I need help!

April 3, 2011 at 08:37:07
Specs: Windows XP, 224
How can I reboot compaq presario 686S1

it has a Windows 98 Sticker on it, and when it starts up it says the OS it XP Pro.

it has sp1 on it, and it can't get the updates, it says the product key is invalid.

So since it is a used desktop, I would like to wipe it clean.

Processor is 86X family 6 model 7 stepping 3?
Model is 686S1
Ram is 224 MB
C: is 18.64 total

I'm not sure what else to provide, but if you could help, that would be Fantastic.

Instructions like"

Press F8 key during start up, etc.

Everytime I do that sort of thing to reboot, it has only one selection to reboot Windows Xp and it just seems to restart it, without changing a thing.

It's quite slooooo w.



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April 3, 2011 at 08:48:25
It's slow because 224MB isn't nearly enough RAM to run XP decently. If adding more RAM isn't an option, you're going to have to come up with a different OS to install. Either Win98SE, WinME or possiby Win2000. There are a few lightweight versions of Linux that should run quite well on that system, if you're willing to take the time to learn how to use them? So what will it be, a 10-13 yr old version of Windows? Or a one day old version of Puppy Linux (version 5.2.5 was just released today)?

You don't even have to install it to the hard drive if you don't want to - it can be run directly off a CD or USB jump drive:


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April 3, 2011 at 17:38:43
If you simply want to wipe the drive and reinstall another OS, try delpart:


Copy it to a floppy or other media and just run the executable. It should be able to blow away whatever partition(s) that reside on the drive. You may also need to change the BIOS settings to have it boot to CD before you can install another OS.

micliq is correct in stating that 224MB of RAM isn't much for XP to go with (unless you "nlited" the installation):


Otherwise, 9X, 2K or a lite Linux distro would be more suited for the machine.

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

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April 3, 2011 at 20:05:46
I went to the juliatexas link and run it, but it says no hard drive was found. Perhaps I didn't so something right.

I'm not tech. gifted, so Please, if people could explain things to me in an adolesant mannor, like:
Click Start
Click Run, or
Press CTRL and F10 repaetedly during start up, etc.
that would be most beneficial.

This is a used desktop, and because it has a Win98 sticker, I'm pretty sure that the copy of XP is not genuine, (as it will not take the updates and tells me the product key is invalid with sp1), that is why I would like to restore it, wipe everything off.

Thank you everyone, for taking your time to offer your support.

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Related Solutions

April 4, 2011 at 00:37:18
Apparently the '686S1' is the ROM bios version and not the model number.

Compaqs vary but look for a small sticker on the side of the case for a model number. Then maybe we can find some specs for it and see if you can add memory. If not, 224 will probably be OK as long as you're not running a bunch of junk in the background.. I've only got 384 ram in this particular XP machine.

You can always get a 98 cd and install that but XP sp1 with no updates is going to be better for you than 98. Plus you can probably still get sp2, sp3 and IE7 updates by ordering the disks rather than as downloads. (That's the way I got mine.) Depending on what the problem is with the product key you may be able to install them that way.

Obama's a 2012'er. That explains EVERYTHING..

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April 5, 2011 at 14:58:17
Thanks for the reply, and for taking the time and looking at the information above.

I can't find a sticker that says model, but there stickers there are:
Tracking Code 70815-0539
Series CM1001
Serial No. 1X97CQV5E2H8

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April 5, 2011 at 19:11:20
The 'series cm1001' seems to mean something but doesn't seem to point to a specific model.

This may help:


Obama's a 2012'er. That explains EVERYTHING..

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April 10, 2011 at 17:09:22
Thanks Dave,

I had checked out the link, and as instructed, I got the broken off door to the dish drive, and it did reveal it is a 5717 ( Series, or Model, I'm not sure)

Thanks everyone, now, again, does anyone have any suggestions that could help me reboot this slow piece of machinery.

I am puzzled, if it has a sticker on the front that says windows 98, and it starts in Windows XP Pro., but only has service pack 1, and can't recieve the updates due to the invalid product key; Does it mean that it shouln't have Win XP Pro?

I am a Rookey, but I thought it should start up to Windows 98?????


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April 10, 2011 at 21:19:18
It could have been originally installed with an XP sp1 disk and didn't receive further updates..

Check some of the links in this google search:


and see if they help.

Here's the compaq support page for that model:


Obama's a 2012'er. That explains EVERYTHING..

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