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Compaq Portable POST error

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    Compaq Portable POST error

    Howdy, all

    I've taken a bit of a look around, and the best I can come up with for the persistent error "301" on my Compaq portable 8088 is a keyboard error- but the keyboard is present and operational.

    The only thing I can see on the board is what looks like the remains of a capacitor across two traces- snipped off at the base of the legs.

    My question is thus: was my research correct, and is 301 indeed a keyboard failure? If so, is it anything specific, or a real generic error (being a low number in the 300's I'm guessing so).



    It could be a stuck key. Is '301' all you get or is there more, like 'xy 301' or something like that, where x and y are numbers?
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step


      No. I've seen nnnn 201 when I've done things wrong with the memory, but the 301 is always just by itself.

      I rebuilt the keyboard the way a few here have- foam padding and emergency blanket. Even with the keyboard stripped naked and the board by itself it still throws the 301.



        Can you try a different keyboard?
        PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step


          Unfortunately I don't have one. It's the funny built-in item that has a strange square Amphenol plug on the end, buried down inside the case- I'm guessing it's XT standard communications, but doesn't have the standard DIN plug.



            This is an original Compaq Portable or Compaq Portable Plus? The foam pads are notorious for disintegrating so you might very well have a one of the metal discs laying on the board inside.
            This space intentionally left blank [ ].


              Yes it's the Compaq Portable or Plus from the description of the square connector running into the back of the chassis. You said the keyboard does work though? I do agree it could be a stuck key or something throwing that error. If you disconnect the keyboard I guess you'd still end up with a keyboard error though lol. I can't remember, does it have a connector for an external AT keyboard? I'm thinking not but can't remember from memory alone. I only disconnected the keyboard recently but do remember it seemed possible to connect incorrectly back to the main board, I can't remember if it was truly keyed to prevent that or if they just figured you wouldn't go inside of the system too often for it to be an issue.
              Looking to acquire: IBM 5100, Altair 8800


                It's a Portable Plus, from what I understand. All the keys had disintegrated inside and none worked, so it's been thoroughly apart, had new foam and new Mylar assembled with some good contact adhesive. All the keys function normally.

                With the keyboard unplugged it still throws 301, yes.

                The connectors are keyed on both ends (the outside is a top-hat shape, can't insert it upside down into the keyboard on the inside nor the motherboard).

                Beyond that, the keyboard operates as I'd expect it to... I can live with the error code (spurious or otherwise), but I was wondering if it was a keyboard fault, yes.



                  ...and now 7001 201 PARITY CHECK 2

                  Yet another MOSTEK chip gone bad. I think I left the spares at work. Bah.



                    Hi PhilipA,

                    In Compaq desktops, 301 was a generic Keyboard Failure. I'm not 100% sure, but I would assume that it's the same for the Portable.

                    Originally posted by PhilipA View Post
                    With the keyboard unplugged it still throws 301, yes.
                    301 is probably equivalent to a modern generic Keyboard Failure (thrown when the keyboard is missing), so I'm not surprised that the Portable throws a 301 still.


                      could his keyboard controller chip be on the way out?
                      Nothing beats the roar of a 36yr old drive coming to life after a decade in storagg


                        Originally posted by k2x4b524[ View Post
                        could his keyboard controller chip be on the way out?


                          Given the condition of this computer when I got it, that could well be the case.



                            Originally posted by PhilipA View Post
                            Given the condition of this computer when I got it, that could well be the case.

                            That seems like a logical reason that you're getting an error. I have no idea how you'd test for that though...


                              I don't know either. Despite the error message, the keyboard works just fine.

                              I've put it down to a quirk, for now. Unfortunately the BIOS isn't particularly verbose when you send it through POST.