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Compaq Software FAQ

1000 Series Help Center4110 and Safe Mode
4640 and IE44800 and Movie Files
"Billing.mdb" Error Message"Cannot execute as a child of BASIC"
Clan DestinyDos4gw Games
DFilter errors on StartupDOS Sound on Compaq 7106
"Fuzzy" Screen After Installing a GameHomebase
IncomingLaunchpad Password
Magic Carpet / PGA Tour 96 PatchMediamatics MPEG
MediapilotMicrosoft Outlook 98
NTKERN ErrorRemoving Compaq Splash Screen
Removing the Internet Setup Icon"Tabworks.Exe Could Not be Found"
VaultWindows 98 not Shutting Down
Windows 98 and Slow Internet ConnectionWing Commander IV

Compaq Launchpad Password

Cannot get out of the Launchpad due to the Adult Password function. If the you are currently in the launchpad, then you will have to reset the computer - you cannot do it from within the launchpad. The password is held in the LAUNCHPD.INI file, under Adultpassword=

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Compaq Home Base

Some of the Compaq 4000 series machines have a front screen called Home Base. It consists of a grey background with a big Q in the middle and various buttons down the bottom. This screen is merely a pretty front end for the old win95 multiple user password screen and allows the user to set up various 'workspaces' for the various members of the family, cat, dog etc. with optional passwords (so that they can forget them). On a new machine there are no workspaces set up, so the user will have to click the 'Add Workspace' option and set one up before he/she transcends to the hallowed lands of Windows 95.

Stopping Home Base Loading at Start Up

There is a line in the system.ini which says shell=cpqshe1l. Change that line to read shell=explorer.exe.

To remove Homebase completely, you can download the compaq update SP8671.

Upgrading to Windows 98

After upgrading from Windows 95 to Windows 98, you may get the following problems with homebase -

  • Unable to add a New User after the logon screen
  • "Unhandled Exception" error message when the "Q" Easy Access Button is pressed to open Home Base

The only solution is to uninstall homebase, using the compaq update SP8671 (see above).

Pressing "Print Screen" key loads Home Base

The PrintScreen key starts Home Base just as if the Easy Access SmartQ button was pressed, causing the PrintScreen key to be unusable in both Windows and MSDOS mode. If you are having this problem, then you will need to download update SP3153. This update restores the PrintScreen key to its normal function.

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Win95 Compaq Tabworks Gone

If you remove Tabworks, Windows will no longer start, displaying message that Tabworks.exe is not found, "reinstall Windows".

Don't reinstall Windows, Edit SYSTEM.INI. In [Boot]section, change

Windows will now boot up to ordinary desktop. If you want Tabworks back you will have to reinstall it, probably by contacting Compaq Software line for installation disks.

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Compaq Presario VAULT

This is a file security program designed by Compaq for the 7000 series Presario (and some others). It is a password protected file encryption program which provides MAXIMUM security to any files it is associated with.

If you forget your password then it's bad news time

According to Compaq Dealer Support, there is NO way to rescue any files if the password is forgotten. The only way of disabling the program is to reinstall from the Quick Restore Utility, during which the files will be lost anyway.


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Clan Destiny - Error Initialising Direct Sound

From Control Panel select Multimedia. In Audio select "Game compatible device" as the preferred device and check "Use preferred device only" The game should now run fine.

If "Game compatible device" doesn't exist as a choice, do the following:

Select Advanced and double-click "Audio devices" Select "Audio device for Compaq Presario 336VSC Modem wave device" (or similar.) Select properties, then check "Use audio features for this device", then check "Do not map through this device." Then click apply, OK, restart.

After the system has restarted From Control Panel select Multimedia. In Audio select "Game compatible device" as the preferred device and check "Use preferred device only." The game should now run fine.

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Removing Compaq Splash Screen

When your computer is starting up, you will see a blue Compaq splash screen with several icons that fill in with color. This screen is just for looks and doesn't really serve a purpose, other than covering up the DOS screen while Windows is loading.

It's pretty simple to get rid of that splash screen. The splash screen is controlled by a program called DFILTER.SYS. To stop it from loading, just REM out the line that loads it in your c:\config.sys file.

From your Start Menu, choose Run. In the box type SYSEDIT and press the ENTER key. This will load the System Configuration Editor utility. Click on the "Config.sys" window to bring it to the front. Look for the line that loads DFILTER.SYS and put REM at the beginning. It should end up looking something like this:

REM DEVICE=C:\Compaq\Support\dfilter.sys

Save your changes and exit the program. Then shutdown and restart your computer. The Compaq splash screen should no longer appear.

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Compaq & DOS4GW

If you have any problems with Dos4gw games, run the following from dos prompt.


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DOS sound on Compaq 7106

There is no AUTOEXEC.BAT on the machine, but the CD and mouse are enabled in DOSSTART.BAT. Unfortunately, there is no mention anywhere of sound drivers.

Try setting up an AUTOEXEC.BAT containing the CD and mouse drivers, along with 2 other lines:


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NTKERN Error on machines with 64MB RAM

On some Compaq machines there can be a memory conflict in Microsoft Windows 95 (OSR1 or OSR2) that can cause Presario computers with exactly 64MB of RAM to lock up due to a Windows 95 protection error in NTKERN during system start-up. This problem is more likely to occur on faster processors and may not occur on slower processors. If you are experiencing this problem, then you need the update SP7491.

The update limits the amount of hard disk cache used by Windows 95 by setting MaxFileCache=6000 in the [vcache] section of SYSTEM.INI.

Note - If you ever run the Quick Restore CD, then you will need to re-run this update.

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Windows 98 not Shutting Down

If after upgrading to Windows 98, you have problems shutting down or restarting the computer, try -

  • Goto the System Information Tool -> Tools -> System Configuration Utility.
  • Click on the Advanced button.
  • Put the tick in the Disable Fast Shutdown option.
  • Exit out the program and restart the computer.
  • When it gets back into Windows, try shutting it down.

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4110 and Safe Mode

When entering Safe Mode on this machine the process hangs at 'Windows is running in safe mode' and will not go to the Safe Mode Desktop. The answer is to go to Safe Mode Command Prompt Only, edit System.ini and change the line shell=c:\compaq\cpqshell.exe to shell=explorer.exe and then restart into Safe Mode. When you next start into Normal Mode you will be asked about this change and given the opportunity to keep the Compaq shell. Selecting yes will change the line back to shell=c:\compaq\cpqshell.exe.

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Fuzzy Screen After Installing a Game

This normally happens after you install a game which puts everybody's favourite software, Direct X, on the machine. To solve it,

  • Start Windows 95 in Safe Mode (F8 when "Starting Windows95" appears during startup).
  • Click on Start / Settings / Control Panel / Add & Remove Programs.
  • Double click on Direct X Drivers (it should be on the list).
  • This will bring a properties screen up. Click on the button "Restore Display Drivers".
  • It should then ask you to restart the computer, choose "Yes". (If not shut down and restart the computer manually).
  • Windows should come back as normal. This problem will not occur until you install Direct X again.

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Removing the Internet Setup Icon

The Compaq Internet Setup Icon and "The Internet" icon are linked and designed like the permanent Windows icons on your desktop. The Internet Setup Icon can be removed.


  • Do a CTRL-ALT-DELETE to bring up the task window and end task on "Watchdog"
  • Open Windows explorer and rename the C:\Compaq\Internet folder (make it Internet1 or whatever you want to name it to).
  • Delete the "Compaq Internet Setup" and "The Internet" icons. (Do this by dragging them to the "Recycle Bin").
  • Reboot the system. The icons should not be on the Windows desktop.

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DFilter errors on Startup

I get dfilter errors when I turn the system on.

The dfilter system file loads the Compaq Splash screen that you see during boot up (This is the screen with the red telephone and other red icons on it).

Firstly check that the line is loaded correctly in the Config.sys file -

  • Click START, then RUN, Type SYSEDIT in the Command Line, then hit ENTER. This will open a series of NotePad Windows.
  • Open the CONFIG.SYS Window. There you should see "DEVICE=:\Compaq\Support\dfilter.sys"

If the line is present, then we need to check that the dfilter file is present,

  • Click START, FIND, Then Files or Folders
  • Search for the file Dfilter.sys
  • If you see it and it is not in the C:\Compaq\Support directory, then copy and paste it into that directory, and reboot the system.
  • If the file is not present on the computer the only alternative is to use the QuickRestore CD to get it back.

Alternatively, if you don't want the Compaq screen appearing at startup, just remove the line "DEVICE=:\Compaq\Support\dfilter.sys" from the Config.sys file.

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1000 Series Help Center

The following update, SP3865, corrects a problem with the Help Center on the Presario 1000 Series, whereby the display shows the wrong view of the notebook when the user selects "Locating the right side components." Without this fix, the top view of the notebook is displayed instead of the right side.

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Compaq 4640 & Internet Explorer 4

When trying to use the Internet, the modem will work on the first attempt, but after that you will get the error message "COM port already open". To resolve this,

  • Insert the Quick Restore CD.
  • Double click on My Computer, and then the CD Drive.
  • Go to the directory \CPQDRV\CCSD.
  • Insert a BLANK floppy disk.
  • Run QRST5, which will create a disk image on the floppy disk.
  • Run SETUP.EXE from the floppy disk and choose the option to uninstall.
  • Restart the computer.
  • Cancel the message about unknown hardware found.
  • Run SETUP.EXE from the floppy disk (This will reinstall the modem).
  • Click on Start/Run and run the program REGEDIT.
  • Click on the Edit menu and choose Find. Search for CPQB038.
  • Highlight the folder underneath here called "16".
  • Find the Lock option value and change it from 00 to 01.
  • Quit Regedit and restart the computer.

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"Billing.mdb" Error Message

While using the machine you constantly get a pop-up error message saying,

Unrecognized database format 'C:\Program Files\Encompass\billing.mdb'.

This is the GTE ISP trial software which is preinstalled on the machine. To disable the billing reminder messages completely, you can rename the Encompass directory to Encompass1. If you receive no error messages from the system at startup or during normal use over the few days following this change, and you expect not to use this software in the future, the Encompass (renamed to Encompass1) directory can be deleted.

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"Cannot execute as a child of BASIC" Error

If you get the error message "Cannot Execute as a child of BASIC" when trying to run a program created in QBASIC, then you need to download the patch SP2517.

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Windows 98 and Slow Internet Connection

After upgrading to Windows 98 the dialup connection to your ISP takes longer than the previous Win95 connection/negotiation did. The delay is apparent immediately after the Username and Password are sent to the ISP. The duration of this delay can be up to a full minute.

Here is the solution:

  • Go to My Computer, and open Dialup Networking
  • Select the connection for your ISP, and right-click on the icon
  • Select and click on Properties
  • Click on the 'Server Types' tab at the top of the menu
  • Under 'Advanced Options' in that window, uncheck the option 'Log on to Network'. You might consult with your ISP before doing so, since some ISPs run scripts which require this option to remain checked.
  • Under 'Allowed Network Protocols', uncheck the NetBEUI and IPX/SPX boxes.

Click on OK and test the new parameters. The negotiation time following the sending of the Username and Password should be reduced.

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If when running the MediaMatics MPEG software under Windows 95 you suffer from video distortion, then you need to download update SP2937.

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Speakerphone Feedback

You may experience audio feedback when trying to use the speakerphone on Presario 500, 700, and 900 Series computers. When these units are first set up, the speakerphone should be automatically adjusted for echo cancellation; however, feedback conditions may remain in some cases. If you are having this problem, then you need update SP1593.

How to disable Media Pilot

For the 500, 700, 900 series computers.

  • Windows 3.1
    • Go to the Startup group, click once on the Operator Icon, and press the delete button on the keyboard.
    • Then go to File/ Run/ type in "Win.ini" and press the Enter key.
    • on the run= line, remove the line c:\windows\mediaplt\cpqdmn.exe (sometimes cpq_dmn.exe, depending on Media Pilot version).
  • Windows 95
    • From your Start Menu, choose Settings, then Taskbar
    • Click the "Start Menu Programs" tab
    • Then click the Remove button.
    • Open the folder named Startup
    • Remove the icon for Phone Center.
    • Then go to Start / Run / and type in "Win.ini" and press the Enter Key.
    • on the run= line, remove the line c:\windows\mediaplt\cpqdmn.exe (sometimes cpq_dmn.exe, depending on Media Pilot version).

For 5000, 7200, and 9000 series computers

  • Goto Media Pilot Setup and set incoming call minder to off.
  • Then, go to Start (File) / Run/ type in "Win.ini" and press enter.
  • on the run= line, remove the line c:\windows\mediaplt\cpq_dmn.exe
  • Go to Start (File) / Run, and type in "system.ini" and press enter.
  • do a search for 'tamaudio'
  • once you find the line that lists that file, and add a semi-colon (;) at the beginning of the line. You need to do this for 2 lines, the second line should be below the line you just did. (They should start with Wave1 and Aux1).
  • Save the file, and reboot the computer.

Remember that if you deleted Media Pilot, you will get an error when you try to play a music CD in your computer. Music CDs are associated with the Media Pilot CD Sound System, which means that program needs to be on the computer for it to run. You can however associated Music CDs with another program, or else leave that program on the computer, CMPQMSS.EXE

Patch for Wav Volume and Manual Fax Button

This patch diskette corrects the following issues with MediaPilot 1.7i:

  • The Manual Fax Receive Button in the Phone Center does not function.
  • The MediaPilot Phone Center automatically adjusts the wav volume to a maximum setting when playing back messages. When the messages are finished playing, the wav volume is not adjusted back to the orginal setting, resulting in very loud wav sounds on the rest of the system.

The update number is SP1877.

Fax Driver Update

This update only applies to customers with Presario computers which have either MediaPilot 1.5, 1.51i, 1.6, or 1.7i. It does not apply to MediaPilot FE. Several versions of MediaPilot exhibit text clipping or overlapping when sending a fax from certain 32-bit word processor applications under Windows 95. This updated fax driver will correct such problems. The file number is SP1876.

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Wing Commander IV

Wing Commander IV Fix for Presario DVD Navigator. This update, SP7016, fixes the problem where the game does not display video on newer Presario models (see installation instructions). The problem is related to the interaction between the Presario DVD Navigator and Microsoft DirectShow.

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This update prevents the blue-screen error that occurs during the game Incoming, bundled with certain Presario models (see installation instructions for models list) while adjusting the Easy Access Keyboard volume buttons. The update number is SP8053.

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Magic Carpet / PGA Tour 96 patch

These two patches correct the problem where the computer locks up or fails to restart Windows 95 after quitting the MS-DOS based games Magic Carpet and PGA Tour 96 which are supplied with specific Presario models. All patches can be downloaded from Compaq's website.

For models with ESS ES1888 soundcards, then download - SP2841.

For models with other ESS soundcards, then download - SP2837.

For models with InterWave soundcards, then download - SP2842.

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Microsoft Outlook 98

This update upgrades the Compaq Telephony Service Provider (TSP) to Version 1.9.12 to fix the problem where the 'Contacts' folder in Microsoft Outlook 98 does not work properly. The update number is SP5747, and s available from Compaq's website.

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4800 and Movie Files

This update creates a diskette with a patch that fixes a problem that can occur when attempting to play a movie file with an .mpg or .avi extention on the Presario 4800.

When the user double-clicks on one of these file types, instead of playing the movie, the system gives the error message:

Windows cannot find c:\compaq\voyetra\as2\vs2.exe

This patch associates .mpg and .avi movie files to the media player as the default viewer so that the files will open and play properly when selected. The update number is SP5742.

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