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Old 01-08-2003, 04:23 PM   #1
Registered: Aug 2002
Location: Kansas City
Distribution: Mandrake 9.2 and a couple of RH7.3 Apache servers
Posts: 153

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anybody using a Compaq Deskpro 2000?

I just picked up this deskpro 2000 with the intention of settinf it up as a spare Apache server. I could not seem to access the bios on this thing and upon researching this machine I found out that it has some kind of strange bios that is actually a partition on the hard drive. The only way I could get anywhere was to clear the cmos with the jumper on the main board then I reboot and get a screen that says something about "if your using unix you need to run setup from the compaq user diagnostic diskette". Now I have researched this and downloaded the file from compaq and made the 3 disks but cant get them to run according to compaqs instructions. The disk that is supposed to be the boot disk wont boot, all I get is an ntldr missing error. My understanding is that these disks will setup the bios partition so that you can install your OS. I deleted all partitions on the disk because I read somewhere that they had to have no partitions set up, and now Im just plain stuck. Please help if anyone has any experience with these machines, or its going to become a doorstop.
Old 01-09-2003, 01:50 PM   #2
Registered: Aug 2002
Location: Kansas City
Distribution: Mandrake 9.2 and a couple of RH7.3 Apache servers
Posts: 153

Original Poster
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I found a different version of the F10 bois setup and it appeard to have worked. Now I have tried to load RH7.3 & 8.0, slack 8.1, and mandrake 8. Each time, I get a kernal panic error at fairly early stages of the install process, except with slack where I get past the partitioning and setting up swapspace then I get some type of I/O error. Just for giggles and to rule out the possibilty that it was just a Linux thing, I tried NT4.0 and it spits out a blue screen with a page fault message and a bunch of jibberish. I really dont know what this is telling me. My first thought was memory, and I have tried different combinations of simms from other working machines and that hasnt seemed to help. Are these errors telling me I have a bad HD, a mainboard problem or what?

Last edited by ScreeminChikin; 01-09-2003 at 01:51 PM.
Old 07-27-2003, 11:37 AM   #3
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Registered: Jul 2003
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Did you ever sort this out. I've just tried more or less the same thing with the same results.

is it doorstop time?

Old 07-27-2003, 12:19 PM   #4
Registered: Aug 2002
Location: Kansas City
Distribution: Mandrake 9.2 and a couple of RH7.3 Apache servers
Posts: 153

Original Poster
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I finally gave up and stuck it in the attic. I tried several flavors of Linux as well as MS products from win98 to win2k and came to the conclusion that the thing just has issues and isnt worth messing with.
Old 07-27-2003, 01:23 PM   #5
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Registered: Jun 2003
Distribution: Debian/other
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Hi screeminchikin

For what its worth, I've never succesfully been able to install a Major Linux dsitribution on a Compaq Deskpro 2000 - even with 128mb ram.
Old 08-24-2003, 02:18 PM   #6
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Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Distribution: CentOS / RHEL / Slack
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I have the following Deskpro's

Deskpro 2000 Pentium 166
10 Gig H/D
RedHat 7.2 Patched
Samba Server

Deskpro 2000 Pentium 166
2 x 1.2 GB HD's
RedHat 7.2 Patched
Apache Server

Deskpro 2000 Pentium Pro 180
1 x 4.3GB SCSI HD
Mandrake 9.1 Patched
Postfix / Database Server

All work without one single problem. Don't know what I did so differently than any one else, but they are awesome machines that I was given by my work and all perform with a hitch.


Old 09-11-2003, 12:30 AM   #7
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Registered: Sep 2003
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I also have dpro 2000 (166Mhz 64MB) and it's been great.
Runs quietly and just sits in a corner like a good little playtoy.

The only problems I've had with it are that my playing has recently resulted in more and more swap getting used and it looks like the geometry is configured wrong by linux when Mandrake was installed (on another (dead) machine: I couldn't believe that just dropping the harddrive into this box worked! Windoze would've choked for sure!)

The bios thing is a total pain in the ass, though. I did find one that worked, but it wasn't obvious or easy!
Old 11-12-2003, 03:44 PM   #8
Registered: Nov 2003
Distribution: Fedora
Posts: 42

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Smile Compaq Deskpro 2000 BIOS Disks

Personally I am not a fan of Compaq and their Firmware BIOS,
and I have worked on more early Deskpro's to last me a lifetime,
that said, the other day I was given one, in exchange for my
nice test client PC.

Anyway, to the point. I needed to configure the BIOS on it and
thus needed the disks,
success found here:

Updated the BIOS with the "BIOS - System ROM" - ROMPaq, and
configured it with "F10 Setup and Personal Computer Diagnostics"
under Firmware.

Hope that helps some of you out.


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