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Thread: Cannot get into BIOS on Compaq Amada 7400

  1. #1
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    Question Cannot get into BIOS on Compaq Amada 7400

    Got my Compaq Armada 7400 (Pentium II) in the mail today and am eager to get it fully up and running with a fresh Windows 95 installation, but have already run in to a roadblock. The hard drive is wiped but fully working, but the machine will not boot from the CD-ROM drive even with a known working boot disk. I'm thinking that I need to change the boot order in the computer's BIOS, but even when pressing the F10 key I cannot get to the BIOS screen.

    Any advice?
    Vintage computer systems and peripherals I'm currently looking for:
    IBM PS/2 Model P70, Compaq Contura 3/25, Any Toshiba Libretto laptop from the Libretto 50CT up to the 110CT, Commodore 1541 disk drive in working condition.

    Send a PM if you are interested in selling any of these items to me. Thanks!

  2. #2

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    BIOS keys: F1, F2, DEL, Ctrl+Alt+Enter (or other combinations).
    IBM PS/2 Model 25, NEC V30 8MHz, 640KB RAM, ATI VGA Wonder XL, 2GB SSD, Ethernet, DR DOS 6/GeOS, Xircom PE3 Ethernet

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by evildragon View Post
    BIOS keys: F1, F2, DEL, Ctrl+Alt+Enter (or other combinations).
    No luck. Tried all of those keys, still can't get to the BIOS screen.
    Vintage computer systems and peripherals I'm currently looking for:
    IBM PS/2 Model P70, Compaq Contura 3/25, Any Toshiba Libretto laptop from the Libretto 50CT up to the 110CT, Commodore 1541 disk drive in working condition.

    Send a PM if you are interested in selling any of these items to me. Thanks!

  4. #4

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    Some old compaqs, specifically deskpros of the pentium era, required a special partition on the hard drive to do setup. If it’s missing you need to install some softpaq to get it back. I don’t know if your system is the same way or not.

    Edit: It looks like that’s the case. Search for SP9962 to get the files you need.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jafir View Post
    Some old compaqs, specifically deskpros of the pentium era, required a special partition on the hard drive to do setup. If it’s missing you need to install some softpaq to get it back. I don’t know if your system is the same way or not.

    Edit: It looks like that’s the case. Search for SP9962 to get the files you need.
    I have a recovery disk with the required files, but getting them onto the laptop's hard drive has been a pain. When connecting the drive to my main XP desktop using an IDE-USB adapter, it tells me that the hard drive needs to be formatted, but when I try to format it (using FAT32) I always get an error.

    Should I connect the drive directly to an IDE interface in another computer (as my desktop only has 3.5'' IDE), boot it using a DOS bootdisk, and use FDISK to create a primary DOS partition?
    Vintage computer systems and peripherals I'm currently looking for:
    IBM PS/2 Model P70, Compaq Contura 3/25, Any Toshiba Libretto laptop from the Libretto 50CT up to the 110CT, Commodore 1541 disk drive in working condition.

    Send a PM if you are interested in selling any of these items to me. Thanks!

  6. #6

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    Does the laptop have no floppy drive? Normally you download the setup softpaq and make a disk to boot the laptop from. It looks like you might need diags too. Here are some more detailed instructions: https://h30434.www3.hp.com/psg/attac...etup_Diags.pdf

  7. #7
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    The laptop came with the CD-ROM drive in the bay. I did not get the floppy drive with the computer.
    Vintage computer systems and peripherals I'm currently looking for:
    IBM PS/2 Model P70, Compaq Contura 3/25, Any Toshiba Libretto laptop from the Libretto 50CT up to the 110CT, Commodore 1541 disk drive in working condition.

    Send a PM if you are interested in selling any of these items to me. Thanks!

  8. #8

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    Then you can try it in another computer. I don't know how USB will work, it will certainly make things more complicated if it works. Perhaps someone can make a ghost image of a working partition, then you could use ghost for windows to image the drive with your USB adapter.

    Or an adapter like this if you've got a system with IDE and also a floppy drive: https://www.amazon.com/SinLoon-Adapt.../dp/B07ZGHZJMM

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jafir View Post
    Then you can try it in another computer. I don't know how USB will work, it will certainly make things more complicated if it works. Perhaps someone can make a ghost image of a working partition, then you could use ghost for windows to image the drive with your USB adapter.

    Or an adapter like this if you've got a system with IDE and also a floppy drive: https://www.amazon.com/SinLoon-Adapt.../dp/B07ZGHZJMM
    My desktop does in fact have both IDE and a floppy drive, so an adapter like that is definitely a consideration.

    The contents of the recovery disk I have are three folders named DATA, MAP and TOOLS, and three files BOOTCAT.BIN, BOOTSECT.BIN and IMAGES.TAB. Not sure if these are the contents of a working BIOS, but if so then could I presumably use a tool like Partition Magic to image the recovery disk onto the first partition of the hard drive?
    Vintage computer systems and peripherals I'm currently looking for:
    IBM PS/2 Model P70, Compaq Contura 3/25, Any Toshiba Libretto laptop from the Libretto 50CT up to the 110CT, Commodore 1541 disk drive in working condition.

    Send a PM if you are interested in selling any of these items to me. Thanks!

  10. #10

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    I’d imagine the tool has to write a boot sector or something like that, so I don’t know if just getting the files there would work or not. They might even be compressed or something and the tool needs to extract them. I think you need to boot from a floppy to make this work. Or use something aftermarket like ghost to copy a known working partition.

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