After trawling the internet for numerous weeks, I finally took the plunge and decided to go ahead. The very first strategy was to discover and find my motherboard serial number and computer version. Secondly, with a simple PC by major computer companies HP, Dell, Packard Bell, you could find accessing all options in the BIOS on startup severely limited, as they are re-written to match the many motherboard chip configurations dependent on the many models issued. So an update may be necessary allow dual core use. This was determined to function as case here. More with this later.
Undoubtedly the simplest way to get the serial number, is always to delve within the PC, always taking the precaution of removing all the power cables and ancillary add-ons. Additionally, wearing an anti-static wristband to’earth’yourself is incredibly important to guard your brand-new CPU and internal semi-conductors investment. The motherboard serial number is found, usually involving the PCI slots or about the edge of the board. These records may be obtained by using various software packages and the windows system info option, but we should keep this’bombproof’and cheap don’t we? Visually checking the hardware is going to do this and provide practice in overcoming the fear of’operating’in your PC fridge compressor scrap suppliers. At this stage we are only looking aren’t we? The manufacturers website is usually forthcoming with hardware information once you have pinpointed your model, and this is often crosschecked with your physical findings. The old adage measure twice – cut once’is quite apt in doing anything to your PC. Now finding your BIOS chip can be useful, taking note of the manufacturer and serial numbers. You might have a document label which must be gently peeled back to reveal the information.
Ok, so the next stage was to get the fastest CPU recommended by HP in this instance, for the motherboard. The single core AMD 3700+ had never given me problems previously but I came across it increasingly difficult to make use of Photoshop CS5 (32bit) with any speed. The setup was OK in preferences, CS5 Bridge however, was taking forever in opening images from my external hard drive. Always keep your irreplaceable files off the main PC! The fastest CPU available for the motherboard was an AMD x2 4800+ (socket 939, check your socket is compatible!) Having read very favourable reviews on the CPU (top of the range on release, but price prohibitive originally $1001) I endeavoured to find one on Ebay. Low and behold, several used and new items were bought at a tenth of the initial price and one was secured. I am aware lots of you might think that these are old chips now and do not hold their particular compared to the state of the art CPU’s currently on the market. This really is an update for an ageing PC (5years old!) remember, and for those on a restricted budget, the good qualities of upgrading outweigh the cons of purchasing a fresh PC.
Armed with the new chip I eagerly wear my wristband, removed the power supply plug, removed the medial side panal, located the fan and heatsink spring and removed them. Good opportunity to give them a great clean using a quality decorators brush. I removed the CPU after releasing the retaining arm fully and dropped in the new CPU. Job done I believed, now we see if the BIOS really does need an upgrade. Power cable inserted, monitor attached, and fired up. Oh dear! Fan on overdrive, blank screen, would not even POST. Pulled the power and replaced the CPU with the’old’one and reassembled. Just a note here, there is lots of heatsinking paste left from the final installation. This was re-applied in most cases by having an old bank card to make sure a slim film and correct heat dissipation. The heatsink clip was fiddly- the rule- don’t force anything! You may damage the motherboard. Deep breaths and patience required.
BIOS update. What themselves bore deep to the soul and promote fear at the thought. If anyone has been doing this before and killed their PC then I can understand the trepidation. If it’s not broken, don’t correct it’is a great rule but in this instance, there’s no option. I have been there 4 years ago and luckily the PC was still under warranty. New motherboard and CPU. Now, I was on my own. However, I’d just bought a CPU, so I was out of pocket there. I’d downloaded what I deemed to be the best BIOS update from HP. I’d also thought better of it and downloaded two bios updates from BIOSAgent.com for a charge of $37. Surely they had sent me the right one ?.I’d given them the serial numbers and my upgrade intent. Was it truly the BIOS or had I bought a duff CPU? Only one way to find out. There was no solution, in short supply of going back, and I’d committed myself. An upgrade would not give my old CPU a challenge, installing the incorrect BIOS though, would completely screw the complete PC. I sat on the theory for at least 3 days. All of it boiled down seriously to this. Can I deal with the fact I could have a desktop doorstep, or a great PC upgrade for the use I wanted. For many inexplicable reason one friday night, your decision was made. I could deal with the decision.
I’d the choice of 3 updates. I dismissed my own personal free download because it couldn’t be verified. From the 2 purchased, I clicked on the HP BIOS. Before I’d possiblity to doubt the danger of updating through windows XP, the task was done! A restart proved an update from phoenix award (vers 6.00PG) 3.4 to 3.47, no problems whatsoever. I couldn’t believe it!
So now, after replacing the old CPU with the new dual core, everything worked beautifully. BIOS recognised the CPU, and CS5 was better.’Let’s push things only a little further’I thought. I’ve recently purchased a notebook for work and have now been very impressed with the 64bit Win 7 OS. Imagine if I upgraded the old desktop OS? Afterall, it have been gathering god knows what rubbish on the’C’drive and all of the programs weren’t used. A spring-clean was needed, and a clean drive will be a great start.
I’d always been diligent to keep my PC regularly defragged, registry cleaned and generally as much as par, but I hankered after 64bit CS5 and the ability of an elevated workflow. I debated using windows transfer, but I would only be transferring garbage, wouldn’t I? I tried it to backup to an ext. hard disk, it took forever (4days!) but didn’t transfer the files back. A clear install of windows 7 64bit from an ordered disc, was so clean I hardly remember it. I are in possession of only the programs I need. Gather your discs and any download.exe files and reg. keys beforehand! They all run beautifully. I use a 16GB’ readyboost’flash stick, have 4GB ram installed and the whole system runs almost as fast as my new laptop AMD Turion II N530. Photoshop CS5 runs so quickly, the opening images in bridge are almost instant and I can utilise the ram to render in record (for me!) time. I utilize the empty internal partition’D’drive for the CS5 scratch disc use.