Compaq Deskpro 4000 – Restoration
Last week I picked up a job-lot of awesome retro PC parts and software. Included in the collection was a very tired Compaq Deskpro 4000. The machine wouldn’t boot and was really dirty – really DIRTY. The gentleman I collected the Compaq from had received it from a neighbour and didn’t have the time to repair it.
I started by stripping the machine down to its individual parts and cleaning each part separately.The Compaq was full of dust and fluff, it took around 4 hours to strip and clean the computer thoroughly. Once each part had been cleaned and inspected I started putting the Compaq back together. I replaced the IDE and floppy cables and replaced the heat sink and fan on the CPU. I had a spare heat sink and fan from an AMD Duron 800, with a little modification to the power cables it fitted the socket 7 CPU nicely (I know it’s a little over-kill but at least I know the CPU will be cool.
Before I screwed all the parts back into place I tried booting the machine. With a whir the little Compaq sprung to life, however I was unable to access the BIOS. After a quick google I found that the BIOS and the Compaq splash screen are stored on the hard drive. Sadly this machine doesn’t come with it’s original hard drive. Thankfully HP still provide the BIOS setup programs (here).
Happy that there was some life left in the little Compaq I carefully went about rebuilding the machine. Thankfully everything went back together without any issues.
While rebuilding the Compaq I removed the front plate and soaked it in bleach removing the stains and some of the yellowing. Once the rebuild was finished I rinsed off the front plate and completed the build.
This really was a dirty PC, it was full of stranger grime and stranger fluff!
Once the machine was rebuilt I installed MS-DOS 6.22 and Windows 98. I haven’t had any success repairing the BIOS issue. If anyone reading this has had success restoring the splash screen and BIOS please leave a comment below.
The final specifications:
- Pentium 133MHZ
- 64MB of EDO RAM
- Sound Blaster Compatible ISA Card (SoundPort AD1846JP)
- Cirrus Logic CL-GD5446 (on-board card with a memory module)
- 2GB Hard Drive
Throughout the rebuild I took pictures documenting my efforts.
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