Danny Dell
1 Copper

Installing WINOWS 8 / 64 bit on XPS 420 with 4GB RAM & using WINDOWS VISTA ULTIMATE presently?

Anyone know if I can install WIN 8 / 64 bit OS to a 2008 Dell XPS 420, Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q6700 @ 2.66GHz, with 4GB RAM,[Amin Note: Service Tag Edited per TOU policy], with an OS of WIN VISTA ULTIMATE without too many complications.  The only reason I'd like to go to a 64bit OS is so my machine will use the full 4GB RAM instead of only 3GB with 32 Bit.  Will the change to 64 bit be worth the extra price and the extra time involved? PS - I do not play any computer games, but I work with several  photos and videos. And I have ran Windows 8 Up-grade Assistant, and I learned at the MS WIN 8 Site that the WIN 8 Full Version of 64 bit is not supported by MS and they do not warranty this version. Any help on this will be greatly appreciated.  Thank you for you time.

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3 Replies
3 Zinc

RE: Installing WINOWS 8 / 64 bit on XPS 420 with 4GB RAM & using WINDOWS VISTA ULTIMATE presently?

If you want to install Win 8 on your XPS 420 then all would be rather simple if Dell released and supported the needed Win8 drivers for your system. As Dell don't even release Win7 drivers for the XPS 420 the lack of Win8 OS drivers will be the issue you need to resolve.

If you don't have the time or skill to find a similar compatible system knowing your chipset and hardware components, that supports the desired OS so you can try these OS drivers on your older machine, it may be simpler to avoid Win8 all together. In any case buying a newer computer may be a much simpler and cheaper proposition (with much less headaches for you).

Now in my case i got my old GX520 to work with Win8 but it took forever to locate the drivers that worked. The first part of my upgrade was to install Win 8 preview on the GX520 and using device manager see what components didn't load drivers! All went reasonably well except for video, networking and sound These problems were eventually resolved though i have not installed the release version of Win8 which may yet throw some spanner in the works. I can't remember the details but sound was by far the biggest headache and took the longest time to resolve. Since playing with Win8 preview, i've developed a large dislike of the metro UI and as such dumped this latest MS OS from my GX520 though i may revisit this when Win8.1 is released...

If you simply want better performance out of your current system, maybe you can consider a simpler solution like an SSD which should speed up OS startup and make the system seem much snappier (thou the lack of some driver features in older os's may not be optimum for SSD's). Or better still you could consider a linux install and use the plethora of linux applications for video and photo editing but this entails a larger learning curve (though not as difficult as years gone by).

As for cost and worth of going 64bit, it depends on what applications you use as to what benefit you'll get. Generally a 64bit system brings little to the table for general PC users, especially if you primarily use the system to surf the web... As for the worth of trying to make an old PC work with the latest MS OS, it all depends on how you value your time (as some hours of overtime may be easier than the effort of getting the old clunker to work with Win8 and even allow you to buy a new PC)...

For me, i simply found it a challenge to get Win8 on my GX520 but the PC i normally use is a more modern HP Z210..

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7 Plutonium

RE: Installing WINOWS 8 / 64 bit on XPS 420 with 4GB RAM & using WINDOWS VISTA ULTIMATE presently?

2 GIG DDR2 dimms are getting very hard to find now.

Memory Type: DDR2 PC2-5300, DDR2 PC2-6400, DDR2 (non-ECC)
Maximum Memory: 8GB
Slots: 4

The 64 bit change is not worth the effort for 4 gigs total ram.

You cannot cross update a 32 bit version of windows to 64 bit. 

A windows 8 Upgrade would require a 64 bit OS to upgrade from.

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6 Indium

RE: Installing WINOWS 8 / 64 bit on XPS 420 with 4GB RAM & using WINDOWS VISTA ULTIMATE presently?

As mentioned try out the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and evaluate how it runs on your system before committing to purchase.

See Windows Reinstallation Guide/A Clean install of Windows 8 for more details:


Regarding system drivers likely Windows 8 will have almost all the drivers inbuilt. You may want to run Intel update Utility, AMD AutoDetect and nVidea Autodetect to check that you have the latest chipset drivers and video drivers. Step 12 of the guide will instruct you to look at the hardware IDs of any unknown device which we can likely help with.

Dr Philip Yip
Tech Enthusiast and Author of the Unofficial Dell Windows Reinstallation Guide

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