So then I'm playing with the laptop and realized, damn, this is hot! Damn hot! Did some searches and found that since the fan intake is on the bottom of the laptop, and since folks tend to put a laptop on their lap (novel idea!) that the fan sucks in lint and what not from your clothes. So found some directions and disassembled the whole thing. I found that the fan had packed in some lint, hair, etc on the exhaust side of the fan. It was so thick it reminds me of dryer lint. Ya know how dense that is, right? Exactly. So I cleaned that out and now it's cool as a cucumber. I also upgraded the BIOS to current and flipped a switch in the BIOS to run the fan as needed rather than all the time. I deduced that the fan running all the time and the excessive heat probably killed the battery prematurely.
Anyway, when I got the disk from HP. I reloaded the software. Now I'm an Ubuntu fan, but I know full well that when you need to run some Windows program it's much better to have Windows installed than use Wine or equivalent. Unfortunately, HP does not have it in mind to make those Recovery Disks user configurable. So the disk I get re-imaged the hard drive back to factory. Then of course I get all of the junk programs with trials and useless software. In the end, deleted the junk software, and installed Ubuntu 11.10 alongside Windows.
Works like a charm, my computer does. And it was a lot of fun to work with.