Compaq Deskpro EP/SB (218 Views)
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Occasional Visitor
Mark A Stephens
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎08-21-2007
Message 1 of 9 (218 Views)

Compaq Deskpro EP/SB

I am currently using one of these fine machines with Ubuntu Linux.

2 questions

a. Whenever I try a warm reboot it fails with a beep error of 1 long 2 short which I believe indicates a video card problem. There isnt any problem if I do a cold reboot. The 686T2 ROM BIOS is dated 02/10/99. Am I right in a assuming that the fix to the next ROM release to add an AGP disable would sort this?

b. Is there a limit to the size of HD that this machine can support? My understanding of Linux is that it basically ignores the BIOS once it boots up so could I get away with a 320GB or larger hard drive ? I have already replaced the previous HD with a 30GB one I had lying around. Would the box be able to boot from a bigger drive? - I have a feeling for some reason that the BIOS might stop at 32GB. If that was the case, would it work if I had the big drive as a secondary so that the box booted from the 3OGB drive and Linux looked after the big one ?
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Steven Hauk_1
Posts: 9,770
Registered: ‎10-20-2002
Message 2 of 9 (218 Views)

Re: Compaq Deskpro EP/SB

What video are you using? An add-in card? With the latest BIOS, I think the hard drive limit was 137GB.

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Mark A Stephens
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎08-21-2007
Message 3 of 9 (218 Views)

Re: Compaq Deskpro EP/SB

The video card isn't the original - its a ATI Radeon 7500 in the AGP slot.

Having found a few other relevant posts on here, I think you are right about the max HD size supported by the BIOS being 137 GB. Interestingly, I also note that people were having problems getting big HDs being recognised as larger than 14 GB with a non-updated BIOS. As I don't have a problem with my 30 GB drive, maybe I'm right in thinking that provided that the BIOS can get Linux started, Linux will look after everything OK after that. In case you are wondering why I want to put massive storage on an ancient PC, I'm doing a media server on the cheap. The box is happily providing NAS via SAMBA and hopefully will also be providing DivX video playback to my TV if I can fit a large enough HD to make it worthwhile.
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Steven Hauk_1
Posts: 9,770
Registered: ‎10-20-2002
Message 4 of 9 (218 Views)

Re: Compaq Deskpro EP/SB

The lower hard drive limits other people encountered were apparently related to a reporting problem that was fixed in an update. It wasn't occurring at numbers similar to other Intel computers of the same era.

As for other issue, try looking in the setup for an option called PCI reset on warm boot. Disable that. I realize you don't have a PCI video card, so this might not do any good. If that doesn't help, you MIGHT also want to clear the CMOS or restore the defaults and try again disabling the PCI reset on warm boot. Clearing the CMOS can be a hassle...resetting everything...so that's why I say "might".
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John Kirk
Posts: 4,061
Registered: ‎01-20-2003
Message 5 of 9 (218 Views)

Re: Compaq Deskpro EP/SB

Mark

I presume you have one of the Pentium III models with the 810 chipset and not one of the earlier Pentium II models with 440chipset.

a. 1 long 2 short beep code is a graphics controller error as you suspected. Since the error occurs on a warm boot but not on a cold boot the problem may be an obscure bug in the BIOS particular to your model graphics card. Clearing CMOS, updating the BIOS and other things mentioned are certainly worth trying however a different graphics card may be the only solution.

b. A hard drive size limit would occur at 80 GB if there is a hardware (BIOS) size limit. The 137 GB limit is/was a Windows limit which Microsoft fixed with Service Packs for Windows 2000 and XP. Hard drive size limits are not supposed to be a problem for Linux (though I am not a Linux expert).

Even though these questions are pertaining to HP hardware problems not specically Linux you may want to post in Linux forums also as someone there may have encountered similar problems with using Deskpro EP models.

Hope this helps.

John K.
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Steven Hauk_1
Posts: 9,770
Registered: ‎10-20-2002
Message 6 of 9 (218 Views)

Re: Compaq Deskpro EP/SB

I will allow for the possibility I could be wrong on this, but I believe there is no 80GB BIOS barrier. If I do a Google search for "80GB barrier" I get nothing except one old unsubstantiated forum reply from somewhere I'm not familiar with.

Also...The 137GB barrier is not directly caused by Windows, although Windows has a solution for it. It has to do with the previous 28-bit addressing standard. Read about the 137GB barrier here, among many other places on the internet:

http://www.wdc.com/en/library/eide/2579-001053.pdf

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Mark A Stephens
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎08-21-2007
Message 7 of 9 (218 Views)

Re: Compaq Deskpro EP/SB

Steven and John

Thanks.

I have also posted the HDD size query on the Ubuntu forums but I am now fairly hopeful that a big HDD will just work under linux as I suspected. A user of a rather newer Deskpro was questioning why Ubuntu could see all his 500GB HDD when the BIOS said there was only 137GB. He has now tested that data is writeable/retrievable past the 137GB point so I am hoping I will be able to do the same. My understanding of Linux is that although it needs BIOS to actually do its first stage boot i.e. find the bootsector etc, it then does a second stage which is basically BIOS independent.

In respect of the warmboot issue, I have now updated the BIOS to 8/22/99 and tried default settings and messed about with the PCI setting etc, all to no avail. The only thing I haven't tried yet is clearing CMOS (remove the battery I assume ?). The Radeon card replaced a faulty(?) Matrox (which has a CPQ number so I assume that this was the original video card). This would fail with the 7 beep AGP video error 3 times out of 4 on a cold boot but also gave the 3 beep error on a warm reboot. I can rule out any interaction with Linux as the beep error also happens when I come out of BIOS setup.
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Steven Hauk_1
Posts: 9,770
Registered: ‎10-20-2002
Message 8 of 9 (218 Views)

Re: Compaq Deskpro EP/SB

Since the 686T2 ROM for EP/SB applied to the 6350 and the 6400, I assume you have one of the Intel 440 chipset boards. On those, I believe you would have a Clear CMOS jumper. To use that, you would move the jumper from pins 1-2 to pins 2-3 for 5 seconds while the computer power is unplugged. If you have one of the Intel 810/815 models, there should be a yellow Clear CMOS button that you press for 5 or 10 seconds.
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Mark A Stephens
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎08-21-2007
Message 9 of 9 (218 Views)

Re: Compaq Deskpro EP/SB

OK

I've now cleared CMOS and it still won't do a warm reboot. I've been able to test with a working Matrox card and this doesn't have the problem so it looks like an incompatibility issue between the Radeon card and the PC. Having poked around, I picked up Dell as being the source of the card and I assume it came from an Optiplex. I have located a couple of BIOS updates on the Dell support site and flashed the BIOS with no discernable effect. What is quite interesting is that their BIOS update diskette uses Windows 98 DOS and after flashing the BIOS, I can Ctrl-Alt-Delete and get a successful restart. Coming out of the Compaq BIOS setup with "save changes" (even if there aren't any!) causes the PC to hang with the wideo beep error as does telling Linux to restart.

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