svefn
1 Copper

Clean install of Windows 8.1 on Vostro 1400

Hi,

I have a Vostro 1400 with XP currently and wish to install Windows 8.1 preferably 64 bit over my C: partition 30GB.

I dont have an optical drive so I can only install via USB boot.


The Vostro also has a Media Direct partition. Is it possible to install 8.1 without messing with Media Direct?

When I reinstalled XP previously, I had boot sequence problems and had to use BartPE to edit boot.ini so I want to know if it's the same with 8.1?


According to this guide,

If after the start you get an error message saying “Partition Table not Found” this is because your boot sequence is incorrect.

You need to amend the settings in the BIOS setup so the system boots to UEFI on.

But the Vostro 1400 is pre-2012 and might not have a UEFI compliant BIOS, so I should disable SecureBoot and enable legacy boot options. So would this work without UEFI on? The latest BIOS update from dell is 2008.

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3 Replies
Philip_Yip
5 Iridium

RE: Clean install of Windows 8.1 on Vostro 1400

First have you upgrade the Legacy BIOS to A09?

http://ftp1.dell.com/bios/1400_A09.EXE

http://dellwindowsreinstallationguide.com/updating-the-bios/

Second your C: partition is only 30 GB?

Thirdly More details about your hardware. How large is your hard drive? How much RAM do you have installed? What are the hardware IDs of the display adapter and network controllers?

http://dellwindowsreinstallationguide.com/checking-hardware-ids-in-the-device-manager/

Windows 8.1 should be thought of obsolete and the focus should be on the installation of Windows 10 on this model. I just installed Windows 10 64 Bit on a Latitude D630 which has similar hardware. I advise using the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 10130 as a stepping stone to get Windows 10 Pro for free:

http://dellwindowsreinstallationguide.com/windows-xpvista-%e2%86%92-windows-10-free-upgrade/

Note due to the fact that Windows 10 10130 → Windows 10240 changes the partitions its not advisable to try and keep Media Direct. That program adds unnecessary additional partition and the MBR partition scheme for the legacy BIOS can only have 4 partitions per drive. There will likely be future issues with Windows 10 and Media Direct.

If you want however you can try the upgrade to Windows 10 Pro and then the use of the Media Direct DVD to setup partitions. You can then Clean Reinstall Windows 10 Pro and then install the Media Direct program. This will likely work fine but its possible the next major update/build will change the partitions and break Media Direct.

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

Windows FAQs and OEM Downloads


#IDoNotWorkFor Dell
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Highlighted
svefn
1 Copper

RE: Clean install of Windows 8.1 on Vostro 1400

Thanks for reply, I have replies in  bold:

First have you upgrade the Legacy BIOS to A09?

yes it's currently at A09, no new version since 2008..

Second your C: partition is only 30 GB?

Yea I made my OS partition small so I can just wipe it everytime I need a fresh install without losing data.

Thirdly More details about your hardware. How large is your hard drive? How much RAM do you have installed? What are the hardware IDs of the display adapter and network controllers?

Vostro 1400 (2008)
Core 2 Duo 1.6 T5470
Intel GM965
2.5 DDR2 RAM PC 5300 Kingston
120GB Seagate 5400RPM 8MB SATA 2.5" - ST9120822AS

Display Hardware Id:
PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_2A02&SUBSYS_02271028&REV_0C

Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Id:
PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_4222&SUBSYS_10208086&REV_02

Broadcom Netlink Ethernet:
PCI\VEN_14E4&DEV_1713&SUBSYS_02271028&REV_02

Note due to the fact that Windows 10 10130 → Windows 10240 changes the partitions its not advisable to try and keep Media Direct. That program adds unnecessary additional partition and the MBR partition scheme for the legacy BIOS can only have 4 partitions per drive. There will likely be future issues with Windows 10 and Media Direct.

If you want however you can try the upgrade to Windows 10 Pro and then the use of the Media Direct DVD to setup partitions. You can then Clean Reinstall Windows 10 Pro and then install the Media Direct program. This will likely work fine but its possible the next major update/build will change the partitions and break Media Direct.

Windows 8.1 32bit is fine for my needs (not intending to update to 10), 64bit would be nice so I can run Lightroom5 with some more RAM. I have a USB boot of Win 8.1 ready but just want know to if it's worth the hassle because of the boot sequence problems I encountered with using USB to install (no optical drive), had to manually reorder the boot.ini or it wont load XP.

Currently the disk has these:
47MB Fat
C: 30GB NTFS
D: 80GB NTFS
2GB Media Direct Fat32

I dont use MediaDirect at all and would rather see it go but not sure if I can just wipe its partition?

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Philip_Yip
5 Iridium

RE: Clean install of Windows 8.1 on Vostro 1400

Its okay you can wipe the partitions on the drive. Just ensure that you never power up your system using the Media Direct Button.

Note you will have to pay full retail price for Windows 8.1 whereas you can use the Windows 10 Insider 10130 to get Windows 10 Pro for free.

Both OS are similar Windows 10 is essentially a fixed version of Windows 8.1. Eventually all Windows 8.1 systems will probably begin autoupdating to Windows 10 so I would recommend skipping Windows 8.1.

The system has the Intel Wireless Card and Intel video so should work fine on Windows 10.

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

Windows FAQs and OEM Downloads


#IDoNotWorkFor Dell
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