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Old 08-18-2006, 09:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Acquired Old Computer

I acquired this extremely old Hewlett Packard computer from a friend. I don’t have it as of right this moment, but I should soon. It’s got an 800 MHz CPU (I think), 256mb of ram (not sure what kind, haven’t checked), 128/256mb PCI GPU, hard drive (not sure how big), and a CD RW. I don’t want to get rid of the computer because it’s still usable. I’m thinking of fixing it up and giving it to my mom/grandma or something like that. But before I do so, I want to know a few things first.

I wonder that because it’s a HP and not a custom, if I can change out the CPU, or will the computer reject that? I also need to know if I can buy regular ram for the computer of if it needs to be HP certified ram. The first thing I plan to do is format the machine but will an HP machine except a non HP windows XP install? Also, am I going to need to find some kind of drivers or something for the computer before I format? Any input on over hauling prebuilt rigs would be appreciated. Thanks allot everyone.
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Old 08-18-2006, 09:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yes you can change out the CPU as long as it is compatible with the mobo. Seeing that the CPU is 800MHz, I'm assuming the ram is SDRAM (168-pin) type. You can do a fresh install of Windows XP on that computer I believe.
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Old 08-18-2006, 09:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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i know the HP Pavilions from that era are quite agreeable when it comes to adding hardware and installing windows as i've done some work myself on similar PCs. by the way a P3 800 is more than workable and certainly isn't "extremely old". the cpu won't be particularly upgradeable though as you will be limited to Coppermine cpu's which only go up to about 1ghz. if you use a Tualatin it probably won't work. if you have a basic Windows XP install and keep it simple the system can run great, i've set my mother up a Celeron Coppermine 700mhz with 256mb of ram on Windows XP and it's quite responsive. the biggest problem is that if you require internet access on the pc then it will be significantly slower if you choose to run anti-virus software.
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Old 08-19-2006, 12:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Specs are just like the internet pc I've got for my mom. Runs fine for typing and surfing, runs Norton and Spysweeper in the background okay.
You can install XP on this machine but you'll need drivers from HP for many of it's components (specifically sound and some mobo drivers maybe). Find out the model number and check HP's site to see if there are XP drivers available for it.
As far as the memory, some HP's need a certain type of sdr in my experience. Run the model number through Crucial.com and it will tell you if the recommended memory is specific in any way and how much more it can take.
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