Compaq Presario 2200

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Compaq Presario 2200
Compaq Presario 2200 Desktop PC.jpg
Developer Compaq
Type Desktop/Small form factor
Release date 1997
Discontinued 1998
Operating system Windows 95
Power Steady-state 51 Watts
CPU 180 MHz Cyrix MediaGXi CPU
Memory 16 - 32 MB EDO RAM / 80 MB Maximum / 12 MB On-board Memory reserved for display
Input PS/2 Keyboard, PS/2 Mouse
Connectivity Dial-up Modem upgradable to 56K ; 33.6K modem standard

The Compaq Presario 2200 is a Small form factor desktop PC produced by Compaq from 1997 to 1998.

The Compaq Presario 2200 was produced mainly as a slim, small form factor machine mainly for budget-minded consumers. When it debuted, it had 16 MB of EDO RAM that was expandable up to 80 MB and a Cyrix MediaGXi microprocessor, clocking at 180 MHz. It did not include an Ethernet port; however, if the internal modem card is removed, a compatible ISA ethernet card may be inserted into the vacated slot so the computer can be connected to the Internet or to a LAN (the ISA slot is an 8-bit slot, however, so ethernet card compatibility may vary). The Presario 2200 doesn't come with USB built into the machine, although the small metal flap on the bottom of its rear faceplate indicates it may have been considered early in the machine's development.

Technical Overview[edit]

Memory[edit]

The Compaq Presario 2200 originally shipped with 16 MB of 72pin SIMM RAM in two slots, with budget and size consumption in consideration. The machine can be upgraded to 64 or 80 MB by adding the appropriate SIMMs.

Audio[edit]

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.

Storage[edit]

The Compaq Presario 2200 originally shipped with a 1.6 GB Bigfoot hard disk. This hard disk uses IDE connections 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.

Display[edit]

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 1280x1024 @ 8 bit. The Later Compaq Preario 4220 system used the same chassis as the 2200 series, has an onboard Cirrus Logic chip with a dedicated 2MB of VRAM.

Power[edit]

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

Connectivity[edit]

The Compaq Presario 2200 can connect to the Internet via Dial-up Internet access, using a standard 33.6K modem, which can be upgraded to 56K. In the back of the machine is a small removable cover where perhaps USB support had been considered early in the computer's development, but inspection of the motherboard does not reveal any USB connection pins, so this computer most likely cannot be upgraded to use USB.

Software[edit]

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 & Networking utilities.

Reception[edit]

The Compaq Presario 2200 did not sell well for numerous reasons, one of which was perhaps the difficulty installing a Windows 98 upgrade. It also had some other problems and incompatibilities, stemming from its highly integrated and cost-conscious design. 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 there were definitely in excess of 1,000 units produced—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[edit]

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[edit]

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