HP Pavilion a1150y CTO Desktop PC support
Frequently Asked Questions about PCs with Windows XP
This document applies to HP and Compaq desktop computers with Windows XP.
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 by typing your model number and question.
How do I upgrade memory?
Extra memory can improve computer performance. To upgrade 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 sellers have system scanners that quickly scan your computer to find out what is already inside your system, and then recommend compatible memory upgrades. To find an online retailer, open a search engine and type "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 and 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?
Use the tools on the computer to create one set of recovery discs if your computer was manufactured after 2002.
If your computer was manufactured before 2003, you might be able to buy recovery discs from an online auction site or computer parts supplier outside HP. For more information, see the following support documents:
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 about updating the BIOS, see the following support document:
I want to upgrade hardware in the computer. Does HP have any helpful information?
The following list shows some of the information HP has available to help you upgrade your hardware:
You can find setup information on the Customer Care web site. From the support page for your model of computer, click Setup and Install, and then click Adding and Removing Hardware.
You can also 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 computer lost sound. How do I get it back?
Use the following suggestions to help troubleshoot this issue:
- Check all of the volume controls for Windows, the application you are using, your speakers, and the monitor (if you are using speakers that are built into the monitor). Set all volumes to halfway.
- Make sure the volume controls and level adjustments in Windows are not muted.
- 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.
- Check Device Manager to make sure the sound device is listed and that it is working correctly.
- Restore or update the audio driver.
- Configure on-board sound in the BIOS.
For specific steps to help you troubleshoot sound problems, see the following support information:
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:
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 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.
For detailed steps, see the following support document:
Can I upgrade my computer to Vista?
To see if your computer can be upgraded to Windows Vista, use the Microsoft Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor .
To see if your current hardware software programs are compatible with Windows Vista, use the Microsoft Windows Vista Compatibility Center .
For detailed steps to help you upgrade to Windows Vista, see the following support document:
The memory card reader locks up? Why?
Many card readers were created before SDHC technology became available and are not capable of working with the new format. For example, a memory card reader that was made in 2002 can read a 1 GB Secure Digital (SD) card, but cannot read a 16 GB SDHC card. To use your higher capacity memory card without locking up the computer, do one of the following:
- If you are using the card in a camera or other device, you can attach the device to the computer using a USB or FireWire cable. When connected, most devices appear in Windows as a Removable Disk and can be used in the same way as the card reader.
- Buy a USB memory card reading device that plugs into an open USB port. Make sure the USB device can read SDHC. These devices can be used in any computer that has a USB port.
For more information or for other card reader problems, see the following support document: