Compaq Portable III fails POST?

Don THX1138 at
Sun Aug 20 20:07:05 CDT 2006

jim stephens wrote:
> Cameron Kaiser wrote:
>>> How do you know the keyboard is "incompletely connected"?
>>> I assume that those "few threads" are actually capable of
>>> carrying current?
>> No, I mean, the cable is frayed and wires are open, visible and in 
>> most places
>> partially or totally cut. As in, the cable is barely physically intact.
> I just unpacked one that had been stored in a reasonable warehouse 
> environment,
> this week, and when I pulled off the keyboard, the insulation sheathing 
> totally disintegrated.

This is not A Good Thing.

> I think they tried some sort of plastic to make the cable retain the 
> curl, and it was not very good.
> I have not tested the keyboard, the later suggestion of trying another 
> standard at is a good one.
> This is pretty much an AT with a 30 or so entry HD table, instead of 
> just the AT's 15 entry table in the disk extension.
> As such, you need an AT setup disk to set the cmos if it is dead.  It 
> should
> boot and run either the compaq one, or the standard AT one.  If you dont
> need > 15 in the drive type, the standard AT will work.  A lot of these
> had drive type 2, which IIRC is a 20mb.

Ah, I hadn't realized anything other than the Compaq setup/test/install
disk worked!

> Another thing that concerns me is that you need to say whether you
> see floppy activity, either constant (bad ps) or none at all after
> you boot up.  You should see a floppy seek if you have a floppy
> installed, just like an ordinary AT would do.
> <snip>

I *think* the drive door must be closed for it to seek (?).
I.e. insert floppy and PUSH the "button" so it stays IN
(press again to release/eject)

>> I have it connected to AC, so unless it needs the battery to boot 
>> (*mumble* fricking Mac Portable*mumble*), it shouldn't be that ...
> yes, it needs to have cmos setup program booted from floppy if (since 
> the battery will be) is dead.
>> Please let me know what you find. The form factor is fascinating, so I
>> would love to get it running again.
> They are nice 286 or 386 machines, consume much less than preserving the 
> equivalent AT pile.

I thought the Portable III was strictly a 286.  The "Portable 386"
was it's lookalike 386 cousin?

More information about the cctalk mailing list