Upgrade HP nx7010 from XP to Windows 7

The end is near! XP support ends in April and still many devices out there run XP, like my good old HP nx7010 notebook. It was originally delivered with XP, and its performance not good enough to run Vista. However, Windows 7 and 8 are less hardware intensive therefore I decided to upgrade. The CPU does not fulfill the minimum hardware requirements, therefore I’ve chosen Windows 7. These are the original specs:

  • Intel Pentium M 1.7 GHz (single core)
  • 1.5 GB RAM
  • 120 GB HDD 5400 rpm (PATA no SATA!)
  • ATI Mobility Radeon 9600, 1680×1050 display
  • Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 with actual updates

Upgrade

The good news are, stuff comes cheap for such old devices. I’ve bought a new battery, a docking station and a hard disk upgrade bay that has SATA intern and PATA extern. Moreover, I found an old 60 GB PATA disk with 7200 rpms from an old IBM ThinkPad and an old 60 GB SSD from another Lenovo x121e which is also dead now.

HP nx7010 Upgade Hardware

The estimated costs for this upgrade project were about 300€, but could be reduced to 136€ by reusing old hardware from other devices.

Device Estimated Costs Project incl. delivery Where to get
Upgrade Bay ~ 45€ 61€ Hantz.com
60 GB SSD ~ 50€ – (old one) Amazon, etc.
60 GB HDD 7200 rpm ~ 55€ – (old one) eBay ?
Battery ~ 40€ 40 € Amazon
Docking ~ 20€ 35 € eBay
Windows ~ 80€ – (Dreamspark) Amazon, etc.
  290 € 136 €  

The upgrade bay holds an OCZ SSD and replaces the DVD drive. The original front from the DVD drive is removed and will cover the upgrade bay.

SATA - PATA Upgrade Bay

Drivers for XP are still available for Download from HP. Most of the drivers are found by Windows Update. However, it was useful to download the original drivers, extract the sp*.exe files with WinRAR and let the device manager search for drivers on the local computer. The ATI Mobility Radeon was not identified automatically, but Windows installed a Basic VGA Adapter. To get the full screen resolution of 1680×1050 it was necessary to update the VGA driver manually and again let the driver wizard search in the folder where the ATI driver was extracted.

Benchmark

The processor is still the bottleneck in this device. However, since the HDDs have been replaced and an actual OS is installed the question is does the combination of a new OS and improved hardware make a difference and if so is it faster? Therefore I’ve conducted 4 Benchmarks on the original XP machine, on the improved Windows 7 machine an on a reference computer (HP Envy Spectre 14, Core i5-3317U + Intel SSD)

Boot: The time required from pressing the Power Button to boot to Desktop. The password dialog was disabled for this benchmark.

Print XPS: Printing a 75 pages Word Document in Office 2003 as XPS file. On the Windows 7 machine the benchmark was run using Office 2010.

Compress Video: Compressing a 700 MB video file using WinRAR and “Normal” compression ratio.

Convert Audio: Converting 20 MP3 files with Freemake Audio Converter into WMA

  nx7010 Windows XP nx7010 Windows 7 Envy14 Windows 7
Boot 00:44.03 00:57.05 00:21.16
Print XPS 00:27.35 00:48.85 00:21.43
Compress Video 15:25.00 08:21.00 00:44.87
Convert Audio 03:59.00 03:30.00 00:31.29

The benchmark shows that booting windows 7, and loading all what is coming with it, takes longer than booting XP. Converting a document from Word to XPS takes much more time in Windows 7 and Office 2010 than XP and Office 2003. However, the other two application benchmarks are faster on Windows 7.

The results in line 2 indicate that newer software like Office 2010 requires more resources and therefore is slower on old hardware. But old software like office 2003 on old hardware behaves like actual software on actual hardware. However, converting audio and compressing video took long on XP and still takes long compared to modern hardware. All in all, no surprise here. BTW: Does it run Dynamics AX 2012 R2? Yes it does Smiley and the client performance is ok.

Windows 7 and Dynamics Ax 2012 R2 on old HP nx7010

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Über erpcoder
Software Engineer and Dynamics AX enthusiast working in Research & Development for InsideAx

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