i just noticed that there is still some life on this BBS. As I read that some people are having trouble with their Blue IA-1's and it's locked Bios, I will describe the evolution of my experiments with it in the hope it might clear things up (or the opposite).
First of all, there is the "gdcera" or "E. Kempen" trick to get in the Bios. I replaced the CMOS reset jumper with a toggle switch. This way, I can reassemble the unit, and toggle the switch without the possibility of getting electrocuted ... I have 3 blue IA-1 unit's, and they all behave pretty much the same. They all come from the Belgium market, and have a VDAB label on the upper side of the unit.
My unit's (usually) come into setup if I toggle the switch during the displaying of the Red Compaq logo. I just toggle the switch for a couple of seconds (equivalent to placing the jumper in the other position) Usually, after this action I see a memory count. Sometimes, after this memory count, a error is displayed. After that, I get 3 windows at the bottom which propose selections with the function keys, or I get a language selection menu, after wich the unit enters the bios setup. In case of the 3 windows at the bottom, if you press the 'compaq' button (equivalent with F10 in bios), you get the language screen.
I don't have to smash the compaq key during the memory count, and doing so probably doesn't make any difference at all.
My unit's boot from a bootable CF disk, even if nothing is altered in the bios setup. So, basically, you don't need the CMOS jumper trick.
A problem lies in the bootable CF card itself. Most people use a USB cardreader to manipulate the contents of the CF card, and these usually doesn't allow to make the CF bootable. There exists the "HP Drive Key Boot Utility" which does allow to make it bootable. In my case, such a card doesn't boot in the IA-1. After altering the bios settings, it does boot from this card. The best trick to find out if your card is actually bootable, is disabling the primary IDE controller and enabling the secundary one. This way, the internal sandisk is disabled, so the IA-1 can only boot from the CF card slot. (Or won't boot at all)
I never had the idea that the bios settings reverted to default after a setup entry. I do see that the unit sometimes reboots. This for instance happens when a CF card is inserted in the slot. Probably, the Bios adds the drive parameters to the cmos NVram, and reboots with the new settings. This is indicated by the red compaq logo dissapearing for a couple of seconds, and coming back afterwards. At that moment, the IA-1 has reset itself.
I made a CF card dos bootable with the standard dos tools. (Fdisk and format)I used a old Pc and a IDE to CF adaptor to do this. This disk booted in the IA-1 without any Bios setup modifications. The IDE to CF adapter makes the CF card appear to the computer as a normal harddisk.
I did notice that when the IA-1 boots from it's CF slot, the internal sandisk is not accessible trough Bios. Compaq has propably done this to protect the internal Sandisk BeIa OS from being overwritten. All attepts to use "Dolly" or the Seagate "DiskManager" didn't work.
I read here that some people reflashed their Bios. They used "Uniflash" to do this. They had to tell the program the type of flash chip that was in the IA-1. Some flash blocks gave a verify error. I tried that to (being desperate). After the operation, my IA-1 behaved exactly as before. In my opinion, the Bios hasn't changed. Probably some parts of the new and the old bios are equal, so it is normal that the program doesn't give a verify error for this blocks. The ones that were different, gave the verify error.
If you flash a wrong bios to your IA-1, your unit will die at early age. The only way to recover from such a situation is reprogramming the Bios flash chip in a external programmer. In my case, this chip is directly soldered on the mainboard. Unsoldering it and placing a socket, will probably void the warranty of your unit...., and without special equipment, I wouldn't know how to realise this.
I managed to reflash the internal sandisk without reflashing the Bios. If there are people interested, give a yell on this BBS. I will than explain how I managed to do it.
I guess most people reading this fell to sleep already. Besides, I am running out of (valueable) time.