|Jolicloud and T-R-A....|
He didn't say this old computer is a laptop - he said it's a Compaq Presario. Later on a Compaq Presario could be either a desktop or laptop computer, but back then it was probably a desktop computer.
He didn't say whether it is a 386 either.
Is it a desktop computer ?
Is there a model number - usually four numbers - or a part number (P/N - xxxxxx-xxx ) - on a label on the outside of the case ?
Next time, list the operating system on the problem computer in your initial info, if you know what it is,
You can get a message about himem.sys being missing or corrupt in Dos, or in Win 95 / 98 / 98SE, possibly ME.
In Win 95 and up, the message is....
The following file is missing or corrupt(ed): "C:\Windows\System\Himem.sys", if you're booting from the hard drive.
What's the exact message ?
If you're gettiing a Dos prompt, e.g. C:\ or A:\ , type: ver (press Enter) and tell us what it says.
Where did you get the 1985 date from ?
If it is on the bios chip, the date on that was often that of the patent for the overall bios version, and often older than the mboard.
If it's on one of the main chips or the cpu, similar applies, it's the date the chip or cpu was first patented, and often older than the mboard.
E.g. on a 386 cpu:.....
INTEL ®© '85
Having fiddled with computers since 1988, and later on fiddling with older ones, back then in 1988 new computers had MFM or RLL hard drives, connected to an ISA MFM or RLL controller card via two ribbon data cables, one has the same number of wires (34) as a floppy cable, the other less, and IDE drives, which used 40 wire data cables, were a recent and more expensive item.
We installed an IDE drive on our (new in 1988) 286 as soon as we were able to get a used one cheap enough, by 1991 or so. The computer's bios already supported IDE drives, you had to pick a type with te rigt parameters from a short list.