G-Omaha gave you the easy stuff
, here's the stuff that I had problems with and the ways that I got around them.
Before anything else, get XP SP2. It will help protect you and help iron out many potential driver issues in the future.
My first problem, newer games were occasionally hanging or rebooting the PC
Uninstall the stock Sager video drivers and get the latest Omega Catalyst drivers for the 9700 Mobility. You must uninstall using the uninstall utility and reboot at least once, perhaps twice to fully unload the ATI drivers and helper program. Read up on it in the forums if you have Q's. Some folks say use the old drivers like the 4.4s, some say get new ATIs, I read all the threads and then got the latest Omeagas, 4.7. They seem to be the most stable and feature rich. 4.8s will be out soon, and I'll get them as soon as they are available.
I won't even suggest that you overclock the vid card, yet, but eventually you will realize that the 9700 can be safely OCed to around 500/300 using the Omega drivers with the built-in OC utility. Which gives a 20% bump in FPS performance using AC power. (Never OC using battery power!)
Also I always use the F-10 feature to put the fan on high during all gaming. Guaranteed to improve stability and increase lifespan of the whole computer.Built-in microphone wasn't working
Then get new sound card drivers directly from Realtek, the latest AC'97 Drivers. My built-in microphone wasn't working out of the box, and it took this driver update to get it working. Now the mic works very well with little interference from the built-in stuff, (as well as "fixing a bunch of other bugs" that I never heard myself.)
After configuring the WiFi properly,the PC got bumped off the WiFi LAN upon reboot
, required going into the Windows setup every single time to connect manually:
Uninstall the WiFi manager program that came preloaded from Sager, it kept conflicting with the Windows WiFi utility. I could probably reinstall the utility now, so that it loads long after the Windows WiFi drivers, maybe it would work. Perhaps this software is the way top get the "Turbo-WiFi" going, I'm not sure. Heck, 56kbps (or whatever) is fast enbough for me without Turbo mode on. That's more than my broad-band throughput is anyway.Built-in Bluetooth couldn't connect to Logitech MX900 mouse without requiring a PIN
Uninstall the Billionton Bluetooth driver that came preloaded and install the new Microsoft ones. Now the Bluetooth can see and use my MX900 mouse just fine.Speakers built into the front of the case would not work
The two speakers next to the keyboard obviously worked, but the two in front didn't. I could even see that the speakers were installed through the front grilles, but I couldn't get them to turn on and work.
Apparantly, this was because I had selected either 4-channel or the 6-channel selection in the speaker utility setup in the tool tray. In either of these configurations, the built-in front speakers are apparantly disabled and when you do the "buzzing bee" surround sound test it is clear that you miss the rear channel sounds.
But if you select the 2-speaker setup, then all 4 built-in speakers start working in surround mode. Do the buzzing bee again and the newly turned on speakers in the front of the case act as the rear channel while the speakers on the top of the laptop act as the front channel. Then they really give good surround sound effects, but it must be on the 2-speaker setup. Go figure. I wonder if another newer or better speaker utility might make this work better.External rear speakers wouldn't work
Then to complicate things, if you then plug in external speakers in 4 channel mode, you must select the 6-channel mode (not the 4 channel because it doesn't seem to work) in the sound setup, and use the front audio jacks out to plug into the external amp. Funny thing though, the jack layouts on the front of the 8790 seem a bit backwards. Mine are (going from left to right); rear channel, center/sub channel and then front channel, with no color coding. But when I open the sound utility, the pictures of the jacks are aranged (from top to bottom) as follows; front channel, rear channel, and center/sub. So they don't match up with the jacks out, and it was very confusing at first, but once I figured out which one was which, it all made sense.
Finally, when it is all loaded just right with drivers but no applications, defrag the HDD, make a Windows restore point, and make a restore CD so if anything blows up later, you can get right back where you were with a minimum of effort and downtime.