In this letter, a joint detector for cooperative communication networks is proposed when the destination has limited hardware processing capability. The transmitter sends its symbols with the help of L relays. As the destination has limited hardware, only U out of L signals are processed and the energy of the remaining relays is lost. To solve this problem, a joint preprocessing based detector is proposed. This joint preprocessor based detector operate on the principles of minimizing the symbol error rate (SER). For a realistic assessment, pilot symbol aided channel estimation is incorporated for this proposed detector. From our simulations, it can be observed that our proposed detector achieves the same SER performance as that of the maximum likelihood (ML) detector with all participating relays. Additionally, our detector outperforms selection combining (SC), channel shortening (CS) scheme and reduced-rank techniques when using the same U. Our proposed scheme has low computational complexity.