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Can I use my old HP pavillion case to build a new desk top?

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January 19, 2011 4:45:49 AM

I want to try and build my own PC. Can I use my old 2008 HP Pavillion case? My system crashed...the motherboard is bad according to the repair tech. He said not to sink another penny into it. I am interested in learning how to build my own system and was hoping I could use the case. Any ideas out there?
a b B Homebuilt system
January 19, 2011 5:02:33 AM

Yep. I just used an HP case from 2004 for my most recent build. This that will matter:
Airflow
Size of Case (can it fit mATX and ATX? Video Card Space?)
Appearance
Fancy Proprietary Mounting devices
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b α HP
January 19, 2011 4:08:24 PM

Chances are that you can stuff a typical mATX motherboard into the HP case. However, as dalauder points out you may run into a few problem areas.

HP, like many OEM builders, use proprietary front panel connectors often. You may have to seperate the LED (HDD and Power), power switch, and reset switch wires to physically connect to the new motherboard.

Also, HP, Dell, and others often use rather weak PSUs in many of their systems. The spcific PSU you would be recycling may not be up to the task of powering a lot of GPUs. We would need to know the output rating of your current PSU to know what it can handle or not.

You may also need to look closely at your case's airflow. Adding new stuff into a case designed for less heat could create some problems for you. If the case will allow you to install both front and rear fans, you should be fine. Otherwise, be prudent in how much horsepower (generates heat, draws power) you decide to install.

Last, it will still look like an HP. Not much you can do there. But who cares?

Have fun!
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 19, 2011 4:54:24 PM

I, for one, like the old hp cases as they are the one thing I think hp got right with some of their prefab desk tops. I've had 4 over the years and the last one was almost 10 years old when it died. The trick I found when recycling the case is do your homework ahead and check out what you need to make it work. Also it's not worth doing if you are afraid to have to modify things a bit, as I had to rewire a lot of the terminal wires from the case to the board as was mentioned by COL. easy way to do it is to take it one piece at a time and check to make sure the dimensions match and that things work right. I also had to make some new holes in a case I reused so that my post all lined up on the motherboard, but it was a non-issue as it all worked out in the end. (case I used was from an A320N)
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January 19, 2011 7:52:17 PM

What sort of components are you planning on having in your case? And what's your budget?

I can more or less guarantee that you'll be able to fit in an ATX or mATX board in since They were both released more than 13 years ago.
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January 20, 2011 6:11:25 PM

Thank you all so much for your comments. The case is from an HP Pavilion a6500f PC. It's only a 2008, but as is mentioned the motherboard is malfunctioning. I have not had much luck with HP products. Something is wrong with the memory slots. Everything else seems to work. Can any of you recommend a good instructional book that can help me build my system? I am not very knowledgeable about all this tech stuff...but I find it really interesting. Thanks!
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January 20, 2011 6:17:07 PM

Just a few other questions....Can I use my old processor? It's an Intel dual core. I was also wondering about using any of the other components...as long as they are functional.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 20, 2011 6:51:23 PM

You can reuse other parts depending on the mobo you buy and the setup or old computer had. You are not going to get much more in terms of power by reusing the processor and that is usually the point of building something new. You can often usually reuse the cd/dvd drive, hdd, and psu but you have to realize they are also old and they may not always last as you are reusing them. If you can afford it a lot of the periferal parts are pretty cheap new so I alwyas try to convince people to buy new unless they have a really good reason not to.
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January 21, 2011 2:36:03 AM

Mal~I did read your post...but I will be the first to admit that I am not very smart about all this stuff. I need a" how to" manual.

thaiz~ My 11 year old son wants to put in a quad core processor so he can have a gaming computer...LOL. My goal is to merely become more competent in the computer realm and have a reliable system.
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January 21, 2011 3:12:37 AM

It's a foxconn MB.
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January 26, 2011 4:56:19 PM

Mal!!! You are awesome! Are you actually offering to help me through this process? I did not want to bother anyone...I just went and picked up building your own computer for dummies yesterday...LOL.

I am not sure what I could reuse..But I do believe that it is only the MB that was bad...the memory slots in particular...although the computer repair guy said he thought my video card? was going too. Sometimes I would get lines across the screen...But I am not sure...I am not really very knowledgeable about all of this. I thought I would take a look at the book so I did not completely embarrass myself. I do think that it will be an interesting project to do with my son.

Do you think that I should just go in another direction? My 11 year old of course wants to put in an i7 etc. But we don't really need that much. We are pretty basic computer users...although he loves to play games.
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January 27, 2011 3:21:16 AM

Well I want to just replace the motherboard...and probably the hard drive. I tried to recover the computer with recovery discs and it just keeps shutting down..it goes to blue screen with a warning that windows is shutting down to protect something or other. I guess it is getting over stressed when put to any task. Now I cannot even get to windows...but the computer itself turns on and I can get to the different F menus. I know I probably am using the wrong lingo...sorry.

It is...or was...an HP Pavillion a6500f PC with an Intel Pentium Dual-core desktop processor E2220. It has 4096MB system memory and 500GB hard drive. It has a DVD burner, NVidia GeForce 7100 graphics, Windows Vista home premium 64 bit edition with Service Pack 1. And...it's a pain in the a$$. LOL!

The problem started back in September...bad memory. I replaced the memory sticks and it was still not working. I then cleaned the slots with compressed air...and then it seemed to work. About a month ago it just started shutting down in the middle of a task...downloading, running virus scans etc. I ran a diagnostic because I thought it might be the memory. It passed...but I tried changing the sticks anyway. It did not help. It did not shut down in safe mode...only in regular operation. I made the mistake of trying to wipe the computer...and now I have no operating system. I was afraid of that happening...but I figured it didn't work properly anyway so I did not have much to lose. When I turn it on now I can get to the HP diagnostic screen. When I try to run the recovery discs...it just shuts down. I see the lovely blue screen with the same message as before.
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January 27, 2011 2:50:07 PM

I was just going to get a new motherboard and HDD and move on. I thought the less complicated the better...especially since I have never done anything like this. The memory sticks are PC2-6400 ddr2 800. When the memory first failed I tried to upgrade the RAM with the appropriate hardware, but it wouldn't work. The computer repair guy said it was only a matter of time before the system gave out...He was right I guess.

As far as price range...I don't need to go too crazy...but it would be nice to build something a little better than what I have/or had. I know the new RAM is ddr3. I am not really sure what the difference is from ddr2, but I have been told that it is newer technology. Would it be possible to upgrade to that? Or should I stick with the RAM that I have? The boy of course wants to upgrade everything. LOL
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January 27, 2011 2:54:03 PM

I am going to have to go look up the other specs. I can't find them on the tower itself. I will get back to you. I am not sure of our time zone differences. I am in southern cali so i apologize for any late responses.
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January 27, 2011 5:43:32 PM

I am looking at the bios cmos setup utility screen and I see PATA controller and SATA controller so I am thinking that I must have a SATA DVD burner.

I am thinking I might just want to keep my current processor. It seems to work and is fast enough...not sure about gaming possibilities...but I would rather my son played games on his gaming systems...He has played games on this PC...Maybe that is what caused the problems. The problem with shutting down started after he installed PLANTS VS. ZOMBIES? I cannot remember the exact title.

I just ran a diagnostic on this computer and everything passed. Now I am
running the recovery manager...Just for fun :) . It says it is reformatting and reinstalling original content. I am sure it will shut down any minute and I will get the dreaded blue screen. Oops...there it is. It says "A problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer. Memory_Management. Etc.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 27, 2011 5:49:37 PM

write out the whole code eith no etc.'s this may well be a fixable issue and why rebuild if you can buy a few parts and fix what you have (if you even need parts at all). The only reason I believe in building is so you can upgrade your rig.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 27, 2011 7:51:30 PM

mal, that would be a reason to "upgrade" to me, but I'm cheap so I have not bought anything in a while. I finally caved after my 6 year old desktop died.
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January 27, 2011 11:04:18 PM

Hey EA~ Well to get the error message I would have to stress out the computer again by trying to recover it. Since I first tried to use the recovery partition I have not been able to get to windows. If I try to use the recovery cd's it stresses out and goes to the blue screen message. I have had two computer tech guys from two different repair places (Once back in Sept. when the problems first started and again in December) tell me that they think the motherboard is bad so that was why I wanted to replace it. I also think I probably screwed some things up on the hard drive by trying to recover the system...so I thought I would try and replace that. I am running the HP recovery as I type,. and I am sure it will shut down momentarily. I will type out the error message when it comes up. It is 18 % into the reinstall of original content.

I already purchased a new laptop...Toshiba this time...so I thought I would keep this one and experiment with trying to fix it. It's a good mother/son project.
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January 27, 2011 11:19:37 PM

OK...Here is the entire error message.

A problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer.

MEMORY_MANAGEMENT

If this is the first time you've seen this stop error screen restart your computer. If this screen appears again, follow these steps:

Check to make sure any new hardware or software is properly installed. If this is a new installation, ask your hardware or software manufacturer for any windows updates you might need.

If problems continue, disable or remove any newly installed hardware or software. Disable BIOS memory options such as caching or shadowing. If you need to use Safe Mode to remove or disable components, restart your computer, press F8 to select Advanced Startup Options, and then select Safe Mode.

Technical information:

***STOP: 0X0000001A (0X0000000000005100,0XFFFFF6FC40019048,0X0000000000000001,0XCC5000006F26C963
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January 28, 2011 12:32:51 AM

Awesome!
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January 28, 2011 4:06:56 AM

I am sorry to say that I have no idea what "overclocking abilities" are. I am going to look it up. I did test the RAM and it passed...but when I tested it with windows it failed...that is when I could even get to windows. I think the problem has to do with the memory slots and not the memory sticks. Everything passes when I run the HP diagnostic...but something is obviously not working.

Initially when I had the RAM problem back in Sept. the RAM test failed. I replaced the sticks multiple times...Kingston, Patriot, Crucial (?), and Corsair, but the memory kept failing. The computer tech told me it had to be the slots. I took the tower home, cleaned everything with compressed air, put the new Patriot ddr2 ram in and it worked for two months then just started shutting down any time you tried to get on the internet, run a scan, burn a cd etc. Sorry it that is more info than you need.
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January 28, 2011 4:33:46 AM

OK...I now have an idea of what overclocking is. Sounds like a good thing.
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January 28, 2011 10:55:40 PM

That sounds good for me. It has been like summer here all week.
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January 29, 2011 2:01:32 AM

Newegg said it did not guarantee compatibility of the components. I am guessing...since you obviously know a lot about this that these items are compatible. One of the sales guys from BestBuy (He is the one who recommended that I build my own system and not throw out my old case) also told me that not all motherboards would fit the HP tower. Do you think that will be a problem?
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b α HP
January 29, 2011 10:48:01 PM

Quote:
I selected these parts in confidence...
I also verified to make sure the RAM and motherboard IS compatible..
Just go for it, it will all work and fit.
This way you can acquire some older/cheap parts and have a secondary unit with your current processor and RAM
when you are ready or when needed.

+1 to malmental's suggested items. They will work just fine and you should be MOST pleased with the performance delivered. HOOAH!!!
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January 30, 2011 2:21:29 AM

Sounds like a plan.

What about the hard drive and OS?
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January 30, 2011 2:47:12 PM

500 GB. Maybe I don't need to replace it. I am just not sure if I screwed it up when I tried to recover the computer. Maybe it will be able to use the recovery partition if the system stops shutting down in the middle of the process.
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January 30, 2011 9:42:58 PM

OK...I ordered the parts. Free shipping...but California tax. Feeling a little overwhelmed. I watched a video on building your own pc...There are so many wires...and I don't have a manual for my old case. The child is not helping...LOL! He wants to know why I am not putting a quad core in...wants a certain type of graphics card, sound card etc. I just need him to be quiet for a minute...sigh. He says..."Mom, you know I'm kind of a geek right?

On another note. I can probably pick up a tube of the thermal paste at Fry's right? There is one about 5 miles from me.
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February 1, 2011 3:43:06 AM

OK. I will let you know when the parts arrive. It should not take to long. Newegg shipped today from Industry, California.

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February 1, 2011 3:47:26 AM

yes here is that pesty 11 year old son asking a question. What gaming video and sound card would you recommend?
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February 1, 2011 3:23:59 PM

I let my son read this thread last night...He first said your a genius LOL! He said "really mom...I understand a lot more about this than you." Ahh, the confidence of youth. Then he said..."Wow...that guy is so nice!" He wanted to post his question so I let him. I am probably budgeted out right now since I just bought the new laptop and these other components. I will have to look into how expensive the video cards are.

I am not sure exactly what you mean by the power supply...As I said...I'm pretty clueless about all of this stuff. However, I did find a label on the case that says:

AC INPUT 100-127V - 6A
50/60 Hz 200-240V - 3A
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b α HP
February 1, 2011 5:23:34 PM

Quote:
^
I just edited some typos and I was thinking after proof reading, DAMN I'M GOOD.. LOL

You are da' MAN!!! HOOAH!!!
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b α HP
February 1, 2011 9:59:42 PM

Quote:
HOOAH..!

I just put a memorial flag out on my front porch to support the troops over the weekend..

HOOAH.!

Coolio!Thanks. Means a lot coming from a vet.
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February 1, 2011 10:07:04 PM

OMG...The UPS guy just delivered all my stuff from Newegg! Yikes...Guess I am really going to have to do this...LOL! I thought I would have a couple more days. I took a look at the motherboard and it seems to match up with the one that is currently installed...minus all the stuff attached to it.
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b α HP
February 1, 2011 10:11:03 PM

44surf said:
OMG...The UPS guy just delivered all my stuff from Newegg! Yikes...Guess I am really going to have to do this...LOL! I thought I would have a couple more days. I took a look at the motherboard and it seems to match up with the one that is currently installed...minus all the stuff attached to it.

Have fun! Malmental gave you some great advice and you should have minimal issues installing new guts in your case. Be sure, however, to do a clean install of Windows as your old installation won't work with your new hardware (to many variables in the original install that will be different with the new config).

Good luck!
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February 2, 2011 1:47:26 AM

It came with a "Quick installation guide" Step 1 CPU Installation, Step 2:Memory installation, Step 3: Power Connection.

I could use a little more than that! :D 

I have the "Build You Own PC For Dummies Guide...I first need to figure out how to get my old motherboard out. I thought this new MB would have some information on how to actually install it in the case.

I will try and just take it one step at a time. It's kind of crazy in my house right now...dinner, homework etc.

ETA~Thanks COL...Now if I can just figure out how to get the old motherboard out.
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February 2, 2011 1:49:31 AM

I did look at the graphics video card info...Can I just use the one I have? Or is it not compatible. Feeling a little overwhelmed by the project right now.
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b α HP
February 2, 2011 2:01:51 PM

44surf said:
It came with a "Quick installation guide" Step 1 CPU Installation, Step 2:Memory installation, Step 3: Power Connection.

I could use a little more than that! :D 

I have the "Build You Own PC For Dummies Guide...I first need to figure out how to get my old motherboard out. I thought this new MB would have some information on how to actually install it in the case.

I will try and just take it one step at a time. It's kind of crazy in my house right now...dinner, homework etc.

ETA~Thanks COL...Now if I can just figure out how to get the old motherboard out.

I assume you figured out the removal already, but if not there are 5 or 6 screws (typically) that your size mobo uses to afix the mobo to the case. Just remove those (remove all of the cables/connectors on the old mobo first). The old mobo will lift right out afterward (you may have to wiggle a bit to pop it out of the I/O plate (the plate where the ports stick out the back of the case).
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February 2, 2011 2:48:29 PM

Thanks guys. I am learning a lot more about computers which is part of the reason that I wanted to attempt this project. My son is all excited. I am going to try and do it this weekend.

Mal~it looks like there is some type of card attached to the MB at one of the back slots. It says ANATEL on the back and has some type of jack/connecter which I never used. I am going to have to investigate a little more but I don't have time right now.

COL~I have not taken the MB out yet...but I was looking at it last night. I saw all the screws that you mentioned. The guide book I have talks about spacers also. The mb that I purchased did not come with any...but I also don't think I see any such thing on the current mb. I am planning on tackling this project this coming weekend. I want to have enough time to focus on it and make sure that I have everything I need. I am a little worried about all the cords and wires...where they go etc.

Also, my old mb has 2 ps/2 mouse and keybosrd connector ports (sorry if my lingo is wrong) and the new mb has 1 ps/2 and 2 usb ports. Does that matter? Do I have to get a new mouse? Or can I get an adapter?

Thanks again for all your help with this!
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b α HP
February 2, 2011 2:56:29 PM

44surf said:
Thanks guys. I am learning a lot more about computers which is part of the reason that I wanted to attempt this project. My son is all excited. I am going to try and do it this weekend.

Mal~it looks like there is some type of card attached to the MB at one of the back slots. It says ANATEL on the back and has some type of jack/connecter which I never used. I am going to have to investigate a little more but I don't have time right now.

COL~I have not taken the MB out yet...but I was looking at it last night. I saw all the screws that you mentioned. The guide book I have talks about spacers also. The mb that I purchased did not come with any...but I also don't think I see any such thing on the current mb. I am planning on tackling this project this coming weekend. I want to have enough time to focus on it and make sure that I have everything I need. I am a little worried about all the cords and wires...where they go etc.

Also, my old mb has 2 ps/2 mouse and keybosrd connector ports (sorry if my lingo is wrong) and the new mb has 1 ps/2 and 2 usb ports. Does that matter? Do I have to get a new mouse? Or can I get an adapter?

Thanks again for all your help with this!

The spacers are built into (or screwed into) the case, under the motherboard.

If you using a PS2 keyboard and/or mouse, I would recommend you get a new USB mouse, at a minimum. Don't waste your time on PS/2 to USB adapters.

When you install the new mobo, it will have its own I/O plate that you pop into place after you remove the current one. Then, all of the ports will line up properly.

You will be fine with the cabling/wiring. Have fun with you son and the project!!!
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February 2, 2011 6:13:22 PM

Thanks! I figured I could work on it while the DH watches the game LOL!

You know while I was researching the specs for my system there was a notice/warning about my model's Seagate SATA hard drive crashing. Apparently I was supposed to download some firmware. My bad for not knowing you had to check such things..LOL! Do you think that could have been the problem all along? I am committed to upgrading the system regardless, but will I still have problems with the HD? Mine is one of the HD model numbers listed. Or will reformatting the hd fix the problem?
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b α HP
February 2, 2011 6:40:21 PM

Reformatting will not fix a HDD firmware problem (I assume that is the case here). You should go ahead and apply the update as part of your upgrade process.
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b α HP
February 2, 2011 7:35:21 PM

Geek support is a team sport!
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February 2, 2011 8:16:30 PM

Wiil I still be able to use the HP update for the hdd if I change these other components? Maybe I should call HP cust sv? Yikes...what will the hold times be like!?

Yay for Geek Support! I would have given up already if not for you guys!
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b α HP
February 2, 2011 8:24:54 PM

The firmware update likely came from Seagate originally, so you should be able to apply both now or later. You can also get the update from Seagate themselves. Really not a big deal either way.
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February 2, 2011 8:50:23 PM

Well I just got off the phone with HP support...wanted my money before they would even discuss...LOL. She did relent a little...offered to let me send in my system and have it repaired for $199.00 or buy new Recovery CDs. I figured I might as well continue trying to see if I could manage the upgrade since I already purchased the items. It will be an adventure! LOL

Should I get the OS before starting?

Thanks for the info about the HDD. I was starting to freak out a little...baby steps right?

You are probably laughing at me behind my back :p  I warned you...I am not a techie.
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b α HP
February 2, 2011 8:57:11 PM

44surf said:
Well I just got off the phone with HP support...wanted my money before they would even discuss...LOL. She did relent a little...offered to let me send in my system and have it repaired for $199.00 or buy new Recovery CDs. I figured I might as well continue trying to see if I could manage the upgrade since I already purchased the items. It will be an adventure! LOL

Should I get the OS before starting?

Thanks for the info about the HDD. I was starting to freak out a little...baby steps right?

You are probably laughing at me behind my back :p  I warned you...I am not a techie.

One never laughs at someone willing to learn. What operating system do you have now? What would you like to have (if different than what you are using now)?
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February 3, 2011 1:34:12 AM

First...you guys can laugh if you want. I will laugh with you. I know I can be a little clueless..LOL!

Second, I can actually buy the recovery discs from HP for $16.50. I never made mine. I know, I know...I always figured I could recover from the partition and never got around to making the CDs. But the HP rep I spoke with said I could not use my current OS if putting in a new MoBo because it was keyed to the current MoBo . The computer repair guy I had look at my computer said they could use my OS one time with a new MoBo...So I have no idea who is giving me correct info...:( 

And you are absolutely right...HP customer service is a waste of time...You guys are 100% better. I just wanted to hear their take on why they don't contact their buyers when they discover that they have used faulty hardware. They of course had no answer. It's up to the consumer to check for such things. I had no idea to even check for such things. My current computer manufacturer (Toshiba) actually did notify me that my model had a BIOS update. I did not need to go looking for such information.

At any rate...Should I purchase the Recovery CD's for my Vista OS? Or do you think I should just upgrade to 7?
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b α HP
February 3, 2011 1:38:45 AM

It won't really be a HP after you swap the innards, it will be a generic PC. The recovery disks will look for an HP BIOS (your new config won't have that) to allow it to install (or not). Don't buy the recovery disks.

You should buy either an OEM or retail version of Win 7 (up to you what version) and install a nice shiny, new, clean install of it.
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