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Advent KC550 Laptop

Specification

CPUIntel Pentium Dual-Core T2330 (1.6GHz)
BIOSPhoenix BIOS. Press F2 to enter
ChipsetSiS M672MX
Memory2GB DDR2 667MHz SODIMM (1 Memory Slot. Max 2GB)
Hard Drive120GB
CD DriveOptiarc DVD RW AD-7530A ATA *
Screen13.3" Widescreen TFT
Video CardSIS Mirage3 integrated graphics
Sound CardRealtek High Definition Audio
ModemNot Installed **
Network CardRealtek RTL8201 LAN controller (onboard)
LiteOn WN6301L (RTL8187B) Wireless LAN
Ports1x Headphone
1x Microphone
4x USB 2.0
1x 4-in-1 Card Reader (supports SD, MMC, MS, MS-PRO cards)
1x Kensington Lock
1x VGA
1x LAN
BatteryU40-4S2200-G1L3 (14.4v 2200mAh)
Dimensions35 x 343 x 245 (HxWxD in mm)
Weight2.6kg
ColourBlue (KC550-B) or Pink (KC550-P)
Made ByUniwill U40SI2

* May have a TSSTcorp CD/DVDW TS-L632 drive fitted instead

** While the case does have a modem port, it should be blocked off as the laptop doesn't have a 56k modem built-in.


Drivers

The laptop should have been supplied with a "Notebook Utility CD" which contains a copy of the drivers and user manual. You can also download the drivers from the Advent Computers website.

The KC550 is a rebadged Uniwill U40SI2 (you should see this printed on the underside of the laptop). I'm fairly certain this is the same as the Gericom Phantom A4 Superlight 53120, the Gericom website contains drivers and a user manual.


Bottom of Laptop

KC500 underneath


Function Keys

Fn + F1 - Enters the Suspend Mode
Fn + F2 - Enters the Silent Mode
Fn + F3 - Mute/Unmute Audio
Fn + F4 - Changes Display Mode: LCD-only, CRT-only, and LCD&CRT
Fn + F5 - Increases the speaker volume
Fn + F6 - Decreases the speaker volume
Fn + F7 - Increases the brightness level
Fn + F8 - Decreases the brightness level
Fn + F9 - Enable/Disable the Touchpad
Fn + F10 - Enable/Disable the wireless application


In the Box

Disks Supplied

  • Microsoft Works 8.5
  • Notebook drivers CD

Items Supplied

  • Advent KC500 notebook
  • Li Shin power supply. Output: 20V - 3.25A
  • Mains power cable

Documentation Supplied

  • Windows Vista Home Premium Start here guide
  • Advent Windows Vista user guide
  • Advent recovery guide
  • Advent Safety Guide

Recovery Disc

Replacement recovery discs can be ordered from the Advent Recovery Media site.

Hard Drive Recovery

Should your Windows develop serious errors or fail to start, you can restore your computer back to factory settings by using the hard drive recovery located on a hidden partition on the hard drive.

To restore your computer back to factory settings, follow the steps below:

  1. Turn on the computer and keep tapping F8 until the advanced options menu is displayed
  2. Use the up/down arrow keys on the keyboard to highlight Repair Your Computer and press enter to select it
  3. Select the language you wish to install (normally English is the only option)
  4. Once you have chosen your language you will be presented with the available recovery options
    • Microsoft Repair Environment - after choosing the UK keyboard layout you will be asked to choose the Operating System you wish to repair. If Windows Vista is not listed then you cannot repair the OS without doing the full recovery. After choosing Vista the Microsoft Vista startup repair tool will run and attempt to repair any startup problems you are experiencing
    • Reinstall Windows - gives you the options available to reinstall Vista
    • Advanced Options - this launches the diagnostic centre allowing you to run chkdsk, launch notepad or bring up a command prompt
    • Exit & restart computer - Exits withut running the recovery process
  5. To continue with the recovery program you need to choose Reinstall Windows
  6. On the next screen you have the ability to launch Vista System Restore and roll back to a date when Vista was last working ok or to run the Full Destructive Recovery. To continue with the recovery program you need to choose Start Full Destructive Recovery
  7. After choosing the Full Destructive Recovery option you are presented with the warning screen that all data will be lost. It is important to make sure all data has been backed up to disk if possible and to realise this process deletes all data and reverts the machine back to it's default state. To continue with the recovery program you need to tick the box indicating you are aware of data loss
  8. The recovery process will then run through, the computer will restart a couple of times during this. You will also need to go through the Vista "Out of Box Experience", to configure Vista. This is fairly straightforward so just follow the onscreen instructions

Recovery DVD Creator

Your computer comes supplied with a hard drive based recovery allowing you to reinstall Windows Vista very easily should the need arise. You also have the ability to create a recovery DVD which is recommended on all machines. To create a recovery DVD (note - you cannot use CDs) do the following.

  1. Double click on the Techguys DVD icon on the desktop or from the start menu
  2. The first screen will prompt you to insert a DVD into your drive. Click OK.
  3. On the next screen make sure your DVD drive is selected in the 'To' field. To reduce the risk of errors ensure the write speed is set to the lowest value and tick verify recorded data. Click Burn
  4. Once the process has completed, label your DVD, keep it in a safe place and in a protective case to avoid damage

DVD Recovery

Should your Windows develop serious errors or fail to start, you can restore your computer back to factory settings by using the Recovery DVD you may have created or been sent.

To restore your computer back to factory settings, follow the steps below.

  1. Start the computer with the Recovery DVD in the optical disc drive
  2. After the usual startup screen has vanished press a key when prompted to load from the DVD
  3. Select the language you wish to install (normally English is the only option)
  4. Once you have chosen your language you will be presented with the available recovery options
    • Microsoft Repair Environment - after choosing the UK keyboard layout you will be asked to choose the Operating System you wish to repair. If Windows Vista is not listed then you cannot repair the OS without doing the full recovery. After choosing Vista the Microsoft Vista startup repair tool will run and attempt to repair any startup problems you are experiencing
    • Reinstall Windows - gives you the options available to reinstall Vista
    • Advanced Options - this launches the diagnostic centre allowing you to run chkdsk, launch notepad or bring up a command prompt
    • Exit & restart computer - Exits withut running the recovery process
  5. To continue with the recovery program you need to choose Reinstall Windows
  6. On the next screen you have the ability to launch Vista System Restore and roll back to a date when Vista was last working ok or to run the Full Destructive Recovery. To continue with the recovery program you need to choose Start Full Destructive Recovery
  7. After choosing the Full Destructive Recovery option you are presented with the warning screen that all data will be lost. It is important to make sure all data has been backed up to disk if possible and to realise this process deletes all data and reverts the machine back to it's default state. To continue with the recovery program you need to tick the box indicating you are aware of data loss
  8. The recovery process will then run through, reinstalling Vista and also recreating the hard drive recovery system for future use.
  9. When it has finished copying files it will ask you to remove the DVD and then restart the computer. It will then go through setting up Vista, you will need to go through the Vista "Out of Box Experience". This is fairly straightforward so just follow the onscreen instructions

Useful Links

Repairs and Spares

All official service and support is handled by Knowhow (basically "The Tech Guys" under a new name), their website is http://www.knowhow.com/. If you laptop is covered under warranty then you need to contact them for repairs.

There are also plenty of other companies that do repairs or supply spare parts, here is a selection -

TechnoMart - http://www.techno-mart.co.uk
Laptop Solutions UK - http://www.laptopsolutionsuk.co.uk
PartMaster (spare parts) - http://www.partmaster.co.uk