Compaq Presario 2200 Desktop

By Cris, October 31, 2016
Last updated: August 28, 2017
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Compaq Presario 2200 Restoration

Prior to its acquisition by HP, Compaq produced a wide number of desktop PCs. The Compaq Presario lineup was a small form factor desktop lineup and included the 2200. It was produced between 1997 and 1998.

The original Presario 2200 specifications were as follows:

  • Cyrix Media  180 MHz CPU (66MHz Bus Speed) (GXI-180BP)
  • 16MB onboard RAM – 12MB dedicated as VRAM
  • Cyrix CX 5510 onboard GPU (CX5510Rev2)
  • Analog Devices SoundPort audio processor (AD1847 JP)
  • 2 x 8MB Fujitsu 72-pin EDO SIMM RAM
    • Expandable to 64MB (80MB total with onboard RAM)
  • 1 x 8-bit ISA expansion slot populated with a 33.6K Modem (Firmware upgradable to 56K)
  • 1.6GB IDE Quantum Bigfoot HDD
  • NEC 1.44″ FDD
  • 8X CD-Rom Drive
  • 51W Steady-state power supply

Compaq SoftPaq (OEM) drivers included:

  1. Compaq 33.6K Modem -> 56K Hardware upgrade card. Firmware after 56K add-on hardware card (SoftPaq 9451)
  2. Cyrix GX 5510 onboard video (SoftPaq 5015 – Win95/98 driver)
  3. Analog Devices SoundPort AD 1847 (SoftPaq 7341 – Win95/98 driver)

Bought originally in ’97, it saw moderate use and now, the motherboard and original CD-Rom drive 20 years later:

 

Note that the 8x CD-ROM drive was replaced with a CD-RW drive in subsequent images. This allows for burning files to CD-RW discs for transfer due to the lack of USB ports and limitations of the floppy drive.

After a careful tear-down, light brushing and vacuum cleaning, here is the partial re-assembled chassis:

Closeups of the motherboard, Cyrix CPU, RAM, Jumper settings (soldered), BIOS are as follows:

Note the excellent results obtained by dry brushing and light vacuuming. No solvents used whatsoever! The computer was never used in a high humidity environment which does account for the lack of corrosion and ease of cleaning.

Upgrading any component can be quite challenging. This includes an ISA network card, non-Compaq branded EDO SIMM RAM or even the HDD.

Upgrades and modifications:

ISA Network Card

Although some 32-bit ISA network cards have been known to work with an 8-bit ISA slot, the battery holder on the motherboard physically limits the insertion of a 32-bit board. So updates are limited to classic 8-bit network cards which (as far as I know) never offered an ethernet connector and would require an external adapter.

RAM

Any attempt with a  standard non-Compaq branded RAM will most likely result in it not being entirely usable.

The industry standard method that was generally used in the 90’s with 72-pin EDO SIMM RAM used pins 68-70 as bridged jumpers to identify the RAM size and speed to the motherboard using the Presence Detection designation. Companies like IBM, Compaq and others used a proprietary mechanism of identifying their RAM for their branded motherboards. That being said, if you have a generic EDO RAM stick of a known size, you can manually bridge the solder pads using bridging resistors (0 resistance jumpers) in the appropriate configuration to your motherboard manufacturer.

HDD

This Compaq Presario desktop seems to be capped at 8.34GB due to some limitation in the 1985-1994 Pheonix BIOS. I attempted to replace the original HDD (for a separate Win98SE installation) with a Maxtor 20GB (ca. 2003) and it was not fully recognized. A workaround at the time for those kinds of issues was to install a HDD overlay.

HDD manufacturers were aware of these mainboard limitations and usually provided a bootable floppy disk that can load the appropriate information after POST so that the entire size may be used.

Another workaround would have been a manufacturer BIOS update, however, even on the waybackmachine web archive of the original Compaq company website revealed no such update to even begin searching for. Alternatively a BIOS dump and appropriate modification should be possible.

Additional Legacy Driver Sources:

Similar teardowns:

Additional Sources and Resources:

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