Laptop keeps on trucking

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  • #63726

    A friend of my mother’s recently inherited an old laptop and she asked me to take a look at it, as it is from 2006 I nearly dismissed it out of hand but as it it is a slimline Sony Vario I decided to take a look.

    The laptop has a 2Ghz Pentium M CPU with the maximum 4GB ram and NVIDIA Gforce GO 6300 graphics. Some one must have replaced the battery recently too because it lasts about 2 hours.

    Upon inspection I found that the laptop had originally been supplied with Windows XP but some one had put a hooky copy of Windows 7 Starter edition on it. I could see that some one had tried and failed to install NVIDIA drivers so the system was stuck with the VGA drivers at 800×600. The sound didn’t work either because windows update installs the wrong driver.

    I was going to do a Windows reinstall anyway so I put a fresh copy of Windows 7 Pro on it. I got the proper sound driver from the Realtec Website on the third attempt ( I ended up having to search for the PCI hardware ID) but the graphics driver was more of a problem. NVIDIA do not supply generic drivers for their mobile chips before the 7000 series so you have to get a driver from your Laptop manufacturer. Sony never even supported Windows Vista on this Laptop so there is no Windows 7 driver. Fortunately Dell does have a driver and it works just fine.

    After running Windows Update about 10 times and installing the Edge browser (a user request) the system was ready for testing.

    This PC is never going to break any speed records but I was pleasantly surprised by the results. I was going to recommend an SSD upgrade but the system only has SATA V1.0 and it has a caching controller that makes the existing HD perform a bit like a hybrid drive anyway.

    All in all I would be quite happy to live with this for email, web browsing or a spot of MS Office and thats all it will ever be used for.

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