Compaq ProLinea 4/66
Nickname: The Retro One

Compaq ProLinea 4/66

Computer Specs:



I've since moved into a new place and do not have a work area set up (yet) so this project is on hold for the time being.


This computer was an E-Bay find and I was pretty happy to get it. The computer runs fine but I needed to update it so I could use it as a retro gaming system. Plugging it in and turning it on showed me the system ran and had PC DOS version 7. This is IBMs version of Microsoft DOS. I was even more surprised to find that the computer had Windows 3.11 installed too as well as three different version of Visual Basic for 16 bit Windows.

Next it was time to take the system apart.

The system was full of dust and dust bunnies. It looks as if it hadn't been cleaned out in at least 15 years if not more. So I got a soft brush and a vacuum and cleaned out the motherboard the best I could. The next thing I needed to do was to uninstall a 5.25 inch floppy drive. It was broken and full of dirt. I don't think it's repairable.

Next I got on E-Bay and ordered a SoundBlaster 16 since the computer only had a speaker for sound. Granted there is a certain charm to gaming with just the speaker but not on a 486.

As I waited for the sound card to come in I found an old CD-R/W I had stored somewhere and tried to install it. This proved harder than it looked since the BIOS didn't have a setting for ISA cards and the installed DOS didn't see it or have drivers. After a bit of fiddling I was able to get the CD-R/W to work with the system and I happily installed Windows 95. Right now the system does run but the only way to run it with CD access is to have all the drives hanging out. This is not optimal.

So what to do with this system?

Personally I'm not going to go through great pains to keep this system original. I don't want that. This is a gaming system and I need to "modernize" it to the best of my ability. The first and most important thing for me is to build a custom case. I am going to take great care in this so I like how it looks. After that I will probably replace the floppy disk with a floppy drive emulator so that I can use a USB stick to transfer software to and from my modern PC.

That's the long term plan. I'll try and document the process with pictures, video and articles.