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  Author  Subject: Re: Compaq prosignia vs

Posted on 05-06-2003 09:53 p.m. ET  reply

Original Poster: Mark Krentel wrote:

>Date: Tue May 6 21:10:39 EDT 2003
>Name: Mark Krentel
>Subject: Re: Compaq prosignia vs

Dave originally wrote, <snip>

>I bought a tower Compaq Prosignia VS and found there to be no hard drive. I
>tried installing hd'd i had and they have too small of a connection
>Compaq machines (especially ones for business clients) often come with
>builtin SCSI controllers, and I'm guessing that's your problem. Count
>the number of pins on the connector. 40 pins on a 2" wide ribbon
>cable is IDE (10 pins/inch in two rows), 50 pins on a 2.5" ribbon
>cable is narrow SCSI (also 10 pins/inch in two rows), and 68 tiny pins
>on a small D-shaped connector is wide SCSI. Ironically, wide SCSI
>uses a smaller cable than regular SCSI or IDE, even though it has more

Mark is dead on about this. I am reminded now that the VS series are
older and date back to 486 days. Drives were generally SCSI for those
machines as they were not intended for the consumer market.

>Anyway, depending on the machine, you likely have a builtin SCSI
>controller on the mobo and you may or may not have IDE controllers.
>Of course, you have to match the disk (and all devices) to the
>controller, although you can put normal SCSI devices on a wide cable
>with an adapter.

Great point Mark! If we knew what particular VS he has we'd know more.
Some had, as IIRC, a single IDE header as well.

>So, if the board only has a SCSI controller, then you'll either need
>to get an IDE controller card or else use a SCSI disk.

Dave, please try to look arond and tell us more about the box. I KNOW
it's a pain on Compaqs but the info is usally there somewhere on the
outside of the case. You really need to know what you have. Look for a
very small tag or label.

If you need an IDE controller I have a few here, both PCI and ISA and
will sell or trade or give to you depending on the situation. Under $10
I'm too busy doing other things to haggle, not looking for money.

That said, you need to properly identify your machine, or at least let
us know the CPU etc. That would help me immensely.

>And Dennis is right that Compaq machines often put half of their BIOS
>on a 32 meg DOS partition at the beginning of the disk. If this is
>that type of machine, you'll need to download a zip file of about 4
>floppies before you can get into the BIOS. It's quite a mess.

Mark..we should chat sometime about this scheme I call "BIOS on
Partition." I am sadly familiar with the Compaq version but Intel--as I
am sure you know--wants to take it further on all mainboards. It makes
no sense unless one considers corporate greed.

Anyway, I've found a good workaround on the newer Compaq boxen. Not hard
to create a bootable CD that restores the drivers and hidden DOS partition.

OK, took some work but makes it easy now.

Kindest Regards,


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