Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Compaq Armada 1700 PII 233 256MB 10GB

I received this in the post today:

It seems to be password protected as I get this when I power it on:

Turns out I must be a natural hacker as the first 'password' I tried no only let me in but it was also the local Administrator password when Windows 2000 finished loading!

Oh and the bonus was a 'free' Madonna CD that was left in the drive, it didn't play the first time I tried.  The laptop is covered in dirt and dust so I ejected the CD-ROM and gently cleaned the lens with a cotton bud, tried again and it worked like a dream!

It has a 162 error, but as we all know that just means I need to replace the CMOS/RTC battery like I've done before so I'll try and get that done at the weekend :)

Sunday, 13 January 2019

162 System Options Not Set - Compaq Armada 1700/1750

Are you getting the 162 System Options Not Set on an old vintage/retro laptop?

Is it followed by a message telling you the Time and Date are not set?  Does it go on to ask you to save the changed or ignore them?

The biggest clue to what is causing this error message is the date/time not being set.  When you power off your laptop a small button battery keeps the on-board real-time-clock (RTC) and it is this that keeps the time and date on your laptop correct and on some laptops it also keeps any System Setup or BIOS/CMOS settings stored too.

Luckily there is an easy fix, replace the RTC/CMOS battery!

Click here to see how to replace the RTC/CMOS battery on a Compaq Armada 1700/1750 - including how to make your own.

On a Compaq Armada 1700/1750, once you have replaced the battery you will need to then load up the Computer Setup program either via a floppy disk (or if you have it installed on the maintenance partition of your hard disk drive you can press F10 shortly after the POST).

I have it on floppy disk so I inserted it in to the floppy disk drive and launched the setup program that way.

Once in the Setup Program have a look around and make any changes you like and then set the date and time.  Save the settings, exit and then reboot!

I took the opportunity to set the Asset Tag of my laptop and also the Company and now when I power on my laptop it shows the company name (I used the URL of this blog as the company name)!

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Aluminium Foil Tape, Heat Shrink Tubing and a Heat Gun

Today's haul is some silver aluminium foil tape with conductive acrylic adhesive, assorted heat shrink tubing, a heat gun and a silicone soldering mat!

Can you guess what I am going to do with this lot?!

Friday, 11 January 2019

Mac Allister Tool Box

Time to get organised with the tools I've amassed to fix/repair/refurbish the vintage and retro laptops I have acquired over the last month or so - so today after work I popped in to B&Q and got one of these:

As you can see in the next photo, I've put in all my tools from my soldering iron to torx screwdrivers and it's already chock-a-block!

Saturday, 5 January 2019

Floppy Disks, Doom and Some Compact Flash Cards

Today's haul is a good one as I've received a couple of Brand New (Old Stock) factory sealed boxes of Floppy Disks:

What do I need all those (very) old Compact Flash cards for, they're in MB and not GB?!

For use with this of course! 

Compact Flash cards are basically IDE so you don't need a fancy adapter with a microchip in it doing some jiggery-pokery, it's simply connects the appropriate pin on the adapter to the correct output on the IDE connector so they are ideal for use on Retro/Vintage laptops.

As 486 laptops tended to have hard disk drives of just a few MegaBytes (MB) then I've had to snap up as many low capacity Compact Flash cards as I could - all from my current favourite place, CeX where (including postage) I didn't pay more than £2.50 per card.

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