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Thread: Compaq DP4000 Flashing Lights

  1. #1

    Default Compaq DP4000 Flashing Lights

    Hi Guys,
    Someone gave me a Compaq DP4000 6333 a few weeks back and I finally got a chance to clean it and attempt to boot it up. However, all I get are two flashing lights (one for power, the other for hard drive). No beeps codes.

    I have disconnected the floppy, hard drive and CD, leaving only the video card, network card and modem, along with two sticks of memory.

    Is anyone familiar with this machine (I hate Compaqs), Compaqs in general, or have an idea what the flashing lights indicate? I know Compaqs are weird with their own idiosyncrasies. I'm not going to go crazy over this machine. Either it works or it goes to the recycling center.

    Thanks...Joe
    Last edited by Grandcheapskate; October 7th, 2020 at 12:51 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
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    Austin, Texas
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    Try replacing the CMOS battery, the PSU and the RAM.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by GiGaBiTe View Post
    Try replacing the CMOS battery, the PSU and the RAM.
    I figured I might have to do those things, in addition to removing the modem and network card. And possibly swap out the PII CPU. And just to make things more difficult, this Compaq model does not have a removable battery. Even though it uses a standard lithium battery, the battery is somehow permanently attached to the motherboard and is not removable. The manual indicates you need to add an external battery and leave the old battery in place. If I can use AA batteries great, if not, I am not going to spend money buying a battery specifically for this machine.

    I was hoping even with a dead battery I would get some reaction, such as beep codes, but with Compaqs who knows.

    Thanks...Joe

  4. #4

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    I got rid of the flashing lights and the machine booted up cleanly using Hiram's boot CD. I re-seated everything and that must have been the issue.

    I have another question about this machine. I am going to wipe it clean and start from scratch. However, after I got the machine running and looked at the hard drive, I see what is labeled as an EISA partition. The manual makes no mention of EISA and I doubt this is an EISA machine...I'm guessing EISA was gone by the PII era.

    Was EISA gone after 486s or did it stay around a while?

    Thanks...Joe

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    2,222

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grandcheapskate View Post
    And just to make things more difficult, this Compaq model does not have a removable battery. Even though it uses a standard lithium battery, the battery is somehow permanently attached to the motherboard and is not removable. The manual indicates you need to add an external battery and leave the old battery in place.
    I hate laptop manufacturers that do this.

    The "easy" solution is to desolder the battery from the board, which is generally not terribly difficult, and then running wires to some void within the laptop and soldering on a battery holder and putting the battery there. If space is an issue, you can solder the wires directly to the battery by scuffing the surface on the battery with sandpaper beforehand so the solder sticks. Then wrap it in electrical tape or heatshrink, whichever is more available.

    It sounds like your laptop doesn't have a suicide CMOS battery, but there are quite a few laptop models out there which will not even try to POST if the CMOS battery is flat. Flashing lights, black screen, etc. is common in my experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grandcheapskate View Post
    I got rid of the flashing lights and the machine booted up cleanly using Hiram's boot CD. I re-seated everything and that must have been the issue.

    I have another question about this machine. I am going to wipe it clean and start from scratch. However, after I got the machine running and looked at the hard drive, I see what is labeled as an EISA partition. The manual makes no mention of EISA and I doubt this is an EISA machine...I'm guessing EISA was gone by the PII era.

    Was EISA gone after 486s or did it stay around a while?

    Thanks...Joe
    The EISA partition on laptops is usually used for holding OEM specific information, like diagnostic programs or parts of the BIOS. I would not delete the partition, in fact I'd recommend making a bit for bit backup copy of it somewhere because Compaq machines of that vintage are notorious for requiring a partition like that for the machine to function properly. And since HP decided to be scumbags and delete all of the old software on their website, finding the program to remake that partition could be neigh impossible.

    The EISA slot on the other hand stuck around well into the Pentium III era on servers. While it wasn't a widely used slot in userland, it did find a niche in servers and there were quite a few expensive network and disk controller cards made for the slot. As a result, it was kept around for a good while, even though PCI had long since superseded it. The last time I saw EISA slots was on a late 90s Dell Poweredge server with dual PIII-550s. Microsoft supported them up to Windows 2000 and completely dropped support for them in Server 2003.

  6. #6

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    This is not a laptop (did I give that impression?) but rather a desktop. I can see the wisdom in not deleting the EISA partition. This machine does have some type of customized setup software so that may be located on that partition.

    And I agree, there is no reason HP had to delete all the software for older machines (and Opsys) such as PCs and printers. I have an older HP printer and I had to hunt around to find an XP driver; still haven't tested that one yet.

    Thanks...Joe

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