Compaq Deskpro drivers

June 24, 2005 at 19:13:10
Specs: win 98, Pentium2, 192 RAM

I was given an older Compaq Deskpro with win 95 installed. It didn't come with any reinstallation discs.
I would like to do a clean install of win 98 on it. How would I be able to reinstall the drivers if I have no cds?

I don't know much about the computer, it has an Intel Celeron 400 Mhz processor and 192 Mb RAM. It has a very weird serial number which I cannot find on the compaq website (not anywhere near).

How can I do this?

Thanks for your help


See More: Compaq Deskpro drivers

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June 24, 2005 at 19:53:26

Depending on the age of the machine and the actual hardware involved, Win98 may pick up the devices on its own. If not, you'll still have (at the very least) basic functionality until you can track down what you need.

You could take note of the hardware descriptions currently in Device Manager, or you could download Everest to give you the rundown on your machine.

If you could identify which deskpro model, that might also help

Life is hard; it's harder if you're stupid. -John Wayne

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June 24, 2005 at 20:05:55

First of all you'll need a 98 installation cd. A regular OEM one will suffice. The original compaq installation would add some unnecessary bells and whistles but you'll do just fine without them.

For the drivers, start here:

Deskpro models

On that list your model may be the EX series PC C400--although you may want to check the list better. For example there's a 'small form factor' Celeron series there too. Check the EN and EP series also. The EN 6400C should be a celeron. The C in C400 is 'celeron' and 400 is the speed. The P400 would be a pentium II. If you can't determine the model from the sticker, hit F10 when booting to access setup. It may show there.

When you click on the PC C400 and choose to download drivers, the models start at the C466. (Leave it to compaq to make things confusing.) I believe all those motherboards are the same so you could probably use the C466 or the C500. It may be the same for the EN and EP series also.

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June 24, 2005 at 20:21:53

I knew I should have waited for DAVE to post ; )

Life is hard; it's harder if you're stupid. -John Wayne

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Related Solutions

June 24, 2005 at 20:37:44

As compaqs go, those PCs were fairly decent. They have a ROM based setup so you don't have to use that silly HD partition setup scheme. I still have 2 or 3 on the bottom of a stack somewhere. Of course I wouldn't think of actually using one of them!

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June 25, 2005 at 06:56:14

Thank you jboy and DAVE! Lots of good suggestions.

jboy, I downloaded Everest and will try that today. It works great on my current computer.

DAVE, great suggestions, I think I am actually getting somewhere with that model number (in honesty, I was trying to look up the serial number, duh, that won't work).
Model number might be something like DPEP-C400/4.3/W5 US.
It'a also reassuring that win 98 might load basic drivers on its own.


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June 25, 2005 at 10:58:21

Everest can provide a wealth of information.

If Win98 can't determine your display adapter, it'll use the default 'basic VGA' (16 colours) - but since the hardware is currently identified in the Win95 Device Manager, you should already have a fair idea, assuming the correct drivers were installed in the first place.

Life is hard; it's harder if you're stupid. -John Wayne

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June 25, 2005 at 11:52:06

The DPEP may mean it's the EP series. In that case it could be the 6400C.

The 4.3 in the line on the sticker means it came with a 4.3 gig HD. I'm not sure about the W5.

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June 25, 2005 at 11:53:21

W5--Windows 95?

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June 25, 2005 at 13:32:23

ok, I downloaded Everest (with my other computer), extracted all the files with winzip, then burned them on a CD.

In the Compaq computer, it won't work. I can see all the files on the cd but clicking on the Evesest icon does nothing. Why?
The CD rom seems to work fine otherwise.

BUT - here is where I am right now: I can't get the Compaq on the internet, it has a modem and the connection from my cable modem fits. It tells me that it has a PCI ethernet controller and that it has no device driver.

So I am off to find at least that driver and see if I can get an internet connection working.

Thank you for your help!!!

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June 25, 2005 at 19:51:23

I'm not sure but you may need to install everest on the compaq in order for it work.

Once you get the ethernet drivers installed you'll still need to install the cable modem software.

If the etherlink is onboard or came with the computer the drivers will be on the compaq page.

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June 26, 2005 at 20:10:36

Send me the serial # and i will find it on compaq website.

Keyboard not detected. Hit F1 to Continue. BREAKFAST.SYS HALTED Cerial port not Responding!!

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June 27, 2005 at 10:39:24

So, here is where I am:

I emailed Christopher the serial number of the PC and hopefully he can find the exact model number for me. Otherwise I may have to use something like EP 6400C (or EP/SB PC 6400 for which there are no drivers available :-))

I did an F10 boot but didn't find anything new, just the serial number again.

On the weekend, I opened up the computer and wrote everything down that I could find - not much (at least to me because I don't know what I am looking for).

I found:
CD Rom = Compaq Model No LTN 486s
Display adapter = Matrox 856-02 Rev A
Parallel PCI for printer = LM Lava Computers PN MOKO L72.2
Modem = Pulse H1012

I also burned the installation files for these three programs on a CD: Everest, Belarc Advisor and Hardware info(HWiNFO32).
Everest installed but does nothing. Belarc installed, then gave me a RNDLL error and HWiNFO also gave me errors.

Therefore, I decided that the Compac is not working properly right now and I will first have to do a clean install of Win 98 and go from there.

What did you mean by
"They (compac) have a ROM based setup so you don't have to use that silly HD partition setup scheme"
This computer has three partitions: C being the largest with the OS on it and E being very small (under 1 gig). I am planning to only format C and install win 98 on it.

You also said:
"Once you get the ethernet drivers installed you'll still need to install the cable modem software"

I am really stretching myself here with this internet thing. What I don't understand is, with my other computer ( a Dell , win 98) after I format the HD and reinstall windows I just have to configure the internet. No drivers, no software :-)

Thank you all!


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June 27, 2005 at 15:48:18

Compaq used a small non-dos partition on the HD to store its hardware configuration rather than have that circuitry on the motherboard. Of course if the HD died or was removed you no longer could make any hardware adjustments. The only way to access the setup then was to download floppy disks from compaq's site.

Most manufacturer's stopped using that method by the time the 386 processors came out. But not compaq. They were using it well into the age of pentium motherboards.

A driver is what tells windows how to identify and configure a particular piece of hardware. To be able to use the hardware you will often need third party software.

For example, if you install drivers for a modem then windows will set it up properly. But in order to use it you need to install an ISP like AOL or Netzero.

A cd burner is another example. Windows will see the burner as just another cdrom. It's not until you install software like Nero that you can use it for its intended purpose.

Whether you need to install drivers for any hardware often depends on the age of the hardware. If it's old enough, the drivers may be on the 98 cd and the item will be set up when you install windows. Or, if you have a restore disk and not a generic 98 installation disk, the drivers and additional software are usually on the disk already and you won't need anything additional in order to get things running.

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June 27, 2005 at 18:48:54

Thanks for explaining all this, DAVE.

I don't know how it's going to work out with the internet connection because I don't have any software for the cable (I am on shawcable). And I have never needed it so far.

BUT - I've been hunting for drivers all day, and this is what I have now:

I cannot find anything for the parallel port for the printer (LM Lava Computers?). Hopefully I won't need that.

Is there anything else I might need when I reinstall windows? I took the computer apart and these were all I found.


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June 27, 2005 at 19:11:32

Windows will install drivers for basic items such as COM & LPT ports, basic VGA and likely the CD-ROM as well all by itself

For higher resolution display, as well as audio and almost certainly the modem, yes, you would need to install the specific drivers. The printer itself would require a driver.

You should probably avoid talking to ChristopherT (most of us try to)

Life is hard; it's harder if you're stupid. -John Wayne

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June 27, 2005 at 22:30:21

I wouldn't worry too much about the drivers. Just install 98 and then look through device manager for the items that windows couldn't set up. Anything that came with the compaq will have drivers on their site. As I previously mentioned, their motherboards often have the same hardware so even if you're unsure of the exact model you should still be able to find them there. For any remaining items, a google search using the card model number or chipset will usually turn up drivers. I can't recall ever being unable to find the drivers I need.

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June 27, 2005 at 23:00:59

Win98 is running and I got the audio driver installed as well as the display driver (and oh - what a difference!)

Now my only problem is with the modem/internet connection.

The modem says Pulse H1012 on it. Apparently it'a a network device. (I don't quite know the difference between a modem, a network device and an ethernet controller). I have a driver for that from

I opened the comp and re-inserted the modem in a different slot. Upon restart, a message "new hardware found" popped up. NOW it's called a PCI ethernet controller. The wizard is looking for the driver and cannot find it (the above mentioned Pulse driver is in the cd rom).

In device manager, there is no modem and a question mark under "other devices" then "PCI Ethernet controller".

Which driver could I possibly use for this modem/network/ethernet MONSTER?

And, btw, at this point I don't even know what hardware came from Compaq and what was added later. The person who gave the computer to me certainly seems to have an abundance of computer parts :-)

And, jboy, thanks for the advice ;-)

Thank you both, jboy and DAVE for all your help!

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June 27, 2005 at 23:46:10

The H1012 looks to be a 10/100 network card with an intel chipset.

A modem is strictly a telephone connection. In a generic way, a modem could be termed a network connection. But usually a network card is an ethernet type setup. It looks like a phone connection but has a couple extra wires. The most common are the 10/100 cards.

I'm not sure which driver you're using. I found this one at driverguide. You can still use drivers and all for user and password or create your own account.

Running that file extracts several files to a folder you can select. It defaults to c:\intel but you can change it.

You could burn that folder to a cd and then use it in the compaq or just copy the download to floppy disk and run and extract it on the compaq.

If on bootup it still gives the 'new hardware found' browse to the 'intel' folder and it should find the correct drivers. If you don't get the 'new hardware found', open device manager and click on it there and choose to install the drivers. Again browse to the 'intel' folder.

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June 28, 2005 at 15:22:03


I am writing from my newly formatted Compaq right now.
Thank you DAVE for the detailed instructions above.

The driver you suggested did not work either, nor did the two others I had tried (100adisk.exe and all from driverguide). After installing them on the HD and then searching through device manager I always got a message "no driver found"

But you got me on the right path of looking at Intel (backed up by Everest - which btw now runs also) and I found a driver on the Intel website called Pro98ME and this one finally worked!

Thank you both so much for your help and for sticking with me through this!!!


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June 28, 2005 at 16:48:29

Good work! I didn't think about intel's site. They usually have drivers for their chipsets.

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June 28, 2005 at 21:44:13

Glad to hear that things are setup to your satisfaction (that wasn't so bad, was it?)

I foresee a promising future as a driver detective ; )

Life is hard; it's harder if you're stupid. -John Wayne

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