RAM: 256 Mb (2 x 128 Mb PC100) I think this system maxes out at 384
If it has two slots, they should stand equal capacity modules. Check
Crucial.com on the model # to know for sure. 512MB should be possible,
although you *might* have to use low density memory modules. (This is
especially true if you are sure the system has no USB support whatsoever. A
system like this probably has shared memory video that will take some RAM
away from what you're allowed to use.
The younger (3-7) kids play mostly on Sesame Street/Disney/Noggin
type web sites, Older ones (8-11) play Runescape, Youtube Videos, and
general age appropriate online games. Email is all online, Yahoo!, GMail,
If you're correct about the lack of USB (again!), that would put this system
at nearly ten years old and certainly not much newer than seven or eight
years old. The games probably aren't going to fare too well, and YouTube may
not work well either. General purpose web browsing should work fine.
I would also like to load Office 2000/XP to ease them into doing homework
If you've got the license, sure, why not? It should run fine. I would highly
recommend OpenOffice.org if you don't, because it works very, very well and
the price is right.
1. Am I correct on the RAM limit?
2. What is the largest hard drive it will accept with out an overlay?
Common limits are 528MB, 2.1GB, 8GB, somewhere around 20GB and 137GB. This
system is likely to have a limit of 137GB, although it is old enough that
the 8 and 20GB limits are possibilities.
3. Can the CPU be upgraded?
It will be socketed. What will be accepted for a replacement depends upon
the BIOS. Some computer makers will use a BIOS that will accept anything
that looks halfway like a CPU and can be put into the socket without too big
of a hammer. Others turn tail and run if you violate the stock
specifications even slightly.
A newer BIOS--if one is available--*may* offer more CPU support. Usually the
re's enough documentation in the update description that you can tell what
is there. (But sometimes I've seen the opposite in the form of a system that
would run fine with an alternative CPU on an older BIOS and fail with a
newer one. You may want to proceed with caution if no BIOS updates offer any
mention of support for new CPUs.
It's really hard to say outside of finding an electrically compatible
(meaning "same socket type") CPU and giving it a try. You might be able to
find other models of this computer that are the same thing with the only
change being use of a faster CPU.
4. Spotted some pins that look like they might be for a USB header(?)
leads to question 5 below.)
The type of chipset you have in the system will tell you for sure. The
easiest thing to do would be to load a USB aware OS and see what happens.
I'd fully expect that the motherboard would have at least one USB port
soldered to it where the rest of the ports are. If you don't see that, the
pins you're looking at probably are not USB connections.
5. Where can I fine a motherboard diagram to identify the correct
locations and ID for some of the items I can see on the mother board but
do not know what they are?
Not from Compaq, that much is certain. The board in your system may be
somewhat customized or at least designed by Compaq, so finding documentation
anywhere else may be a problem. Luck might be on your side if that's the
case--Compaq designed boards typically have silkscreened descriptions near
many of the connectors that explain their purpose. These may be heavily
abridged labels, but you can probably figure it out with some careful
If the board was really made by a third party, look for a set of block
printed numbers and letters on it. This could be a model number. You will
usually find this between PCI slots or around the CPU.