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C > COMPAQ > Portable 386

Portable 386

Behind the old

Behind the old-computers photos...

Before shooting photos of our old computers, we often have to dismantle, clean out and test their good working order. Here is an example of a Compaq 386 salvage.

When we got this computer, it had spent about five years in a damp cellar. So, before testing it, we decided to completely dismantle it, clean and verify each parts.

Here is the result. All the parts are in their original state, that means dirty, really dirty.


Dismantling a Compaq Portable III

Dismantling a Compaq Portable III series is quite easy, except for the display unit. You will need two special Torx screwdrivers and to follow these steps with care and in order:
1 - Remove the rear panel,
 2 - Disconnect all the cables from the mainboard while writing down their location and the way they are connected,
 3 - Remove the Mainboard,
 4 - Remove the display card located vertically at the bottom of the case,
 5 - Remove the black plastic part which keeps the two video cables in position (one screw). Write down how the cables are fixed between the case and the the plastic part,
 6 - Unscrew the four screws located on top of the rear side of the display unit. You can then remove the front panel of the unit,
 7 - Remove gently the display unit and its two cables by unscrewing two screws on each side of the display panel,
 8 - Unscrew for screws located in front of the case, behind the now removed display unit, they keep the PSU and drives unit in position,
 9 - Remove the PSU and drives unit by pulling them to the back.

You can now clean all the parts and put them back together again in the reverse order.

Some keyboard versions don't use screws but only several plastic clips located around the keyboard shells. With a flat screwdriver, gently push each clip and move apart gradually the two shells. 

If the CMOS setup information have been erased, you will need the Compaq Setups program, available  here for download in 3.5" or 5.25" format as well as the Diagnostics program, only available in 3.5" format.
You can also download the Technical Refenrece Manual which applies to the Potable III, 386 and later models (Thanks to Jesko).

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