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Question Compaq Presario 5155 boot menu


Apr 4, 2018
So I bought an old Compaq Presario 5155 with no hard drive. I installed an IDE to SD card adapter and set out to install Windows 98 from a CD, but I haven't been able to figure out how to get to the boot menu. I've tried most of the function keys, ESC and DEL. F10 takes me to the BIOS but it does not allow setting of the boot priority. Does anyone know how to access the boot menu on these old Compaqs? I haven't been able to find any manuals or information online.
A lot of times these did not have a boot menu because they could not boot from the cd drive, only the hard drive or floppy drive--that's right, floppy drive. Back in this era, if you wanted to boot anything else, it was boot the floppy and then you load drivers for the cd-rom and then run the windows install from the cd-rom.

The other way to do it was to format the hard drive and make it bootable and then copy the cd-rom into a directly like C:\WINSTALL and then run the install straight off the hard drive.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg as you're going to have to find windows 9x drivers for all those devices. Hopefully HP has some of them stashed away on their ftp server, so you may be in luck restoring the system.

I grew up in this era of computers so feel free to ask me questions. Your task isn't going to be easy, but if you're willing to go through it I'm willing to guide you. :)


Jan 5, 2015
Oh wow. I grew up back then as well but that is WAY back. I feel old. But yes, in those days you had to have a 3.5 inch disk, boot from that disc and install the CD ROM driver, then from dos, find the letter of the CD drive and run the setup.exe file. But as was stated, good luck with drivers.

If you have a license, and if you've got Windows 10 pro, save yourself some time and create a Windows 9x hyper v Virtual machine.

Maybe I should do this as there is one older game that I don't think runs right on Windows 10. Anyone play Sid Meier's Gettysburg? Good game.


Mar 23, 2013
i have had same issue on mine toshiba tecra 1000

yes so to install Win95 or win98se (ideally) you would need floppy disc with BOOTABLE windows startup files. you can create this in other computer running windows(or buy diskette it on ebay)
at the same time you would put cd rom into cd drive.
more info here: http://www.windowsreinstall.com/win98/install98stepbystep1/indexfullpage.htm

all depends what system is there.
I have managed to upgrade BIOS to custom one around 2006 year and I was able to boot straight from Cdrom and use windows XP (this really slowed PC down so went back to 98se.)

other way you can simply look for version of linux for computer of this type. take this laptop's hard drive out and install linux on other computer... and then just put this HDD back to laptop. linux should boot.
and then run games in virtual box/dosbox (if playable on this low specs)

good luck