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Old 02-26-2004, 07:51 PM   #1
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Registered: Feb 2004
Posts: 1

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Exclamation RedHat Fedora upgrade problem: Missing BIOS on Compaq Armada 1750

Hello all,

Thanks in advance for any help or contributions to this question.

Here's the scenario: I have a Compaq Armada 1750 on which I've installed RedHat 8.0. Recently, I decided that I wanted to upgrade to RedHat Fedora. While trying to upgrade, I discovered that, apparently, I deleted the BIOS partition when I rad DiskDruid last year.

So, I can't boot from floppy or compact disk. I can't press F10. I have no BIOS on my laptop...

Possible solutions to my problem:

1. Any ideas on the best way to re-install a Compaq BIOS under Linux? (I tried making a floppy disk with the BIOS by using rawrite.exe and a disk image of the BIOS, but I can't boot the floppy disk... )

2. Any ideas on how to get into the RedHat install process without a bootable CD? I tried running Anaconda, but it just wants to reconfigure the existing RedHat 8.0 install, and doesn't offer to upgrade. Does the RedHat RPM manager have an upgrade option?

3. Any ideas on how to hack LILO to boot the RedHat Fedora CD, or some other BIOS work-around?

4. Have any ideas on how to get a bootable installation CD to run from within a working Linux installation?

It appears that I have inadvertently secured my laptop very well.

Also, I don't have any important files on this laptop right now, so I can nuke the entire installation, if I need to. That's not a problem.

Again, thanks for any help you can provide.

Last edited by rawatson; 02-26-2004 at 07:52 PM.
Old 02-28-2004, 11:33 AM   #2
Registered: May 2003
Location: Kansas
Distribution: RH 9, OpenBSD, FreeBSD
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Actually, you need to get a preformatted floppy (DOS/Windows format) and use mcopy to copy the BIOS update to the disk.

Actually, it sounds more like you had Compaq DriveLock on your hard disk and deleted that. The BIOS is typically stored in eeprom with a possible utility partition on the hard drive. I don't know exactly how to restore that utility partition.

I would do some digging around on the Compaq support site. You will probably have to use a DOS or Windows boot disk to run most of the utilities that you can find there; Compaq isn't really supporting Linux.
Old 03-12-2004, 05:20 PM   #3
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Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Budapest
Distribution: Fedora
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Boot Floppy

Send me your snail mail address and I will put a boot floppy in the post that can be used to set the Armada 1750 CMOS.

All you need to do is make sure the CMOS is cleared before you boot. With the power off and battery removed lift up the keyboard by pulling back the lugs under the left Alt and right Ctrl keys. Under the keyboard you will see a small coin battery, disconnect this for about five minutes to clear the CMOS.

Ed Almos
Budapest, Hungary


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