Compaq Presario 700 Series Drivers

I recently (November of 2001) purchased a Compaq Presario 700US Notebook Computer. Much to my chagrin, I discovered Compaq refuses to support other operating systems than Windows XP Home. I bought mine to run Windows 98 and NT as a dual boot system.

Due to this abysmal support, I spent a great deal of time locating the proper drivers. As a benefit to the user community and with no thanks to Compaq, I decided to list below the links you may use to find these drivers.

Some of you may like to know how I configure my system and what operating systems I use. I discuss this below in the category "General Drivers" under the heading "My Configuration". I, also, give some pointers for maintaining your unit such as backing it up effectively.

I believe it may help some of you to read a few comments about what drivers we lack. In general, we have located the basic working drivers for all the operating systems listed below. However, we lack the driver for Windows NT modem. I give my work around below for the modem driver. Other than that, though, we appear to have found all other basic working drivers.

Finally, if you find a link no longer valid or other error, please email me with the information and hopefully a fix for it.


     Main Page

    Getting Started
         Research First
         Partition the Hard Drive
    Driver Locations
         Windows 98
         Windows NT
         Windows 2000
         Windows Me
         Windows XP
         General Drivers and Other Subjects
         Compaq Driver Sites and Related Matters
         Finally Compaq Comes Through

Getting Started

Research First

You first need to determine exactly what hardware you have. Before you remove Windows XP Home go through its driver list and write down the identities of each driver. You will find such a list in the system driver listings. Oftentimes, the label on them will tell you exactly the manufacturer and name of the particular hardware in your system. Compaq may use several suppliers so what I have in my system may differ from what you have. Then, go to the following link and download PCI Tree.

I ran this utility fine in Windows 98. It may run in other operating systems but I did not try it in others. Running it gives you more information about what drivers you need. I will not explain how to use it here. Go to the next link and you will find a useful explanation how to use it.

As a last resort, you may open the case and look at the hardware. Generally you will find identifications of the manufacturers. I have not had to do that.

Partition the Hard Drive

Before turning to the driver locations, I'll discuss multiple booting this machine. I currently run three operating systems on my machine - Windows 98 SE, Windows NT 4.0 (primary domain controller), and Windows XP Home. Achieving this is no small task, particularly with Compaq's nearly total lack of support.

Compaq provides us with a nonstandard OEM version of Windows XP. The biggest problem with it arises because it reformats your hard drive when you attempt to install it. Compaq militantly refuses to provide us with a standard OEM version that would install to a partition.

With a little ingenuity, I have succeeded in using it despite this limitation. To do this, I recommend the following two software utility products by Powerquest, the same company Compaq uses to package their dismal OEM Windows XP. These products are Partition Magic 7.0 and Drive Image 5.0. These are the latest versions of these products and you need the latest versions to work effectively with XP.

You must first decide whether to keep XP. If not, just reformat the hard drive and install Windows 98 followed by NT. I find setting two initial primary partitions at 2 GB works best. NT can be a little touchy about recognizing partitions and basic partitions seem to work best. After that, resize the partitions with Partition Magic. I have found that this minimizes problems with NT. Then, I suggest backing the partitions up with Drive Image and storing these backups someplace. I store them on my LAN setup on another computer's hard drive. This saves you from having to reinstall them if you crash, etc.

If you want to keep XP, resize its partition as it exists on your notebook with Partition Magic. Its partition initally occupies the entire drive of 20 GB. You will end up with a partition of about 4 GB. Now, Microsoft recommends installing 98, then NT, then XP. You could at this point make a drive image of this new XP partition and save it elsewhere. Then, proceed as above. Finally, restore your drive image of XP to its partition. I kept the XP partition and moved it up about 6.5 GB on my hard drive. Thus, I had unformatted regions before and after it. XP had no problem recognizing the partition and booting into it. At this point, I had drive images of earlier installations of 98 and NT which I read back from my LAN placing them into a newly created partition above XP on my notebook's hard drive. I, then, used drive image to read back these image files, placing them before XP. Initially, NT would not boot. (Note that Powerquest does not support NT server with these products as they sell an Enterprise version for that - cost about $500 each; I bought Partition Magic 7.0 here recently on sale for $10 after a $20 upgrade rebate. I use them all the time, though, and just deal with these little idiosyncacies.) To get around this problem, I deleted 98 and NT and then reinstalled NT into the primary partition at the beginning where I earlier had 98. Here, NT gave no problem booting up. After this, I moved NT up several GB to make room for 98 and reinstalled 98. Both 98 and NT worked fine as well as XP.

If my graphical descriptions seem confusing to you, ie. put the 98 partition before NT, etc., they will make sense to you as soon as you look at Partition Magic's layout of your hard drive partitions.

I recommend, finally, making drive images of your various partitions and saving them elsewhere as backups. You should update them from time to time as perhaps once a month. This will save you hours if you have to redo this later due to a disk crash or a virus.

Now that you know your hardware and have your partitions set up, I will list the driver locations.

Windows 98 Drivers

Ethernet Card or Network Adaptor

I have a Realtek RTL8139 PCI Fast Ethernet Network Interface Card. I had a diskette already with these drivers as I own several similar cards in my other computers. You may go here, though, to download the proper driver from the chipset manufacturer.


Jim, from Canada , notes the above link does not work and sends a working link.

Hi Walter,
I am writing this on my Compaq Presario 720CA, which is pretty much like your 720US except that I and my computer live in Canada. My machine is currently (like since 5 minutes ago) running Windows 98SE and I am writing to say "Thank You"!
I still have some work to do (presently running VGA graphics... very ugly) but my modem is up and I'm on the net. I am trying to get Linux (Mandrake 8.1) working but I haven't managed to get it to boot yet. Could be an all nighter.
Your webpage is very helpful. Getting this machine to run something other than XP is certainly a challenge. I am not a computer professional but I am very stubborn. I will let you know how it goes.
You say on your page that you would like to know about dead links. Here is one. The link for the Win98 network adapter doesn't work but if you go to  you will find it.
I will inform you of any other dead links I find. Thanks again.


Jesús, from Mexico , also notes the link change.

Hello Walter,

My name is Jesus and I'm from Juarez, Mexico, Im writing now right from my Presario 700LA running Win98SE with all the devices running sharp, I want to thank you for your help, you now what...? the curios thing about this, its how I found your webpage... the enginners from COMPAQ tell me about your place!... how about that...You are the person responsibe for the happines of many people...great job!

My PC have a little diference about the network controller, mine have the Realtek RT8139/A/B/C/D/8130, and you can find the driver right here:

Gracias Compadre...vaya con Dios!


Arden sends me an update for the network card. He writes:

the 'new' ver 606 didnt work on my 700z amd 1.1; i had to use the 4.51. the 505 ver is no longer on realteks website. I have everything working except the sound (not and ess?) and pci bridge. just fyi -

thanks for the very informative website. I would not have even tried this without it. thanks again.


Video Card

I have an S3 Graphics Twister card. You may go here to download the proper driver from the chipset manufacturer. Type in "archive" both as username and password to enter. Then, choose "Twister" drivers. I used the file S3 Graphics has removed this driver from their page and I receive emails that the remaining drivers do not work with Windows 98. Check out the driver page which Ashok provides below under Windows 2000 video. It contains various older drivers. Send me an email whenever you find a driver which works. I'll add the information to this site.


I found the following Chinese site which provides links to sites where you may still download this driver.


Again, Jim, from Canada , writes that the S3 drivers work for him.

It's me again.

Contary to your assertion on your webpage, the driver on the S3 website does work. I followed your link, and selected the Twister link, 380.drv, which led to a page where I could select  which I downloaded and installed. When I rebooted, my ugly 640 x 480, 16 colour display had been replaced by beautiful 1024 x 768, 16 bit colour.

Now I have to work on the sound. SP18945 is 24.5 Mbytes so that will take a while on my dialup connection.

Thanks again. Please keep this site up. It's really appreciated.


Modem Card

I have a Conexant HSFi v92 (SoftK56) Mini PCI Modem. You may go here to download the proper driver from the chipset manufacturer. Go to "Modem Driver Assistance". I downloaded file HSF_Win9x.exe.


I, also, receive reports that Conexant's latest driver does not work with Windows 98 on this unit. Conexant has removed the older driver. Running a Google search on the driver name, I found this site which carries the older driver.


Edgar, from Mexico , reports that Compaq now supplies a driver which works. He writes:

Yo encontre otro driver para el MODEM, sabes hable con compaq y me dieron el softpaq para el driver. Busca este SP19194, a mi me funciono muy bien.

In English, Edgar says he found another modem driver. I spoke with Compaq and they directed me to SoftPak SP19194. For me, it works very well.

Go to the following site. Choose "Search by SoftPak".

Sound Card

I have a SoundMax ADI 188x WDM Audio Card (SoundMax Integrated Digital Audio). Analog Devices, Inc. manufacturers the chip. You may go here to download the proper driver from Compaq. Choose the SoftPaq number 18945. Check below under sound for Windows 2000 for the latest Softpak driver.

Go to the following site. Choose "Search by SoftPak".

This uses a driver which Compaq provides for their desktop systems.


Benjamin, from Germany , wrote me the following.

Hello there!

Great site you're having there. Just dropping a note to tell you that I succeeded getting the sound to work in Windows 98 Second Edition.

Well, I think I've downloaded more than 75MB of diffrent ADI SoundMax 2 drivers until I found the one that was working with Windows 98 :-/ (strangely enough, that driver was actually supposed to be XP ONLY). You should give Softpaq Sp19472 a try. It worked for me on my Presario 714EA on Windows 98 SE.  Had no luck with the ViaTech 4in1 Drivers and also not with a couple of previous Compaq Softpaq's.

Keep up your great work, you're making a lot of fellas extremely happy  :-) Cheers!


Go to the following site. Choose "Search by SoftPak".


Laura writes the following concerning SoftPak 18945 which Compaq has removed from their database.

I had the same problem with Compaq, which really ticked me off. I installed windows 98 onto my laptop because compatibility issues with the majority of my software made XP unusable. They were not only unwilling to provide me with drivers, but wrote me a nasty letter admonishing me for uninstalling XP. Unfortunately I did not write down drivers before uninstalling XP, but your web page is extremely useful.

I thought that you would like to know that I located the softpac: sp18945. Compaq’s search engine say’s that sp18945 doesn’t exist, but I found it through Google at the link below. Hope this is of some use, this softpaq worked for my 700z, windows 98.

Thanks again. Shame on Compaq!




Patrick writes me from Belgium concerning his luck with a later SoftPak.


I could not install the audio driver on my Presario 705EA under win98(se). SP19472, mentioned in your Presario driver page, didn't work either. It produced an error: "Could not find '_setup32.dll' ". Finally I found a service pack for the Presario 2700 and Evo N180 notebooks. This one is a 18.1 Mb file called SP20306.EXE. It was stated as a  Win2k / XP-driver. What the heck! I Installed this driver and the audio works! So hurry, download this SP before Compaq decides to remove/modifie it.

But I have a queston too: when playing DVD the movie is playing choppy, I use PowerDVD upgraded for XP. When I check CPU load, PowerDVD uses ALL cpu-speed (1000 Mhz AMD Athlon). Maybe the graphics chip is not powerful enough to play some DVD's. Any comments?

And Walter, please keep up updating your driver-site, very useful !!

greetz! pixura


A friend, from Italy , found another Compaq SoftPaq for his/her Presario 700. They write:

My notebook is shipped with Windows XP Home pre-installed. I needed windows 98 and i installed it. Thanks to your website i found many driver, but the audio problems still remains!!!

I SOLVED THE PROBLEM and i want to say it to your website that helped me so much :

To install the audio driver JBL PRO in windows 98 it's very simple :

download the SoftPack 17363.exe from compaq works perfectly

good job.


Gabriel, from México , found another Compaq SoftPaq for his Presario 700LA. He writes:

Hi, I'm Gabriel from Mexico, sorry, but I don't speak good english. So I'll write in Spanish for your WEB Page.
---- o ---
Para la Notebook Compaq Presario 700LA el driver de sonido que me funcionó bajo Windows 98SE fue el del SoftPaq : SP21119 que se puede obtener de la siguiente liga:

--- o ----


Somar, from Romania , and Ayaz, from Yemen , have written me that they cannot find a sound driver which works with Windows 98 (not SE). Somar writes:


Fistt like all i want to thank u becouse u have a great website ! but i think u know that !

i have a little problem with a laptop COMPAQ presario 700 series, to be more specific its a 731EA (east asia)! i ereasd win XP and installed WIN 98 (not Second edition!!) i used ur web site to procure the drivers i needed! the display now it okay (i have a problem.. it isjust 800*600 and the laptop monitor is 1024 andseems a little freeky! but the main problem is the audio device ! i downloded all the soft paks mentioned in ur web page but nothing worked for my WIN 98 (and i say it again it's not second edition becouse my dad needs arabic enabled and the version of my second editin doesnt support it)! all soft paks said like this " ur operating sistem is not supported" i tried do mannual confiugure the audio device but said " cant upgrade this driver"! and i don't know what i did and now windows dosent even recognise that the computer has an audio device (in device manager it not any more the "?" pci audio device" ) why do u think is that!? so i need u to pls say to me what driver to use.. not necessary a soft pak from compaq, its ok with a simmilar driver that works !

thank u !

Happy Holidays ! Somar

Ayaz writes:

Dear Walt,

woww what a great site, Thank you very much for having a nice informative site...

This is Ayaz from Yemen(Middle east)I've Presario 716EA, I've installed win98 (Arabic) and with the help of your site I've installed video, modem, and network card..but.... I could find out sound card driver...please help me to find out the sound card driver..I'll be very thank ful to you.



I'm not sure why these drivers do not work with Windows 98 (not SE). If anyone can help with this problem, please advise me and I'll add your information to this site. Look below at Jason's work tracking down VIA drivers for Windows NT sound. This may provide some answers. NT, also, provides a lot of sound problems for many of us.

Ayaz emailed me back a few days later with an answer. He found SoftPak 18895 works fine. This is the same SoftPak which Barry and Ramesh turned to below when they had problems with sound.


Ryan, from the United Kingdom , wrote me the following.


great site, I now have 98se (more or less) fully working, just thought i'd drop you a note on the subject of audio drivers, I was running softpaq 20306, which runs the audio but is very inefficient, divx avi's were playing back choppy, etc, etc. So uninstalled that and put on 18895 which looks and feels the same except it runs much more efficient, all playback is perfect and sound in all my games works fine.


Driver List

Barry, from the United Kingdom , sends me his list of drivers for his 734EA unit. I'll list them here at the end together. All drivers appear standard except for his sound driver. From his experience, it appears Compaq may use a different sound card in his unit than the SoundMax ADI 188x WDM Audio Card. Barry's unit uses AC Link audio w/ 1886 ADI codec per Compaq. I have not found anything to clarify this change in description. I suggest, though, you read the "Research First" section at the beginning to determine your equipment before removing XP Home and installing a different operating system. Barry writes:


Have had the same problems with those blxxxxxxx useless Compaq people,but have at last loaded the following drivers, on my 734EA running Windows 98 SE with what at the moment seems success. To make things easier I have used a new 40GB hard drive.

Display            130049t9xmes3
Touchpad         US6_0_20.exe
Net                  WIN98-8139(505).zip
Audio              SP 18895

The audio was the most difficult, none of the previous drivers suggested would work.

Best Wishes,



Ramesh, from Malaysia , sends me his list of drivers for his 721AP unit. He had the same problem as Barry above with sound and ended up using the same driver as Barry. Ramesh writes:

Hi Walter,

I just recently bought a Presario 721AP (I suppose AP stands for Asia Pacific). It came with AMD 1.1, 128RAM, S3 VIA Twister 16MB shared video, SoundMax II audio, Connextion v.92 modem (aka Askey Modem model 1456VQL1T) Win XP Home ed.

I wouldn't have successfully installed Win 98SE on my laptop if not for the help of your amazing website. I have wiped out the notorious XP Home from my system as I found Xp was not only slow on the machine but more notoriously the Microsoft geeks have removed the logging service to a domain server NT in the Home edition. It's only available under XP Pro which I would have to purchase an upgrade at a blood sucking Microsoft are!! So I decided to just use my old Win 98.

I suppose the 700 series are somewhat similiar in device drivers and drivers are made available easily in your website. The difficulty is in the audio as Compaq uses an OEM audio chip made by ADI. Unfortunately ADI does not make the drivers not giving any details of the chips they prooduce. I suppose the drivers are written by Compaq itself to suit their specs. Compaq itself does not inform the customer's in detail the exact version or chip that is being used in the particular machine. As such we the customers are left on our own to do guessing work to choose the softpaq that is compatible with the audio chip. I had great difficulty with the audio. I had dwlded not less than 10 different softpaqs under compaq for ADI SoundMax..none worked. I finally found that SP18895 worked.It uses somewhat different Codec variant under ADI SoundMax which I do not know the difference with the rest until now.

My important discoveries:

My Devices                                                                  Driver or Softpaq No:

Modem labeled Askey modem 1456VQL1T(int)                sp19194 (connexant v.92HSFi)
ADI SoundMax variant                                                   sp18895 for win98
Realtek LAN model 8139variant                                       realtek website download 8139/810x model

I hope the above can be of help to someone out there.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Michael writes:

Thank you Walter.....From the "top of the world" BARROW ALASKA....

I was helping out someone who owns a Compaq Presario 700...(P725US) that would not even boot up.

Without your assistance...this machine would have gone into the dumpster.

I started out by using a good ol 98 boot disk...formated the drive; and because the original Compaq cds disappeared (most consumers do not know what these things are for to begin with) I reloaded with 98 second edition.

To my disgust; I could not find (proper)drivers for video; sound; network; modem; (I've yet to find for DVD/Rewritable) at various places...especially get the picture.

Starting without knowing what type/model of components are installed in the notebook; this was a very interesting venture.

I now make recommendations to friends to call the "dude" that has a D*** (and not that stupid cow either !!) Simple availibility of drivers...that's all we needed.

Anyways...thank you....thank you...thank you.

**minor annoyance...I downloaded and installed video/grapics S3 Graphics Twister K.....the machine now makes a noise like it is "frying"; crackeling/electrical sound..(from the screen/lid/cover but has not smoked yet !!! **works with noise**

Question: Does anyone have any suggestions on what may be happening ?? Wrong driver ?? Too "bright"? ** There is no help at HPCompaq as we are all aware.

Barrow Alaska

Note: Look below under General Drivers for information on the Synaptic Touchpad and Easy Access Keyboard drivers.

Windows NT 4 Drivers

Ethernet Card or Network Adaptor

Location is the same as above but choose the NT driver.

Video Card

Location is the same as above but choose the NT driver. Type in "archive" both as username and password to enter. Then, choose "Twister" drivers. I downloaded file Note the comments above under Windows 98 video. We have the same problem here.

Note: Installing critical update q299444i the rollup update of 7/26/01 caused this driver to fail to load. I could not get it to reinstall. Fortunately upon uninstalling the update, the driver functioned as normal. I am running a primary domain controller.

Modem Card

For some reason, Conexant does not list a driver for NT. Several generic drivers exist on the internet but I could make none of them work.

The address below contains the best I found. However, each time I tried to use this driver my computer went into a continuous loop due to a port problem. I had to reboot to get out of it. The uninstall with it does not work. Invoking it caused my system to crash. I had to uninstall it manually. It is a Conexant driver so if you have luck with it let me know. It is version 2.12.


I get around the modem driver by either rebooting into Windows 98 or logging into my LAN and using my server. I use Proxy + software on the server which you may download at:

It is freeware and works great.


I'll list information which may help you find a proper driver. It is easy to open a hatch on the back of the case which displays the modem card. I found that I have a modem made by Askey Computer Corp. model #1456 VQLIT. This manufacturer happens to be a large modem manufacturer. They list numerous drivers on their website for modems but do not list this model number, probably because it is an oem product.

The problem, then, becomes one of determining which driver to try.

I found a location which provides guidance.

I tried one of the Conexant HSF drivers listed there. It installed but would not open the port when I tried to run it.

Also, this site has a page for Compaq. Here they list Compaq with an NT driver for a Conexant HSF modem.

Unfortunately, I have succeeded in running down this service pak but found it applies to a v 90 modem. Mine is HSF v 92.

I look forward to hearing from others with feedback and I'll add your information to this page.

Note: I never cease to find surprise by the companies who maintain offices in this region. Sunday's (1/13/02) local paper the San Diego Union Tribune carries a classified advertisement by Conexant for a programmer who knows how to write Windows NT drivers to work out of their office here. Maybe they'll finally find someone who can make a driver that works.

Sound Card

Compaq, also, supplies an equivalent driver for NT used by their desktop systems. It installs fine and works. However, I have no sound. I think that I am missing something to turn on the speakers. At any rate, if you solve it, let me know. Compaq's driver is located below and is SoftPaq number 18527.

Go to the following site. Choose "Search by SoftPak".


Jason has done some work on the sound driver and sends the following.

H!. After some digging into the laptop, I have found the following information:

1. The Compaq Presario 700US laptop uses the VIA ProSavage KN133 chipset. This chipset DOES have integrated audio by VIA. If you'd like more information about the chipset, see this page:

VIA has sound drivers for their chipsets. The following driver should work, although I have not had time to test it yet. Try this driver: This driver should work on ANY (except 3.1) version of Windows, including NT4.

If that driver doesn't work, try this driver:

Here's the address for VIA's driver page for their latest drivers:

Hope this helps. Sincerely, Jason

I installed both drivers. Driver 74 would not install properly if at all. Driver 68 installed fine. I, then, opened the volume control, then options, and finally properties. There, I found unchecked an option for PC Speakers. Great! All the prior drivers did not have this property. I believe a laptop needs this property to turn on the speakers. I checked it. Alas, the driver functions fine but I hear nothing. I know the driver functions because looking at the bar strip on the wave output part of the volume control registers sound when I do things that would normally create a sound. I really believe Jason has found a good driver but I am at a loss as to why it does not work for me. I would like to have feedback from others who check out these drivers.


Laurent writes from France that he can hear sound from the speakers when he puts his ear close to them. He says the problem appears to be that the volume is at 0. He notes that others report a similar problem with various units on Compaq's site and Compaq has made a patch. If you know the location of this patch, please let me know. I could hear nothing either way.

Finally, Jason would like to know if you can hear anything through headphones. I tried it and heard nothing.


Word comes from Dale that he has made sound work on his 700Z unit using NT Workstation. He installed the SoftPak 18527, mentioned above. I recently replaced my NT installation with Windows 2000 Server so I cannot duplicate this procedure. However, before installing this Compaq driver, Dale installed VIA's 4 in 1 driver. Thus, this may have made the difference. Dale used service pack 5. If you have success with NT sound, let me know. We would like to know for sure what works and does not work.

Note: Look below under General Drivers for information on the Synaptic Touchpad and Easy Access Keyboard drivers.

Windows 2000 Drivers

Previously, others sent me this information. I use now Windows 2000 on my laptop so I'll add some of my information.

Video Card

Ian, from the United Kingdom , provides several drivers for his Presario 705EA which appears about the same as 700US. He writes:

After base installation of 2K + SP2, installed the VIA 4 in 1 drivers from

After much configuring, I realised I needed to install DirectX 8.0 before getting any video modes beyond 16 colour 640x480. Then installed the drivers from

Note: Type in "archive" both as username and password to enter.

Ian's driver no longer exists here. I used the driver.


Leon, from the Netherlands , writes that he found a twister driver at the following site. It works well with his 700EA unit using Windows 2000. Note that the site is in Italian.


Ashok, from India , writes that he found a twister driver at the following site. Note that the site is in Hungarian, I think. He writes:


This is ashok(from INDIA), i have found the S3 twister driver (Windows 2000) for the Compaq pesario 700ap from the following site:-
best regards


I found the following site which has Ian's driver as well. You register for free and then may download it.


The following Chinese site also has it.


Dominik writes that he used the following driver for his Twister K video in his Presario 731US.


just wanted to let you know that I got the video drivers working in windows 2000 on my Compaq Presario 731US.  I used the driver 'Logo'd:Repost Twister/TwisterK WindowsNT4 version 11.10.09' ( from I didn't try the 139349 drivers (specifically for Win2k/XP because they are only Twister).  Not sure if they will work on my Twister K, but if I run into any troubles with the NT drivers I'll try those out and let you know. 

Thank you so much for running a comprehensive site on the Compaq Presario 700 series.  It has helped me a lot. 

I see you cover Linux on the site, I'm planning on dual booting my Presario with Win2k and FreeBSD.  If you are interested, I'm writing up a HOW-TO/My experiences document.  Let me know. 

Thanks again.



Chris, from New Zealand , writes that he found a twister driver at the following site.

Dear Walter,

This is to let you know that your Presario driver website is still providing useful information in April 2005. THANK YOU for stepping in where Compaq/HP have failed to tread. Thanks also for compiling a website that can be read without a graphics driver.

FYI, I have just experienced a further quirk of Presario recalcitrance whilst installing a video driver on win2k professional. S3 have carried out a further update to their twister drivers and their most recent offering can be found at:

However, even once VIA hyperion 4 in 1 (4.43) and DirectX 9.0 are installed, the setup/install program packaged with this driver will not run. Interrogation of the error log (winnt/s3setup.log), yields the terribly helpful message:

"....... Could not find an enumerate device to match hardware........... DestroyTimerWindow returned an error!-> Setup was unable to complete the installation. "

However, if you ignore the installation instructions on the VIA page and use the Windows control panel to add new hardware and then "search for new driver" in the unzipped folder that has just been downloaded from S3graphics, then miraculously all is suddenly well.

Thank you for assuring me I was not alone with this problem and pointing the way to redemption, I hope this info is useful to someone in turn.

Chris (New Zealand)

Modem Card

Jason reports that Compaq has released a modem driver for Windows 2K at: (SoftPaq number 19194 - This driver no longer exists. I used number 20929 which is, also, good for Windows 98 and XP.)

Go to the following site. Choose "Search by SoftPak".


Again Ian writes:

The HSF_Win2k.exe generic modem driver from conexant works fine

Sound Card

I suspect the driver above for Windows 98 would work here but I have not tried it. Let me know if you try it and it works. You may go here to download the proper driver from Compaq. Choose the SoftPaq number 18945. Matthew reports that this driver does indeed work with his 710US unit. I used number 21180 which, also, should work for Windows 98, Me and XP.

Go to the following site. Choose "Search by SoftPak".


The 18945 driver no longer exists. Dean, from New Zealand , reports that he used Softpaq 19611 successfully with his Presario 711AU. I note the 19611 has now been superceeded on the Compaq site as of 3/5/02 by 20528. If you use it and it works, let me know and I'll note it here.


Ian comments:

Audio was the most fun. Wasn't sure which driver to use, so tried both the driver choices from the viaarena pages. Both seemed to work, but no sound came out from the speakers or headphone socket. Tried reinstalling DirectX but got no joy. In desperation installed the XP audio drivers from the Compaq downloads page and they worked fine. Hmmm.


André, from Chile , reports the following driver for his unit 700LA.


Great website, just virtually erased all of my problems installing Win 2K in my Presario 700. What a nuissance that Compaq does not support the drivers...

Any way, when installing Video Drivers, I followed the instructions and everything went well, no problems. However, still could not hear a damn thing coming out of the speakers.... After searching a little bit, tried the Win XP Drivers in my laptop and they worked all right. I used the Compaq Softpack SP20309, which is available at the Compaq website and just run the Setup option (no mingling with the Device Manager or anything of the sort).

Hope this tip is useful for you!



Kelly writes me about a site where you may download the older driver 18945.

THANK you for this website. For the sound driver, although SP18945 is no longer available from HP/CPQ, here is a link where I found it. And, it worked great for my 730US -

Click Here

Of course, who knows how long it will be there.

Thanks again.

Better Battery Management

Victor, from Portugal , writes me about a better AMD PowerNow program he found. He says this one manages better the battery than that which comes normally in Windows 2000. He writes:


Through one searchs in google, I had access your spectacular web page, have a presario 700EA with win2k installed, everything ran well in the installation.

I found a software to place in presario 700EA to recognize the AMD PowerNow! for one better management of cpu, if to want to put in your page, the filing-cabinet goes in annex, and the www is the following one:

One more time thanks,


I downloaded this program and installed it. Before installing it, I would register about 1 3/4 hours of battery time. With this program, I register about 2 3/4 hours of battery time.

Driver List

Mike, from the United Kingdom , sends me a list of drivers he used. They all appear standard. His list does provide some updates, though. I'll list them here at the end all together. He writes:

Excellent piece of work, I thought I was going to tear out the remainder of my hair until Google turned up your page.

I'm running Win2k SP2 on a Presario 700UK. I used the following set of drivers:

Audio: SP20309
Graphics: DirectX 8.1 and 139349Hotkey
Modem: Generic HSFP_WIN driver
Via 4-1: VIA_4in1_443v
Touchpad: SP19029

I use it with a mouse connected, and the only way to stop both the mouse and the touchpad being active simultaneously was to load the Touchpad driver, SP19029. This detects that a mouse is present and disables the touchpad.



Joe, from France , sends me a list of drivers he used.

Hello Walter,

this is Joe,

I consider you've got a very good idea to make this site ! I thought that it could be a good idea to give some 'drivers' working under Windows 2000 with a Compaq Presario 700

Any help, any comment please come back to me!

from Joseph - (France)

Type Name Version URL
Audio SP 22561 V
DVD SP22142
Cd-Rewriter ARCUSB 21802
Video S3-Hotkey


Zaki, from Malaysia , sends me a list of drivers he used.

I decided to install Windows 2000 as a secondary OS to my current Windows XP Pro so that it can function as a backup OS (Can never be too careful when your dealing with Microsoft)

Anyway, what I found out was rather interesting....

I searched your website in order to obtain the nescessary drivers for the OS to work properly... First I started with the VIA 4 in 1 drivers and then the S3 Twister K drivers, respectively from each manufacturer's website...Then I went on to the Generic Modem drivers from Conexant....Lastly I went after the SoundMax Drivers. Now, I only have a dial-up 33.6 kpbs connection, and it took me over 2 hours just to download the audio drivers. Unfortunately I got disconnected 3/4 way through and I was not using a download manager !! So this would mean starting from scratch... Of course I wasn't really in the mood to do that...

So I took a leap of fate, I then tried installing the SoundMax drivers (From Compaq) which were designed for Windows XP, to my astonishment it worked !! Now I know some people have already informed you of this but here's the most interesting part.

I moved on installing the other drivers which I had for Windows XP (All of which are from Compaq), these included the Synaptics Mouse Drivers, the Easy Access Button Drivers, and I then I reinstalled the Conexant Modem Driver. To my astonishment all of them worked without any glitches. Mind you, I tested every setting for each device and they all worked perfectly. And to those of you using the Generic Modem driver, you will notice there is no sound from the modem when dial-up is in progress... But by using the original Compaq driver designed for Windows XP, I even got that to work in Windows 2000. If you need to download the drivers, here are the references ;

SP 19472     SoundMax Audio Drivers
SP 20457     Synaptics Mouse Drivers
SP 20927     Easy Access Buttons Drivers
SP 20929     Conexant Modem Drivers
SP 20057     S3 Twister K Drivers

*Please remember to install the VIA 4 in 1 drivers if you have a newly installed Windows 2000 OS without any service pack to get the S3 Twister K Drivers to work. I did not get a chance to test the S3 Twister K Drivers from Compaq since I already had the latest version from S3.

*I believe the reason behind the compatibility is due to the fact that both Operating Systems have similiar kernels.

Thank You.


Athanasios, from the United Kingdom , sends me a list of drivers he used. He earlier sent me information about overheating which you will find under General Drivers. Go to the Linux section for his information on Linux.

Hi again.
After a week the laptop still runs perfectly smooth-no crashes, no shut downs.
A few days ago i installed Win2k and Mandrake Linux 9.0
But before that, i backep up all the D: partition. If for some reason you want to go back to WinXP Home factory settigns, all the files are there. Before you proceed with any repartitioning-formatting, BACKUP EVERYTHING THAT IS IN D: (Labelled System_sav in my laptop).
In Win2k installation was straight forward. First i installed the OS and then, with that order:
1. Via drivers. I used Via Hyperion 4in 14.45v.
2. DirectX. (Redist9.0)
3. Graphics. (1393621Hotkey)
3. Sound. (20309 from Compaq's site)
4. Modem (22984 from Compaq's site)
Note: I had a New Hardware found window poping up all the time before i installed the Graphics driver, i simply ignored that-click on Cancel.
With this graphics driver I can even watch Divx movies in 32bpp with BSPlayer. I had to switch to 16bpp with 139349.
So, to conclude, everything works with the drivers from Compaq, except the Graphics driver. If you try 20057 it won't install.


Dan sends me a list of drivers he used.

Thanks for the site. This made my life WAY easier. Rather then spending hours searching for correct drivers i found everything i needed within about 30 minutes.

I used the following for my 700z with win2k and they worked After installing Directx 9 and SP4

sound - sp20309 from compaq (XP Driver but it works)
video - got it here

and the modem i downloaded directly from

Thanks again

Network Administrator


John, from New Zealand , sends me a list of drivers he used.

I just went through the hassle of changing OS on a 721AU model of the Preasario 700. I changed it over to a Windows 2000 install from its native XP home install. After installing 2000 I had to find drivers for the modem, audio and display.

I installed the via_hyperion 4 in drivers from the via site and SP4 for 2000. For the audio I used SP18945.exe linked on this site of yours. For the modem I used a 2000 driver available on the Compaq site SP27764.exe. For the display I used a driver from the S3 site which is a twister driver.

It all works fine now. Thanks for taking the time to make the site.

John. New Zealand.

Note: Look below under General Drivers for information on the Synaptic Touchpad and Easy Access Keyboard drivers.

Windows Me Drivers

Nicolas, from France , installed Windows Me on his Presario 711 and sends his findings. First, in French, he outlines his information. Following that, I'll provide a translation into English.

Pour installer Windows Me sur un compaq presario 711, 3 étapes :

1. Suppimer Windows XP

2. Lancer l'installation de Windows Me.

L'installation ne pose pas de problème, cependant 3 périphériques ne sont pas reconnus :
- Le modem
- La carte son
- La carte graphique

3. Configuration manuelle:

- Le driver pour le modem ce trouve sur le site de chez Compaq ou avec Google : SP19194.exe

- Le driver pour la carte son ce trouve sur le site de chez Compaq ou avec Google : SP18945.exe

- La carte graphique se configure comme avec Windows 98, on trouve un driver sur le site

Voila encore merci


In English, Nicolas writes:

To install Windows Me on a Compaq Presario 711, you have 3 steps:

1. Remove Windows XP

2. Launch the Windows Me installation

The installation poses no problems but you must manually install 3 peripherals which it does not recognize. These are:

- the modem
- the sound card
- the video card

3. Manually install these drivers:

- For the modem, go to Compaq's site or search using Google for the Compaq softpak number: SP19194.exe
Go to the following site. Choose "Search by SoftPak".

- For the sound card, go to Compaq's site or search using Google for the Compaq softpak number: SP18945.exe. Check here under sound for Windows 2000 for the latest Softpak driver.
Go to the following site. Choose "Search by SoftPak".

- For the video card, go to the site mentioned above for Windows 98 and choose the Windows Me driver. Type in "archive" both as username and password to enter. Choose the Twister drivers.

That's all there is to it. And once again, thanks so much.


Constant, from the Congo - Afrique Centrale , sent me the following note.


Je suis un heureux possesseur d'un Presario 713EA de seconde main que j'ai acquis sans disque dur et sans logiciel de restauration. Après avoir monté un autre disque dur, l'installation du XP pro s'est soldé par un arrêt de la machine, Je me suis résolu à installer le WinMe, quelle joie que ça marche et quelle déception que mes cartes graphique, son, modem et easy access buttons ne soient pas reconnus! après cinq jour de connexion active sur le net, j'ai finalement découvert votre fabuleux site, rien de comparable avec tout ce que j'ai pu consulté jusqu'alors. (Man you're doing a good job!). Dommage qu'il ne soit pas très visible.

Je tien à vous félicité de l'excellent boulot que vous abattez pour nous aider. Je vous signale que je suis à Pointe-Noire au Congo (Afrique Centrale) je ne sais même pas si vous en avez déjà entendu parler.

Toutes les indications que j'ai pu trouvé sur votre site marchent à merveille:

Carte graphique: S3 Graphics Twister K, 4 908 Ko sur le site

Carte son: SoundMax Integrated Digital Audio, SP19845.exe 24596 Ko

Modem: Conexant Intl HSFi V92 MiniPCI Modem, SP 19194.exe 2727 Ko

Carte réseau: Realtek RTL8139(A) PCI Fast Ethernet reconnue et installée par le WinMe

J'ai pu également trouver les divers de la touchPad également par rapport aux explications fournies par votre site, mais je n'arrive pas à trouver les drivers des autres easy access buttons. Si vous avez une solution, n'hésitez pas à me la faire savoir. Je suis dans le besoin.

Vous pouvez répondre en anglais que cela ne me dérangerait pas.


Note: Look below under General Drivers for information on the Synaptic Touchpad and Easy Access Keyboard drivers.

Windows XP Drivers

In general, all comments concerning XP Professional apply to XP Home. Adolfo, from Spain , installed XP Professional without problems on his Presario 706. He writes the following:

Hi Walter,

First of all, thanks for your web. It's very usefull for Pressario 70x owners. Well, and now my case. Simple one. I updated mine (706) from XP Home ed. to XP Pro ed. without worrying about drivers and must say I'm quite happy with the results. I ran the update from within XP Home. Just inserted the CD, autoran and double-clicked update (or was it instal? can't remember now)

It installed the right drivers for each and every piece of hardware... but the cursor pad under the touchpad. I must say I had not used it often enough to miss that feature so it's all right for me. I'm quite happy with XP Pro, what I could not say about Home ed. It is now running a web server and data base server (for localhost use, of course) among other programs such as Photoshop. It runs smooth with hard-3D games aslo. I love this machine :D

That's all, just in case you think it could get into your web or you are asked by someone. That's my experiencie, my two cents as you use to say.

Greetings from Spain / Saludos!!


Chris, from Australia , sends me the following information about the recovery cds that come with your unit. You may use this information to help define the drivers you need as for other systems.

Dear Walter:

Thanks very much for all your help in the "drivers" information on your web site, I may not have had any success without it.

I recently purchased a Compaq Presario Notebook Computer 701AP (Australian model) and had the formidable task of dual booting with Windows 98/Windows XP. What I learnt from this ordeal, for your information, is the following (Don't know if your installation CD's are the same).

On the installation CD's the Compaq drivers are actually there for Windows XP Home/Pro

Before I go onto where they are, I must explain what I did... Using a Windows 98 Start-up disk and FDISK.EXE, I removed all partitions and re-partitioned my 20GB drive into 3x partitions: - 0=2gb Fat32 / 1=12.7gb Fat32 / 2=3.9gb Fat32. I then installed Windows 98 into partition 0 (C:), then Windows XP Professional (Note: WinXP Home was included with computer) into partition 1 (D:) and partition 2 (E:) as a backup storage for the 2x Operating systems.

Right, now back to the drivers.

During the standard installation of the Windows XP home that comes with the Compaq Notebook, there is a file which is saved in the SYSTEM_SAV partition

(D: drive) called CTO.TXT

My CTO.TXT file is included as an attachment.

This file has a list of all your hardware and which zip file to find them in on the installation CD's. The first 2x (of 3x) QuickRestore CD's Named "Compaq Presario Model 700 Personal Computer" have the drivers on but which CD has which file on a search is required in Windows Explorer using "*.zip" as the search file name. Mine are located in the \CPQDRV\ folder.

Explanation of the lines listed in the CTO.TXT file as I understand them.

Example list item...

227445-B2A-013, EAK 4-Button C#6.00.593 REV:A PASS:13 11639 Where... 227445-B2A-013 = \CPQDRV\227445\B2A\013\ file EAK 4-Button = Driver/Application etc Name (EAK = Easy Access Keyboard) C#6.00.593 REV:A = Version# 6.00.593 REV:A PASS:13 11639 = ? (maybe the 13th part of the installation? Your guess is as good as mine!! and 11639??)

(NOTE: the following 2x drivers are required immediately after the installation (EAK 4-Button))

OTHER DRIVERS on the CTO.TXT file...

227479-B2A-011, Synaptics Touchpad C#5.7.0 REV:A PASS:11 10803 250352-00A-007, Conexant HSF v92 Modem C#4.05.03B REV:A PASS:7 11431 250362-00A-011, S3 Twister-K XP Driver C#13.90.011 Rev B Pass 2 11688 (Display Adaptor) 227651-00B-006, InterVideo WinDVD C#3.0.59 REV:D PASS:1 11849 (DVD Player) 227737-B2A-001, Wizhost XP C#1.0. REV:A. PASS:1 09320 227724-B2A-013, CPQInet XP C#1.0. REV:A, PASS:13 11670

Driver Updates...

SP19432 Compaq iPAQ 10-100 Fast Ethernet PCI Adapter WinXP Version: 1.0 (10/30/2001 US Date)

SP20309 ADI Soundmax Audio WinXP ADI WDM Audio Driver for Microsoft Windows XP Ver A2 (01/25/2002 US Date) Supersedes SP18945

SP20456 Compaq Notebooks Synaptics Touchpad Driver for Windows XP Home Ver 570 A (04/04/2002)

SP20815 Presario 700 Series and Evo N115 Battery Controller/KBC Firmware Update WinXP Ver 11.15 A (03/15/2002 US Date)

SP19455 EAK 4 Button Driver WinXP Ver 6.00.761 REV A (NOTE: SP20927 EAK 4-Button Driver WinXP Ver 6.00.761 REV A2 (Supersedes SP19455))

SP20929 Conexant HSFi V92 MiniPCI Modem 701AP Notebook with Windows XP Home Edition Conexant HSFi V92 MiniPCI Modem Drivers Ver 2.00 B (04/16/2002 US Date) VERSION: 2.00 Rev B This Softpaq contains the drivers for the Conexant HSFi V92 MiniPCI Modem or the Conexant Intl HSFi V92 MiniPCI Modem for the notebook models for WinXP SUPERSEDES: SP19194 DATE: April 16, 2002

All drivers above worked OK on Windows XP Pro


1) When installing the EAK 4-Button latest driver from the internet (Ver 6.00.761), make sure you read the instructions because 2x other Softpaq's are needed to be installed straight after or the application will not work (see EAK Other Drivers notes above).

2) On the CD installation disks is a file called *.bto which lists the driver details (Usually only 2x lines). Example BTO file 192.bto for the display driver in the "" file CD-2...

@CTO 250362-00A-011 S3 Twister-K XP Driver C#13.90.011 Rev B Pass 2 11688 c:\cpqdrv\twister\Setup.exe NoSilentReboot -s

I installed all my drivers by running them directly from the installation CD taking note of the above instructions for the EAK 4 Button driver

3) Using Windows XP to find what drivers are installed can be achieved using the HELP file. Start/Help & Support/Hardware (from the "Pick a Help Topic" from bottom LHS)/Tools (from see also bottom LHS)/My Computer Information (from tools top LHS)/ "Find information about the hardware installed on this computer" (from the white arrow with the green background square middle of the page). It will list all hardware installed. Print this info for your reference.




Pavlos, from Ireland , sends me the following note. This is the ultimate solution if you have driver problems with XP and oftentimes with the other operating systems. Connect to the internet with your unit and then follow Pavlov's instructions.


i just solved the problem with the sound I updated the windows drivers from the Start menu / all programs / Windows update when i restarted the sound was there. That is for win XP pro

Again thanks for your time and effort to help all us



Jason sends me the following note about connecting to the internet. If you have sound problems, this probably will solve it.

I recently got this E-mail from Compaq:


Please do the following:
1. Establish a connection to the internet.

2. Right click on My Computer, then left click on Properties.

3. Click on Hardware, then click the Device Manager tab.

4. Click the + in front of Sound, Video, and Game Controllers to expand the category.

5. Double click SoundMAX Integrated Digital Audio, then click Drivers. Click Update Driver.

6. This will launch the Update Hardware wizard.

7. Choose Install the software automatically and click Next. Windows will search the web and install updated drivers. Click Finish.

8. Click close and then restart the computer.
I haven't been able to try this yet, but who knows? It might work :-)


I tried it and it works great.


You may have problems making NetMeeting work. First of all, you have to "install" NetMeeting in XP. In other words, you have no link to start it running. Thus, go to start, then run and type "conf", then hit return. This begins the installation and brings up the wizard to set NetMeeting's parameters. Run through the wizard answering the questions. At the end, NetMeeting will appear running. Now, as you go through the wizard, it may freeze up on you and force you to reboot to regain control of your notebook. This occurs because older versions of the SoundMax sound driver cause it to hang up. If this occurs to you, go back to Pavlos' advice above and upgrade the driver over the internet. Then, rerun the wizard.


Samron, from Italy , sends me the following note.

Hi Mike,

My name is Samron and i'm write to you from Italy. Recently I have obtained a Compaq Presario 716EA, without its driver's cd. So I download the drivers and software from the Compaq web site. Below I report the drivers:

SP20057 Driver Graphic Card S3 for Windows XP
SP20309 / SP19472 Driver ADI SoundMax Audio Driver forWindows XP
SP20456 Driver Synaptics TouchPad
SP20927 Driver Easy Access Keyboard 4-Button Suport Version 6.00
SP21769 Update for system's ROM.
SP23287 Update per il firmware for the Battery Controller/KBC(Keyboard Controller)
SP27318 Driver Modem Conexant 56K
SP23454 Driver InterVideo WinDVD Player
SP24108 Upgrade for the DVD Drive Firmware

I have installed on the notebook Windows XP Professional. Here I report where i find this driver:

But I have 2 problems: the first problem is not very terrible but very boring! I am not able to write, with any apllication [i.e. block notes or JCreator] the characters {, } typing their ASCCI code [like Ctrl+Alt+123 for the {]. I need to write them cos' I programming, and it's very tiring does copy&paste every time. Do you know, or anybody knows, how resolve this problem?

The other problem regards the DVD driver, when i launch the Driver in the SP23454 package appears a windows that tells: "This is not a Compaq qualified solution". I can't figure why this happen because I have followed the instructions and the driver comes directly from the Comapq web site. I have thinked to buy InterVideo DVD on my own but I dont know if compatibility problems are created.

Can you help?

Thank you for the help, and compliment for your web site, it's very useful!


As for Samron's first question, try Microsoft's utility for the virtual keyboard. They give it away. Go to Microsoft's Knowledge Base and search for it. It allows you to easily reconfigure your keyboard for other languages.

As for Samron's second question, I have experienced this problem in the past with Compaq's SoftPaks for DVDs. I think this is designed to prevent an unlicensed user from downloading and using the player software. I have always used my own software, such as WinDVD, which worked fine.


Ajith, from India , sends me the following note.


I find such a great extent of involvement and support happening through this great site for the owners of the world's most disliked product - compaq presario laptops.

I own a compaq presario 700, and i unfortunately used my quickrestore cd's to reinstall win xp. XP was loaded, but sad to say that i have lost my sound output on my speakers or headphone. The audio drivers seem to be installed, and there is no conflict shown. Also checked the audio properties for any mutes. all are fine and levels right.

I really dont understand how the speakers have gone dead. Is there some way to trouble shoot to restore my audio in my inbuilt laptop speakers or on a headphone output?

please help.



I don’t have xp installed on my unit. However, I suggest doing the following. Look under XP on my site toward the end of this section where Jason discusses updating sound drivers via the internet. I think doing this will probably solve your problem.

Later Ajith emailed me:


Thanks a lot for your response.

Finally after breaking my head for about 4 hours, i found out that the quick restore cd that ships along with compaq laptops dont completely install all the necessary drivers during a restore or installation (though the source is available in the 3 cd's itself) Hence its available in the touch key...etc..etc.. but only that it needs to be extracted from the folders one by one, and then installed.

Now to find what is where in which folder..its an incredible experience.. for all the folders under the cpqdrv folder is named with numbers like 227348, 227606 and so on.. so the best way is to open the final subfolders and check using a zip extracting program, and identify for what the packed files may stand for. Then unzip to temporary folders and make use of the respective setup.exes in this way, i got back my audio as well as graphics display to work using supporting files.

Compaq should have made it in such a way that the user neednt have to hunt so much..when they have packed the whole lot in 3 cds. ..i mean a full driver installation process during a quick restore. ..and never a suspense restore.

hats off to toshiba, as they have overcome this in a nice way..

hope some user could benefit out of this..

Cheers for the support..


Note: Look below under General Drivers for information on the Synaptic Touchpad and Easy Access Keyboard drivers.

Linux Drivers

A brave soul from France Mike has installed Linux on his Presario 713 and sends the details. I'll first present his advice in French and then in English. Mike writes:

J'ai dû utiliser la distribe RedHat 7.1 pour installer linux sur mon portable presario 713. La version 7.2 de redhat est à proscrire pour cause de plantage répété avec de joli kernel panic. Va t'en savoir pourquois Charles !!!

La RedHat 7.1 marche bien, il semble aussi qu'avec la Mandrake 8.1 tout soit ok.

J'ai choisi l'installe en mode graphique et l'option portable par défaut. J'avais partitioné préalablement mon DD en 3 partitions 14Go pour Win2K, 5,5 Go pour le / (root) et 512 Mo pour la swap linux . (J'ai ajouté 256 Mo de ram en plus de la conf. initiale)

J'ai nommé /win ma partition Win2K et j'ai formaté / avec diskdruid

Mike translates:

I have linux installed now !!!! kewl

I use RedHat 7.1 dist. Do not use the 7.2 on the laptop. It hang all time and lot of kernel panic.

The RH 7.1 work fine but it seem Mandrake 8.1 is ok too.

I use graphical installation and laptop specific install I do another part on my disc 14 Go to win2k, 5.5 Go to / root part and 512 Mo for the linux swap. (Hehe !! I have 512 Mo of ram)

I name /win my win partition. And i format the / part.

Video Card:

Pour le choix de la carte graphique j'ai pris dans la liste le driver S3 "Savage 4 pro+" (Ca marche bien !). J'essaierai d'installer plus tard le driver S3 pour linux, spécifique pour ma carte (Twisted)que j'ai téléchargé sur le site web de S3.

Pour le choix de l'écran, j'ai choisi un des compaq presario présent dans la liste. Le dernier je crois, pour être sure de pouvoir me mettre en 1024x768, c'est plus confortable.

Mike translates:

@ The graphical board detection, I use Savage 4 pro+ like (It seem be a good choice, work well!). I try later to install S3 specific driver than i get on S3 website.

For the display I choose one of the Compaq Presario listed (the higher to be sure that I can use 1024x768)


J'utilise aussi un boot via lilo, mais j'ai créé une disquette de boot aussi pour plus de sécurité si je doit réinstaller win2K un de ces jours.

Pour l'instant tout va bien sauf le son que je n'ai pas encore testé. Apparemment je ne suis pas le seul à avoir des problèmes avec le son sur le forum de compaq.

Dès que j'ai réglé ce problème je t'enverrais les infos.

C'est pratique d'avoir linux sur son portable, ça fait un bon serveur nomade avec apache , php, python, et tous les outils dev et rézo .

Mike concludes:

I use lilo boot but i create a boot disc too (It will be more safe if I re-install win2k one day.)

All are ok! Only sound does not work, but some people have the same problems on Compaq forum.

I send you the good answer when i have it ).

Cool to be have linux on my laptop. It is a good nomad server with apach, php, python, mysql, dev tool and more ....


Nuno, from Portugal , writes me about installing Red Hat Linux 8 on his 722EA unit. He writes:

Hi, i've seen your website and since i have a compaq presario 722ea, i've decided to contribute with my experience while trying to install/configure redhat linux on it...

I've installed the new RH 8.0 and the setup ran very well.

Now the hardcore:

I'll start with ACPI since it is the hardest, yet the first thing you should configure....


First you have to download a patch according to the kernel you have.
You can get the patch here:

Now you have to merge it on kernel.
Go to the directory of kernel and copy the file you've downloaded to there (By default the kernel directory is on /usr/src/linux-x.xx.xx)
Now unpack the patch since it is on gz:
- gunzip acpi-xxxxxxxx-x.xx.xx.diff.gz
And patch it:
- patch -p1 < acpi-xxxxxxxx-x.xx.xx.diff

NOTE: It's very important that the patch has your kernel version on it's name, otherwise you will get some errors and the kernel becomes uncompilable.
If there's not a patch to the same version of the kernel you have, go to and download a kernel that is supported by the ACPI patch

Now the most boring part: configure the kernel

do a 'make xconfig' to configure the kernel in window based mode
First you need to go to the 'Processor type and features' and change your 'Processor Family' to Athlon/Duron/k7
Then say no (n) to the 'symmetric muilti-processing support' and check if 'Local APIC...' is disabled (n)
Finally go to the General Setup and on 'ACPI Support' enable everything (y) except 'CPU Enumeration Only' and 'Toshiba Laptop Extras'
Click on Save and Exit and do a 'make dep'
after that do a 'make clean bzImage modules' and finally do a 'make modules_install install'
After all this restart your machine...

ACPI is ready to go....

Graphic Card:

You can actually chose anything from the S3 XXXXXX (Generic). I've tried with some of them (S3 Savage 4 (generic), S3 Savage 2000 (Generic), S3 Savage 4, etc) and i had no problems. There is one you should avoid: VESA driver... I tried this one and while booting, RH insisted to not running the X... It was hard to solve the problem (hard edit on /etc/XFConfig86) but now everything is ok.

I have these huge slow graphics on some full screen games... I don't know why this happens but i will find out... I presume that is from the weak support on the graphic Twister card....

Sound Card:

On setup RH installed the sound card, so no problem... If you have any problem you have to go again to the kernel configuration and in the 'Sound' option activate (y) the VIA 82C686 Audio Codec... Do all the steps to compile the kernel


RH detected too, but if you have problems go again to the kernel configuration and on 'Network Device Support' > Ethernet (10 or 100 Mbit) activate the 'Realtek RTL-8139 PCI Fast Ethernet Adapter Support'...and do all the remaining steps

I'm done for now... I'm thinking about building a webpage to help people with their laptop's, since i had to sneak around the net to know what i've learned so far...
I hope you post in your webpage this contribution, since it has the important first step's on configure the linux in compaq presario 700

bye bye...
Nuno from Portugal


Athanasios, from the United Kingdom , sends me information on installing Mandrake 9. He earlier sent me information about overheating which you will find under General Drivers. Go to the Windows 2000 section for his information on installing Windwos 2000.

Hi again.
After a week the laptop still runs perfectly smooth-no crashes, no shut downs.

A few days ago i installed Win2k and Mandrake Linux 9.0

I use Mandrake 9.0, i don't know if what i did applies to other Versions.

Anyway, everything worked fine, all the hardware was detected except the Modem. If someone is interested there is a driver at I haven't tried it myself yet, as i am not using the modem (even in Windows i have it disabled ;-).

The fun part was Power Management. Linux supports APM, Presario's don't. ACPI is still under development. I had to do some research. There are a lot of good sites out there that help. The fastest way to get ACPI working is to go to (thanks Sasha).

What i did was slightly different. I downloaded the cooker 2.4.20 kernel source. Then applied the kacpid.patch, and then recompiled. Be carefull to disable APM support and APIC support on uniprocessors. Enable all the ACPI options except for Dell and Toshiba. I had them installed in the kernel, not as modules. Reboot, and you get a message that Compaq's have a Bios bug in ACPI and that C2 is disabled (heh!). Under KDE you will have another problem. Although ACPI is up and running, you wil get a warning that it is not properly installed. Ignore that, disable the KDE battery monitor and install the akpi package from There is even a Mandrake RPM there. So now i can safely use Linux without worrying about overheating anymore (phew!). I still have a problem. Although the battery is fully charged i can see that i am running on AC, but the battery is charged at 41%. I haven't spent time on it, maybe it is a mistake from myside, maybe the battery needs calibrating, or maybe there is no problem at all. If i figure it out i'll drop a note.

Take care.

Other Linux Sites

Cem, from Belgium , writes me about installing Linux on his 715US unit. He notes how to make sound work. He has placed his information nicely on a webpage which you may access at:

In addition, Michael, from Canada , has a site detailing his installation of Linux on his Presario 710. This site offers help for the modem and a hack to get around Compaq's installation program which wipes out your hard drive when you use it.

Dominik emailed me about his site. He writes:

I've created a new site detailing my installation of Gentoo Linux 1.4 on my Compaq Presario 731US, if you want you can link it on your site as others may find it useful.  The site location is

Enjoy.  Thanks for keeping the community up to date!


Mark emailed me about his use of Linux. He writes:

Just want to tell you that your site has been very helpful in using other OS on my Presario 715US. I wanted to tell you that Simple Mepis (A Debian based Linux) works flawlessly on my Presario. Even the battery meter works with the goofy acpi. It is a live CD so you can try it and see if it suits your taste as well. There doesn't seem to be any AGP acceleration though ,but I haven't heard of any for Linux with the Twister chip. Well just thought I would add a little to your already informative page. Thanks.

Finally, the following site maintains a fairly exhaustive listing for Linux on laptops. The link takes you to their Compaq page which will provide you with more links to users who have installed Linux on variations of the 7xx unit.

General Drivers and Other Subjects

Several of you have sent the following driver locations. I am placing them in this general section as they apply to all operating systems and are not the basic drivers, as video or sound. This section, also, contains other general subjects as DVD problems and Compaq's use of the Easy Access Button.

Synaptics Touchpad

Agustin, from Columbia , sent me the following address for the Synaptics Touchpad. I find that generally the operating systems recognize it and install the proper driver. However, if you have problems with it, here is the address. Agustin writes:

Dear Walter:

Thanks a lot for your useful Presario drivers page. I have a link that might be interenting for all them who want to use another OS than Windows XP in a Presario 700. It is the Synaptics Touch Pad that can find in

a let you to configure the features of the Mouse Pad




Mike, from France , reports he needed the following driver for his synaptic touchpad using Windows 2000. He has a unit 713FR. This is SoftPak 19029.

Go to the following site. Choose "Search by SoftPak".


Rick, from the United Kingdom , reports that the system did recognize his synaptic touchpad and install the driver. However, it did not recognize and install the driver for the easy access button right under the touchpad. To make the button work, he had to install again the synaptic touchpad driver. He upgraded to XP Pro from XP Home. If you deal with XP, just go to Compaq's driver site (use Mike's link above) and download the synaptic touchpad driver for XP and the Presario.

Easy Access Keyboard

Patrick, from Belgium , sends me information on the Easy Access Keyboard drivers. He writes:


As a 716EA owner, I found your website of great value. So maybe should it be better, if you add information about EAK driver. There are available from the SoftPaq 19454, this one is dedicated for 4 buttons (6 button driver is also available at same location). These are related to Win2000 (but it works perfectly under Win ME) and XP.

Best regards

HOCQ Patrick


Also, Dean, from New Zealand , emailed me that he used SoftPaq 19452 for his 711AU with Windows 2000. They, both have the same issue date so I'm not sure how they differ.


Larry reports that SoftPak 18447 provides a Windows 98 driver.


Ernst, from the Netherlands , has a 700EA unit. He reports the following:


Great site you have :) Verry verry usefull

I have a presario 700EA laptop And now finally with windows Me The easy acces buttons works fine on Me with softpaq SP20927



Go to the following site. Choose "Search by SoftPak".


Kenneth, from Canada , had problems with the Easy Access Buttons. However, he received good support from Compaq and forwarded to me the following.

I thought that I had lost faith in the compaq tech support. but seems HP has done a good job with the quality of compaq services~
here is the reply from them (in a blasing fast 1 hr) in regards to the "redirection" and customization of the easy access keyboard buttons.



Dear Kenneth,

Thank you for choosing HP Consumer eSupport for Compaq Products.

I have gone through your mail and understand that you wish to reprogram the EasyAcess keyboard buttons in your presario to your choice.

You can follow the steps given below to reprogram the Easy Access button to your choice.

Reprogramming Easy Access Buttons in Windows XP:

By default, the Easy Access Buttons software will connect to the Compaq Web site, where the software may be programmed by following links online. However, to reprogram the EAB buttons without connecting to the Compaq website, you must first disable CPQInet.

To disable CPQInet, rename the CPQInet.exe file by following these steps:

1. Start the computer in Safe mode and log on as the administrator by following these steps:

a. Click Start, click Turn Off My Computer, and select Restart.
b. When you see the red Compaq Logo, repeatedly press the F8 key on the top row of the keyboard to bring up the "Windows Advanced Options Menu."
c. Use the arrow keys to scroll to the Safe mode. The following prompt will be displayed:

"Please select Operating system to start"

d. Use the arrow keys to scroll to Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition.
e. When prompted, log on as an administrator.

2. To view the CPQInet.exe file, you must first enable viewing of hidden files and folders by following these steps:

a. Click Start, click My Computer, and click "Tools" in the menu bar.
b. Click Folder Options, click the View tab, and select "Show Hidden files and folders."
c. Click to deselect the "Hide file extensions for known file types" option.
d. Click Apply.

3. Search for the CPQInet.exe file and rename the file by following these steps:

a. Click Start, click Search, and select "All files and folders."
b. Type CPQInet.exe in the search field. Generally, the file should be found in C:\Compaq\CPQInet.exe.
c. Right-click the CPQInet.exe file and select "Rename" from the context sensitive menu.
d. Rename the CPQInet.exe file as CPQInet.old.

4. Restart the computer by following these steps:

a. Click Start and click Turn Off My Computer.
b. Select Restart.

This will disable CPQInet.

To reprogram the Easy Access Buttons, follow these steps:

1. Click Start and select Control Panel.
2. Double-click the "Easy Access Button" icon. This will launch the Compaq Easy Access Button Support software. Also, the following prompt may be displayed:

"Please press the Easy Access Button that you would like to program."

3. Press the button you want to reprogram. This will launch a Compaq Button Settings window with the following prompt:

"Please choose from one of the following:

* Launch a new program
* Launch a new website
* Return to the default settings"

4. Select the required option.
5. Follow the onscreen instructions.

This will reprogram the Easy Access buttons to launch a program or Web site of your choice or return the buttons to default settings.

Hope I answered your inquiry. If you need any additional information you can always contact us. We will always be with you till the problem is solved.

Have a nice day!


Dhanasekhar Pachaiyappan
HP Consumer eSupport

Here's an interesting note!

Don, from France , has a 705EA unit and sent me the following note about Compaq's use of the Easy Access Keyboard. He writes:


I have a 705 EA.

I found out that compaq uses the easy access button to track what their clients do on the net. To change the web site the buttons point to, you have to go on the compaq web site. STRANGE!!!

It gets better the compaq web site tells you that you have now reconfigured the button. And surely it works, one clik on the button brings you to google. Now remove your internet cable and press the button again, Internet explorer says that it cannot find the COMPAQ REDIRECTION website. IN fact you do not reconfigure your button , what you do is reprogramming the COMPAQ sever to redirect you to the desire website. God knows what information they get after this!!!

Maybe you want to let others know about it.

Best regards,


Do You Have DVD Problems?

Patrick, from Belgium , sent me the following note about DVD player problems. He writes:

This tip might be of intrest for those having problems with DVD movies or even DIVX movies on cdrom playing choppy using a Compaq Presario 700 series notebook.
If you check out the properties for second IDE channel in the computer's hardwarelist, you will find out that the DVD player's DMA mode is set to PIO mode. It should be set to Multi-Word DMA mode 2. If not, follow the next steps:
1. How to find out the DVD  player's setting:
  • Hold down the Windows key and press Break to open the System Properties dialog box immediately.
  • Select the Hardware tab
  • Click Device Manager
  • In the hardwarelist click on the + sign next to IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers
  • right click on Secundary IDE Channel
  • select Properties
  • select Advanced Settings
  • If Current Transfer Modus for Device 0 is set to Multi-Word DMA mode 2, you are done. Just click Cancel or Close all opened windows. If not, perform the next steps:
  • There is a weird thing going on tough. After a while I checked the setting and it was restored to PIO mode. I don't know why, but if find out I will post it to you. Anaway, when set to DMA Mode 2, movies will play great!
    Best regards,


    James, from Australia , wrote me about using Compaq's DVD softpaq for other operating systems than XP.

    I came across you site after upgrading my presario 700 from XP home to Win2K. Sadly I had already hunted down all the drivers with the exception of WinDVD so I did not get to use all the driver links you have.

    Long and short of it is that the Compaq WinDVD softpaq (off their website) will not install if Win2K is installed. The err msg is (Severe Error: Not a qualified CAMPAQ solution) during install.

    You can *resolve* this by extracting the softpaq as usual then editing DEFAULT.INI in the same directory as the SETUP.EXE for the install. Add two commas as shown:


    This minor modification to the ini will let you install the Compaq softpaq on your Presario 700 with Win2K installed. It possibly lets you install the softpaq on anything but I just wanted to put it back on my Presario, which was a qualified solution!!!!



    Michael, from France , sent me the following note about DVD player problems. He writes:


    I've found your site a few hours ago and I must admit that's it really impressive and that why I would like to add something that might help someone (maybe I hope)

    I've got the same DVD problem as Patrick from belgium about the annoying changing mode for the DMA of the secondary IDE controler... What I would like to add follows :

    1. The solution he gave may work fine with XP, but I think that it's another problem with Win2K

    2. He couldn't explain why after a certain period of time, his secondary IDE controler goes back into PIO mode, the explanation is that with XP, when a DMA access has failed 6 times, the drivers automatically fallback into the PIO mode and the only way to get back toe DMA is to re-install your controler.

    3. From your own site, you mention the link for Viaarena :

    which provide the miniport IDE

    ( ) ,

    for the IDE Bus master controleur which when installed, allows users to enable all the DMA mode and PIO mode from the DVD rom

    I've download the IDE miniport which is an application that loads itself at windows startup... the application provides a lot of information onto your IDE hardware and lets you put you DVD as PIO mode 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 or in Multiword DMA mode 0, 1, 2 (as windows default drivers only propose : PIO mode or DMA mode if available !!!)

    But this has not solved my problem !!!

    the only way I've found to solve it is to re-install all my system... ;(

    If you have any suggestion, I would appreciate..

    Best regards

    Michael from France !

    Do You Have Overheating Problems?

    Athanasios, from the United Kingdom , sent me the following note. He had overheating problems but appears to have solved it.


    I purchased a Presario 714EA, about a year ago, from Greece.I live in the UK, this has its significance as you will see.

    The first thing i did was to remove XP and install ME. The drivers were all working, but i had other problems. The bloody thing would crash or lock randomly, sometimes even after a minute of running, and without any further action from my part-i was just booting and doing nothing. And it would really overheat. Especially when i used the DVD-Rom.

    Imagine, everytime i wanted to use the Laptop, i couldn't because it would crash. At first i thought that there might be some incompatibility issues of the drivers. I was lucky enough to catch a "Driver IRQL not less or equal" a couple of times. So i was trying whatever driver i could get my hands on. I did a lot of research on Compaq's website, what i found out is that lots of people have the same problem with the Presario 700 series.

    Perhaps this could be usefull for other people to know: The 700 series have a hardware problem. The heat spreader that is installed in these laptops is badly designed, and that causes overheating. The latest Battery/KBC and ROM Softpaqs (as of now SP23287 and SP21769) may or may not solve the problem. For me they did not. The situation only improved a bit.

    So, after a lot of thoughts and hesitation i sent it for a service, here in Compaq UK (i am lucky enough to still be under warranty). It looks like that the gyus there did a good job, although it took quite a while before they took the laptop for repair-after lots of telephone calls they said it was all a misunderstanding because they had my e-mail wrong and couldn't get in touch with me, and the fact that it was not purchased here in the UK made things harder, as the procedure differs if the machine is purchased outside the country.

    Anyway, i got it back. The repair report i have says that the Heat spreader was replaced because the machine was overheating. And the hard disk was damaged (read error) because of overheating, so it was also replaced. And they reinstalled the CompaqXP OS with the known layout of 2 partitions, an OS and a recovery (maybe there is also a hidden one?-i'll check on that). Which is not what i consider ideal partitioning, so it will not stay like that for long... I am planning to install Linux and WinXX.

    I got it just yesterday, and i am still giving it some crash tests. For the moment its running rock-solid. It even runs intensive applications, that would cause a crash before, without any problem. 15 hours straight! I had it working all night. And it didn't even get hot. Just sligthly warm. I am planning to go on like that for a week or so and see what happens. If i will have no crashes, i will replace XP again. But this time, i will back up all the files in the disk so that i can fallback to XP if something goes wrong (and no, i do not have SP20077, but there are other ways).

    Whatever happens i made a decision: Never ever buy a Compaq product again. I'll be happy to be able to use it for my Phd presentation, and after that i'll probably get rid of it. Ok, the laptop is feature rich, which is why i bought it in the first place, but bad heat-sink from its design? They should have solved such things before the machines came out to the market.

    (On second thoughts, to be fair, if it keeps working fine i might change my mind).

    I just thought my experience with this laptop could be usefull for other people.

    And by the way, your site is the best place to look for Presario's. Let's better not talk about Compaq's driver support...

    Sorry for the long e-mail.

    Take care.


    Alejandro, from Mexico , writes me about overheating. He says:

    Hello There!!

    Hey, even with just a simple webpage you did what Compaq couldn't... Help me find a W98SE Network Driver for the Presario 720US... It's funny to see that there are a lot of people changing to W98SE, but that's the only option I had for the software I'm using, it just didn't work in XP...

    By the way for all of those boys and girls wondering about why their laptop works also as a toaster (and crashes) is because they have to use the little legs under it (even when you have it in your laps!!) so air ventilates all the way arround, this is because this laptop has a very poor heating dissipation...

    Thanks a lot for leting me find my driver!!!



    Marcos, from Argentina , writes me about overheating. He says:

    Dear Walter,

    I'm writting to you as I don't know where to publish the following:

    After reading about the Compaq 700LA overheating I went investigating it's insides. The heat dissipator was designed for a Pentium not for an AMD Duron, as the Duron is thinner thant the Pentium they were going to install in the machine, they suplemented the disipator's thickness with a piece of lead sheet, that was stuck on the disipator with contact glue (no grease between them) and then stuck on with a piece of self contat plastic. Any idea why it overheats?? =8-)).

    Solved partialy using a program calle CPU 'eat 'n Cool. It is free ware.

    Thanks for your part in solving my problem.


    Does Your Notebook Freeze Up on You?

    I tried to install Visual Studio Net 2003 and could not do so. Each time I tried to install it, my notebook froze up forcing me to reboot and start over. In exasperation, I reformated and reinstalled. Before installing anything else, I tried to install Visual Studio. It still froze on me. I tried to reinstall my older Visual Studio Net but it now froze. I, also, had the unit freezing on me somewhat frequently as I used it after trying to install Net. After reinstalling everything, I tried more times to install Visual Studio Net to no avail.

    Some months back I added more memory with a 256 MB SODIMM by Kingston (ValueRAM). It basically seemed to work fine. However, I removed it and put back in my old Compaq memory. After that, I installed Visual Studio Net 2003 with no problems. My freezing ceased in general.

    Do You Need to Access the BIOS?

    Jérôme, from France , writes me the following. He says:


    I have a Compaq Presario notebook model 700 EA with windows ME. The keyboard works but some keys do not provide for the right character. Can you advice a solution and/or the right compaq softpack ? Also how do you access the BIOS ?

    Many thanks in advance.


    I'm not sure about the keyboard problem but I do have the answer for accessing the BIOS.

    * Reboot the machine

    * Press the F10 key when the red Compaq logo is displayed

    * Make your changes

    * Press F10 again to save the changes and to reboot the machine

    Do You Have Battery and/or Recharging Problems?

    Recently, I have received several emails as the following.

    Rick, from Nigeria , writes me the following. He says:

    Found your site about the Presario 700. Very interesting.  I purchased one about a year ago used.  It already had WIN2000 installed on it but seemed to work fine.  The only problem was the battery life was very poor (less than 10 minutes) so I purchased a new one.  However, that didn't help.  I contacted Compaq via there web site (or email, can't remember exactly which I used now) and they said they had a power mgmt update but I needed to be running XP to use it, or the voltage converter board may be bad.  Since I didn't want to go through the hassle of backing up everything I had on my hard drive, reinstall the original XP software and then moving things back I have basically lived with it which means my laptop is basically a desktop since I need to keep it plugged in as the battery will only run the for about 5-10 minutes at the most.

    Do you know if there is a fix to this while running WIN2000 or how to test the voltage converter board.  I would try to replace it if I knew that was the problem.  I am a missionary living in Nigeria so getting service and such is not a good option here.  I would have to try to do it myself.  But don't want to purchase the board (I found a source for one for less than $20 which would be worth it to be able to use this as a "portable" computer) and have it sent here if that isn't the problem. 

    Any advice you can pass on would be a great help.

    Rick,  SIM - Nigeria

    In addition, Jorge, from Germany , writes me the following. He says:

    Hi You There..¡¡

    I have a 700LA presario from LatinAmerica, and I been having problems with the battery..... It doesn´t charges more than 14%..

    Any help?


    Actually, I have begun to have these problems. I have a service contract on my unit which runs out this November 2004. Thus, I contacted the service provider. At first, they told me something probably was amiss with the calibration for the battery. They said that they did not think it was the battery. I tried various tweaking of the battery configuration but it did not help. Several months later, I contacted them again and wanted to send the unit in for testing before the contract ran out. They, then, blamed my battery and would not accept it for testing until I tried a new battery in it. The contract does not cover batteries. (Actually, this behavior gives me one more reason for not purchasing these service contracts. I think they are mostly a waste of money.) Since new batteries cost over $100, I decided not to buy one. I believe I would be better off buying a new unit.

    Do You Have USB Problems?

    Marco, from Chile , writes me the following. He says:

    Hi, I´m Marco from Chile. I hope you´re fine. I have seen your webpage and it´s great!!!

    I´d like to ask you something about presario 700. I have the 705US and I have a problem connecting USB to IDE adapters. The OS WinXP Home, recognizes the hardware and begins to install the driver, but when it´s finishing, a message appears: "Some problem with the device. Maybe it doesn´t work properly", and in fact, it doesn´t work. First I thought it was my OS, but I installed XP Pro, and the problem remains the same. I have upgraded the BIOS too. Also I have the same problem with an USB to Serial adapter, however, webcams, printers, pendrives, memory card readers, etc, work fine. Do you have any idea where the problem is?. I would appreciate your help. Thanks a lot.

    Also I installed a PCMCIA card with two USB ports, but the problem remains the same.


    A few days later, he wrote the following.

    Ok, thank you for your help.

    Yesterday night I tried once more to install this device, and in a momentary lapsus of reason I thought it could be a problem with an incapacity of the USB port to give enough current to drive the unit. I connected the device to the USB port but I took  the energy from another source and voila!!!, it worked!!!. (now only USB to serial adapter doesn´t work but I think it´s a driver problem)

    So  I want to share this discover with you. This can be useful for other people with the same problem in this machine


    My Configuration

    I currently have my unit configured as follows. I maintain two operating systems Windows ME and Windows 2000 Server. I, then, divide up the rest of the hard drive into FAT 32 partitions. These partitions serve to hold data.

    My partition layout consists of the following. Windows ME installs into a FAT 32 primary partition and takes up about 1.1 GB of space. It serves to maintain the system. Thus, I have Boot Magic installed here and have copies of Drive Image 2002 and Partition Magic 8. Boot Magic must install into a FAT partition so this works fine. The next primary partition holds Windows 2000. The partition is formatted as NTFS and is about 8.5 GB in size. For a while, I had Home XP on a third partition but deleted it. Compaq's version takes up about 4 GB and I really could never find any compelling use for it. After this, I have an extended partition containing FAT 32 partitions. I made them FAT 32 so both operating systems have access to them.

    Windows 2000 Server exists as my primary work system. I have a great deal in this space. I only install programs into this partition and keep all data on the FAT 32 data drives. I run a variety of servers here including Site Server 3 Commerce Edition and SQL Server. In addition, I have Office XP, Visual Studio 6 and Visual Studio Net 2003 Enterprise.

    Since the Blaster virus hit, I have been inundated with emails containing this virus. Due to this and other concerns, I installed Microsoft's ISA server on the laptop to protect me. This server contains basically a proxy server and firewall. Without this kind of protection, I found internet users roaming around using my servers while I connected to the internet. I, also, use a program called mailwasher. You may download a limited free version or the full program at

    It permits you to check your email on your ISP's server before downloading it. You may, then, delete mail out on the server if it looks suspicious. This has proved invaluable in keeping viruses at bay.

    This configuration works great for me. It runs fine on this computer. I maintain it using Drive Image 2002 and Partition Magic 8 from the Windows Me partition. These programs in theory do not work with the server version. I find they generally work fine. I do not have heat problems. I usually run my unit with the CD drive open partly to afford ventalation through it.

    I back up this configuration as follows. I do not have a RW drive. I purchased a 5.25" USB 2 External Enclosure ME-320 Series (brand unknown) for $33 and placed in it a 30 GB hard drive. I connect it using the USB port. My unit only has USB 1 which achieves throughput of 1.5 MB/S. Some units have Firewire which gets 50 MB/S. New units undoubtably have USB 2 which achieves 60 MB/S. Then, I back up my hard drive using Drive Image 2002 to my USB hard drive using the "copy drive" function. I cannot back up Windows ME as the unit must reboot into DOS to back up the performing system. The driver does not function in DOS. However, it backs up the other partitions just fine. It is quite slow but works ok.

    In addition, I created a drive image of this partition using Drive Image 2002. This program permits you to choose to save the Image in files of whatever size you choose. I choose to save the image in files of 650 MB so I might later save them to CDs. I wrote the image to a data partition and saved a copy of it over my network to my main server.

    I originally installed Windows 98SE and NT. NT had driver problems. Basically, I feel that the newer operating systems give me a more robust performance. Furthermore, I have no driver problems.

    Compaq Driver Sites and Related Matters

    The following links provide you with several different ways to access Compaq's driver database.

    You may search by product or SoftPak number. Compaq packages a driver into a SoftPak. They may package other things into SoftPaks, too, as software programs and utilities. Just enter the SoftPaq number and hit enter in the following link.

    The following link lets you search from a list for a SoftPak. Oftentimes, you may find an older SoftPak here that comes up missing in the previous link.

    The following link provides you many links to Compaq support.


    Paul writes me with the link to Compaq's ftp site. He notes:


    Just wanted to thank you for a great site. Helped me out getting the sound card driver for Win2k.

    As you noted, is no longer working. For people who know what SoftPaq number they are after, they are all available direct from Compaq's FTP site - even some you said were no longer available.

    Thanks again,



    George, from the United Kingdom , sent me the following note concerning Compaq. He writes:

    Hi There

    I would like to take the time to thank you for your web site.

    Being a Compaq approved engineer I to was disgusted with the attitude of Compaq, however in there defence it is a Microsoft directorate not to give them the software at oem prices unless they stick to giving out XP or the latest software available. (Microsoft has way too much influence on the manufacturers) I have had the exact same problems with Toshiba and Dell Laptops. Please could you mention this on your site although I'll leave the discrepancies to you as I wouldn't want to get you into trouble.

    It used to be that systems were designed to work better...and software was designed to run on hardware..SYSTEMS NOW COME WITH A LABEL SAYING DESIGNED FOR MICROSOFT WINDOWS XP...... How bad can it be when Manufactureres now design there hardware to run software..

    Thanks again...keep up the good work

    Reagrds George


    Sean sent me the following note concerning Compaq's latest driver site. As you probably know, Hewlett-Packard now owns Compaq.

    Hi Walter, just wanna share that the latst website for this model can be found at:

    Even the latest bios can be found. So, hope this helps....


    Finally Compaq Comes Through

    As most of you know, the XP cd which comes with your unit erases your hard drive when you try to restore your XP Home operating system. This really proves a nuisance when you try to dual boot your system. In the past, Compaq has strenuously refused to provide a standard cd. However, times do change and Compaq now will provide you with such a cd for the asking as James reports in the following note. Shhhh!

    Hi, I own a 705US, and I wanted to install linux on it. I did not have an XP cd, and as you know, compaq will not provide one other than the copy that repartitions the drive and erases everything. I used partition magic to resize the partition, and installed linux.

    A few weeks later, I ran into a problem- I got the blue screen of death when booting into XP, with error code 0x00000024- apparently a filesystem error that can be fixed using the recovery console in XP to run chkdsk. To run it, you need a standard bootable XP cd, so I emailed compaq about my problem. They sent me Softpaq 20077, which is an actual bootable copy of XP. Thought you might find this interesting.

    Thanks James. I logged into this Softpak (enter 20077 and hit enter), read the information, called Compaq Technical Support at 1-800-OK-COMPAQ or (1-800-652-6672) and had my CD on the way within minutes, no charge.

    Go to the following site. Choose "Search by SoftPak".


    Several of you have contacted me to note that this SoftPak no longer seems available. Spence contacted with the following note:


    Great website. Just wanted to pass along some info about getting the Windows XP CD from Compaq. If anyone calls compaq about any "problems" they have been having, make sure they specify they have a "Unmountable Boot Volume Error". This will save a lot of time with the Tech Support guys, especially if you don't have any errors.

    Compaq was running me around in circles until I told them it was a "Unmountable Boot Volume Error". You also have to tell them you don't have access to the internet at all, or they'll tell you to round up some floppy disks, and download a patch from microsoft.

    Thanks, and great website.


    Basically, I would call Compaq support and tell them you need the recovery cd for an "unmountable boot volume error" or quote the error given by James. You may have this error in the future, particularly if you dual boot your unit and no way has existed to recover from it other than using a bootable copy of the operating system. Compaq does not provide this standard cd when you purchase the unit. You have to request it.


    Chris writes me that Compaq now refuses to send you this cd unless you request it while you have a valid software warranty. What will they do next? Tell us we can't have the few drivers they support unless we have a valid software warranty. He writes:

    When I tried to get it, they said I had to be under the software warranty, which only lasts for 3 months after you buy it. I bought my Presario 700 last December, so I'm out of luck. I'd have to pay $60 for their warranty plan.


    Each operating system appears to install any other needed drivers.

    I'll comment briefly about searching for drivers. Some of you may have machines with somewhat different equipment. Thus, you still need to find the proper driver. Basically, you need to look further on the internet for the proper driver. I use the Google search engine.

    Use the information you have about your equipment and search the internet following down the leads until hopefully you find the proper driver.

    Finally, please note that I cannot provide you with individual support. However, as I have time, I'll try to respond to you. If you would like to add additional information to this page, as for another operating system, send it to me. Use this information at your own risk. I went through a lot of time researching it and I am happy to provide the results for others out of my good will.





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