Can't boot Compaq Presario

January 28, 2012 at 07:44:42
Specs: Windows Vista
himem corrupted or missing

See More: Cant boot Compaq Presario

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January 28, 2012 at 08:58:34
Windows Vista does not use HIMEM, that relates to MS-DOS and MS-DOS based O/Ses

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January 28, 2012 at 13:14:52
Greetings, Jolicloud.

I will clarify the situation. I'm trying to boot up an old(1985)Compaq Presario to access the HD (IDE Type). Apparently the HIMEM file is corrupted or missing. I'm using a Toshiba Laptop (w/Vista Home)to communicate. I'd appreciate some words of wisedom as to how to replace that file.

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January 28, 2012 at 13:54:55
You listed Vista in the specifications, anyway if the Laptop is 27 years old you need a MS-DOS Floppy Boot Disk. Do you know what type of floppy diskette the laptop Supports ?

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January 28, 2012 at 14:02:02
Actually Compaq 386's didn't exist until 1986; IDE drives weren't popular until the early 90's; and the Presario line wasn't launched until 1993. I'd suspect the laptop isn't from '85.


If you're trying to retrieve some files on an MS-DOS based computer (with a working hard-drive), you should be able to bypass the config.sys (where highmem.sys should reside):

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

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February 8, 2012 at 22:02:00
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.

Larry C

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:.....


A80386DX-25 IV
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.

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