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Project Revival: Averatec 4155 - Part Three (The Aftermath)

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I am sitting here typing this blog on my newly revived Averatec 4155 notebook PC. I must admit that this journey has been one of blood, sweat, and tears. My last update left me unsure on which OS I wanted to run on this machine. I attempted to run Windows 7, but the lack of driver support and Aero features left me wanting to go back to Windows XP or Windows Vista.

Due to licensing availability and driver support, I decided to go with Windows Vista Business 32 bit operating system. Similar to Windows 7, Averatec did not provide any drivers to download from the TriGem site, forcing me to go on the "driver hunt" from the chip set manufacturers. Luckily, I was able to find Vista drivers for all of the components (Amazing, right?) Here are the updated hardware specs for the notebook:

Model: Averatec AV4155-EH1
Screen Size: 13.3"
CPU: AMD Turion ML-37 (2.0 GHz) - 35w
Memory: 1.5GB PC2700
Hard Disk: 80 GB

Getting maximum performance out oft the AMD Turin ML-37 was a challenge. AMD's "Quiet 'n' Cool" technology allows the CPU to adjust the voltage and clock settings (by changing the multiplier) based on the load being given to the CPU. Windows XP required software from AMD for this technology to work correctly. When Windows Vista was released, the technology was built into the operating system, so there was no need for any additional software from AMD. Well just my luck... I had Vista, but the technology was clearly not working. My 2.0 GHz processor was stuck at 800 MHz and would not step up under load.

After searching many (and I do mean many) forums with people having similar problems with AMD "Quiet 'n' Cool" on their Windows Vista based systems, I came to the conclusion that I was in need of a BIOS flash. For anyone that is familiar with flashing your BIOS, it should only be done as a last resort as there is always a risk of "bricking" your system if there is a bad or interrupted flash. The Averatec 4155 uses a Uniwill M30KI motherboard (Thank you, CPU-Z!) and has an American Megatrends BIOS. I searched and searched for an updated BIOS, only finding an updated BIOS from a blogger in China. After using Google Translate, I was pointed in the right direction, downloaded the updated BIOS and had a successful flash. With the new BIOS, there is a Chinese writing on the post screen. When I returned to Windows, the CPU began to throttle to 2.0 GHz at full load.

With an upgraded CPU and additional memory, I noticed the system was much "snappier" than before. The only drawback to the Turion ML-37 was the noticeable heat difference when compared to the original Turion MT-30. The increased temps were not enough to impact performance of the ML-37, but they were enough to keep the cooling fan spinning at full speed when the CPU was under a full load.

So this project is now complete. It took a few weeks to get everything built cleaned, and configured. Most importantly, I was able to bring back life to this machine.

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