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Old Nov 13, 2011, 4:30 PM   #1
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Default Mystery (to me anyway)

Has anybody an explanation - and even better, a solution - for this?

Two of my three computers are obsolescent - but I keep them partly to play with and partly in case the main one dies. One of the older ones is a Hewlett Packard 514n. It was running Windows XP just fine when I got it and it runs Windows 2000 equally well. In both cases, after installing a suitable driver, the obtainable resolutions are excellent.

Now for the problem. I just installed Windows ME on the HP 514n - and discovered that it would display only at a very low resolution and with 16 colors.

The HP 514n has an Intel Celeron 2.2 GHz Processor and an Chipset Intel 845GL.

I thought it was obvious that it merely lacked the necessary video driver so I searched & found what the Intel site says is the required driver - win9x1361. It also indicated that an earlier one - win9x136 would do. So I installed first the one driver - which didn't work - and then the other. That didn't work either. All that appeared was the infamous Windows ME Blue Screen of Death. I could only get Windows ME to work at all by going into Safe Mode and uninstalling the supposedly correct driver. Then Windows ME did work - but only at the grossly poor level of resolution.

Has anybody any idea what causes this annoyance - and whether there's a way to fix it?
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Old Nov 14, 2011, 11:28 AM   #2
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I believe that ME is a slight upgrade from 98 so looking for drivers for 98 might do it.

Just out of curiosity, why downgrade to ME from either XP or 2000?
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Old Nov 14, 2011, 12:59 PM   #3
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Bill - I'm only downgrading that particular computer (my oldest) because I'm playing around with it. I'm planning to use it to try out Breadbox's Ensemble program (the one that resurrects the old Geoworks operating system). Apparently it can be run under anything from early DOS up to Windows ME. I gather it will run under later Windows & other programs too, but may run into problems with some functions such as audio.
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Old Nov 14, 2011, 2:14 PM   #4
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G'day Herb

Aahhhh mate - I've been an Ensemble lover for over 10 yrs but had to give it away for the lack of screen & printer drivers > was a real bugga to have to downgrade to window$

Regards, Phil
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Old Nov 14, 2011, 4:12 PM   #5
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Ozzie - Well, the disk(s) for the latest Ensemble haven't arrived yet, but I did try the free Ensemble Lite version that has limited functions and it ran an old Canon inkjet printer BJC200e just fine. I found that I couldn't alter the screen display though. I'll update my Ensemble experiences when the new software arrives. I've hear that Breadbox are also working on a 32 bit version but I've no idea when we can expect it.

Now back to the problem of persuading my HP514n to accept the Intel display driver. I kept thinking of Einstein saying that stupidity consisted of repeating the same experiment over and over again and hoping for a different result - so this morning I tried a small variation of the experiment.

I installed Windows ME using something more like the default install settings. THEN I ran the setup for the Intel Extreme Graphics driver, shut her down as instructed, and crossed my fingers. When I turned it on again - BINGO - Windows ME recognised the driver, installed it - and now the display works fine - 32-bit True Color and 1024x768 on the old ACER monitor.
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Old Nov 16, 2011, 1:07 AM   #6
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Im sure not a windows fan but cant you select your screen resolution and adjust it directly from your system folder? It seems when you first changed your system the default went to the lo res mode.
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Old Nov 16, 2011, 1:27 PM   #7
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Bynx -

I think what you describe is probably what I did after I'd finally re-installed Windows ME in the way that now works.

Mind you, before I re-installed it, I'd also run FDISK, deleted both hard drive partitions, re-sized them, and then formatted them.

I suspect, after emerging from several episodes when I deleted partitions, and used the format command, that "FAT 32" comes in different versions. Or maybe the suspected difference is a matter of what version of Master Boot Record is on the hard drive? My computer doings are more matters of trial and error than of any real understanding.
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Old Nov 16, 2011, 3:16 PM   #8
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Macs are so much easier to understand.
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Old Nov 17, 2011, 1:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herb View Post
Two of my three computers are obsolescent...
They're only obsolete if you're trying to run newer versions of Windows on them.

How much memory is in the HP 514n? That PC usually shipped with a single stick of 256MB PC2100 in it with one slot free (it's got 2 slots on it's motherboard for memory).

Although 256MB is a bit lean for more full featured modern Linux distributions with lots of "eye candy", one of the lightweight linux distros should run fine on it (and some of them like Puppy will run OK even if it's only got 128MB in it), and you'd have access to thousands of newer software packages. So, you may want to try some of them and see what you think (most will run from CD so you don't need to install them to try them out).

Running a lightweight Linux distro on older hardware is a good way to extend their useful lifespan and get access to thousands of newer software packages in Linux repositories (Internet Browsers, Office Suites, Media Players, Image Viewers/Editors, etc.), without the problems you often see with older versions of Windows.

For example, one of the Puppy distros should work fine on it. Here's a review of one of the newer versions that's compatible with Slackware packages (Slackware is a Linux distribution that has been around for a long time and has lots of software already compiled in it's repositories).

http://all-things-linux.blogspot.com...dded-woof.html

You can get it from the download link in this press release:

http://distrowatch.com/?newsid=06952

Here's a version of Puppy that may work better with some older hardware if you have any problems with that one (it's specifically tuned to run better on older, low resource PCs). But, I suspect either one will work fine on your HP with it's Intel GL845 chipset, as Intel provides open source drivers for it's chipsets:

http://distrowatch.com/?newsid=06938

Puppy is very fast on older hardware. Also, if it sees 384MB or more of memory, it can automatically copy the entire distro (operating system and all installed programs) into memory so that it's all running from a RAM drive, making it super fast.

Lubuntu is another distro that would probably run fine on it. It's using a lightweight LXDE desktop on top of an Ubuntu base (meaning you can install any of thousands of software packages from the Ubuntu repositories with a mouse click or two)

http://distrowatch.com/?newsid=06936

Another lightweight distro you may want to look at is Porteus. It has the lightweight LXDE desktop as an option for use on older hardware (versus the more full featured KDE desktop which requires more resources), and is using a Slackware base under the covers. Just use the i486 version in this press release:

http://distrowatch.com/?newsid=06748

Note that if you've got more than 256MB of memory installed, then you could run one of the Linux distros using more full featured desktops, which may struggle with a machine that only has 256MB in it.

That machine has two slots and most of them came with a single 256MB stick of PC2100 in them. But, it will also work with PC2700 (even though the HP specs don't say that). Crucial even claims PC3200 will work in it. But, I'd take that with a grain of salt unless you find someone that's actually used it (as even though the PC should see it and just run it using a slower speed, you may find that some BIOS versions are "picky" about what memory you use, as I found no users of the HP 514N that have tried using PC3200 in one yet, and most PC3200 has different timing compared to slower PC2100 or PC2700). Yet, I see lots of users that say that 512MB DIMMs of PC2700 work fine in the HP 514n using memory with a CL of 2.5 with eight 64MB chips on them, like the users reporting their experience with these Crucial 512MB DIMMs:

http://www.crucial.com/store/mpartsp...361B25A5CA7304

I'd probably grab one or two of these for it (Corsair 512MB PC2700 using eight 64MB chips with a CL of 2.5). If you scroll down to the bottom of the feedback page, you'll even note that someone with an old HP found that it recognized 768MB of memory with this 512MB PC2700 DIMM when leaving the original 256MB stick in place. That's probably the way yours would behave, too. If not, just remove what's in it now and plug in a single 512MB DIMM instead. For only $15.98 delivered ($14.99 plus .99 shipping for a 512MB PC2700 DIMM), that's a cheap upgrade to make an older PC like your HP 514N run faster and able to use a more full featured Operating System and it only takes a few minutes to open the case and plug it in.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...tem=20-145-407

Or, grab two of them to replace whatever you have in it now and you'd have 1GB total (2x512MB sticks of PC2700)l, and since they'd be matching 512MB DIMMs, you'd be less likely to have any issues like you might trying to mix different memory types on that board.

Then, with 512MB or more, you could run many full featured operating systems on it with nicer desktops.

Basically, download the .iso file for a distro you want to try on it. Then, use something like the free isorecorder to burn the .iso to a CD so that it's in the correct format and bootable. Get it here:

http://alexfeinman.com/isorecorder.htm

Basically, isorecorder adds a new menu choice to Windows Explorer. So, when you browse your downloads folder and "right click" on a downloaded .iso file for a linux distro, you'll see a new menu choice to "Burn Image to CD/DVD" you can use. Then, after you burn it to CD, you can boot into.

Most popular Linux distros can run from a CD. That way, you can see if you like one and make sure it works OK with your hardware before installing it to your hard drive (and they'll run faster from a hard drive install)

There are hundreds of different Linux distributions available, with a variety of different desktops (various versions of Gnome, KDE, LXDE, IceWM, XFCE, etc. etc. etc.). Ditto for how the menus are setup, included software, software available already compiled in their repositories, utilities included, device drivers included, installation programs, etc. So, you can't really judge one by another, as Linux is only the underlying kernel, not what you see for the User Interface and what software they use.

IOW, you should be able to find one you like that runs fine on a system like your HP 514N. But, if it were mine, I'd probably upgrade the memory to at least 512MB so that I could run more full featured distros on it with nicer Desktops.

For example, with 512MB or more, I'd probably give Kubuntu 11.10 a spin. See more of it's features here:

http://www.kubuntu.org/feature-tour

It's also got a "low fat settings" package you can install with a mouse click from it's software manager to optimize it to run faster on lower resource machines; and you'll find many thousands of software packages available in it's repositories. I've got Kubuntu 11.10 installed on a Dell Netbook with a single core 1.3Ghz Celeron Mobile in it, and it's very responsive, even without using the new "Low Fat Settings" package that's available to speed up performance on lower resource machines.

Just use the .iso ending in i386.iso from this press release for it:

http://distrowatch.com/?newsid=06931

But, I'd only try Kubuntu if you have 512MB or more memory installed, as even though it may install and run in less, performance is going to be lacking with less memory than that by the time you have any more demanding programs loaded.

Note that you could easily set one up in a dual boot configuration with Windows and Linux, too. That way, you just select the operating system you want to boot into from a menu each time you restart your PC. Most of the installers can do that kind of thing for you (for example, with Kubuntu, just use the choice to "install side by side with another operating system" and it will automatically shrink your Windows partition to make room for linux partitions, and install a boot loader with menu choices for both Kubuntu and Windows that you'll see each time your reboot your PC.
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Old Nov 17, 2011, 5:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
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...For only $15.98 delivered ($14.99 plus .99 shipping for a 512MB PC2700 DIMM), that's a cheap upgrade to make an older PC like your HP 514N run faster and able to use a more full featured Operating System and it only takes a few minutes to open the case and plug it in.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...tem=20-145-407
I just noticed that you're not in the U.S.

They also do business in Canada if you go to http://www.newegg.ca

But, cost with shipping is higher. Here's a newegg.ca listing for that same memory. It looks it would run you $15.49 plus $9.99 shipping ($25.48 delivered in Canadian dollars).

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product...82E16820145407

You may want to check to see see if total cost including shipping to your location is any better with Tiger Direct, as they also do business in Canada and show the same 512MB PC2700 DIMM for $18.99 (but the listing doesn't say what the shipping cost would be and you'd probably need to add it to your cart and plug in address information to compute shipping costs):

http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applicatio...7379&CatId=843

I'm not familiar with Canadian vendors, so you may be able to do better. In any event, having more memory (if you don't already, since that HP model usually shipped with 256MB in it) would make that HP 514n more usable with more choices in software you could run on it with better performance if you wanted to see how it runs with a more full featured Linux distro with a nicer desktop using more full featured software. But, even with 256MB or less memory, some of the "lighter" distros like Puppy should run fine on it.
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