I tried switching from MCE to XP Pro and could only get it to work in ATA mode but you lose the SATA 2 and NCQ that way.
So far Dell tech support says the XPS 400 was made to really only use MCE in AHCI mode. Looks like when it`s time to try Vista we will have problems as well. If anyone can figure a way around this would be nice to know.
Mjolly, it's easy enough to install XP Pro in AHCI mode. Get the intel floppy disk creator off their website and use it to make an F6 floppy. Set your bios to AHCI. When you start the XP installation and see the option at the bottom to press F6, do so and insert your floppy. Choose the appropriate AHCI driver and you should be go to go.
Install the Intel Matrix software once XP setup is complete.
Thank You very much. I have XP Pro SP1, not SP2 and it doesn't recognize the keyboard when I boot from the CD unless it is in SATA mode. I will try with SP2 and see if that works.
Also, no floppy drive. Can I put the driver on a CD and do it that way?
mjolly, check your USB options in bios. think the setting should be set to 'on' for legacy support to be enabled. it seems like XP should handle USB keyboards anyway, but that should definitely do it.
the F6 floppy option is significantly the easiest way to do things. the other option is to do what dell (and others) do to their OS CDs and that is to slipstream the necessary drivers onto the XP CD. you'll need to search or google for how to do this -- I can't really advise. While you're taking to the time to do it though, you can also slipstream SP2 onto the XP CD so that you don't have to install it later.
about all I can offer is a link to the intel floppy utility (will be able to find it with some searching).
it will work though -- it did on my 9150 which is the exact same machine as your XPS400
Thank You very much. I think I am just gonna get a floppy drive and do as you specify. I just need to make sure that I can get the computer to recognize the USB keyboard(wonder if it is the XP CD that needs to have the driver and not the BIOS configuration), but will try it. I greatly appreciate your help.
again, it's likely a bios issue with the keyboard --though you're welcome to try a different keyboard if you have one.
i've found that a real floppy drive works better than a USB floppy (have had mixed results with those). i usually just pull one from an old computer when I need one.
Just back to big picture are you happy with the machine for word processing, document creation, a little programming etc, no gaming. Read the CNET reviews and mixed. My last dell lasted 5 years as dual boot linux/Win XP but it sounds like Dell is getting some funny reviews.
Are you happy with the machine once you cleaned things up?