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Compaq B1800
Linux on IPC

Compaq Presario B1800...


This new and small toy was bought in Oct. 2005 as a replacement for an older DELL. A nice and small machine capable of running not only Windows but MacOSX, however some hard- and software modifications were required :).

For technical details, documentation and software please refer to HP's website B1800

Modifying the BIOS Whitelist

Phoenix BIOS Crisis Recovery Disk

During the course of investigations how to get a MiniPCi card made by Broadcom running a BIOS flash went bad and the B1800 was dead. HP support was unable or unwilling to help, support forums did not provide sufficient details. After days of research however I was able to track down the required tools to recover the machine. Please find the latest BIOS version F.09 as of today (09/2006) together with the Phoenix Crisis Recovery Disk Image here for download.

Direct Download: Phoenix Bios Crisis Recovery Disk

If this saved your life, donations are greatly appreciated ;). It's one of the rare nuggets you can only find if you're digging long and deep enough.

A Windows floppy disk creation program (wincrisis.exe) is included. You need a USB floppy drive to boot and recover, preferably a HP model (ask your colleagues or friends). Connect the drive to any of the 3 USB ports. Put the battery in the notebook (doesn't work without battery!) and connect the charger. Then hold the keys "Windowskey+B" (right besides Fn) pressed while switching on the machine with the power button. The Shift-Lock LED (left-most, the lock symbol with an "A" inside) should start blinking and the disk will start to read. The screen however stays black. Give it some time, 10 mins or so. After that the little beast should reboot from itself and will greet you with the familar Compaq startup screen. You're back in business.

Some additional details, the B1800 BIOS identifies itself as one for a HP Pavilion ZT3000 which again should be the same or similar hardware as an NX7000 and X1000. Also other BIOS'es from Phoenix (should be almost all HP/Compaq machines) should be possible to recover. Simply grab the correct BIOS update for your machine from the HP website, extract the BIOS image (it's something like 309AF09.ROM), rename it to BIOS.WPH and replace the same file on the floppy you've created with your correct and renamed BIOS image. Good luck and please let us know when you were successful via E-Mail!