How To Update Compaq Presario V2000 Graphics Drivers for Windows 8 / 7

First Impressions - How To Update Compaq Presario V2000 Graphics Drivers for Windows 8 / 7

by Larry Neal Gowdy - November 22, 2012 (updated October 6, 2013)

I upgraded to Windows® 8 on two desktops and one Compaq® Presario V2000 laptop. The Presario is getting a bit outdated but it still works well for my occasional need for a portable PC. If the laptop wasn't so well suited for my preferences I would likely buy a new model, but for $39.99 I couldn't pass up the opportunity to upgrade to Windows 8 from XP. Yes XP was working well, but with Windows 8 all of my computers are now synced, and if I make skin changes to my main computer my other computers will now automatically be updated as well. Nice!

Windows 8 installed very well and everything worked splendidly except for the video driver (the Windows 8 Advisor had warned about the incompatibility problem with the graphics driver, but I was confident that I could work around it). The default 1024x768 graphics driver that gets installed by Windows 8 is okay, and I would have remained happy enough with 1024x768 if I had no other choice, but I wanted the full 1280 screen width!

Presario V2000 graphic driver screenshot in Windows 8

Screenshot of Windows 8 on the Compaq Presario V2000 at the full 1280x768 resolution.

Warning #1 : The following method worked well for me for my computer and the computer's graphics display version but it might not work well for you, so use this method at your own risk. Be sure to verify the model number and version of the graphics card in your laptop; there were several different versions in the Presario V2000. The following link and drivers work for the ATI Radeon Xpress series, and the general method ought to work for many other computers that are having compatibility problems with graphics drivers.

Warning #2 : Beware of the many scam websites that promise driver downloads but trick users into clicking on scam ads that often include viruses and trojans. Whenever possible only download from the manufacturer's website.

First download the Vista graphics driver sp34771.exe from HP® Tech Support. (If your Presario has a different graphics card you may need to find the different drivers. You should have good luck if you search for different drivers there on the HP website.) [Update May 7, 2013: After installing a new hard drive I chose to reinstall Windows XP/8 from scratch and discovered that the sp34771.exe driver would not install as mentioned below. I downloaded HP Tech Support sp32048.exe which includes the Microsoft Visual C++ redistributable, and the graphics driver then installed fine using the compatibility method as described below. If you have already installed software that uses the C++ redistributable then you should be able to install using sp34771.exe, but for a completely fresh installation of Windows 8 the sp32048.exe installer may work better. The main thing is that yes there are Presario V2000 graphic drivers for Windows 7 and Windows 8, and my Presario V2000 is once again happily running 1280x768.] [Update October 06, 2013: After almost a year of using Windows 8 on the Presario I finally discovered that the graphics driver is not compatible with the free Microsoft card games (I obviously don't play games on the laptop if it took me a year to notice the problem). Office 2010 works fine, as well as all the other programs that I use, and it might be possible to find a better driver that will handle the store games properly, but since I use the laptop for business software then I'm not going to worry about the one known incompatibility.]

Run the downloaded file by double-clicking (or highlight and press enter). Follow the prompts and allow the software to install in its default folder unless you prefer to install the files in a different folder. After the program has extracted its files the program's installer will throw up an error message that states that your Windows version is not supported (the actual error message may vary; I saw no fewer than three different error messages when I was trying different drivers and compatibility modes).

Simply ignore and close the error message(s). Since the file was downloaded from HP the file should be trustworthy, but I would not ignore an error message from a file that I downloaded from an independent driver website.

Windows 8 compatibility menu

Windows 8 compatibility menu.

Open the folder that the files were extracted to (C:\SWSETUP\SP34771 is the default folder). Right-click on the "Setup.exe" file and choose "Properties" at the bottom of the popup menu. Left-click on the "Compatibility" tab. Under "Compatibility mode" check the box for "Run this program in compatibility mode for" and then choose "Windows Vista (Service Pack 2)" in the horizontal selector below the check-box. Left-click "Apply" and "OK" to let the menu close.

Now double-click and run the Setup.exe file. If lady luck isn't in a bad mood the drivers should begin loading, and after a couple minutes of the screen turning off and on the installer will finish. Walla! (Voila spoken in Texan.) Proper Presario V2000 graphics display for Windows 8 and 7! Sweet!

The updated driver enabled a faster screen write speed, and although the Windows Experience graphics index did not change from 2.0, the gaming graphics score raised from 2.2 to 3.0. The laptop was a bit annoying with the slowness of the default driver, but with the updated driver the V2000 now runs menus and windows reasonably quickly in spite of an aging hard drive and only 1.25g of memory.

The power settings in Windows 8 also work well with the Turion® CPU. I set the Presario to have 100% CPU usage maximum and 5% minimum, and during normal idle times the CPU automatically drops from the rated 1.8ghz down to around 1ghz. The under-clocking enables slightly lower temperatures and should help the battery life a little too. Over all, the Presario laptop runs as fast in Windows 8 as it did in XP, and I sincerely no longer find any advantage to keeping XP. With the proper graphics driver and Windows 8 the Presario V2000 is an excellent laptop and well worth the cost of upgrading.

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