upgrading Conpaq Presario 1245

Compaq / 1245
May 11, 2009 at 11:51:25
Specs: Windows 98, 32
Bought a used laptop for my daughter, know little to nothing about these things. Plan to upgrade memory, add wireless card and think I might need to reinstall operating sytem, seems to need driver updates-- but I can't download the updates without internet, and it won't connect to our DSL, can't seem to find its own USB port. Can you talk me thru this? Thanks.

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May 11, 2009 at 13:22:32
"hink I might need to reinstall operating sytem"
do you have a windows 98 cd?


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May 11, 2009 at 13:29:46
this is the memory, your laptop supports

normally, I would say, "use crucial, to determine the correct memory, and buy somewhere else, but since you "know little to nothing about these things", maybe you should just buy the one they recommend.


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May 11, 2009 at 13:46:49
Hopefully you didn't pay much for that old timer. More than $25?


It accepts a max of 160MB RAM. It only has one memory slot so all you can add is 128MB. Crucial has it for $24...you should be able to find it for less than 1/2 that much elsewhere:



Do NOT attempt to install WinXP on that system...it wil be a complete waste of time. Stick with Win98 or WinME.

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May 11, 2009 at 19:53:03
Thank you all-- I think I am on the right track, then. I did order the crucial memory...and I do NOT have any CD's to install the os, what do I do? Windows 98 should be all the computer she needs, so that's ok. Is is even possible to watch a DVD on something this old? And what about a wireless connection?

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May 11, 2009 at 21:19:30
98 may be all your daughter needs but it's going to be difficult to do all the stuff you want to do with that laptop using 98.

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May 11, 2009 at 23:57:09
"and I do NOT have any CD's to install the os, what do I do?"

You might find someone who's got an internal drive that works on that machine, or build a parallel port CD-Rom for about $8 (plus s/h) using:




Once you got it working you could just copy the "Win98" folder to the HDD and install from there...

I'd recommend using "light-weight" apps on that machine given it's age. Find several freebies that would work (even on Win98) here:


Possibly Portable VLC Player or Portable MPlayer might play DVD's on that machine, but the CPU's quite a bit slow, and I've never tried either on anything less that 667MHz. You'd also have to figure that in that case, you'd need to spring for an internal DVD drive anyway (if one exists)...

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May 12, 2009 at 06:19:59
Don't let this thing turn into a money pit. You didn't state how much you paid for it but you already paid twice as much as you had to for the RAM. I don't know if it will be capable of playing DVDs but you'll obviously need a DVD drive, probably external. And if you want to go wireless, you'll need an adapter. The laptop has only one USB port but it does have a Type II PC Card slot. And you're going to need a copy of Windows 98, which if you do it legally rather than going thru the torrents will cost you at least a few bucks.

There are plenty of online sites that sell used/refurbed laptops for about $150 with MUCH better specs than what you have. For example:


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