Engineering:Compaq Presario 2200

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Compaq Presario 2200
Compaq Presario 2200 Desktop PC.jpg
Release date1997
Operating systemWindows 95
CPU180 MHz Cyrix MediaGXi CPU; 66 MHz bus speed
Memory16–32 MB EDO DRAM; supports up to 80 MB; (2 MB of memory reserved for video card)
Storage1.6 GB Quantum Bigfoot HDD
GraphicsIntel generic GPU VGA connector
InputPS/2 keyboard and mouse
ConnectivityDial-up modem upgradable to 56K; 33.6K modem standard
PowerSteady-state 51 watts
Dimensions4.0 in (10 cm) × 14.17 in (36.0 cm) × 14.5 in (37 cm)
Mass19.8 lb (9.0 kg)

The Compaq Presario 2200 is a small form factor desktop PC produced by Compaq from 1997 to 1998. It was produced as a slim, small form factor machine mainly intended for budget-minded consumers. When launched, it had 16 MB of EDO DRAM that was expandable up to 80 MB and a Cyrix MediaGXi microprocessor, clocking at 180 MHz. It did not include an Ethernet port; however, the modem can be swapped out for a compatible 8-bit ISA Ethernet card to allow the computer to be connected to the Internet or a LAN network. There are no USB ports on the computer, even though the small metal flap might suggest that Compaq considered installing USB ports during the time the computer was developed. This computer model is not to be confused with the newer Compaq Presario 2200 laptop computer.

Technical overview


The Presario 2200 originally shipped with 16 MB of EDO DRAM built into the logic board with two 72-pin SIMM slots for expansion. The memory can be upgraded to 64 or 80 MB. More than 80 MB can be installed but the Presario will only recognize 80 MB of it.


The Presario 2200 comes with two PremierSound speakers, one of which has a bass-enhancement tube leading to the back of the computer that Compaq referred to as a "Phantom Subwoofer" feature.

The Presario 2200 is also a media computer, hence the ability to play an audio CD while the computer system is shut down.


The Compaq Presario 2200 originally shipped with a 1.6 GB Quantum Bigfoot hard disk drive. This hard disk uses an IDE interface and can easily be removed from its caddy that sits just above the CD-ROM drive. The user can upgrade the hard disk to a maximum of around 10-20 GB. Later units shipped with a Seagate hard drive.


The computer features a standard 15-pin VGA out display port, using an integrated display chip. The system uses a maximum of 2 MB of shared system RAM for VRAM, with BIOS options for low, medium and high output resolutions and bit depth, capable of a maximum output of around 1280×1024 @ 8 bit. The later Compaq Preario 4220 system used the same chassis as the 2200 series, but has an onboard Cirrus Logic chip with 2 MB of dedicated VRAM.


Inside the 2200 is a small power supply that provides power for the entire machine. It is a steady-state 51 watt power supply.


The Compaq Presario 2200 can connect to the Internet via dial-up using a standard 33.6K modem, which can be upgraded to a 56K modem or possibly an Ethernet card. From left to right, the ports are the line-in and phone-in modem jacks, headphone jack, microphone jack, game port, VGA port, a small metal cover, PS/2 mouse and keyboard ports, parallel port, serial port, a C13 power cord socket and a power switch. The small metal cover is where Compaq might have considered USB support early in the computer's development, but the motherboard does not reveal any USB connection pins, so this computer most likely cannot be upgraded to use USB. The later Compaq Presario 4220 had 2 USB ports, which are located on the same metal cover as the 2200.


The 2200 came with Microsoft Windows 95 pre-installed along with other software packages and bundles, such as Microsoft Money 97, Microsoft Works, and SimCity 2000 Network Edition. It also came with several other software CDs as well as several Internet and networking utilities.


The Compaq Presario 2200 did not sell well for numerous reasons, one of which was perhaps the difficulty of installing a Windows 98 upgrade. It also had some other problems and incompatibilities, stemming from its highly integrated and cost-conscious design. Although it is sometimes claimed that only 300 or so were sold worldwide, but examination of the range of serial numbers in known units would indicate that more than 1,000 units were made, and most likely at least a few thousand were made and sold. As with most old and obsolete hardware, however, recycling and discarding has made finding good working units difficult.

Technical issues

The Compaq Presario 2200 had many issues, especially with hardware and some notable software incompatibilities. The first major problem that pushed people away was the fact that installing Windows 98 was very difficult. If one attempted to insert the Windows 98 installation CD and then try to boot to it, the screen would flash random symbols and beep continuously for several seconds, then resuming normal startup into the original operating system. This forced users to install Windows 98 by removing the hard disk and installing Windows on another computer using that same hard disk and then placing it back into the 2200. However, the glitch has recently been bypassed by pressing three of any four arrow keys, and then selecting the bottom box (as both are blank) to boot from the Windows 98 first edition or second edition install CD. Installing Windows 3.1, Windows NT 4.0 or re-installing Windows 95 didn't seem to experience this problem, however.

Another issue that was frequent among users was that the speakers would sometimes quit working after restarting the computer, forcing the re-installation of all audio codecs and drivers.

The CD-ROM drive also was a frequent source for technical difficulties. The CD drive often did not read burnable or re-writable CDs and other discs with certain formatting. The only known fix for this issue was to install a different CD drive, and at the time, there were almost no black CD drives other than the ones that came with the Compaq Presario 2200, so users would have an odd-looking color combination. And even still, replacing the CD drive is a tedious task, as users are required to unscrew screws hidden in tight spaces that will eventually lead them to pulling the computer chassis in half.

See also


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