Compaq Deskpro 386s

I have a vintage Compaq Deskpro 386s (386SX @16MHz from 1988-1990) with a smashed HDD and failed CMOS battery. I managed to get another battery and to get the SP0308 floppy disk required to configure the CMOS data (these machines have no built-in BIOS setup). The COMPAQ DESKPRO 386 PERSONAL COMPUTER MAINTENANCE AND SERVICE GUIDEis a troubleshooting, maintenance, and repair guide that can be used as a reference when servicing the COMPAQ DESKPRO 386 Personal Computer. All troubleshooting and repair procedures are detailed to allow subassem- bly/module-level repair only. Compaq Computer Corp. Introduces the new 20-MHz 386SX-based laptop, the SLT 386s/20. The PC processes data up to 50% faster than 16-MHz 386SX-based systems, such as the desktop IBM PS/2 Model 55 SX, and nearly twice as fast as 12-MHz 286-based systems. Compaq Deskpro 386/20e Specifications Processor. Intel 20MHz, 80386. Memory. 4MB standard, expands to 16MB. I/O Expansion Slots. Four available expansion.

A Compaq Deskpro 6333 from the late 1990s.

Compaq Deskpro 386s Compaq was a bold and innovative company, producing some of the best computers of the 1980s. Founded by trio of former Texas Instrument employees, the company famously (and legally) reverse-engineered the IBM PC and created the first successful portable PC. After making a name for itself, Compaq pivoted to the desktop.

The Compaq DeskPro 386S currently on display at the Living Computer Museum in Seattle, Washington. Microsoft PowerPoint is running on the computer.
Compaq Deskpro motherboard (1997) with Pentium II processor and three different slot types (AGP for graphics adapter, three PCI and three ISA slots for legacy cards)
Compaq Deskpro 386s
Compaq Deskpro Evo motherboard (2001) with Pentium 4 processor (hidden by cooler fan), three DIMMs, one AGP and three PCI slots

The Compaq Deskpro was a line of business-oriented personal computers manufactured by Compaq, then discontinued after the merger with Hewlett-Packard.[1] Models were produced containing microprocessors from the 8086 up to the x86-based Intel Pentium 4.[2]

The original Compaq Deskpro (released in 1984), available in several disk configurations, was an XT-class PC equipped with an 8 MHz 8086 CPU and Compaq's unique display hardware that combined Color Graphics Adapter graphics with high resolution Monochrome Display Adapter text. As a result, it was both considerably faster than the IBM PC and had a much better quality text display compared to an IBM PC equipped with graphics.[1] Like the earlier Compaq Portable, its hardware and BIOS were 100% compatible with the IBM PC Model 5150 (a characteristic that few other PC workalikes shared so soon after the establishment of the IBM standard).

In 1985, Compaq released the Deskpro 286, which looks quite similar to the IBM PC/AT. Then in September 1986, the Deskpro 386 was launched[3] after Intel released its 80386 microprocessor, beating IBM by 7 months on their comparable 386 computer, and thus making a name for themselves.[4]PC Tech Journal honored the Deskpro 386 with its 1986 Product of the Year award.[5] The Deskpro 386/25 was released August 28, 1989 and cost $7,999.[6]

The form factor for the Compaq Deskpro is mostly the desktop model which lies upon a desk, with a monitor placed on top of it. Compaq has produced many tower upright models that have been highly successful in sales, and are usually convertible to a desktop form factor. An SFF (small form factor) desktop version was also produced during the Deskpro's lifetime. The Deskpro was replaced by the Evo in 2001.

The many different models include the:

  • Deskpro 286e
  • Deskpro 386 released as the first MS-DOS, PC-compatible 32-bit computer with 386 processor.
  • Deskpro 386S (Second Generation 386 introducing 16-bit bus 386SX processors)
  • Deskpro XE 486 ISA and IDE
  • Deskpro XL High-End workstation with EISA and SCSI either and 486, Pentium, Pentium Pro
  • Deskpro M 386, 486 and 586 early Pentium models
  • Deskpro 2000 Pentium 1, Pentium Pro and Pentium 2
  • Deskpro 4000 Pentium 1 with MMX & Pentium 2
  • Deskpro 6000 Pentium 1, Pentium Pro and Pentium 2 and scsi
  • Deskpro DX
  • Deskpro EXD, SB , EN , ENL: Pentium III based
  • Deskpro EVO500 series, the last of the range with Pentium 4 processors

Compaq Deskpro 386 Diagnostic Disk


  1. ^ ab'Compaq Deskpro Model 1 - Computing History'. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  2. ^Information from
  3. ^'compaq deskpro 386'. Retrieved 2020-12-03.
  4. ^'Exhibits - Living Computer Museum'. Archived from the original on 5 February 2016. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  5. ^'Deskpro 386 at 30 OS/2 Museum'. Retrieved 2020-12-03.
  6. ^'Compaq Deskpro 386/25 Type 38 - Computing History'. Retrieved 6 July 2016.

Compaq Deskpro 386 Bios


  • Compaq Computer Corporation. Reference Guide: Compaq Deskpro 2000 Series of Personal Computers. 3rd edition, January 1998. Part Number 278019-003.
  • Compaq Computer Corporation. Reference Guide: Compaq Deskpro 4000 Series of Personal Computers/Compaq Deskpro 6000 Series of Personal Computers. 2nd edition, September 1997. Part Number 270844-002.


Wikimedia Commons has media related to Compaq Deskpro.

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Compaq Computer Corporation was a company founded in 1982, that developed, sold and supported computers and related products and services. Compaq produced some of the first IBM PC compatible computers, being the first company to legally reverse-engineer IBM Personal Computer. It rose to become the largest supplier of PC systems during the 1990s before being overtaken by Dell in 2001. Struggling in the aftermath of the dot-com bubble bust, Compaq was acquired for US$25 billion by HP in 2002. The Compaq brand remained used by HP for lower-end systems.
On June 28, 1984 Compaq released the Compaq Deskpro, a 16-bit desktop computer using an Intel 8086 microprocessor running at 7.14 MHz. It was considerably faster than an IBM PC and was, like the Compaq Portable, also capable of running IBM software. It was Compaq's first non-portable computer and began the Compaq Deskpro line of computers.
Our model is from Series 3021 with 256VGA.
The srial number is 8204HBW 31815 and the keyboard has a part number of 109232

Manufacturer: Compaq
Date: 1988

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Compaq Deskpro 386sCompaq Deskpro 386s


Compaq Deskpro Operations GuideCompaqMay 1986


Byte December 1987Unknown
Byte February 1988Unknown
Practical Computing - August 1985Aug 1985
Personal Computer World - August 19851 Aug 1985
Personal Computer World Special: Business Computing The 1986 Survival GuideApr 1986
Personal Computer World - November 1986Nov 1986
Practical Computing - November 1986Nov 1986
Byte February 1987Feb 1987
Byte January 1988Jan 1988
Byte November 1988Nov 1988
PC World Focus March 1989 Number 1Mar 1989
PCWorld Focus - October 19891 Oct 1989
Personal Computer World - June 19901 Jun 1990
Byte November 1992Nov 1992
Personal Computer World - June 1995Jun 1995
Personal Computer World - September 19961 Sep 1996
Byte January 19879 Sep 2009
Byte May 198516 Sep 2009
Byte November 198616 Sep 2009
Byte April 199223 Sep 2009


Compaq Deskpro Model 1Compaq28th June 1984
Compaq Portable IICompaqFebruary 1986
Compaq DeskPro 286e Model No: 2551Compaq1987
Compaq Portable IIICompaq1987
Compaq Portable 386CompaqOctober 1987
Compaq Portable SLT/286 1921CompaqOctober 1988
Compaq Deskpro 386/25 Type 38Compaq1989
Compaq LTE Elite 4/40CXCompaq1989
Compaq LTE Elite 4/75CXCompaq1989
Compaq Portable LT/286Compaq1989
Compaq SLT 386s/20Compaq1990
Compaq Portable SLT/286 2680Compaq1990
Compaq Concerto 2840ACompaq1992
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Compaq Contura Aero 4/33CCompaq1993
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Compaq LTE 5280Compaq1995
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Compaq Contura 420CCompaqOctober 1995
Compaq Presario 4122Compaq1996
Compaq Armada 4120 Compaq1997
Compaq Armada 7750MT LaptopCompaq1997
Compaq Armada 4160TCompaq1997
Compaq Presario 3060Compaq1st August 1997
Compaq Aero 1520 Palm-size PCCompaqDecember 1998
Compaq AlphaServer DS20Compaq1999
Compaq Professional Workstation XP1000Compaq1999
Compaq iPAQ 3630 Pocket PCCompaqApril 2000
Compaq iPaq H3850Compaq2001

Compaq Deskpro 386sx - 16 Diagnostic

This exhibit has a reference ID of CH26764. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.