Compaq Portable - memory utilisation


New Member
Jun 19, 2019
Well, I'm glad to report that I now have a working system. I didn't have to resort to the low level formatting, so on this occasion, the DEBUG command stayed in its box!

My last ditch attempt before going for the format option was to rename the hidden system files as suggested here

ren io.sys
ren msdos.sys

...but that didn't work. I still got the "No Room for System on Destination Disk" message when trying to run sys.

Reformatting the C: drive (actually using Norton Safe Format) did the trick and I was then able to set up the autoexec.bat and config.sys files. As you might expect, quite a few of the floppies turned out to be either empty or not what was on the label but as you say, they are mostly available out there if you look.

I'm going to have to figure out the best way to load the missing / additional programs onto the machine. I don't fancy messing with floppies any more than I have to, so Norton Commander or Laplink may be the key.

Thanks for the help along the way!
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Reactions: TomXP411
May 22, 2019
Yay! I'm glad you got that one figured out.

I'd also love to see some pics, if you have the time... especially of that hard card. I'm wondering how similar it is to the one in my Compaq.


New Member
Jun 19, 2019
Hi Tom

Here's my Filecard:
IMG_8846 (Large).JPG

WD1002-27X controller card:

Ran Norton Disk Doctor which identified 2 bad sectors in the end:

I used Norton Safe Format to reformat the C: drive and install the system files. Allegedly I'd have been able to revert if it failed. Took about 40 minutes:

This is what it looked like before I cleaned up the keyboard and replaced the key pads. Looking at the date codes on the ICs, it looks like a 1987 build..

It's a std 8088 model with the full 640k:

Norton Commander is coming back to me after all these years!

And Lotus-123. You use the backslash to access the menu, remember?

I recall I had a serial mouse working with Norton Commander. I must figure that out soon...