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Installing Window 7 on a 4 year old laptop question?

Discussion in 'Laptops' started by ghelf, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. ghelf

    ghelf Guest

    The original machine came with XP professional installed. The hard drive
    crashed and I have no recovery disks. I've got the new HD installed and I'm
    thinking, instead of buying and installing XP professional, maybe I should
    just go with Window 7. Is this a bad idea? The laptop is a HP/Compaq 6501b.
    ghelf, Jul 10, 2011
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  2. ghelf

    Pen Guest

    That processor is about the minimum for win7 for basic
    tasks. However, you should ump up the RAM to at least 3GB
    since it doesn't have discrete graphics.
    Pen, Jul 10, 2011
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  3. ghelf

    Bob Villa Guest

    I think 3Gb is the limit (accessible) to W7 32bit.
    Bob Villa, Jul 10, 2011
  4. ghelf

    Lou Marco Guest


    HP doesn't support Windows 7 on that system. Buy a Vista or XP recovery disc
    from HP for 20 bucks.
    Lou Marco, Jul 10, 2011
  5. ghelf

    Lou Marco Guest

    "Yes, it's a bad idea", I mean.

    (Rats. You need more than su - to trick trn... )
    Lou Marco, Jul 10, 2011
  6. ghelf

    Ryan P. Guest

    Lou is correct... HP doesn't support Win7 on that model, but then,
    you're out of warranty anyway, so they won't support anything for you.

    However, I installed Win7 on my DV6000 series laptop (HP also does not
    support Win7 on that machine), and it actually sped my system up
    compared to the original Vista installation. I've only got 1.5MB in my

    The Vista drivers will work for any hardware than Windows 7 doesn't
    recognize automatically. When I did my DV6000, I downloaded all the
    drivers I might need onto a flash drive and installed anything that
    Windows 7 didn't.
    Ryan P., Jul 10, 2011
  7. ghelf

    mike Guest

    If you have a XP COA/key you should be able to reinstall XP for free.
    Finding a CD that works with that key may be an issue. For Dells,
    most any dell cd will install on most any dell computer. No idea if
    that works for Compaqs.

    I put 7 on my desktop 'cause it was free at the launch event.
    Can't say that there's anything that it does that I couldn't already
    do with XP.

    And there's lots of stuff it CAN'T do that I could do with XP.
    I had major issues with webcams and other legacy hardware that doesn't
    have vista/7 drivers.

    Yes, win7 claims to be plug and play with webcams. And if I plug in
    my webcam, I can indeed get a picture. Problem is that it's 320x240.
    There's no way to change that. No way to brighten the image so I can
    actually see it...I guess that's plug and play...GRRRRR!!
    You really do need "real vendor-supplied" drivers for anything that's
    And there's no incentive for the vendor to put resources into a driver
    that will get them zero revenue.

    Don't get me started on "security". Took me six months to find
    and disable enough of the "security" features so that I could
    actually use the thing without major hassles.
    Get used to seeing "sorry Charlie, you can't do that" and spending
    hours googling how to work around that inhibition.

    It's been almost a year, but now that I've got it working much like
    XP, I like Win7 ultimate a lot.
    I recently ran an experiment with win7 starter. They disable many
    of the configuration utilities and it's maddening.

    If you like useless "eye-candy", win7 is the ticket. It'll be fun
    for half an hour, then you'll start trying to figure out how to get
    rid of it to get the performance up. I bought a new video card so I
    could enable "aero". Then had to figure out how to disable it.

    Stick with XP until you have a compelling reason to upgrade.
    Then buy a new computer designed to run it.

    Do I need to say, "invest in a backup program so this doesn't
    happen again?"
    mike, Jul 10, 2011
  8. ghelf

    Bob Villa Guest

    Sound advice Mike!
    Bob Villa, Jul 10, 2011
  9. ghelf

    BillW50 Guest

    Both Ryan P. and myself are running Windows 7 with only 1.5GB of RAM.
    Have you actually checked your memory use under Windows 7? As this one
    right now is using 798MB of the 1.5GB. And I have never seen it use over
    1GB yet. And I monitor it with a widget constantly.

    Most of my Windows XP machines are running 2GB. And memory use on them
    is the same as Windows 7 here. Rarely do I use more than 1GB under XP
    unless I am running some GB mega 3D game or something. Even still I
    haven't seen any of my XP machines ever hit 1.5GB or higher in use yet.
    BillW50, Jul 10, 2011
  10. ghelf

    Ryan P. Guest

    Besides use modern hardware. :)
    Did you try simply loading the XP drivers? I had the same problem
    with my webcam (and my printer) when I first installed Win7, couldn't
    find updated drivers, so I just downloaded and installed the original XP
    drivers. Worked perfectly after that.
    I never run into that... What were you trying to do that it threw up
    so many warnings?
    XP has a lot of useless eye candy, too. The first thing I do when I
    come across an XP system is to turn off all the pretty crap... just
    like I do with Vista and Win7. All you have to do is go to advanced
    performance settings and set it to "best performance" vs "Let windows
    Always good advice!
    Ryan P., Jul 10, 2011
  11. ghelf

    Tazz Guest

    I installed Windows 7 x64 on a Acer Aspire 5000 that had 1280 (1 gig +
    256 meg) of RAM. 7 isn't supported by Acer but it ran great (no Aero).
    The only driver I couldn't find was for the SiS video, but the on disc
    driver from Microsoft worked OK.

    If you have a regular retail cd of XP Pro it **is possible** to make an
    OEM (HP, Acer, Dell ...) disc from it and use your cd key that is on
    your laptop. Just stay with the same SP as original. Google is your
    friend. I'm just saying it is possible.
    Tazz, Jul 11, 2011
  12. ghelf

    ghelf Guest

    I checked out all the drivers I would need to download and after seeing so
    many I decided to call HP product support. I normally hate doing this
    because after an automated voice reads off a dozen menu items I was sure
    none would apply to me. After that I figure they would tell me the machine
    is out of warrenty and they couldn't help me.
    I was pleasantly surprised after 2 menu selections I was connected to a
    human being and told me for $10.83 they would mail me the 2 recovery disks.
    Delivery time 3 business days. I'm not a big fan of HP computers but I was
    pretty impressed. I decided to stay with XP Pro to avoid problems. My
    daughter (10) is anxious to make it her computer.
    Thanks for everybodies comments.
    ghelf, Jul 11, 2011
  13. ghelf

    mike Guest

    But for rampant snippage, you'd know that was my recommendation too.
    Yes, no luck. Had to update the webcam. That camera's XP drivers do work.
    The TV card didn't work, had to upgrade that too. It has XP drivers
    that sort-of work until the system sleeps. It can't figger out how
    to reset itself and I have to power off the system to get the TV card
    back. Simple reboot don't work, have to cut the power.

    Never did get the usb video capture to work, had to buy new hardware.
    It came with drivers that suck, but they do at least get a picture.

    To get the gigabit network card to work I had to turn ON the onboard
    100Mb hardware in the bios then disable it in device manager.

    The cost of the new video card and extra RAM so that I could
    experience AERO exceeded the original cost (to me) of the system.
    BFD and turned it back off.
    And with all that RAM, I now wasted 2GB or disk space for hibernation
    that I never used. Just uncheck the box...hmmm...no longer a box to
    uncheck...whimper in the newsgroups until somebody takes pity
    and discloses the magic command line to disable hibernation.

    I haven't tried anything that accesses the hardware directly. Like PIC
    programmers etc. Is there a win7 equivalent to userportXP or giveio?
    Turned off UAC.
    If you have the same username and password on every machine on the network
    with all partitions shared,
    windows machines can talk to each other without OS interference.
    But a PDA won't. Have to edit the registry to turn off some security
    functions and share a folder.

    "Sorry charlie, you don't have permission to access that directory."
    Or worse yet, nothing happens when you click the directory.
    But I AM an an administrator. Ok,
    Run as administrator...
    "Sorry charlie, you don't have permission to access that directory."

    I had to learn how to take ownership of system directories so I could
    permissions so I could write them.
    Ditto for all the user directories.

    Windows help doesn't work until you figger out which xp files to copy.

    Outbound firewall configuration requires way more understanding than
    I have...installed comodo.

    And how about god mode???
    remember that number ;-)
    Seems like an increasing number of "fixes" involve some magic number
    that can't be determined unless someone decides to tell you that the
    option exists and the big-ass number to input.

    Much of the configuration utility stuff is still there, they just
    renamed and moved it to a different location to keep us guessing.
    Much of it can be put back to the way you "KNOW", but it's a hassle
    that didn't have to be. The rest is just SECRET and you have to
    rely on someone to tell you about it.

    I'm sure there's lots more, but I don't remember it all.

    One thing that helpers don't seem to realize is that configuring
    any software is relatively easy the SECOND time you do it.
    Assuming you had the presence of mind to document what you did.

    Googling a problem or objective gets you 2 million hits.
    And 1.999 million of those relate to some pre-release pirated
    version of Vista. Most of the rest are just plain WRONG for
    the production version of win7.
    The needle is probably in that haystack...
    And a vista solution works on win7...except when it doesn't.
    XP drivers work in win7...except when they don't.

    Update the hardware is not a realistic expectation.
    I've got hardware that predates windows 95. The functionality
    no longer exists at a rational price. The drivers know how to work
    the hardware...it's windows that can't talk to the drivers.
    There's a HAL, why the heck can't the HAL make the legacy hardware
    work seamlessly?

    I'm sure somebody had very good reasons for making it incompatible.
    But that's no consolation when my PAL programmer don't work. I've got
    GPIB interface cards that require ISA slots. Nothing that can't be fixed
    with (lots of) money. It's cheaper to keep another machine around
    with ISA slots and running an older OS.

    Most of what I do can be done it windows 2000.
    For MS to stay in business, they MUST FORCE me to buy a new OS.

    The way MS changes the way programmers have to work, it's not profitable
    to write code that supports legacy hardware. So, legacy hardware doesn't
    have modern drivers. Legacy applications don't support the new OS
    bloat. Incompatibilities keep the competition to running hard
    just to keep up. World domination is assured.

    New bloat requires more horsepower. More horsepower enables new bloat.
    World domination is assured.

    My test system has plugin drives and runs multiple operating systems.
    It's getting to the point that I can't have a single set of hardware
    that's fully compatible with different OS's.

    Yep, pretty simple the SECOND time you do it.
    mike, Jul 11, 2011
  14. ghelf

    mike Guest

    I'm paranoid, so take this for what it is...
    I buy computers at garage sales. I routinely look around to see
    what's on there.
    It's not unusual for the lights on the router to go wild.
    Torrent clients run with stuff being shared on the web.
    Viruses doing who-knows-what.
    People and KIDS seem to be oblivious to the illegal nature
    of stuff they do and don't bother to try to cover their tracks.

    Load an OUTBOUND firewall and teach her how to use it.
    Make sure she understands that daddy can lose the house
    if one of her friends helps her get that new music or
    game or....

    And periodically check the log of the outbound firewall.
    It's hard to recognize much of it, but it's better than nothing.

    The probability of getting caught is low, but the consequences
    can be catastrophic. "Are you feelin' lucky?"

    If your kid is as smart as you hope she is, she'll circumvent
    any roadblocks you put in the way. Education is key.

    I'm really glad that I'm not responsible for someone else's
    internet activity.
    mike, Jul 11, 2011
  15. ghelf

    Ryan P. Guest

    Sounds like you have some pretty specific requirements. I completely
    understand why you'd rather keep the older hardware running as long as

    I am familiar with the legacy hardware conundrum... I recall spending
    a long time figuring out how to get an old plotter to work for a small
    construction company... Short answer is, it wouldn't work with their
    brand-spanking-new Windows 8 server. I had to install it on an old XP
    machine, and then make it a shared printer that everyone else could
    access through their terminals.

    The hours I spent working on it were a LOT less expensive than paying
    $5,000 for a new plotter.
    I'm insanely curious... What types of environments are you using all
    the legacy hardware in? I'm picturing driver computers for industrial
    machinery and similar applications?

    I worked on a Xerox printer (4096) that was being driven by a computer
    running Windows 3.1 with a custom shell overlay about a year ago... The
    hardware dongles were all ISA, come to think about it. The company had
    at least been prudent enough to have lots of spare parts to keep that
    computer running. Xerox would happily come in and provide new dongles
    and controllers...to the tune of LOTS of money, of course.
    Ryan P., Jul 11, 2011
  16. ghelf

    mike Guest

    That sound serious..

    What types of environments are you using all
    Nothing so complex. Just a bunch of hobby stuff that got started
    on a VIC-20 and got ported over the years to different hardware.
    Only machine I have is a Dremel mounted on a 3-axis positioner.
    Last time I ran it was on a 286 with DOS. Would be interesting
    to see how jerky it gets on a multi-tasking OS.

    It's not that I can't make stuff run on newer hardware and OS.
    I have a choice:
    1)plug it in and turn on the switch
    2)Port it yet again and require dotnet and who-knows-howmany-gigabytes
    of additional bloat will be required on the system to run it.
    I choose 1.
    There's a lot to be said for a single executable that will run on
    ANY windows computer. I've got a bunch of legacy laptop stuff that
    won't support enough ram to run XP, much less win7.

    But, realistically, most of my real problems went away when I found
    a dirt-cheap National Instruments GPIB card with PCI and XP drivers.
    Haven't tried it on win7 yet, but I can't afford another win7 license

    I try to keep my hardware and software at least 5-years behind the
    state of the market. Does wonders for costs.
    That's one of my issues. I'm buried in spare parts.
    If there's ever an earthquake, I'll be killed by all the computer
    stuff falling thru the ceiling.

    My estate sale will be run by a museum.
    mike, Jul 12, 2011
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