C500 fan and QHN,
It's late and I can't keep the points in focus so I'll just toss them out as I think of them. Heheh
The hard drive score drop is not necessarily a big deal. It's the same drive with the same interface. However, I would try updating the drivers (from Intel's website) to see if that makes any difference. Stll, a drop from 5.5 to 5.1 isn't a HUGE difference, and the WEI ratings are not really anything to be too concerned with.
As for your other notes: The startup and shut down would be consistent with the upgrades you provided. There's more space to work with, a faster HD, and more CPU horsepower in several ways.
BIOS F.26 makes a second appearance. I would REALLY love to know where it came from and what the differences are, even if they're little more than "Stability fix."
And lastly: The 2.99 GB amount is consistent with what we know about the chipsets and the system in general. As we researched about two-three pages ago, that is the maximum amount you can expect to be usable from 4 GB. 4 GB less 768 MB to chipset limitation, less 256 MB to video RAM. If it weren't an integrated video card, you'd have 3.25 GB.
On the WEI point again: There's an option in the ratings detail window, on the left, called Advanced Tools. Click on that. The top option says, basically, "Erase all ratings and re-run the assessment." I have found that choosing that option will sometimes DRASTICALLY alter scores. Example: When I first upgraded from my T7250 to my T9300 in my DV9700, I initially ONLY clicked the "Update score" link. It went from 5.1 to 5.5. A short while later, I clicked the OTHER option to erase all scores and start over. It went from a 5.5 to 6.1 for the CPU. So, you might try that and see where your scores go.
As for the upgrade vs. reinstall for Windows: QHN is correct. If you use the 64-bit install disc, you will be presented the option to do a custom install. Format the partition and install the 64-bit version. Windows 7 installation will remember that there was a previous version and allow an upgrade.
THAT BEING SAID: It may not allow a LATERAL move ("upgrading" Windows 7 Home 32-Bit to Windows 7 Home 64-Bit). Even so, you could wipe the drive and install a copy of Windows XP, then upgrade to Win7 64-Bit after. The registration code will be valid for either the 32-Bit or 64-Bit installation, but yes you may have to call in for activation.
There are some differences between the two versions, the 64-Bit DOES seem a bit peppier on the C500 than the 32-Bit. That may just be perception, though.
I think that about covers it. Hopefully you're enjoying your upgrades. I'm glad to know another C500 will continue on for a bit longer!
O Shadow Fox O
Edited by OShadowFoxO - 1/17/12 at 9:28pm