't know for sure how much each stick is until I either look up the part number or find a CPU to test this thing.
    If the module has 8 chips on one side and 3/4 on the other, it's parity memory. The additional memory chips are used as parity bits and don't actually contribute to the usable capacity of the stick. If you can get a part number off of one of the 8 chips and there was a datasheet available, it'd be easy to figure out the capacity.

    If the 3rd stick is not a parity module, then none of the modules can run in parity mode for parity checking. Parity is the predecessor to ECC, it can detect bit errors, but it can't actually correct them. If the system detect a parity error, it'll just throw up a "PARITY ERROR, SYSTEM HALTED" message and lock up.

    If you need a CPU for the machine, I have a spare DX/2-66 if you need it. I'd have to put it in a machine to see if it worked still, it has been sitting in a drawer for over a decade.

  6. #6
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    This looks like the Service Manual for your system I believe.

    http://matthieu.benoit.free.fr/pdf/prolinea_family.pdf

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiGaBiTe View Post
    If the module has 8 chips on one side and 3/4 on the other, it's parity memory. The additional memory chips are used as parity bits and don't actually contribute to the usable capacity of the stick. If you can get a part number off of one of the 8 chips and there was a datasheet available, it'd be easy to figure out the capacity.

    If the 3rd stick is not a parity module, then none of the modules can run in parity mode for parity checking. Parity is the predecessor to ECC, it can detect bit errors, but it can't actually correct them. If the system detect a parity error, it'll just throw up a "PARITY ERROR, SYSTEM HALTED" message and lock up.

    If you need a CPU for the machine, I have a spare DX/2-66 if you need it. I'd have to put it in a machine to see if it worked still, it has been sitting in a drawer for over a decade.
    I managed to get my hands on a DX-2 66 myself and get the system booted today, despite 3 RAM sticks it states there's 16MB of RAM (that must mean a RAM stick isn't being recognized because there's no way 3 sticks can equal 16MB). Yeah, they're definitely parity SIMMs based on your description, my guess is that the 4MB non-parity stick isn't being recognized and the two parity sticks are 8MB each.

    I'm assuming this is one of those Compaqs that requires a diskette to get into setup because none of the typical keys (Esc, Del, F1, F2, F8, F10, etc) do anything. It's apparently SP1363.EXE but I dunno where to actually find the file.
    Last edited by itsvince725; August 6th, 2019 at 01:45 PM.

  8. #8

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    ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softpaq/sp01001-01500/

    sp1363.exe is in the directory...

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by itsvince725 View Post
    ... there's no way 3 sticks can equal 16MB).
    4 + 4 + 8 = 16.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  10. #10
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    It turned out I was doing my math wrong! There's 4MB onboard so 4MB onboard plus 12MB worth of SIMMs = 16MB.

    Thanks for the link! I was just finding the text file.

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