Believe it or not, I loaded XP sp2 SUCCESSSSSFULLLYYY, and it's slow, but works. I figured perhaps XP would dig out the RAM and utilize it, whereas Win '98 wouldnt.
Here's what happenes: THe motherboard does count up to 321 mb during POST. The windows XP sp2 does not see it. Belarc advisor agrees that there is only 64 mb available, but in fact does acknowledge the 256 mb in the second slot.
The Phoenix bios has very little functionality. Compaq was afraid to give us stupid users too many options, so they gave us almost none... and besides, I have heard that there is quite a range of motherboards and revisions for the 1600s and am not sure about which motherboard is in here, as this as it is a factory referb unit.
Yes, the manufacturer origionally stated maximum ram is 192 mb. This unit has an AMD-K6 3D+ processor at 380MHZ. (Aww, I know what you're thinkin'. I'm crazy but your lookin at the result right now, and I have a functioning 'Jersey Shore' laptop!! )
Any ideas out there? (this is my first time on such a forum as this)
tks for yr help, holmzie