Compaq Presario 1260 Question


F

Frederick

I have inherited an old Compaq Presario 1260 laptop. I want to bring
it up to current and give it to my son.

It boots fine except for a dead motherboard battery which I will try
to replace later. But now, I want to install XP on it, as it has W98
now.

The laptop has a disk drive, but it doesn't seem to want to open
consistently. The OS says the drive (or the disk in it) is not
available. I plugged in an external USB disk drive, and it says the
same thing, even with the XP install disk in the drive. The drive
does not want to open consistently either. I tested the external
drive in a desktop I have and it works just fine.

So I am wondering - is it a USB power problem? My external drive (LG)
does not have its own power supply as do some. So it would have to
pick up power from the laptop USB itself. BTW, the laptop is plugged
into AC.

Anything I can do? Besides punt?

Thank you

Big Fred
 
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P

Paul

Frederick said:
I have inherited an old Compaq Presario 1260 laptop. I want to bring
it up to current and give it to my son.

It boots fine except for a dead motherboard battery which I will try
to replace later. But now, I want to install XP on it, as it has W98
now.

The laptop has a disk drive, but it doesn't seem to want to open
consistently. The OS says the drive (or the disk in it) is not
available. I plugged in an external USB disk drive, and it says the
same thing, even with the XP install disk in the drive. The drive
does not want to open consistently either. I tested the external
drive in a desktop I have and it works just fine.

So I am wondering - is it a USB power problem? My external drive (LG)
does not have its own power supply as do some. So it would have to
pick up power from the laptop USB itself. BTW, the laptop is plugged
into AC.

Anything I can do? Besides punt?

Thank you

Big Fred

Laptops may have more limitations on USB bus power, than on
comparable desktops. In such a case, you need either a "Y" cable
for USB, or a 5V adapter to run the device. Some USB peripherals,
have a barrel connector on them, for usage with a 5V source.

With a USB Y cable, the red connector only uses it's 5V and GND
pins, while the adjacent black connector uses all four pins. That allows
the cable to draw current from two laptop ports. (You can probably
find similar cables, for less than this example.)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812200736

This is the "barrel style fix". You continue using the existing
USB cable, for data transmission (and some power). Then, this
cable, like the Y cable, allows more current to flow. The barrel
is for the 5V round hole on the USB device. By using two cables,
the hope is, to make more room for current flow.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812200699

I have a 5.25" USB enclosure with a separate power adapter.
And that never has a problem with power, because of the
adapter. I've used both hard drives and desktop optical drives in it.
What that one lacks, is it doesn't have a proper adapter
for 3.5" hard drive mounting. (The drive ends up not secured
properly. Someone at the factory, didn't use the proper hole pattern
for the chassis. They put holes, but not in the right spots.)

The USB2 bus has a 5V @ 500mA limit for high power devices.
The circuit measuring the current, inside the laptop, is not
supposed to cut off the bus at exactly 500mA. The fusing
recommended by Intel, is set to a higher current level than this.
And when protected properly, devices like a 2.5" hard drive with
a short term surge current of 1 ampere, can still manage to
start up. Using the Y cable, is supposed to help with this.
The Y cable works, as long as there isn't excessive "current
hogging" behavior. Two 500mA connectors, do not give exactly
1 ampere of total capacity, because one conductive path might
not match the resistance of the other conductive path, and
one side of the Y draws more current than the other. Which
reduces the max total that can be drawn, before some protection
device is triggered.

Laptops tend to use 8 pin DIP "power bug" chips, for measurement
and cutoff of overloads. My motherboards here, all use Polyfuse
fuses instead, and they're set to 1.1 amps or higher (I see "110"
stamped on the top of the fuse). A Polyfuse resets itself, when
it cools off. And Intel recommends not cutting off a USB load at
exactly 500mA, because of the problems that causes
to end-users (like, 2.5" hard drives that won't start).

Some USB devices, are just stupidly designed. There was one
ADSL modem, where some people checked a few of them, and
found them to always run at around 515 to 525 mA. So the company
making the product, thought they could play "fast and loose" with
the limit. And then, people would wonder why the ADSL modem
had a tendency to disconnect or disappear.

*******

This USB enclosure, has the power supply for the drive, inside
the housing. The exterior of the housing has a three prong
connector on the back, for a line cord. The box happens to have
a fan, next to the supply section, which is good. Except sometimes,
when these companies put a fan, they put inadequate or non-existent
air intake vents on the chassis, for the fan to work. I've actually
had to use a hand drill, and drill cooling holes for crappy designs
missing an air intake.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817392021

This is what it looks like, with a 5.25" desktop optical drive fitted.
The adapter board at the top, converts SATA to USB. (Two of the chips
there are voltage regulators.)

http://www.fcenter.ru/img/article/CD_DVD/Vantec_NexStar/127636.jpg

Paul
 
F

Frederick

Laptops may have more limitations on USB bus power, than on
comparable desktops. In such a case, you need either a "Y" cable
for USB, or a 5V adapter to run the device. Some USB peripherals,
have a barrel connector on them, for usage with a 5V source.

With a USB Y cable, the red connector only uses it's 5V and GND
pins, while the adjacent black connector uses all four pins. That allows
the cable to draw current from two laptop ports. (You can probably
find similar cables, for less than this example.)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812200736

This is the "barrel style fix". You continue using the existing
USB cable, for data transmission (and some power). Then, this
cable, like the Y cable, allows more current to flow. The barrel
is for the 5V round hole on the USB device. By using two cables,
the hope is, to make more room for current flow.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812200699

I have a 5.25" USB enclosure with a separate power adapter.
And that never has a problem with power, because of the
adapter.

Yeh. A few months back I bought this LG external USB/DVD drive, and
foolishly opted for one without the power supply because it was
cheaper. Big mistake I guess. I have to wonder why the drive
resident on the laptop doesn't work. Guess it must be faulty.

Big Fred
 
F

Frederick

My disk drive is a LG GP08LU30 with no power supply capability of its
own. The instructions say if insufficient power is obtained from PC
USB power, then connect to the USB power cable which I guess is the
second male A cable-end that came with the LG. It shows that as a
separate connection on the graphic laptop pic. I only have one USB
port on this laptop. I do have a USB dongle that allows me to gang
several USB devices to one computer port. Using this, I connected
one of the LG cable male A ends to a desktop USB. That gives me
enough power to open and load a CD into the LG, but the laptop's W98
still does not recognize its presence.

The StarTech USB2HABMY3 appears same as the Cables To Go 6FT MINI-B
MALE TO (2) USB A MALE Y-CABLE Sears Item# SPM498981401 | Model# 28107
available at
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_...001a&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=SPM498981401#desc

Do you think it is? Quite cheap. Could it do any better than what I
have now?


I don't see any such round hole on the my LG. So I guess this is out.

Thanks

Big Fred
 
P

Paul

Frederick said:
My disk drive is a LG GP08LU30 with no power supply capability of its
own. The instructions say if insufficient power is obtained from PC
USB power, then connect to the USB power cable which I guess is the
second male A cable-end that came with the LG. It shows that as a
separate connection on the graphic laptop pic. I only have one USB
port on this laptop. I do have a USB dongle that allows me to gang
several USB devices to one computer port. Using this, I connected
one of the LG cable male A ends to a desktop USB. That gives me
enough power to open and load a CD into the LG, but the laptop's W98
still does not recognize its presence.


The StarTech USB2HABMY3 appears same as the Cables To Go 6FT MINI-B
MALE TO (2) USB A MALE Y-CABLE Sears Item# SPM498981401 | Model# 28107
available at
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_...001a&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=SPM498981401#desc

Do you think it is? Quite cheap. Could it do any better than what I
have now?



I don't see any such round hole on the my LG. So I guess this is out.

Thanks

Big Fred

Compaq Presario 1260 specs.
http://reviews.cnet.com/laptops/compaq-presario-1260-12/1707-3121_7-30578890.html

Looking at the vintage of the unit, I'm not sure what you can do
with it, if you cannot get the internal optical drive to work.

The 1260 has a K6 family processor, running at 333MHz. That would
make the year of introduction, perhaps around 1999 or 2000 or so.
I'm just guessing at that, since I owned a Celeron 300MHz in the
same timeframe. I can't be positive that the date at the top of the
CNET webpage, is accurate. Older machines have poor USB support.

RAM is 32MB soldered to motherboard, plus 128MB as a separate SODIMM max.
You would need to go all the way to max, to make WinXP happy. Running
WinXP on 64MB total, would likely be painful, or close to impossible.
The shipped Win98 with the thing, might do a little better in that
regard, and be a better fit for the amount of RAM likely to be inside
the machine. If you use a Linux distro as another option, many of the
modern distributions would be bloated, and getting a decent graphics
desktop to run in 160MB max, might still be a challenge. So of the 500
different Linux CDs, not all of them would be a good choice for
installation - you'd have to pick and choose.

(The BIOS screen may report the amount of RAM present, and if not,
you can download a memtest86+ test floppy, and boot the Compaq with
that, and it will display total RAM detected, on the screen.
http://www.memtest.org . The download is half way down the web page.)

And back then, it would not be likely to be able to boot from a USB
device. So if you used an external CD or DVD drive, I don't know if the
BIOS has the boot code to use one of those. Similarly, it would be
possible to use a USB key to install WinXP, but again the issue would
be, a machine that old, would not have boot code to use a USB key.
The USB port is probably USB 1.1, limiting transfer performance to
around 1MB/sec tops.

I have a vintage 1999 motherboard, and as far as I know, it only
offers to boot from an internal hard drive on the IDE cable or
an internal optical drive on the IDE cable. Mine also happens
to have a SCSI port internally, and a drive there would also boot,
and the code to do that is partially provided by the SCSI chip and
its associated BIOS code module. But back then, USB wasn't very mature,
and was mainly a peripheral port for usage once the computer was
running.

So you'd probably want to get the internal optical drive working,
as that stands the best chance of making your project work right away.

*******

If you know for certain, it boots from a USB device, then I think
I see a parallel port on the back of the machine. It could have
a 5V pin on the parallel port. Or, perhaps the machine has a
docking port, and there is power on the dock, and the dock offers
an option to connect an optical drive. But finding something for
the dock, is likely just as difficult as finding something
to replace the internal optical drive (if it happened to be broken).

*******

You have yet another option. The Presario 1260 has a floppy drive.
There is a way to install WinXP, that can use MSDOS.

You take the hard drive out of the laptop, and prepare two partitions.
Your drive is 4GB in size, so you have to be careful about the partitioning.
You'd make the first partition 3.3GB, and the second partition 700MB,
and both partitions would be FAT32 type. To prepare the laptop drive,
you'd connect it to a desktop computer IDE cable, using a 40 to 44 pin
adapter. You'd connect the drive, to the end connector. I don't know
how you'd select Master or Slave for that drive. If the drive is by
itself, Master might be the best choice.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812119245

Your desktop machine would have its own OS, so when the laptop drive
is connected to it, you have Disk Management to format the drive.
You define the two partitions, 3.3GB for the first FAT32 partition
(will become C:) and 700MB for the second FAT32 partition (will become D:).

Next, you prepare an MSDOS floppy. If you had a Win98 machine, there is
some option using the "sys" command, which causes a minimal set of
MSDOS files to be put on the floppy.

Next, you pop the floppy into the laptop, boot, and prove the laptop
can boot from the floppy.

The floppy can benefit from adding SMARTDRV.exe to it. You can learn
more about MSDOS here. (Or perhaps with FreeDOS, it isn't needed ?)

http://www.vfrazee.com/ms-dos/6.22/help/

Now, back on the desktop machine, with the laptop hard drive connected,
you copy the i386 folder from the WinXP CD, onto the D: partition of
your newly set up laptop hard drive (you don't need the other CD content).
The WinXP CD is probably a bit less than 700MB, and the i386 folder should
just fit into D:. You might also want to bring over, any drivers for later,
if you happen to think of them. For example, if you happen to know the
Ethernet chip part number in the laptop, you might bring an NDIS driver
for that, so you can get file sharing working later (to connect to your
other computers). If file sharing is working, that's how you'd get any
additional drivers that might be needed.

OK, now you re-install the laptop hard drive. You have in hand the empty
C: (first partition) at 3.3GB, and the 700MB D: partition containing i386
and any driver folders you might like. You boot the laptop from the
MSDOS floppy. When the DOS prompt comes up, you do

d:
cd \
cd o386
winnt.exe

and what should happen, is the WinXP installer inside the d:\i386 folder,
should start to run. There are two executables in there, a winnt32.exe
(which would run from Win98 or Win2K, if you were doing a software upgrade),
or the winnt.exe file which runs from DOS. By making a DOS floppy, you
provide an OS to "bootstrap" the install process.

The winnt.exe installer, will then copy the files from D:\i386, into
the new empty 3.3GB C: partition. On the next reboot, you allow the
laptop to boot from the hard drive, and as C: will have the boot flag,
the second stage of the WinXP install will run without the floppy
being present. The WinXP installer will ask for the license key and
so on.

That's how I installed my current WinXP machine (but my drive was bigger than 4GB!),
so I know this works. I did not use the CD directly. I prepared the
two partitions as stated above, and did the install that way (purely for fun).

Note that Microsoft makes a six floppy boot set, for WinXP SP1 and SP2,
but when I tried that, I think it insisted on looking for the CD drive.
I don't remember it offering a command prompt, but perhaps it did.
The floppy set might not help you much, except if you couldn't find
a copy of MSDOS to use. Since there is FreeDOS as a substitute,
there is always a way to try it with other than Microsoft code.
Many big name manufactures use FreeDOS, such as the Seagate Seatools
for DOS, the HP Formatter sometimes bundles FreeDOS boot files, and
so on. FreeDOS is available as a part of other tools that need a
basic boot environment.

(More research required...)
http://www.freedos.org/freedos/files/

If you want to play with the Microsoft six-floppy set, they're only
available for usage with WinXP Gold, SP1 and SP2 CDs. I don't see a version
for SP3, and the SP2 floppies didn't "find" my SP3 CD. There was a claim the
version should match. Since I couldn't get this to work, I wouldn't
know what the success formula is. This was largely a waste of my time,
and I don't really want to recommend this as your first option. If
I'd got this to work, it might have been different. There was no
problem booting the six floppies, but the results weren't any good
to me.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310994

Paul
 
F

Frederick

Compaq Presario 1260 specs.
http://reviews.cnet.com/laptops/compaq-presario-1260-12/1707-3121_7-30578890.html

Looking at the vintage of the unit, I'm not sure what you can do
with it, if you cannot get the internal optical drive to work.

I agree, especially since its 32MB RAM and 4GB HD are so small. The
CPU 333MHz is slow also. I had a surprise this morning - I opened up
the slot holding the DVD drive and lo - I removed and re-seated the
drive and now it is recognized. At least the laptop plays audio CD
now and the laptop tries to boot from the disk with an installation CD
in it. Thing is though, the XP installation hangs up permanently at
the point where it says "Setup Is Starting Windows" I have tried a
few of the things suggested in my Google searching to no avail.

At this point I think I will scrap it. I might add a few simple mind
games to it and let my grandson play with them on it (W98).

I thank you for your time and info. I still wish I had bought an
external USB disk player with its own AC adapter. This is one time
frugality hurt me.

Big Fred
 
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P

Paul

Frederick said:
I agree, especially since its 32MB RAM and 4GB HD are so small. The
CPU 333MHz is slow also. I had a surprise this morning - I opened up
the slot holding the DVD drive and lo - I removed and re-seated the
drive and now it is recognized. At least the laptop plays audio CD
now and the laptop tries to boot from the disk with an installation CD
in it. Thing is though, the XP installation hangs up permanently at
the point where it says "Setup Is Starting Windows" I have tried a
few of the things suggested in my Google searching to no avail.

At this point I think I will scrap it. I might add a few simple mind
games to it and let my grandson play with them on it (W98).

I thank you for your time and info. I still wish I had bought an
external USB disk player with its own AC adapter. This is one time
frugality hurt me.

Big Fred

Just for chuckles, try a Linux distro on it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Linux_distributions

"Puppy Linux - A mini distribution which runs well under
low-end PCs - even under 32 MB RAM."

It's a 126MB CD.

http://puppylinux.org/main/Download Latest Release.htm

You should still be able to play with it.

You can have that CD "install" to the hard drive. Opening
a Console and running "ppm" allows adding downloadable packages
to the OS (like Firefox).

Paul
 
F

Frederick

Just for chuckles, try a Linux distro on it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Linux_distributions

"Puppy Linux - A mini distribution which runs well under
low-end PCs - even under 32 MB RAM."

It's a 126MB CD.

http://puppylinux.org/main/Download Latest Release.htm

You should still be able to play with it.

You can have that CD "install" to the hard drive. Opening
a Console and running "ppm" allows adding downloadable packages
to the OS (like Firefox).

Paul

Correction - it has 64MB RAM not 32. My bad.

I'll try it. Let ya know.

Big Fred
 
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F

Frederick

Just for chuckles, try a Linux distro on it.

I downloaded SLACKO V 5.3.1, made a boot disk, and booted the latter
on the laptop. I am looking at 'Slickpet' V1.6.4 right now. When I
get time, I will play with the icons I see.

Thanks

Big Fred
 

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