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Did you change the '1st boot' drive to the optical drive?
If you haven't, you need to enter the BIOS setup and change from C: to whatever your optical drive is named and then change it back once the operating system is installed on the C: drive.
try booting to DOS screen only by inserting a boot-able floppy disc (I use Win ME disc at this point although my system is also Win XP). Then select "boot with CD-ROM driver". It will detect your CDROM drive and assign a letter. Now insert the CD and boot from there. I have done this sequence many times with no problems.
When the system starts, hold the F10 key and go into BIOS and set CD Rom as 1st Boot device (in Boot Order).
Because most Compaq's would put the BIOS in a hidden NON-DOS partition on the hard drive, you may have to get an OEM recovery disk for that model. Because there is no BIOS to go to, the machine doesn't know it has a CD, HD or Floppy to go to. A boot floppy/CD is no help.
With another desktop and IDE to Laptop HD connector, FDISK (make active partition and hidden partition [5mb]), Format both, copy the cabs from WinME CD to c:\windows\options.
Find the COMPAQ OEM CD for that model.
Since there was no exact model number Click here
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