HP/Compaq easy to upgrade? Help!!

  phoebe_cat 11:52 14 Sep 2005

Hi, I have just received my new PC which was advertised as HP. When it has arrived it is branded Compaq. I have now found out that HP bought Compaq out. My concern is that I've been told Compaq machines are difficult and expensive to upgrade as you can't use generic parts. Is this still the case now they are part of HP. I need to get this resolved so I can decide whether to keep the machine or send it back. Thanx in advance.

  Gongoozler 12:02 14 Sep 2005

Hi phoebe_cat. Many of the major manufacturers use parts specifically made for them. In general upgrading as such is not a problem. If the computer has spare PCI slots you can plug in additional modules, you can also add optical drives etc. The problem usually arises when you want to replace the motherboard if the case isn't standard ATX. The BIOS may also insist on the makers Windows installation and not accept a hard drive with generic Windows.

  phoebe_cat 12:08 14 Sep 2005

Sorry, could you please explain that a bit further for me, it went right over my head. Not too techie I'm afraid!! The machine is pre installed with XP home!?!

  Gongoozler 12:57 14 Sep 2005

BIOS is a small program in a chip on the motherboard. This is the bit that gets the computer started and then tells the hard drive to start Windows XP. There have been some cases reported here that theis BIOS asks for the manufacturer's installation of Windows. This is not a problem when Windows is pre-installed or restored from a recovery disk, but if you later buy Windows on a CD, for example when Windows Vista is released next year, then you might have a problem. Not all major manufacturers products have this problem, but some do. I don't know if this is a problem with Compaq, but HP, Compaq and Dell are the ones I would be most concerned about.

  phoebe_cat 13:32 14 Sep 2005

Thanx for that! I'm on a restricted budget at the mo, so it looks like I'll just hang onto this and look to spending a good bit of money in 2-3 years. My only other worry is that I didn't get any CDs with it. When you talk about making a recovery disk, does this mean I could use this to completely re-install windows if I ever had a problem?

  Gongoozler 15:29 14 Sep 2005

Hi phoebe_cat. Usually a cd with an image of the hard drive as delivered is supplied so you can restore your computer to it's delivered state in case of a disastrous corruption of Windows. If you weren't supplied with such a cd, I would guess that there is a recovery partition on the hard drive. What this means is that there is a section on the hard drive disk separate from your installed programs and any files you save. This separate section should contain all the data needed to restore your computer to it's delivered state. This isn't quite as good as a recovery cd because if the hard drive fails you will also lose the recovery data. This is another reason I don't like computers from the big manufacturers.

Keep following this forum and in the time you take to save enough for your next computer, you'll have learned enough to build your own ;-)

  phoebe_cat 15:54 14 Sep 2005

Thanx for that, you're a star. Really appreciate all your help, and your faith in me! You never know, one day I might be on here helping someone!! ;)

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