Compaq CQ10 failed BIOS update

A friend brought me a Compaq CQ10 over earlier. It seems it lost power during a Softpaq BIOS update. Initially the screen was booting to the HP BIOS recovery screen, attempting to rewrite and failing around 10%. I tried a few things and nothing worked, until the owner mentioned they’d upgraded the RAM.

Sure enough, it was a different size and type to the original specification so I refitted a 1 Gb 666MHz stick I had lying around from a previous upgrade and rebooted.

This time we re-flashed, verified and rebooted. Then it kept repeating this cycle so I took off the back panel (use the orange latch visible when the battery is removed) and removed the CMOS battery. After a short pause (30 seconds or so) I put it back and rebooted. This time there was an error message about the CMOS settings (unsurprisingly) and it rebooted.

However this time we got the Compaq BIOS boot screen, so I hit the escape key to enter BIOS. Then hit F9 to load default values, accept it and hit F10 to save values and hey presto the system is back up and running.

Samsung NC10 – a pleasant Ubuntu experience

It’s another year and I’m deploying next week. One of the few perks that entails is VAT exemption at PC World. I had decided some time ago to retire my Acer Aspire One A110L, this seems a sensible opportunity. I need the following:

  • Very good battery life
  • No solid state disk (SSD) – they’re too small and were a bottleneck on the Aspire One
  • Under £300
  • Must have a microphone, web-cam and reasonable speakers – Skype is an essential

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