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Upgrading my friend's old HP Pavilion

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Beavis

Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2002
Location
Austin, Texas
I'm looking for inexpensive upgrades for my friend's HP Pavilion 4440. I found very little info on the net about it. My friend doesn't need anything fancy, she doesn't play video games, but wants to surf the net, play music and burn cds. I didn't get a chance to look inside but from what I can tell this is what it has.

AMD K6 w/ 3D Now (didn't tell me how many mhz)
mini-atx Motherboard (unknown maker)
PCI local bus 4mb video card (what does PCI local bus mean?)
generic 4GB hard drive
64MB SDRAM (expandable to 256MB)
32x cd-rom
56k modem
16-bit sound card
Win 98
floppy drive
Unknown power supply
2-piece speakers

I was thinking about adding these upgrades, I already have the first 4 parts as extras:

Lite-On 52x CD-RW
cheap C-Media 5.1 sound card
NIC (needed for the dsl hookup)
3-piece Altec Lansing speakers
40GB 7200rpm Hard drive
128MB SDRAM

I have not tried to upgrade a computer this old before so is there anything I should know? Are the parts inside standard? Will the motherboard play nice with the current hard drives? Will the power supply handle the new hardware?
 
Last edited:

BGPatterson

Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2002
Location
Calgary,Alberta
Does the motherboard have any marking on it regarding a model number? Knowing this would be helpful to you so you can look it up. [Some] older boards did not work with some larger hard drives. Try looking on it for some stickers or silkscrened numbers.
 
OP
Beavis

Beavis

Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2002
Location
Austin, Texas
I didn't get a chance to open the case yet unfortunately. I'm hooking up the dsl on Monday then I can take a look inside. Would it be a problem to install the cd burner at that time?
 

Sharkman

Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2003
Location
California
I know you really don't want to think about this but, for a system this old it is best to do a "complete" upgrade. Most of the old HP computers used a lot of proprietary components. This made upgrading extremely hard.

The HDD you want to get will be hampered by the controller on the MB. I wouldn't get a C-media card since the SB Live! Series cards are so cheap now. Have you thought about looking in our classifieds section? There are usually some really great deals in there. Also I would hunt the NewEgg refurb’s section for other deals.

PCI local bus 4mb video card (what does PCI local bus mean?)

PCI local bus means that it has PCI video.

I checked NewEgg for prices on about everything you would need to do a "complete" upgrade. Each piece was under $40 each except the HDD and speakers. This would basically upgrade her computer to about 2 years ago. Much better than the pre-millennium computer that she has now. Granted these prices are all retail but here's what i came up with:

Powmax ATX Mid-Tower Case with X-Window, Model "V90" w/400w PSU

ECS SiS 735 Chipset Motherboard for AMD Socket A CPU, Model "K7S5A PRO"

AMD Duron 1.4GHz Applebread

Crucial 184 Pin 256MB DDR PC-2100

Maxtor 40GB 7200RPM Model 6E040L0

Creative Labs Sound Blaster Live! Dolby Digital 5.1

Logitech Z-340 2.1

Lite On Beige 52x32x52 CD-RW Drive

3COM 10/100Mbs

Sapphire Radeon 7000(VE) Video Card, 64MB SDR, 64-bit, TV-Out, 4X AGP

You can still salvage things like the floppy and KB/Mouse. Just some food for thought. :)