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.
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)!