Did you happen to acquire the Compaq System Restore CD that came with it also? Otherwise you might have a big problem. You can find a generic Windows 95 CD on eBay, but laptops generally come with their own drivers, which might not available anymore at Compaqs site. Finding this specific Restore CD on eBay will be difficult also, I suppose.
You didn't happen to make a backup of the system registry, before installing Office 2000, I'm afraid. Depending on the previous user and what he cleaned there might be a system.1st (I don't know the exact name, but you'll recognize it) in the root folder. That's the system part of the registry, as it came out of the factory (if you're lucky). If you can find it, and you know enough of MS-DOS to copy it over system.dat in the windows-folder, it's possible the system will boot again, and work again.
Note that Office 97 runs very well in Windows 95 on a 32 Mb machine. I've used it for years, and only recently upgraded to 48 Mb.
Hope this helps.
I recently acquired an old Compaq Armada laptop (gently used) running on Win95 w/ 32 mb RAM. I stupidly tried to upgrade the system to Office 2000 without checking the mininum system req's and, upon the mid-installation reboot, I received the following message:
"While initializing device IOS:
Error: An I/O subsystem driver failed to load. Either a file in the .\iosubsys subdirectory is corrupt, or the system is low on memory."
Since I don't think I had enough RAM to install Office 2000, I'm guessing it's a memory issue. When I try to start the computer in safe mode so as to uninstall Office 2000, the error screen comes up immediately and I cannot escape or figure out how to get past the message. Continual reboots lead to the same result and now I'm stuck. Any help would be appreciated.