Manuals and Texts about the Compaq Contura Aero

If you want to know what you can do against the slippery trackball, look into the aeros original manual, page 4.2 No. 8. Compaq tells you to take it out, clean it with water and treat the trackball-contacts with isopropanol. If that won't help - and it didn't help for longer than two hours with mine - you can buy some aero-trackball-cleaning kits online.

Or follow the AeroFAQ Doc. and sand down the trackball with some fine sandpaper.

That helped. Really.

On this page I collected some documents that are still available for the old machine.

The Aero Frequently Asked Questions

The Aero F.A.Q. is a creation of Ekkehard Rohwedder and Philip Wilk who collected all relevant questions and solutions posted to the aero mailing-list.

Today the Aero F.A.Q. contains mostly all aspects of that laptop computer.

And because the descriptions don't come from one modestly paid technical writer but from real users, it's also fun to read.

I'd like to add: The only thing still missing is the "Don't panic!"-sign on its electronic cover. ;-)
Home of the AeroFAQ.

A multipart HTML-version of the FAQ.
The FAQ as 16-bit Windows help-file for Windows 3.1x/Windows 9x on this server.
The FAQ as 32-bit Windows help-file for Win 9x/NT on this server

Aero Online Help

The Aero was shipped with a Compaq Online Manual. A year ago compaq offered the english version of that manual for free download on its website. Because originally the manual came with a bundle of additional files, f.i. a sort of encyclopedia, there are some missing links.

But anyway the online help is good for giving quick answers to some relevant questions (what are the green lights meaning, how can I connect the floppy).

There is also the german version available here, containing all files. I didn't see other language versions so far - perhaps someone knows where to find them?
One of the Aeros Online helpfile, found at the compaq forum.
All files of the Aero Online help for Windows 3.1. In german language.

Compaq Manuals

The Aero came with these manuals:

  • A short Installation guide,
  • a users manual,
  • a booklet with basic information about dos and windows,
  • documentations of tabworks and lotus organizer (download them in the software-section!)
  • and a documentation of the keyboard.

  • The "Users Manual" as pdf-file.
    1,4 MB
    In german language.
    Or just read it online !

    The "Installation Guide" as pdf-file
    366 kb
    In german.

    Thanks, Johannes Straeter for all the work!!

    Additionally Compaq offered a different manual to technicians for maintenance of the aero.

    Compaq Contura Aero Family of Personal Computers Maintenance and Service Guide
    969 KB
    Abstract: This Maintenance and Service Guide is used for reference when servicing the Compaq Contura Aero Family of Personal Computers.
    Language: English
    Filetype: PDF

    12 Jul 2002 - Service Quick Reference Guide - Contura Aero
    25 KB
    Part Numbers Rev.1
    Language: English
    Filetype: PDF

    22 Apr 1998 - Service Quick Reference Guide - Contura Aero
    26 KB
    Part Numbers
    Language: English
    Filetype: PDF

    Compaq PCMCIA Memory Optimization White Paper
    188 KB
    How To Assess, Recover, and Optimize Memory in Compaq PCMCIA-based PCs. Includes Compaq Contura, Compaq Concerto, Compaq LTE Elite, Compaq Aero families.
    Language: English
    Filetype: PDF

    Configuration for Banyan and the IBM PCMCIA 16/4 Token Ring Card
    6 KB
    A tested configuration for the IBM PCMCIA 16/4 Token Ring Card in the Aero.
    Language: English
    Filetype: TXT

    6 KB
    Step-by-step-instruction for installing harddisks > 8 GB with the aero. (By UH)
    Language: English
    Filetype: HTML

    The CMOS-problem - if the aero won't boot
    15 KB
    This page shows the remainig possibilities if the aero freezes after memory-count.
    Language: English
    Filetype: HTML


    For information, documentations and howtos about installing linux on the aero look at my linux-pages.


    Please take a look at the Compaq/HP-support-forum: They are answering additional questions - and maybe you can also help others.

    Unfortunately after the merging with hp, the special compaq-contura-aero-forum was merged too, aero-users are now in this forum together with users of Armada-, EVO-, LTE-notebooks and others. This is a pity: The traffic is high now and it is hard to find the few questions regarding the aero, as there is no search-function included.

    So I have mirrored some valuable questions and answers from the former compaq-contura-aero-forum. Hope this helps everybody...

    Other Sources

    Other sources with lots of information about the Compaq Contura Aero are collected in my page with links. There are also other projects on the internet with useful information, for instance repair4laptop.

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