This document applies to HP and Compaq desktop computers with Windows Vista.
If your question is not in the following list, look in the support categories for your product such as Fix problem or Use product . You can also use the Search field at the top of this page. Type in your model number and your question.
How do I upgrade memory?
Extra memory can improve computer performance. To upgrade the memory on your computer, complete the following steps:
- First, find the type and amount of memory installed on your computer, and the maximum memory allowed using one of the following methods:
- Check your computer and your product specifications for memory type, amount installed, and maximum memory.
- Many online memory stores have online tools that can be used to find your computer's current memory configuration and how much memory can be added. To find an online retailer, open a search engine and type the model number of your computer and "memory upgrade" in the Search field.
- When you know the type and amount of memory you need, buy the memory. You can buy computer memory from most local electronic stores, online shopping sites, or from HP.
- Open the computer case and install the memory.
For specific steps and a video showing how to install memory, see the following support document:
I'm having a hard time finding the driver I need. Where can I find it?
HP provides many software and driver updates free of charge. However, if you have added new hardware or changed the Windows version, finding software and drivers can sometimes be a frustrating experience. Use the following methods to get the software and drivers you need:
- Use the HP software delivery and restore tools that came with your computer.
- Download software from the HP Web site.
- Get updated software from Microsoft.
- Find software, drivers, and updates from the device manufacturer Web site.
- Get help for those hard-to-find drivers in the HP Consumer Forum .
For more information, see the following support documents:
Where can I find recovery discs?
Did you create a set of recovery discs? You can create one set of recovery discs that can be used to restore your computer to its original software condition.
Complete the following steps to create the recovery disc set:
- Click Start , click All Programs , click PC Help & Tools , and then click Recovery Disc Creation .
- Click Next when the Welcome screen displays.A window opens listing the number of blank discs required to make a complete recovery set.
- Get the correct type and number of blank discs before continuing.
- Click Next and follow the on-screen instructions to create the recovery discs.
For detailed instructions and graphics, see the following support document:
If you did not create recovery discs and the recovery partition on your computer was damaged or erased, you might still be able to buy recovery discs from HP. HP has a limited supply of recovery kits available for a certain time.
To see if recovery discs are available from HP, go to the Software and Driver Downloads page for your product, click the operating system that came with your computer, and look for the CD order page - Recovery Discs section. If Recovery Discs are not listed on the Software and Driver Downloads page, they are no longer available from HP for your product.
If HP is no longer supplying recovery discs for your computer model and you cannot create recovery discs, you might be able to buy a set from an online auction site or computer parts supplier outside of HP. For more information, see the following support document:
How do I update the BIOS on the computer?
If a BIOS update is available for your computer, you can find it on the Software and Driver Downloads page for your product. Use the following steps:
- Go to the Software and Driver Downloads page for your product model, click your operating system, and look in the BIOS section to see whether a BIOS update is available. If an update is available, make a note of the version number.
- To find the BIOS version installed on your computer, click Start , and then click Shut Down . Select Restart , and then click OK . When the first screen displays, press F1 to enter the BIOS Setup. The BIOS revision number is listed on the Main menu. Write down the current BIOS version and press F10 , select Yes , and then press the Enter key to exit from the BIOS.
- If the BIOS on the Software and Driver Downloads page is newer than the BIOS installed on your computer, download the update. Then open the update file and follow the on-screen instructions to install it.
For more information on updating the BIOS, see the following support document:
Can I make my computer faster?
Use the following methods to make your computer faster without adding more memory:
- Disable adware and spyware software programs when you are not connected to the Internet or using external storage devices (such as USB drives).
- Uninstall software programs that you do not use. Before uninstalling, make sure the software program is not needed by Windows or other other software and devices that you use.
- Close all open programs not being used, and prevent background programs from loading.
- Empty the Recycle Bin.
- Use Disk Cleanup to delete temporary files and directories.
- Check for hard disk drive errors, defragment, and free up space on the hard drive.
- Turn off or close nonessential graphics features such the Windows Sidebar and Windows Aero.
For detailed steps, see the following support document:
This computer came with Windows Vista. Can I install Windows XP?
Changing an operating system can be a complicated process. If you decide to install Windows XP, it is important that you have all the necessary drivers before installing Windows XP. Because Windows XP was released before Windows Vista, it is possible that a driver might not exist for certain components, so you might need to upgrade hardware components before changing Windows. Think about these items before installing Windows XP. Then read the following documents for more information.
I want to upgrade hardware in the computer. Does HP have any helpful information?
From your model support page, click Setup and Install , and then click Adding and Removing Hardware . A list of support documents displays on topics such as opening the computer case, removing the front cover, replacing a hard drive, and adding or replacing a CD or DVD drive.
In addition, you can use the Search field at the top of this page. Type in your model number, the name of the component you want to replace, and the word "replacing ."
My DVD drive disappeared. How do I get it back?
If Windows or your disc burning software is not recognizing the writable CD or DVD drive on your computer, use the following suggestions to troubleshoot this issue:
- Use Device Manager to remove and reinstall the CD or DVD drive.
- Check the drive cables inside the computer.
- Clear the upper and lower registry filters for the CD/DVD drive.
- Reinstall the drive burning software.
For detailed steps, see the following support document:
My computer does not start. What can I do?
There are many reasons why a computer does not start including a bad power supply, an error on the hard disc drive, or other hardware or software failure. Use the following support document to troubleshoot startup problems:
My computer lost sound. How do I get it back?
Use the following suggestions to troubleshoot this issue:
- Set the volume control knob for your speakers or monitor to halfway, and check the volume control and mute settings in Windows sound software.
- If headphones are connected to the computer and you are not using them as your main speakers, unplug the headphones from the computer. Then make sure all the sound cables are correctly connected between the speakers and the computer, and that the speakers are plugged into electrical power.
- Restore or update the audio driver.
- Check Device Manager to make sure the sound device is listed and that it is working correctly.
- Configure on-board sound in the BIOS.
For specific steps and a video to help you troubleshoot sound problems, see the following support information: