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Can Not get into Bios

by unomix / May 13, 2006 9:44 AM PDT

Compaq Presario 9546 series 3526C5 Pentium 200 mhz 128 mb ram Windows 98. I have checked the mfgs website and it states F1 for most and F10 for models prior to 2002. All of the components inside this unit are dated 1995. I have tried every combination I can think of from using ths shift key with the above to ESC & Delete keys and many combos of F keys.
Any help would be a great help as the boot order needs to be changed to cdrom for system reinstall due to problems with the OS.

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Since that computer is that old...
by linkit / May 13, 2006 10:37 AM PDT
In reply to: Can Not get into Bios

...what key does the initial black screen say to hit after starting the computer?

Note: A computer that old may need a new motherboard battery.

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Black screen only lists the Ram countdown
by unomix / May 13, 2006 10:47 AM PDT

and then goes to the 98 screen. The entire rest of the screen is black. As far as the battery is concerned it appears to be soldered to the bracket and not removable, is this unusual?
I can get it to safe mode by pushing the F8 key if this is of any help

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Try this...
by John.Wilkinson / May 14, 2006 7:58 AM PDT

With a Compaq it should be F1, F2, or F10, but since the Presario 9546 uses Phoenix, there are three other possibilities:

Hopefully one of those combinations will work.

As to the CMOS battery, some are soldered in, making the only replacement near impossible on your end. It's rare now, but was more common back then. The good news is that the battery isn't likely an issue, so its status of being immovable isn't important.

Hope this helps,

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(NT) (NT) I will try and advise..Thanks for the assist
by unomix / May 14, 2006 9:32 AM PDT
In reply to: Try this...
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Dear John- I have always wanted to write that but now about
by unomix / May 15, 2006 1:01 AM PDT
In reply to: Try this...

the computer, what I did accomplish with the CTRL/ALT/S was to have 2 small rectangles show up at the bottom of the screen, one says F1= save and the other F2= ignore. Also if I use the CTL/ALT/ESC or INS I get one rectangle that says F1= boot. These are what I have found out so far but still no luck in getting into the bios.

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Old Compaqs and Bios
by TONI H / May 15, 2006 11:43 PM PDT

Old Compaq's required that you use a special setup set of floppy disks to install the bios information to the front of the harddrives in order to access it from the normal boot. Evidently the harddrive was fdisked and partitioning removed that erased that information in the non-dos partition. So the answer here is to actually access the bios from the floppy disks instead.

Comicfan provided the link here:

When you download the file you need (setup and diagnostic tools), click the .exe file and you will be able to create the boot/floppy disks needed....usually four of them. Then you can insert the first disk, and you will get the screen asking if you want to install the info to the harddrive or if you want to access the bios from the floppy disk instead. Choose the floppy will then see the bios screens.

Make your changes and SAVE them, and remove the disk and reboot with your cd in the drive. The changes will be made to the bios, you just won't be able to see or get access to it using the normal F keys still.

If you try to write the bios information to the harddrive, you may, in all probability, screw up the harddrive causing you to have to fdisk and format and start over again, so I advise against that option.

Accessing the bios via the floppy disk will give you the results you will just have to use that disk again when you want to make changes to the bios again in the future.


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by PKsteven / May 15, 2006 6:16 AM PDT
In reply to: Can Not get into Bios

I read your posts and I am thinking it may not have been an OS problem, but something with the unit itself. If you cannot get into CMOS then I would likely guess bad controllers.

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by PKsteven / May 15, 2006 6:26 AM PDT
In reply to: perhaps

I also want to add that on some older types as yours, sometimes software to actually access CMOS is written on the hard drive and if erased, you will have to get the drivers or whatever they used to make an install disk to get your system back. Not a windows install disk but a disk to install your proper settings for the compaq itself.
I can do some searching and see if I can come up with them for you.

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by PKsteven / May 15, 2006 6:42 AM PDT
In reply to: added
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I will try these..just got tired of it for a while
by unomix / May 24, 2006 7:24 AM PDT
In reply to: here...

I have not wiped the HDD yet and now the one ide quit working after it stated something about driver problems.
I may have a boat anchor on my hands here but I am going to keep trying but after a brief rest because I was about to throw it in the river. Thanks for all your help and I will post back with my progress.

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No luck, Made a planter out of it
by unomix / June 7, 2006 5:48 AM PDT
In reply to: Can Not get into Bios

Nothing seems to work and it is so old it is not worth the trouble. I found a good deal on a used P2 for 40. and it works great.
Thanks Everyone

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