Hardware Upgrade - advice on vista compatability.?

  Kaz_Girl 22:08 30 May 2007

I recently bought an Acer T180 base unit for £280.00, spec:
Windows Vista Home Premium
AMD Athlon 64x2 3800+ socket AM2
1Gb PC2-5300 667Mhz DDR2 RAM
160GB 7200rpm Hitachi HDD,
DVD-RW DL drive
Nvidia Geforce 6100 n force 405 256mb shared graphics and audio

(No speakers or monitor, though did come with a basic keyboard and wheeled mouse)

The onboard audio seems ok, as it supports 7.1 surround sound. I'm currently using an old 19"crt monitor, and my old Logitech media expert keyboard to use it, but I feel I'm not getting the full WOW effect of vista and so...!!!!

I've now ordered and will be adding (as soon as everything arrives) the following:

Replacing the installed 2 x pc2-5300 667mhz 512mb ram with 2 x 1gb Patriot Extra Performance pc2-6400 800mhz RAM. - £75.00

Adding an ASUS GeForce 8800 GTS, 320MB memory graphics card. - £150.00

New Samsung 206BW 20" Widescreen TFT Screen with DVI and d-sub conecttion. plus looks really sexy with it's glossy black case. £190.00

Logitech Z10 speakers (again should go well with the screen, as they are glossy balck and offer pretty good performance by all accounts, I don't really want or need 5.1 etc. - £45.00

oh and for printing decided to replace my old printer with a Brother all-in-one fax/copier/scanner MFC-845CW, which supports ethernet and wireless connectivity, and comes with digital answering machine and cordless dect phone. - £100.99

I'm just wondering if anyone can give any advice on any possible compatability or driver issues for any of the above with Vista, I've done a fair bit of trawling manufacturers websites checking fr driver support and it seems to be ok, but I'm hooping that it won't prove to be necessary.

Sorry for the lenght of the post but wanted to get all the info in in one go.

Many thanks for any advice.


  Kate B 22:54 30 May 2007

Install your upgrades and run the upgrade advisor - sorry to state the bleedin' obvious, but it's the best way to find out.

  Kaz_Girl 23:08 30 May 2007

Thanks for your thoughts, but one of the issues I've heard brought up elsewhere is windows activation, and that it may not re-activate after major hardware ugprades to the computer,

As WGA uses a scoring point mechnism in determining the validiy of the computer that windows was first activated an by assigning points the pc system hardware, and if enough of those points hav changed then they deem it as being a differnt computer, and as I am changing just about every major piece of harware, other than the CPU and Hard Drive, I'm wondering if it will casue a problem with windows activation, oyh yes and the really important bit I left out is that the version of windows I got, was an OEM version pre-installed by the computer retailer.

  Kaz_Girl 23:18 30 May 2007

I suppose it a bit like the classic from ONly Fools and Horses - with trigger getting an award for the brush e had been using for over 20 years, and he then tells delboy it's had 3 new heads and 2 new handles, in that time, so a completely differnt brush then....lol. I'm just wondering to what extent do hardware upgrades effect Microsfts decison in determining if it's the same computer that the OEM software was installed on, as I've got newe monitor, new keybaord, new ram, new graphics card, internally and even peripherally a new usb hub, and a new ethernet printer. not to mention I'VE got an old haupapage tv tuner card I wnat to put in as well.

Guess we'll have to wait and see...!!!\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\upgrade adviser won't be of much help to me If i can't get past post or boot to windows

  Kaz_Girl 23:36 30 May 2007

ps I know that samsung 20" LCD is ok as it's windiws visa certified, s that should be ok, its the swapping out of the RAM for the lower PC2-5300 667mhz timings of 5-5-5-25-15 to the higher rated PC2-6400 800 Mhz Ram with timings of 4-4-4-12, as my current ram runs at 1.77v, but the new ram is recommended for 2.2v, and my mobo manual says that the vDImmm is 1.8v, so wondering if ths may casue some instability, and there is no otion in my current bios settinngs to increase the vdimm, though I'm on BIOS RO1v-A4 and there is a BIOS vRO1-B1 avaialble on the Acer Website, so if I download and install this will then have the ability to manually adjust the RAM timings or the VDimm to compensate for any system instabilty???

bit wary about having to do a flash bios update though in case it completely trashes my system.....???

Any further advice on this isse would be greatly appreciated.

  Kate B 23:48 30 May 2007

You didn't say you were wondering about activation, and if you're upgrading from XP to Vista I assume you'll do your upgrades on XP (in which case you might need to activate again, but it's a moot point if you're going to remove the OS) and then install Vista. That's the way I'd do it, anyway. Remember that you don't have to activate straight away - you've got 30 days grace.

On a general point, an OEM version would treat a new motherboard as a new computer. However, I suspect if you rang Microsoft and explained what you'd done, they might well issue you another activation key.

  Kaz_Girl 00:42 31 May 2007

Ok I'll go ahead on the basis that If problems occur then I'll ring and explain and keep my fingers crossed that they'll povide em with a new activation key.

But that said if I can just make clear, I'm already running Widows Vista, and it's running ok but a bit sluggish ion the low-end pc I bought, of the 1gb installed, my oboard gaphics is robbing 256, well actually more like 327mb which is why I want to increase the ram, and add a graphics card with dedicated meory, so that the system isn't swallowing u a 3rd of the total installed RAM, so by doubling my memory and with faster memory than that what was in, and by removing the RAM robbing shared integrated graphics, that this will improve the performane....I thik that my cache levels are more than large enough and a 2gb dual core processr allbe-it the lowly 3800+, should be able to cope much better than it is at the moment....fingers crossed...I'll let you know what happens....!!!Thanks again for taking the time to reply

i have just realized something that may interest some. i installed vista on an amd 3500 with 7600gt 2 gb ram, registered vista.
upgraded to 5200x2 and 8800gtx, still shocking performance.
reinstalled that pc to xp.
bought quad core 8800gtx sli physics card 4 gb, and installed my copy of vista home premium on it (full version and ran it for nearly a fortnight!
it now sits redundant on my bookcase, but i wonder how many more pc's i could install it on?

  Kate B 09:49 31 May 2007

that should definitely improve things - I wouldn't run Vista with less than 1GB of dedicated RAM. And it's Vista you're going to want to reactivate, yes? I'd be surprised if Microsoft said no.

  Kaz_Girl 11:36 31 May 2007

Thanks all, I'll let you know how it go's..!!!

Still waiting for deliveries, then it's toolbox time..lol.

Adman when you installed Vista on the other machine did you register and activate it or install without activating, coz as Kate says in her post above, you can installm for 30 days withut activating, but then when the 30 days passes if you havn't activated it, becomes unuseable, or you have to ring MS to re-activate. At least that's my understanding...!!

Thanks again all..!!

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