After trawling the internet for several weeks, I finally took the plunge and decided to go ahead. The very first strategy was to find and find my motherboard serial number and computer version. Secondly, with a simple PC by major computer companies HP, Dell, Packard Bell, you may f
ind accessing all options in the BIOS on startup severely limited, as they are re-written to suit the different motherboard chip configurations influenced by the different models issued. So an update may be necessary allow dual core use. This is determined to function as the case here. More on this later.
By far the easiest way to find the serial number, is always to delve within the PC, always taking the precaution of removing all the energy cables and ancillary add-ons. Additionally, wearing an anti-static wristband to’earth’yourself is extremely important to guard your 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 driving a car of’operating’in your PC. As of this stage we are only looking aren’t we? The manufacturers website is generally forthcoming with hardware information once you have pinpointed your model, and this is crosschecked with your physical findings used fridge compressor scrap. The old addage’measure twice – cut once’is quite apt in doing anything to your PC. Now finding your BIOS chip is also useful, taking note of the maker and serial numbers. You might have a document label which must be gently peeled back again to reveal the information.
Ok, so another stage was to find the fastest CPU recommended by HP in this case, for the motherboard. The single core AMD 3700+ had never given me problems previously but I discovered it increasingly difficult to use 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. Continue to keep your irreplaceable files off the key PC! The fastest CPU available for the motherboard was an AMD x2 4800+ (socket 939, check always your socket is compatible!) Having read very favourable reviews on the CPU (top of the number on release, but price prohibitive originally $1001) I endeavoured to find one on Ebay. Low and behold, several used and new items were available at a tenth of the initial price and one was secured. I understand a lot of you may be thinking that these are old chips now and don’t hold their own 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 professionals of upgrading outweigh the cons of buying a fresh PC.
Armed with the newest chip I eagerly put on my wristband, removed the energy supply plug, removed the medial side panal, located the fan and heatsink spring and removed them. Good opportunity to offer them a good clean using a quality decorators brush. I removed the CPU after releasing the retaining arm fully and dropped in the newest CPU. Job done I thought, 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 energy and replaced the CPU with the’old’one and reassembled. Just a note here, there clearly was lots of heatsinking paste left from the final installation. This is re-applied in every cases having an old charge card to assure a thin film and correct heat dissipation. The heatsink clip was fiddly- the rule- don’t force anything! You could damage the motherboard. Deep breaths and patience required.
BIOS update. The words themselves bore deep in to the soul and promote fear at the thought. If anyone has been doing this before and killed their PC then I could understand the trepidation. If it’s not broken, don’t correct it’is a great rule but in this case, there’s no option. I had been there 4 years back 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 proper 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 choice ?.I’d given them the serial numbers and my upgrade intent. Was it actually the BIOS or had I bought a duff CPU? Only one way to find out. There is no way out, lacking heading back, and I’d committed myself. An upgrade would not give my old CPU an issue, installing the wrong BIOS though, would completely screw the complete PC. I sat on the theory for at the least 3 days. Everything boiled down to this. Can I live with the fact that I could have a desktop doorstep, or even a great PC upgrade for the employment I wanted. For many inexplicable reason one friday night, your decision was made. I could live with the decision.
I’d the choice of 3 updates. I dismissed my own, personal download free because it couldn’t be verified. From the 2 purchased, I clicked on the HP BIOS. Before I’d opportunity to doubt the chance of updating through windows XP, the work was done! A restart proved an upgrade 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 newest 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 been very impressed with the 64bit Win 7 OS. What if I upgraded the old desktop OS? Afterall, it had been gathering god knows what rubbish on the’C’drive and most of the programs weren’t used. A spring-clean was needed, and a clear drive will be a great start.
I’d been diligent keeping in mind my PC regularly defragged, registry cleaned and generally as much as par, but I hankered after 64bit CS5 and the power of an elevated workflow. I debated using windows transfer, but I would only be transferring garbage, wouldn’t I? I used it to backup to an ext. hard drive, it took forever (4days!) but didn’t transfer the files back. A clear install of windows 7 64bit from a purchased disc, was so clean I hardly remember it. I now have only the programs I need. Gather your discs and any download.exe files and reg. keys beforehand! All of them run beautifully. I make use of a 16GB’ readyboost’flash stick, have 4GB ram installed and the entire 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 could utilise the ram to render in record (for me!) time. I utilize the empty internal partition’D’drive for the CS5 scratch disc use.