Compaq AP500


Dec 4, 2008
I have an old Compaq AP500 dual CP system with 768MB. yes, it is an old system but it serves the purpose of progamming DCC decoders for my model railroading.

It currently has Redhat Linux installed on it which does not work with the JMRI software.

I want to install MS XPPro, which I know works. The problem is I cannot find a way for the system to boot off the cdrom. I know the disk is good.

I know the cdrom is good, that is how I installed LINUX.

I have hit the F10 during the POST period but nothing happens. I have hit every other F key during POST.

Does anyone know how to cause the system to boot off the CDROM?


Jeff Rousseau


Jan 23, 2009
Compaq Professional AP500 series is a strange animal!

BIOS must be located on first partion on your harddisk to setup should work, you should also be able to create setup and diagnostics diskette!

You can download it from below link:

F10 Setup and Diagnostics for Compaq Workstations

This is the link for all other... most updates is located in 400 MHz model and nearly none in the others.

If something is wrong you are unable to enter Setup even if this is shown, ie only SCSI or Primary IDE harddisk and SCSI cdrom or Secondary IDE CDROM...

I have not testing to install Windows XP or other OS'es!

Powerup the computer and during Post start (when the harddisk should start) press F10!

Observe this is much slower PC that the P2 CPU!

If anyone have part from this machine I should be interested!