Compaq Portable 286 and Portable III - IDE drives?

allison ajp166 at
Fri Mar 3 15:14:22 CST 2017

On 03/03/2017 03:52 PM, Jules Richardson via cctalk wrote:
> Just checking here, as someone told me that this is the case, but do
> the Compaq Portable 286 and Portable III take stock 40-pin IDE hard
> drives? I just wanted to make sure that they weren't expecting
> something that might be a bit non-standard before I go trying to find
> modern replacements for a pair of failing disks.
> Assuming that an enormous modern(ish) drive is OK, are there any other
> gotchas involved in configuration and formatting? Obviously I don't
> need a partition bigger than a few tens of MB, but perhaps there are
> things to keep in mind when fitting a drive that's most likely to be
> getting on for a thousand times the capacity of the original.
> cheers
> Jules
One caveat...  Max drive size was 500mb.  You can use larger but the
first partition must be 500mb and the second is only
usable to the limits of the OS version.  For example the hardware (BIOS)
will boot the OS in the first 500mb partition and
of the OS such as Win3.11 can handle up to only 500mb if memory serves
but there can be many partitions.

The other thing is the BIOS much be able to setup for the drive
geometry, some only have a predefined list.

That machine was seen with drives in the up to 340 or 420mb scale over
time and larger than 40mb was not uncommon.
If you can find a working ST3660A (500mb) that might be a good one to go

I'd max the drive at 1Gb.  Larger may not work.


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