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Dual boot install on Compaq 1540 DM

Posted 12-04-2008 at 05:53 PM by rokytnji

Compaq Armada 1540DM running Windows 95 and Linux Puppy 2.15CE
L4Linux has been wanting me to post some kind of article on here and I think I finally came up with a rare one. My Wife picked up a Compaq Armada 1540 DM , Pentium I 144mhz, 64 or so mb ram, and the hardrive is 2gig . Google Compaq for the specs.

Windows 95 is the main 0/S. The laptop has a bootable Floppy and a unbootable cdrom because bios doesn't give cdrom as an option, (even with compaqs firmware upgrades I downloaded and installed via flashing the bios). I started by going to this site.

I downloaded sbminst.exe (DOS executable)
cwsdpmi.exe (support file) and formatted a 1.4mb floppy and installed those 2 downloads to floppy.

When I rebooted the laptop with the puppy in the cdrom and the floppy I just made in the floppy drive .(Doing it this way to save time)

1. Restart the PC, boot from the floppy and run:

2. Read the displayed screen for guidance and run the following command:
A:\>sbminst -t us -d 0 [make sure to put a space before -t, us, -d, 0][- is a dash, 0 is a zero]
Enter Y when asked to confirm.
The above command converts the floppy into a standalone boot manager.

Next shut down the laptop and reboot after about 30 sec. Leave the floppy in.

When next boot comes up you'll get a screen with all the drives that Smart Boot Manager has Detected. Use your down arrow to scroll through the drives till you hit cdrom. Highlight cdrom and hit enter.

Puppy is now booting up. I select Qwerty English keyboard layout.
I select Xorg display instead of Vesa.
My screen can only handle 800X600 max,So that is what I enter when asked for a selection.
I am now booting up the help file in Dillo on how to run and install Puppy plus hooking up to the internet. My whole desktop shows up.

I go to Network wizard from Menu>Setup>Network Wizard.Loading modules window shows up
I click on the Load Driver button . I select AUTO PROBE ALL DRIVERS

I get this message at the top of the GUI Window.
Puppy has done a quick check to see what network drivers are currently loaded. Here they are.
3c59x xirc2ps_cs
if it appears the driver module for a network adapter isn't loaded, click on the "Load a Driver " button.

Below that on interfaces it says
Puppy sees 1 active network interface, that is, actually responding even if it isn't doing what you want! To test or configure the interface, click on the corresponding interface button.
So, I click on etho.

Next GUI is your config screen. Click on Test etho. After it tells you it found an "aline network.
I clicked on Auto DHCP Button, (If you run a static IP use that button if you need to.)

You should end up with
Say Yes to save configuration. You should have 2 small moniters on the bottom r/h of bottom taskbar showinging internet connection. After saving just click exit on the next screen that shows up.

Now go back to Menu>Setup>Puppy Universal installer.

I selected IDE (ATA) internal Hard drive
Hit OK. Next screen hit OK.
I install puppy on hda1 because that is the largest file and that's where windows 95 (Fat 32) is at.
I don't want to mess with the other partitions because Compaq installs their bios and Compaq Helper whatever there on the other 2 partitions.
I then let it do its thing and when asked to make a Wake PUP Boot Floppy I insert another blank clean formatted floppy and say yes. Let it do its thing and you are done..

Exit Puppy through start Menu. Pull out your Live CD. You've already pulled out and saved your Smart Boot Manager Floppy (and saved it I hope as its a neat tool to keep around for old bios's.)
You still should have your Wake Pup boot floppy in A drive still.
Reboot and when prompted boot up Puppy of your hard drive install now.
You might have to do the Network Wizard one more time and save changes but that should be for the last time. Your Hard drive will now remember your changes.

As a note, don't expect this to run blindly fast, you are a Pentium 1 . Dillo browser will run faster than Sea monkey, but they will run. I just did this because even with Windows 95 drivers for the Xirocom card, I couldn't connect to the net . It was easier to install Linux and get internet working.

I did this install a while back, I have since put a dedicated install of Damn Small Linux on it, and will probably later when time permits, do a Slackware and Debian install also to see how it goes.
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Total Comments 3


  1. Old Comment
    Forgot to mention I am using a Xircom CEM56-100 PCMCIA Ethernet 10/100 Modem 56 Cardbus for internet hookup.
    Posted 12-05-2008 at 01:39 PM by rokytnji rokytnji is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Hey, Rok.

    Now, this is what I mean when I tell people you know your way around old hardware, mate.

    I gotta confess, though - and please don't take this the wrong way! - I have a job figuring this one out. How DID a 'scooter tramp' get so interested in all this high-tech (low-tech? </lol>) 'junk'?

    (I know you've mentioned in various places about running a 'tuning shop' for bikes'n'stuff..?)

    Posted 11-12-2019 at 07:44 AM by Mike_Walsh Mike_Walsh is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Cheapskate makes for strange bed fellows. Tee Hee.
    Posted 09-26-2020 at 12:25 PM by rokytnji rokytnji is offline


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