View Full Version : bootable floppy > bootable cdr

2008-03-17, 04:42 PM
hey all I've got an old laptop that has no floppy to boot from, only cd drive. its a compaq 3500 from the days when part of the bios has to be on the HD (duh!). So to upgrade the HD I need to use a couple special boot floppys & can't seem to find the right search terms or controls in imgburn/nero to move them over to CDR.

any help is appreciated, I'm having no luck finding the right search terms in google for this.

2008-03-17, 04:48 PM
ugh... this is going to be tricky.
here are the drivers at HP site
driver downloads (http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/DriverDownload.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&prodNameId=96627&taskId=135&prodTypeId=321957&prodSeriesId=96223&lang=en&cc=us)
lets see if you can make a bootable CD from these..give me a few

2008-03-17, 04:53 PM
take a look the Firmware from that link - it says it will make a bootable CD.

which is damn lucky. cause older compaq ROMpaq normally only made floppies.

DOUBLE and TRIPLE check your model # against that site.
upgrading the BIOS or Firmware will destroy any computer if the wrong version is used.

2008-03-17, 04:54 PM
Just put the files on the CD and make sure that the BIOS is set to boot from the CD drive before the hard drive. Should work. Let us know how it goes, eh.

2008-03-17, 05:14 PM
I would also recommend that you only write the new BIOS back to the new hard drive.

way back when.. compaq had this idea that they didnt want customers upgrading components.
and you needed a code from Compaq to reconfig the drive. get it ..its two parts
bios chip + bios software on the hard drive.

what am i saying .. if you overwrite the old hard drive with a new bios you might be very well screwed.
and i dont believe HP is going to offer much help on this one.

2008-03-17, 08:41 PM
on second thought..
try just booting from a windows installer disc & go for it on the new drive.
make sure you download the other drivers needed first - especially Ethernet.

its been 9yrs but i remember some of those systems were a chore.

2008-03-17, 08:47 PM

2008-03-17, 08:48 PM
hey thanks for the tips so far!

the laptop has about 6GB HD inside... the original bios is contained on it. it works great!

I have a 120GB drive that I want to use with it... tested in a Compaq Armada 1700 which is very similar but without the bios-on-the-drive issue.

I have a 3.5GB drive that I can wipe and not worry whatsoever about.

I found the instructions over here:

the drivers I have under control (I think). some of them aren't even available on the HP website, I just got the file name and did some hunting around to turn them up elsewhere (eg the link to the older version of system diagnostics which is dead in the HP thread above).

so I have the "spxxxx.exe" files which create the floppies that I need to use as described in the thread above... but the only option is to make floppies I need to boot from these and need to make cdr versions! :( At worst I can eBay a floppy drive for that comp (better yet... LS-120! :cool: ). But I am hoping I can bypass that by creating boot cd versions of the necessary compaq disks... after all, it is only a $25 computer :lol

everything is humming with tons of 98se 'hack packs'... wireless, usb, ethernet via usb, cd drive, dvd usb external drive, USB 2.0 carbus I got from eBay for $3, etc etc.

2008-03-17, 08:57 PM
oh yeah btw the specific model is
Compaq Armada 3500 6366/T/6400/0/0/1

with the optional expansion unit which contains the cd rom but no base station (too big anyways!).

thanks for reading, I appreciate it

2008-03-22, 11:40 PM
okay here's the update in case somebody finds this in a google search or something...

the 120GB IDE drive came from an Armada 1700 with a dead screen... I pulled it out, popped it in the 3500 and lo and behold one restart later I'm up and running with no re-format :D

this drive doesn't have the compaq non-dos partition which means I can't access the bios by hitting f10 on startup, can't hibernate & some of the security features in the bios aren't available. However, I created a compaq 'setup for portables' boot disc then successfully transferred that to a bootable cdr using nero write boot cd mode with that floppy in the 'a' drive. the compilation shows up as blank but I burned it and the cdr works great, gives me 99% access to the bios which still gets written to a CMOS chip like a normal computer. I tried making a bootable install cdr for the older compaq diagnostics prog but no luck for some reason :hmm: Oh well, this badboy is humming otherwise, and its got enough torque to play tomb raider 1-3 & do some 4-track simultaneous 24bit/44.1kHz recording too. And of course email and all that shit. Very happy. When I get bored I'll dig out the old 3.5GB laptop drive I don't need and see if I can make the special compaq partition on it before I go screwing with my 120.

pretty much everything for the 3500 is the same as the 1700/1750 except maybe the video drivers, lots of awesome info over here: