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911 --- HELP! --- Detecting hardware

Posted on 2000-03-22
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I just got a used Compaq Prasario 5304 - It has been totally gutted. All the hard ware is here, but the hard drive has been formatted clean.

The audio and video are on the motherboard (it seems) and I can't tell what type of drivers I need to locate. Compaq won't offer any help even if I pay for it as they can't tell what might have been done. It looks rather factory spec.

Is there some program that can query the hardware to detect what type/model the video & audio cards are?

I thought I was getting a great deal until now... If someone can help me figure this out, it may still be a good deal.
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Question by:schworak
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15 Comments
 
LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:pjknibbs
ID: 2646140
Yes, there is a program which can query the hardware...it's called Windows 98 <G>. Seriously, what OS are you intending to install? If you *are* installing Windows 95 or later, it might be best to just try it and see if it can identify your video and audio hardware. Failing that, you'd have to identify the motherboard from its markings and see if the Compaq website has any information on it.
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:Zoplax
ID: 2646363
Most COMPAQ peripherals are hard-wired onto the motherboard or attached in the form of proprietary cards.

In short, Windows 98 by itself may not be able to autodetect all of it successfully.

You should borrow a friend's computer to visit COMPAQ's website, and go to their support area.  Look up the Presario 5304 and obtain all the necessary drivers (motherboard, video, audio, any other devices).  Also, while at your friend's place, assuming they have a Win98 computer, create a Windows 98 Startup Disk (Start => Settings => Control Panel => Add/Remove Programs => Startup Disk); you'll need this to be able to boot up with access to the CD-ROM drive.

Pop the Windows 98 CD and begin the install.  You should at least be able to get a basic Windows 98 setup on the computer.

Next, use the files obtained from the COMPAQ support site to update the drivers for the components (motherboard, audio, video, any other devices).  

Once you complete these steps you should have a fully functional PC with all of the appropriate drivers for the proprietary hardware.
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 2650865
Audio Drivers, Creative 1373 Audio Drivers
http://web14.compaq.com/falco/sp_results.asp?recid=SP12656

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LVL 17

Accepted Solution

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rayt333 earned 200 total points
ID: 2650955
Do you have a restore disk for it?
Call Compaq and order one if you don't have one.
Quick Restore CD, Model 5304, U.S.(Windows 98)   144360-001

This should get it up and running with the correct drivers as long as the hardware is still factory stock, then you can upgrade or update whatever you want from there.
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:schworak
ID: 2651255
I have contacted and ordered a Restore CD from Compaq. It is the only way they offer to get the drivers back on my computer.

The question now is (the CD is 3-5 days away) when it comes, will it totally destroy what I have configured now in order to get the drivers on? Or will I be able to just add the dirvers?

I didn't think Compaq was one of these low qualaty computer companies. They use to be one of the best. But with all this propriority crud, I will never buy another no matter how good the deal sounds.
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:schworak
ID: 2651265
I rejected the answer because I don't  know anyone with the same type of compaq. I did order a CD and if I can use that to restore without destroying the entire system, I will award the points to the first answer.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:Rheiniluoma
ID: 2651298
The restore CD, when done right, reformats the hard drive and loads the standard suite that came with the Compaq - Faxworks/voice mail for the modem, MS Works, all the crap you may not want.

It will not necessarily have the latest and greatest drivers for everything.

It may however have the Compaq Support icon -- this is supposed to go out and auto-fetch all the latest drivers.
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:schworak
ID: 2651559
Fingers crossed....
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 2651598
Just to make sure you understand, when you use the restore disk it put your system back to the way it was from the factory, (software wise) so it also removes all you installed software, so you will have to reinstall all non "factory new" programs
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:schworak
ID: 2651767
Is there any way to use the InterNet keyboard on any other computer besides the Compaq? My wife (who has the compaq) doesn't like it. She has an MS natural keyboard she likes much more. So I want to use the internet one. But I don't know how to get the special keys to work. (I am out of luck aren't I?)
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:Rheiniluoma
ID: 2651848
Unfortunately I think so,
For those extra keys Logitech has a nice one with a bunch of them...
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:schworak
ID: 2652071
What is with a company to make them think you would never want to add, upgrade, or trade computer parts? Or software for that matter....

I called tech support about the video driver problem because this computer is still under original warantee. Cool!

They said that all I could do is run the restore CD and that would wipe out all my software.

I told them that most of the stuff they install will not fully uninstall (as most programs don't) and they said that their computers were designed and delivered with the latest software so I shouldn't be removing or adding things that didn't come with the computer.

HOW LAME is that?
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 2653008
That is why their sales are going down everyday, I bought a Compaq because it was supposed to have the best Tech support and made with the best quality of devices, I found out otherwise!!!

About all the support you can get from their Tech support, (after waiting 45 to 60 minutes on hold) is a common answer, use the restore disk!!! What a lame service!!

schworak
look on the bright side, you are now a member of the world famous "Junk Computer Owners Club"
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:Zoplax
ID: 2653578
COMPAQ workstation tech support is notoriously BAD.  Their servers generally kick ass in terms of performance and reliability, but design and other aspects of their workstations is lacking.

To service some COMPAQ workstations, you have to be a master of yoga and a contortionist to be able to replace a hard drive without slicing yourself open on the chassis.  :)
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:schworak
ID: 2670075
Not sure that was the same CD number, they didn't ask. They wanted the serial number of the computer and model.

Got the CD and DID NOT need to reformat my entire machine!

WHEW! That would have hurt.

Their install CD doesn't work... I click the restore buttons on their interface and it said "FILE NOT FOUND" for all drivers (CD, Audio, Video).

Windows can't read the drivers using add hard ware either.

But, I manually rummaged through the CD and found the setup file for the Audio and Video drivers and they went right in after that.

And then, I was able to download from their site (once I fugured out what I was looking for) the utility that allows the special keys on the internet keyboard to work. I installed that on my Gateway and it worked just fine.

Just can't get the quick print to work because the program isn't installed. I am not about to flush the entire Compaq just to figure out what files are needed and copy them to the Gateway. I can live without the print button. The rest are working great!
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