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Windows 7: Help with Laptop, ( not mine ).


16 Dec 2010   #1

Win7
 
 
Help with Laptop, ( not mine ).

I am looking for some upgrade advise for two OAPs

20 odd months ago they purchased from PC World a Packard Bell ALP-Ajax C3 laptop.

I can find very little information/specs' for this machine.

It has never been used, on getting it home they turning it on, it wouldn't.

They spoke to PCW who treated them so bad, they were to scared to take it any further, so a 400 laptop, ( then ), gathering dust.

I got involved a few days ago, the problem, faulty mains lead.

I have yet to set eyes on this laptop but I have been asked by their daughter if I can update/upgrade it in any way.

I have no idea what OS this unit shipped with, I am hoping it is not Vista, ( because I am not familar with Vista ) but XP.

If it is Vista, is this machine capable of handling Win 7 HP if I purchase and install it for them?

If not, I have a retail version of win 98se and a retail version of XP home upgrade and SP 1 & 2, I would gladly install it all and let them have all the disks.

If I had to, could I install XP this way, removing Vista altogether if installed?

What information I have found leads me to believe that this machine is only capable of having a maximum of 1GB of Ram installed, if that.

Can anyone advise what kind/type of memory modules fits into this machine?

A reason for leaving Vista installed or installing Win 7 HP is I could utilize a USB stick or SD card slot, ( if fitted ) and using ReadyBoost increase RAM that way, would this be posible?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Dec 2010   #2

Windows 7 ultimate 64 bit / XP Home sp3
 
 

Welcome to Seven Forums.
If the laptop came with a Windows OS installed their should be a Genuine Windows OS sticker on the back of the laptop.
That would be the first place I would look.
If you can't power up the system then it's impossible to know what it came with. Once powered on, if it came with Vista a simple reformat of the hard drive and a legal copy of XP could be installed. However you will then need to go on and figure out the hardware and try and find the drivers for them.
Much more information is need to really be of any help.
Fabe
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Dec 2010   #3

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

FYI, Packard bell was acquired by Acer, so they may be the ones you'll need to contact for support, if required.

A 20 month old laptop would likely have shipped with vista. If you can get it running, use Belarc advisor or SIW2 to find out the hardware specs. Then visit www.crucial.com and run the memory scanner there to help identify memory slots and brand.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Dec 2010   #4

Win7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by thefabe View Post
Welcome to Seven Forums.
If the laptop came with a Windows OS installed their should be a Genuine Windows OS sticker on the back of the laptop.
That would be the first place I would look.
If you can't power up the system then it's impossible to know what it came with. Once powered on, if it came with Vista a simple reformat of the hard drive and a legal copy of XP could be installed. However you will then need to go on and figure out the hardware and try and find the drivers for them.
Much more information is need to really be of any help.
Fabe
Thank you for the reply.

The laptop was handed to me today.

It is Vista Home Basic installed and the sticker is on the back.

The laptop is so new, ( in a 18 month kind of way ), that when I booted it up a window popped up suggesting recovery disks should be made which I have now done.

The bloatware installed, I've un-installed a lot of it, Norton proved stubborn but I managed to remove most traces, Adobe was another and loads of free trial software.

I have never done so before but is it possible to flash the chip set or anything else on this machine? see attached.

On the issue of installing XP, do I have to format the HDD first, can I not just insert XP disk?


Attached Files
File Type: doc LT Details.doc (46.0 KB, 40 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2010   #5
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I would really, really recommend not to go back to XP. For one you may not find the drivers, and then you would be missing a lot of the modern computing world. I would keep Vista which is a fine system or upgrade to Windows 7 - but before you do, run the Windows7 upgrade advisor from the laptop to make sure there are no showstoppers. Then I would by a Home Premium OEM which goes for about $100. Use the 32bit version.

And why do you think you have to flash the chip set. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

PS: and install another AV program asap - maybe MSE.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2010   #6

Win7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bill2 View Post
FYI, Packard bell was acquired by Acer, so they may be the ones you'll need to contact for support, if required.

A 20 month old laptop would likely have shipped with vista. If you can get it running, use Belarc advisor or SIW2 to find out the hardware specs. Then visit www.crucial.com and run the memory scanner there to help identify memory slots and brand.
Thanks Bill,

Down loaded both Berlac and Crucial, they gave me all the details required but I'm a little confused on memory upgrade.

I removed the back covering to the memory slots, one is taken up by a 1GB module, ( DDR2 PC2 5300 200 pin ), does that mean I could install a 2GB module, bringing RAM to a total of 3GB or must they match , 1GB + 1GB?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2010   #7
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Are you sure that they installed only 1 stick of 1GB. Usually there would be 2x512MBs - because of the 2 channels.

But anyhow, you can install a 2GB stick in addition of the 1GB stick. Just make sure you get the same make, model and latency. Else the system will always run at the speed of the slowest stick. And mixing different makes is not such a good idea either. And also check whether the board supports 3GBs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Dec 2010   #8

Win7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Are you sure that they installed only 1 stick of 1GB. Usually there would be 2x512MBs - because of the 2 channels.

But anyhow, you can install a 2GB stick in addition of the 1GB stick. Just make sure you get the same make, model and latency. Else the system will always run at the speed of the slowest stick. And mixing different makes is not such a good idea either. And also check whether the board supports 3GBs.
Hi and many thanks for the replies.

If you scroll to post 4, I attached a word doc of what the Belarc adviser had come up with.

It appears and confirms there is one empty slot, I hope I'm reading that correctly.

I Googled the information it had for the main board but I came up zilch, however I did come across a post that stated the same machine was running with 4GB of ram installed.

As for installing XP, you are quite right, I have been tinkering with Vista as loaded for the last few hours, it appears stable to me.

As I wrote this laptop belongs to pensioners so I am trying to avoid them spending any money but a ram upgrade is called for.

Having said that after un-installing all the bloatware, it's running a little faster.

Most of the updates I have done so far I have achieved by down loading them to a USB stick via my rig, then transferring the files to the laptop.

I had already downloaded MSE as well as WIN 7 upgrade adviser but to run them the laptop needs to be connected to the Internet.

I thought by disconnecting, ( for a couple on minutes ), power lead, to router, then inserting my broadband connection into the back of the laptop it would be ready to go, I could update all that was required but not so, the laptop won't connect to the Internet.

Is MSE an upgrade to Win Defender, what I'm asking is, the laptop doesn't need both of them installed does it?

What will/is letting this machine down is the on board graphics, it has a performance score of only 2.9 so won't run WIN 7 HP to it's full abilities.

Yes I agree with you, ( well almost ), if the damn thing works, leave alone, ( note to self Tram--you know how right that advise is ).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Dec 2010   #9
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote:
Is MSE an upgrade to Win Defender
Kind of, it uses the same process (msmpeng.exe)

Quote:
What will/is letting this machine down is the on board graphics, it has a performance score of only 2.9 so won't run WIN 7 HP to it's full abilities.
Yes, it will not use the Aero to it's fullest, but that is a minor annoyance.

It is really strange that the system does connect to the internet. It really should when you atttach the Ethernet cable from your modem or router. What could you possibly be doing wrong?
If you want to go via the WiFi, there may be a switch on the lappy to turn the WiFi on. You also have to go to "Connect to" either in the Start menu of the Network and Sharing center.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Help with Laptop, ( not mine ).




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