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Seeking missing Recovery CD for HP XG834 Desktop

Posted on 2005-04-11
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Greetings wise wizards of EE:

I recently inherited an antiquated, but very cool little desktop, the HP XG834. This compact little PC has a 733 MHz processor, and runs Windows ME. The previous owner didn't install any security software, and this machine has picked up all manners of glitches over the years, and is in sore need of a reformat. Though I have the paper documentation, the previous owner has lost the RECOVERY CD that came with the machine. This is what I now seek, in the hopes I can breathe new life into this cool little PC, which could be quite useful for all manners of...well, uses. Even if I reformat without it, and use a different operating system CD, I'm going to run into trouble without the appropriate drivers for this machine. I need to find that Recovery CD, and I'm going to search the globe until I find it, but I need to be shown the way to do so...

I have tried many sources to find the HP XG834 Recovery CD, but alas, I have struck out so far. Here's where I have looked:

1. Hewlett-Packard. I called their product department, and they no longer provide support or parts for this model of PC
2. Ambry.com. This company was referred to me by HP, as they provide support for older HP & Compaq products. They are out of inventory for the HP XG834 Recovery CD's, and advised me to check back from time to time.
3. eBay. This is clearly hit and miss, and so far, I've missed.
4. softlookup.com. This is a site that I discovered from a Google search, that provides all types of driver downloads, but alas, did not have the HP XG834 drivers or Recover CD I was looking for.
5. A Google search. The most I could find from this method were a few sites that discussed the HP XG834 stats, and not much else.

So far, that's all I've come up with. My question is:

Do any of you fine wizards know of a resource where I might find the rare Recovery CD for the HP XG834?

Many thanks in advance,

Zovoth
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Question by:zovoth
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Accepted Solution

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nobus earned 1200 total points
ID: 13760261
ok, there is not much to be found on the HP site. Except some data here :

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?dlc=en&lc=en&product=58900&lang=en&cc=us&docname=bph06436#N10039

here is what i would do :
1-decide what os i want to run : WINDOWS 98 SE or windows xp (need 256 Mb Ram or 512 MB better)
2-check out the installed components (if it is still running, check in device manager, or use Everest to identify the devices) :
http://www.lavalys.com/products/overview.php?pid=1&lang=en&pageid=1      Everest free
3-download the drivers for the selected OS
4-delete any partitions on the harddisc, and format it
5-install the OS, then the drivers.

Good luck

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Expert Comment

by:eccs19
ID: 13761807
If you really want to get one of these recovery CD's, I would look on Fleabay and see if anyone has the same model of computer for sale.  If they have the recovery CD's, offer to pay them a few $ to make a copy of the disk(s) and ship to you.  My opinion would be not to use the bundled software myself (especially Win ME), but to use nobus's idea, and get an OEM version of Windows, and install and get drivers off the internet as he suggested.
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Author Comment

by:zovoth
ID: 13762521
Greetings nobus & eccs19:

Many thanks for your suggestions & your rapid response, both are quite helpful. I do have a question for nobus, though. I do plan on installing WIndows 98 SE on this machine, not ME. This machine is currently runnning, and I do have access to the Device Manager; I took a look at your Everest link, which as I understand it, will provide detailed information about the various hardware components. My question is:

It doesn't appear that Everest provides any drivers for the components it identifies...is that correct, and if so, do you have a recommendation on where I could download the drivers? HP does not have them available any longer.

Many thanks,

Zovoth
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by:nobus
ID: 13762835
no, it does not supply drivers; in your case, that would be different drivers, so even if you found them, you cannot use them, since you need other drivers for Win98 SE.
so i would first note down what is installed in device manager, or look at the cards and motherboard to identify them, or use Everest.
Once the devices are identified, you can download them from the manufactureers site, or post the devices here, and we'll look them up for you.
The motherboard i thought was an Asus CUV board (look for the printing on it and on the add-on boards)
128 Mb would let the win98SE run well.
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Expert Comment

by:nedvis
ID: 13764379
  Have you ever considerred Linux a viable choice?
   A 733 MHz CPU is quite enough power to run any of most recent Linux distributions which will give you more reliable computing platform and much more applications ( Mandrake 10., SuSE 9.2 , RedHat 9, Fedora , Mepis ... )
   Just go to nearest  bookstore and grab latest LinuxFormat magazine and you'll get latest Slackware 10.1 ( for only $15) .
   Or look for Fedora Core 2 or 3 Bible books; they can be found $ 15-25. Linux for Dummies are sold for pennies.
   Or just sent and email to http://www.ubuntu.com and they will be more than happy to send ten (10) free coppies with the Linux distribution wildly popular among Linux newbies so you can share ( redistribute) CDs with your friends.
   Whatever your choice may be with Linux  you wont have to hunt for Windows9x  drivers  nor invest more money for all kind of applications you might like to have running on Windows platform.
  good luck
  nedvis
 
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Author Comment

by:zovoth
ID: 13767771
Greetings nobus:

Many thanks for your rapid & valuable response. I'm going to use the Everest utility and discover the details for the components, and then post them back. You are very kind indeed to provide extended help in finding the appropriate drivers for Windows 98SE...it is greatly appreciated.

I'll post back as soon as I get the Everest info...I imagine this evening or tomorrow at the lastest.

I also appreciate nedvis's response, but I have absolutely no experience with Linux, and the older applications I plan to use on this machine I imagine are not supported by Linux. I'm looking forward to installing a unused copy of Windows 98SE that I have. Thank you for the suggestion, anyway.

Zovoth
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Assisted Solution

by:nedvis
nedvis earned 200 total points
ID: 13768068

Then you really need this utility too ( besides an excellent Everest or Aida32 ):
Halfdone: Unknown Devices identifier helps you find what those unknown devices in Device Manager really are.By checking Device Manager for unknown devices and extracting information from it, this program attempts to figure out what the device is.You might not have to open your case or look up random numbers off of PCI cards to figure out what they are.        http://www.halfdone.com/Development/UnknownDevices


good luck
nedvis
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by:eccs19
ID: 13768545
One other suggestion that I have which may not be a bad idea / investment.  If you only have 128 Meg of ram, perhaps increasing the ram to 512 may be a good idea, then install Windows XP.  Chances may be good that XP will out of the box detect all your older hardware, and you may not have to worry about trying to track down Windows 98 drivers.  That machine is a little old, but I think with XP running with all of it's extra bells and whistles turned off, it may not run to bad on that machine.
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Author Comment

by:zovoth
ID: 13769419
Greetings wise wizards:

I have followed your excellent advice, and investigated both the Everest & Unknown Device utilities...however, before doing so, I decided to take the plunge and go ahead & reformat & install Windows 98 to see what devices would be needing drivers. Foolish? Perhaps, but damn the torpedoes, I went full speed ahead, because I concluded that if I'm going to use Windows 98 instead of the Win ME which was installed, I should discover exactly what drivers I would need. Fortunately, with some coaxing, I got to a desktop and the numerous speed/error mesages/glitches that plagued this troubled machine, before the reformat, were nuked from existence.

This machine does have some cool upgrades from the previous owner...It has 512 MB RAM installed, a Radeon 9200 video card, which I DO have the drivers for, so I was able to configure that AOK. It also has a 16 bit PCI SoundBlaster card, but I could only get headphones to work, not the speakers (I tried a different speaker set, but no luck). All went relatively well with the reformat, but a few "splat" marks exist in the Device Manager. Here they are:

1. "Under Display Adaptors", the Radeon 9200 card is listed twice, the second entry is designated as "Secondary". Below that is listed "Standard PCI Graphics Adaptor"(VGA) and contains a yellow splat mark.

2. Under "Other Devices" is "PCI System Management Bus", which contains a yellow splat mark.

3. Under "Sound, Video & Game Controllers" is SB PCI Legacy Device, with a yellow splat mark. I noticed that when I got the headphones to work, this entry contained a red "x", which I am assuming that it was disabled.

I downloaded & ran both "Everest" & "Unknown Devices"...Unknown Devices seemed a bit easier to interpret, so I'm going to list what it discovered:

1. Standard PCI Graphics Adaptor (VGA)
Unknown device from Intel Corporation
Chip: Intel Corporation 82810 810 Chipset Graphics Controller

2. PCI Standard ISA bridge
Chip: Intel Corporation 82801AA 8xx Chipset LCP Interface Bridge

3. PCI Multimedia Audio Device
Unknown device from Intel Corporation
Chip: Intel Corporation 82801AA 8xx Chipset AC'97 Audio Controller

There you have it...Each of the above three had "Full Details" entries, but I don't know if you need that info...I did also run Everest, but that data was far more extensive, and I wasn't really sure what I was looking for.

I'm assuming that most of my problems are due to the PCI System Bus Controller, as the splat marks basically all have to do with PCI cards...would that be a logical assumption?

There was also a DOS message upon boot up after the reformat, that stated that "EM386 was not installed", but it would vanish & then boot up normally to a desktop.

I hope I am supplying the info you asked for...if not, please direct me on how to proceed. I am rapidly falling in love with this little PC, which is full of pleasant surprises, along with a few bumps in the road. I'm definitely in need of direction on how to proceed next.

Many thanks to all in advance,

Zovoth
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 13769973
first things first, Zovoth, what motherboard do you have?
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by:eccs19
ID: 13771062
I would say from the sounds of it you have your Radion card, plus an on-board intigrated video. (I think you can just ignore that one)  I also suspect that you have your sound blaster plus again an on board sound system (AC97).  You may be able to go into the BIOS and disable it.  That may be why your SB is not working.  To many conflicts.  Win 98 is not great at sorting out conflicts in my opinion.  If there is not an option in the BIOS to disable, then you will probably have a jumper on the MB to disable it.  While your looking, you can look to see if there is an option to disable the on board video, but I doubt that there is.

Some of those Radeon video cards have 2 outputs, so that's probably why you see it listed twice. Again I wouldn't worry about that.
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by:eccs19
ID: 13771081
"PCI Standard ISA bridge Chip: Intel Corporation 82801AA 8xx Chipset LCP Interface Bridge"  

Forgot to mention, as nobus mentioned "what motherboard do you have", if you can get that, then you can probably find what is needed at the manufacturers website. (Chipset drivers, etc)
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Author Comment

by:zovoth
ID: 13772307
Greetings nobus, eccs19 & nedvis:

Again, thanks for the rapid response. Here's the scoop on the motherboard, according to the very cool Everest utility:

MOTHERBOARD PROPERTIES
Motherboard ID: <DMI>
Motherboard Name: Asus CUW-AM/MEW-AM

FRONT SIDE BUS PROPERTIES
Bus Type: Intel GTL+
Bus Width: 64-bit
Real Clock: 67 MHz
Effective Clock: 67 MHz
Bandwidth: 533 MB/s

CHIPSET BUS PROPERTIES
Bus Type: Intel Hub Interface
Bus Width: 8-bit

MOTHERBOARD MANUFACTURER
Company Name: ASUSTek Computer, Inc.
Product Information: http://www.asus.com/products/mb/mbindex.htm
BIOS Download: http://www.asus.com/support/download/download.aspx

There you have it! I haven't visited these support links as of yet. I'm going to just take a look after sending this response to you fine wizards, and wait to see how you think I should proceed next.

Many thanks,

Zovoth
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Assisted Solution

by:eccs19
eccs19 earned 600 total points
ID: 13772581
Here's the link to all the drivers for that motherboard.  Again, I don't think you need the video or the AC97 drivers, but I would grab any of the ones for Win 98 that are listed.

http://www.asus.com/support/download/item.aspx?ModelName=MEW-AM&Type=Drivers
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Expert Comment

by:eccs19
ID: 13772611
Specifically, I think these are the ones you need - Intel PIIX IDE BusMaster driver for Win 9x
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by:nobus
ID: 13772878
ok, at the page given by eccs19, be sure to download all the Win 98 or win9x druivers, and proceed with the installation, if you want to use them, instead of the add-on boards, you have them anyway
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Expert Comment

by:eccs19
ID: 13773042
Looking through the manual for that motherboard, and it appears as if there is no option to disable the on-board sound or video, so I wouldn't go to a lot of trouble looking, as it seems you can't do it.  :-(

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Author Comment

by:zovoth
ID: 13778264
Greetings nobus, eccs19 & nedvis:

Many thanks to the triple-threat of brillant wizards for your invaluable aid to my project. I still have some tinkering to do, but you've given me the tools for me to take it from here.

A special thanks to nobus & eccs19...it was a struggle to decide who should receive the accepted answer for this question, as you both provided excellent advice, and outstanding follow-up. I awarded nobus the accepted answer, as nobus was the first to respond, and provided the link to Everest hardware utility, which easily identified my motherboard, and led to the info regarding the necessary drivers for my machine.  Eccs19, I greatly appreciate your insights regarding my add-on boards...I think I'm going to have to experiment a bit with them to get everything to work, but I'm confident I can figure that out on my own. Finally, thank you to nedvis, for the "Unknown Devices" utility...pretty cool tool, and indeed useful.

My little HP will soon be buzzing with productivity & performance, now that you three ever-wise techno-masters have shown me the way. I am eternally grateful. Thanks again, and may the wind be at your back.

Take care,

Zovoth
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by:nedvis
ID: 13778494
Thank you !
Since you're going to stick with Win98 one more thing to consider : OS updates!
There's a well rounded unofficial package you mey wish to have handy ( on burned CD for example) since Microsoft countdown for that aging OS started long ago :   http://exuberant.ms11.net/98sesp.html

good luck
nedvis
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by:eccs19
ID: 13780469
Thanks for the point, and good luck with your project.  Glad to hear you've gotten everything up and going.  I expect you will prefer the add-on boards vs the on board stuff.  Typically the one board works, but it's usually pretty cheap.  For normal office type work, you could easily get away with on board, but if you plan on playing a few games, and dable with some music, then the add-on boards will be nice.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 13780532
what's nice about this thread is that Zovoth took great care to answer each post, and created so an interaction that led to experts willing to help him

Good luck !
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by:eccs19
ID: 13781573
Agreed, you don't see that everyday.
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