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Compaq Hardware FAQ

1000 Series - Touchpad Issues1060 Hard Drive Failure Message
1207 and Nokia 2110 Data Card1234 - Boots Straight to Shutdown Screen
2110 and System Memory2110 - Changing a Drive
2240 - Freezes on Startup2254 - No CDROM in Windows
3 inch Floppy Drive ErrorsBattery Meter
DVD DrivesEasy Access Buttons
ESS SoundcardsHard Disk Drives
HP660C & HP855C IssuesMissing Serial Number
Modem ProblemsMonitor Volume Control
Norton Antivirus and Onscreen VolumeNUMLCK does not work
Printing Blank/Partial Pages Power-on Password
Scanner KeyboardSleep Mode Problems
Video Capture on 4800Voodoo3 Video Card Doesn't Work

Modem Problems

Some versions of the Compaq Phone Centre will not let any other program access the modem. If you get messages along the line of "Another Program is Using Telephony Device", "Comm Port in Use", "Unable to Detect Modem", or "Unable to Detect UART", and your machine came with the Compaq Phone Center, then you need to close the Compaq Phone Center down.

Modem in DOS

The modem used in the newer Presario lines (4000 series, 2000 series, etc) is a winmodem, and is not currently supported for use in DOS, therefore there are no DOS drivers available for the modem. The only way to access the modem option in DOS games will be to run them through a DOS window.

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Printing Blank/Partial Pages

To correct the above problem occurring with Windows 95 and printers you must disable DMA buffering on LPT1. This must be done the following way -

Boot machine. Wait till the cursor hits the right hand side of the screen and press the F10 key. You will be greeted by a Welcome screen. Press RETURN to bypass this.


Select COMMUNICATIONS by clicking on the box with the mouse.

Go down to PARALLEL PORT and scroll down to select 378-37F, 778-77A, IRQ 7, DMA 0.

Click OK then EXIT. You will be greeted by a box telling you that the system configuration has changed and that "Communications section has been changed, you must save the changes." To do this click YES. Machine will now reboot and return to WIN95.

Right click on MY COMPUTER From the menu select PROPERTIES. Go to DEVICE MANAGER. Double click on PORTS(COM & LPT1), Click once on RESOURCES tab. Remove tick from USE AUTOMATIC SETTINGS box.

You must now change the resource settings. To do this click on the down arrow to change from BASIC CONFIGURATION 0000 to BASIC CONFIGURATION 003. You now have the following settings -


Click on OK to confirm, then click CLOSE. You must now restart computer.

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Compaq 4800 Video Capture

Some of these machines have been configured with the American TV standard setting - NTSC. The upshot of this is that when the user tries to capture video they will get no result or at best fuzzy black and white. These software needs to be configured for use with PAL TV standard. This is done by,

  • Click on Start / Programs / Accessories / Multimedia / Media Player.
  • Click on Device / S3 Video Driver.
  • Click Device / Properties.
  • In the bottom right corner there are three radio buttons for the video format. Make sure PAL is selected and then click on OK.
  • Close down all open windows, should now work Ok.

"Video Source You Have Selected is Unavailable at This Time"

This message may appear when trying to access the Analogue Video Input. This is caused by one of the CODECS being disabled or missing. To resolve the problem goto Control Panel / Multimedia / Advanced / S3 Video Capture and make sure the properties for any of the devices in this group are all set to enabled.

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Sleep Mode Problems

When the sleep mode button is pressed, the monitor powers down, but the light on the tower unit remains green, and the system locks up. Pressing the sleep button again does not wake the system up.

Solution - Simply go into the BIOS and restore the default settings.

Wakes Up At Midnight

Machine powers up out of sleep mode at midnight. To stop this you need to enter the BIOS (F10 as machine starts up), and go to the Power Management section. In there look for the lines -

Resume on Time [ON]
Resume Time [00:00:00]

You can either set Resume on Time to [NO] or change the Resume Time to a more desirable time.

My 4500 Wakes Up When a Phone Call is Received

This is a preset configuration setting in the system BIOS, It can be changed using the following process steps,

  • Enter the system BIOS by pressing F10 as the system starts.
  • Once in the BIOS, locate the tab at the top of the screen labeled POWER.
  • The fourth item from the top, Resume on Modem Ring, is the setting to change.
  • Use the Plus or Minus keys on the keypad to toggle between the ON and OFF setting.
  • Press F10 to save this change and the system will then restart.
  • Your machine should now no longer be affected by an incoming phone call.

Windows 98 Sleep Mode Fix

Microsoft recommends running a power management troubleshooting utility, which is located on the Windows 98 upgrade CD.

The file is PMTSHOOT.EXE and seems to resolve a number of sleep/suspend mode problems. The following procedure describes the correction process.

  • Place the Windows 98 CD in the drive.
  • Click on Start, Run and use the browse button to find the file PMTSHOOT.EXE.
  • PMTSHOOT.EXE will be installed and will likely find a number of registry errors relating to sleep/suspend mode. If it asks if you wish the errors to be corrected, reply yes.
  • When the system has been restarted, the power management issues should be resolved.

Cannot go to Sleep Mode

In the Control Panel, Double-click on the Power Management icon, and make sure that the Power Scheme to Home/Office Desk and Set the Turn Off Monitor and Harddisk are set to Never. Double-click on the Compaq Advance and set it to High.

Also in the Control Panel, Double-click on the Display icon, and make sure that all the Energy Saving features under the Screen Saver tab are DISABLED.

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Compaq 1207 & Nokia 2110 Data Card

This machine comes with a built in Modem on Com2, so if you need to add another Modem or Fax card there is a fair chance if the new card is Plug & Play it won't be picked up. To get round this you need to manually add the drivers by going into the Control Panel / Add New Hardware / Choose no for Automatic Detection, and then select Other Devices, and Have Disk. You should be able to install the new card on Com3.

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2110 and System Memory

The Media GX chip on the Compaq 2110 (plus other models) will use 2MB of system memory for the display adaptor. According to Compaq the soundcard may grab up to 5MB as well.

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Missing Serial Number (Windows 95)

If the sticker holding the serial number has fallen off, then don't worry. Go into the Control Panel, double click on Compaq Diags, and click on the Bar Code symbol.

If you do not have the icon in Control Panel, goto Start / Programs / Compaq Utilities / Compaq Diags. In the Catagories menu, click on Asset Control.

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Scanner Keyboard Conflicts with Modem

The scanner keyboard conflicts with modem and telephone software and may give the error "Telephony Device is in Use". The modem will also refuse to dial. This is caused by the Paperport driver monitoring the computer's ports for activity.

To allow the scanner keyboard and telephony functions to work simultaneously, you will need to add the following entries to the first section if the file C:\PAPERPORT\DATA\PPORTDRV.INI file,


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"Spool 32" Error/Lockup with HP660C or HP855C

If when trying to print with the HP660C or HP855C, the computer locks up or you get a Spool32 error message, or when printing a fax from MediaPilot, it comes out completely black. The first thing to do is make sure that you have a bidirectional printer cable. You will also need to get hold of the latest version of the printer drivers from Hewlett Packard. The versions you need are as follows, -

HP820 series - Version 8.2 or later
HP850 & 855 series - Version 9.0 or later
HP660 & 680 series - Version 9.01 or later.

If this does not correct the problem then try the following,
  • Turn off the printer and disconnect it from the computer
  • Delete the old HP printer driver
  • Restart the computer
  • When the computer is back into Windows, reconnect the printer and switch it back on
  • Click on Start / Settings / Printers
  • Double click on "Add Printer Wizard". Keep clicking on Next until you get the list of all the printers.
  • Click on the "Have Disk" button and insert the updated driver disk
  • Carry on with the installation as normal
  • After the installation is complete the Status Monitor (or Toolbox) needs to be moved into the Startup group, as follows.
    • Right click on Start, select Open, then double click on Programs.
    • Double click on HP Deskjet Utilities, and right click on HP Deskjet Status Monitor (or Tool Box) and select Copy.
    • Right click on the Startup folder and select Paste.
    • Double click on the Startup folder, and right click on the HP Deskjet Status Monitor (or Tool Box) and select Properties.
    • Select Properties, and click on the Shortcut tab.
    • Change Normal Window to Minimised, then click on OK.

This should cure the problem

Note -

  • The printer will need to be switched on before the computer, otherwise you will get a communication error as the computer goes into Windows.
  • If you receive an out of memory message when trying to print, go to the WIN.INI file (Start / Run / Win.Ini), and on the LOAD= and RUN=, if present, remove the lines C:\WINDOWS\CPQWIN\HB\HBDMN.EXE and C:\QUICKEN\BILLMNDW.EXE. This will stop the Presario Gallery and Quicken Bill Minder from loading automatically, but will give you enough memory to print.

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Power-On Password

This concerns Compaq Presario 4700, 6700, and 8700 series computers. If the power-on password is set, a key icon will appear on the screen when POST completes. If this occurs, you must enter the password to continue. If you enter the password incorrectly, a broken key icon is displayed. Try again. After 3 unsuccessful tries, you must restart the computer to try again. If you don't remember the password, to disable it, you need to access the motherboard, and remove the jumper off P11 for 10 seconds. If you do know the password, to clear it, simply type the password in followed by a slash (/).

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2240 - Freezes on Startup

Compaq 2240 freezes on startup and appears dead just after the BIOS beep. Press Esc on startup and a boot menu appears with options for CD-ROM, Removable Devices, and Hard Drive. Make sure the arrow is next to Hard Drive and the machine should boot into Windows.

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ESS Soundcards

No Sound in Games on Compaq's with ESS1888 Soundcards

  • In the Control Panel, go to Multimedia
  • In the Audio section change the preferred device to "Game Compatible Device".
  • Make sure the "Use Preferred Devices Only" box is checked and click on Apply.
  • If "Game Compatible Device" is not on the list, in Multimedia, go to Advanced.
  • Double click on Audio Devices, double click on Audio For Compaq Presario 336-VSCModem Wave Device icon.
  • Select "Use Audio Features on This Device" and check "Do Not Map Through This Device". Click on Apply.
  • Restart the computer and reinstall the game.

Sound Cuts out or Joystick Disappears from Control Panel

The problem has been traced to the dual mode DMA (direct memory address) setup of the ESS AudioDrive chip. Resetting it to Single-Mode DMA often will resolve these issues.

To reset the mode in Windows 95:

1. Open Control Panel
2. click on Multimedia, then Advance tab.
3. Click on the + next to Audio Devices.
4. Highlight the Audio for ESS 18XX Plug and Play AudioDrive entry.
5. Click on the Properties button then the Settings button.
6. Check the box for Single-Mode DMA.
7. Then restart.

In Windows 98:

1. Go to Control Panel, Multimedia, Devices tab.
2. Repeat steps 3-7 above.

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2110 - Changing a Drive

Firstly remove the three screws at the back of the machine, the top cover can now be removed, leaving the top and both sides uncovered. On either side of the drives at the front of the machine there are two screws, if these are undone, the cradle(holding drives) and front bezel should all come away from the machine alowing access to all other screws needed to remove any drives.

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2254 - No CDROM in Windows

If the CDROM drive is not being shown in Windows (ie not in My Computer), go into the BIOS (F10 on Startup), and Reset the Defaults (F9, and press Enter, then press F10 and Enter). When you get back into Windows, the CDROM should be back.

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1234 - Boots Straight to Shutdown Screen

The Compaq 1234 has a lovely little quirk in which it starts and reports, IT IS NOW SAFE TO TURN YOUR COMPUTER OFF. To exit this loop remove all power sources from the laptop and restart and problem is gone.

Compaq have produced an updated version of the watchdog.exe file which causes this problem. The update should be available from Compaq.

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Easy Access Buttons

Reconfiguring Buttons

To change what the Easy Access buttons do,

  • Click on Compaq Easy Access Icon in the taskbar.
  • Click on Configure Easy Access Buttons.

This should bring up a screen, you can change the program associated with both the Easy Access and Internet buttons by clicking on the browse button and choosing the new program. There are also options to remove the Easy Access program from Startup and Enable/Disable the buttons.

At the top of the screen there is a tab called Onscreen Display. In here you can configure the onscreen volume display.

Reinstalling Buttons

To reinstall the Easy Access Software, then in Windows Explorer open the folder C:\CPQDRV\EasyAcc and double click on Setup.exe. This will reinstall Easy access Buttons. The drivers should also be on the Quick Restore CD.

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DVD Drives

4660 DVD Drive

Sometimes when playing a DVD disk on the Presario 4660 can cause the computer to lock up. This only affects 4660 machines that were fitted with a "COMPAQ SR-8582 DVD-ROM" drive. If you having this problem, then you need the to download the following upgrade/fix - SP6311.

CAUTION: Applying this upgrade to DVD drives other than the DVD drive that comes standard on the Presario 4660 may render your computer useless.

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Monitor Volume Control

In order for the volume control feature of the Presario xx25 monitors to work correctly with the computer, it is necessary for the monitor to be powered on at least 8-10 seconds before the CPU. Try removing the computer and monitor from any surge protector or power strip that they may be attached to, and turning on the monitor first, then the computer itself.

3rd Party Video Cards

The volume control on the 1425, 1525, 1725 and FX monitors is a digital control. It sends its commands via two conductors in the monitor's VGA data cable. The corresponding points on the VGA connector on your 4700 series Presario accept this signal. A 3rd party video card would not have this functionality built in. Most times, it just means the remote volume knob ceases to function. You can still adjust levels with the software. In some cases, however, a 3rd party card can cause the volume to either drop or go full on with no way to control it. One possible solution is to turn the computer on and let it fully boot up BEFORE you turn on the monitor. This way the monitor's remote volume function will not be initialized and you may be able to use the software volume controls.

You can if you want, go to any Computer parts store and purchase a VGA extension cable. You will need to remove pins 4 and 11. This cable will be installed on the monitor cable and then to the card itself. The rest of the manufacturers cabling will remain the same. You will lose the use of the volume control knob on the monitor. If this is not acceptable, then you will need to remove the card.

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Norton Antivirus and Onscreen Volume Display

Norton AntiVirus auto load feature disables the audio graphic display. If you would like to enable audio graphic display, you have to disable auto protect from option menu of Norton AntiVirus program, and load it through startup folder.

To do this, in the Norton AntiVirus program, click on the Options button, then the AutoProtect tab. Remove the check from "Load AutoProtect at Startup", then click on OK and then Exit.

Then create a shortcut to NAVAPW32.EXE in the startup folder.

  • Right-Click (with the right mouse button instead of the left) on the Start Menu.
  • Click on Open.
  • Double-Click on the Programs folder.
  • Double-Click on the StartUp folder.
  • Click on the File menu.
  • Click on New then Shortcut.
  • Click on the Browse button.
  • Double-Click on the Program Files folder.
  • Double-Click on the Norton AntiVirus folder.
  • Double-Click on NAVAPW32 (or NAVAPW32.EXE if you are showing filename extensions).
  • Click on the Next button.
  • Delete the text in the box and type "Norton AutoProtect".
  • Click on the Finish button.
  • Close all open windows and reboot the computer.

This moves the Norton AntiVirus AutoProtect to the StartUp folder, which loads it later in the boot sequence than the default.

You can also temporarily disable NAV autoprotect from the icon in the system tray. Just right mouse click on the icon and select disable.

Changing the hardware configuration (video or audio) will likely also disable the volume control via the knob on the monitor. The volume can still be controlled via the software itself; only the control from the monitor is disabled.

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Touchpad Issues

Disabling the Touchpad

If you want to disable the touchpad, you must install a serial mouse.

If you use a PS/2 mouse, then the touchpad will use this driver as well, so as long as the PS/2 driver is installed you cannot disable the touchpad.

If Windows 95 detects the touchpad and installs the software, you must disable it. In Control Panel / System / Device Manager, highlight the Synaptics touchpad, click properties, uncheck the original configuration checkbox and restart the computer. If the Logitech Serial Mouse is not listed in Control Panel / Mouse / General, the serial mouse will not function properly when waking from sleep mode.

Impossible to Control the Touchpad

The touch pad does not have to be physically touched in order for the cursor to move. The touchpad will detect electrical discharges from your hand and respond to it. When you type try to move your hands away from the Touchpad or rest your hands on the User Guide over the touchpad and see if that helps.

If you go into the CONTROL PANEL(Click START, then SETTINGS) Open the MOUSE Icon. Open the TOUCHPAD TAB and their you can change the SENSITIVITY Click OK, If you do not have a TOUCHPAD Tab open GENERAL Tab and select OPTIONS, this will take you to the Touchpad properties as well.

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Battery Meter

My battery shows ??? in Windows 95

Windows 95 has a built in feature to indicate battery status. Windows 95 places an icon on the taskbar in the Systray, this feature can be enabled in Control Panel under the Power Icon. The Compaq Presario 1000 series does not present battery information in a way that Windows 95 understands, so the indicator will always say 'unknown'. The Compaq Presario 1000 series units have a status panel (the small panel just behind the F8 key) which provides battery information. Check page 3-2 of the Compaq User's Guide for information on the icons.

Click START the SETTINGS, go into the CONTROL PANEL and click the BATTERY Icon. Half way down the Power Properties you can uncheck the "Enable battery meter on taskbar", then click OK. This will take the take the battery icon off the taskbar.

My battery meter is stuck

Remove the battery and AC Adapter for about a minute and then plug the battery and ACAdapter in the system and see if this will clear it up.

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NUMLCK does not work

On some of the Compaq Presario 1000 series Laptops, to turn on the NumLK key, hold the SHIFT key down and press the NUMLK, this will toggle this feature on and off

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1060 Hard Drive Failure Message

Sometimes on the Presario 1060 notebooks, even when the hard drive is good, an error message is displayed that indicates a hard drive failure. You need to download the patch file SP4979 to stop the invalid message from appearing.

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3 inch Floppy Drive Errors

When accessing the 3 inch Floppy Drive you receive errors indicating disks not formatted, etc.

Before assuming that the drive is faulty, try this.

  • Download the file HSFLOP.PDR from Compaq's FTP site.
  • Copy the file into your C:\Windows\System\Iosubsys folder and allow it to overwrite the one already there.
  • Restart the computer.

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Voodoo3 Video Card Doesn't Work

The Voodoo3 video card has problems with the Compaq Presario computers with the onboard ATI video cards. This is due to the fact that the onboard ATI card can only be disabled within Windows. The Voodoo3 cards do not like any other graphics cards in the same machine (especially onboard ATI Rage cards).

There are 2 ways that may get you round this problem,

1. If you go into the BIOS (F10 when the machine is starting up), sometimes you can disable the ATI card in there.

2. Try disabling the card through Windows,

  • Click on Start/Settings/Control Panel/System/Device Manager.
  • Click on the + sign next to Display Adapters and Double click on the ATI Video Card.
  • Remove the Check mark in front of Original Configuration (Win 95) or Exist in all Hardware Profiles (Win 98).
  • Close all applications and restart the computer.

If neither of the above methods work, then there is no way of getting the Voodoo3 card to work.

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Compaq Hard Disk Drives

A lot of Compaq hard disk drives are usually partitioned into two or three depending on their size. One or two DOS partitions and a small (12MB) non DOS partition.

This non DOS partition contains the BIOS setup utility and settings and other tools and is accessed by pressing F10 at start up when the cursor flashes in the top right corner of the screen.

The machine needs this partition information to run and so it is a good idea to make a back-up, particularly if you plan to "fiddle" with the hard drive at all.

A backup can be made using the "Create a Diagnostics Diskette" option from this very setup screen. It is very simple, two floppies are required (one labelled setup and the other labelled diagnostics) all instructions are given on screen and the process takes about 5 minutes. These disks are used to recreate the non DOS partition as below.

These disks are also available (in compressed a form) as sp7781.exe (Diagnostics) and sp2141.exe (Setup) from Compaq's website.

Creating Non DOS Partition

  • Boot from Setup disk sp2141.exe
  • Message states that there is no Diagnostics Partition, recommends there should be and gives the option to create one.
  • Accept this and you are prompted to reboot from the Diagnostics disk sp7781.exe.
  • Follow prompts to switch between Setup and Diagnostic disks several times, this takes about 5 mins.

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