Linux on a Compaq presario 710
These are some notes that were kept while setting up Linux to
dual boot with windows XP on a Compaq presario 710.
Created: March 12, 2002; Last updated: March 18, 2002.
The notebook comes with:
Note that it does not have a serial port.
1Ghz AMD duron;
20G hard drive
(TOSHIBA MK2017GAP, ATA DISK drive;
39070080 sectors (20004 MB), CHS=2432/255/63, UDMA(33))
2 usb ports;
S-video port and "normal" video port;
2 pcmcia slots;
(TOSHIBA DVD-ROM SD-C2502, ATAPI CD/DVD-ROM drive
ATAPI 24X DVD-ROM drive, 128kB Cache, UDMA(33));
built in 10/100 ethernet
(RealTek RTL8139 Fast Ethernet ...
Identified 8139 chip type 'RTL-8139C');
built in (win) modem
(PCI 0x14f1:2f00 (CONEXANT; HSF 56k HSFi Modem));
built in sound
(PCI 0x1106:3058 (VIA Technologies Inc; Audio Codec 97));
Setting up dual boot
WARNING: do this at your own risk.
The computer comes with windows XP pre-installed and a set of 3 rescue CDs.
If you want to set up a dual boot system, it is best done before
doing _anything_ with windows (as what you do will be lost).
The basic idea is to partition the disk (trashing current contents),
then install windows XP from the rescue disks (a hack is used to keep
it from trashing the partition table); then install Linux.
Back up anything you want to keep before doing this;
there is no gaurentee that this will work.
Partition the disk
Use what ever tools you like to do this. I just booted from the
RedHat 7.2 install disk and did the partitioning using fdisk
(if you want, you can install Linux while you are at it, but if you make
a mistake during the next step, it will be lost).
I split the disk into 10g (windows), 9.5g Linux, .5g Linux swap
(do not leave any unallocated space).
Install windows from the rescue disks
If you just put the rescue disk in a boot up, it will delete the
partition table and create a new one - not useful.
So, put the rescue CD in another (Linux) machine and mount it up.
There is a file called "bootimg.bin" there - put it on a blank floppy:
dd if=/mnt/cdrom/bootimg.bin of=/dev/fd0
then copy AUTOEXEC.BAT and OSIMAGE\*.SCR to /tmp so you can edit them:
mcopy a:AUTOEXEC.BAT /tmp
cp /mnt/cdrom/osimage/*.scr /tmp/SCRIPT.SCR
(can't remember the name of the .SCR file on the CD - there is only
one .SCR file, so there can't be any confusion).
Now edit the AUTOEXEC.BAT and, at the end of the file, put a REM in
front of the line that runs QRPROSIG.EXE.
Next, edit the SCRIPT.SCR file and make it look like this:
SELECT DRIVE 1
SELECT PARTITION 1
SELECT FREESPACE LARGEST
SELECT IMAGE 1
RESIZE IMAGE MAX
SELECT PARTITION 1
(this changes the script to only delete partition 1 instead of
all the partitions).
And now put both files back on the boot disk and put both the
floppy and the CD into the notebook and boot up.
You should get a A:> prompt.
Finally, install windows (trashing the contents of partition 1) by
running the command:
Q:\qr\pqdice.exe /cmd=a:\script.scr /img=Q:\osimage\factory.pqi /nrb
Note that this command will not ask for confirmation - it just does the
Also, have tried putting this command at the end of the AUTOEXEC.BAT,
but it didn't work - no idea why.
After you have put in all three disks, you have windows XP sitting on
a 10g partition (or whatever size you made it).
Now install your Linux - RedHat 7.2 was used when these notes were
taken, so if you use another distribution, things may behave
Notes on the installation:
At this point, you should be able to reboot the machine and
boot either windows or Linux.
You can edit /boot/grub/menu.lst to change the default and to
change (or remove) the timeout.
- Use grub as the boot loader; you're given an opportunity to put
a name on the windows boot option;
put the boot block in the MBR; in the extra options to Linux,
The "noathlon" option while booting is reported to solve
problems with the machine locking up during use.
- X configuration: the video card is a S3 Savage 3D
(I think; others have used generic S3 Savage 4);
when asked about the mouse, use
or "MouseManPlusPS/2" (don't remember which name it puts on
this option); had to fiddle with /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 after the
install to get X to use 1024x768 with depth of 24 bits:
In /etc/X11/XF86Config, look for the section "screen" and change
defaultDepth from 16 to 24, then in the subsection "display",
change depth from 16 to 24 and change modes from 800x600 to 1024x786.
The kernel that comes with RedHat 7.2 causes the machine to hang when
you reboot it - need to unplug the power and battery to proceed.
This can be fixed by getting an updated kernel from the RedHat updates
(2.4.9-31 seems to work better).
The system doesn't power off when given the command "halt -p".
Haven't spent any time on fixing this yet.
Setting up the linmodem:
Haven't spent any time trying to get the sound working - saw references
to the newer kernels (2.4.18) fixing problems, but don't know if it
was this problem.
Don't have any firewire devices so don't know if it works (haven't checked
dmesg to see if the kernel sees it).
Info from Others
Here are some emails I've received which have some useful info not mentioned
To find out more info about the script file used by the rescue
disks, do a search for some of the commands in the script file - you
should find something at least partly useful.
The linmodem page:
Driver for the modem:
Cem Servantie's notes on setting up a Compaq presario 715:
Walter Price's page on how to set up windows 98 and windows NT 4.0 on the
Presario 700 series:
Carl Constantine's page on the persario 720 - mentions Gentoo Linux installs
well, and says will post his kernel and X config files: