I have a Dimension 8400 Series with a Intel Pentium 4 Processor 540 (3.2GHz) and to 4gb of ram and I have a Full install disc for Vista Home. What I would like to know which run better on the 8400. I seen lots of post with install problems but I think they are from upgraded and not full installs. I am tring to use my old dell to store and play media files and I getting ready to install a 2tb Hard drive. I searched thru the forum for people feeling on which OS run better on the 8400. But really could not find a good answer. So if I could get the forum thoughts it would be a great help. Stay with XP or do a full install of Vista?
Dell DOES NOT support Vista (no drivers) on this model, only XP. Thus, unless you "must have Vista" it will be best to stay with XP. If you installed Vista it may work OK but there is a very good possibility, especially with the sound, that you will not find non-Dell drivers that will work or work correctly.
Since you want to play media files, and with the probability that you won't find fully useable sound drivers (and you need Vista drivers as the XP sound drivers are not compatible), unless you install a new PCI sound card that is Vista compatible, another reason to stay with XP.
In reference to installing a separate sound card - there is another issue; the Dell front panel connections are proprietary and undocumented thus if you use ANY add on sound card you will lose the front panel headphone and mic capability.
If you want to try Vista and see if you can find workable device drivers for all the hardware, since you are going to install a larger hard drive install Vista on the new hard drive, but keep XP on the original drive. Then work on getting the needed device drivers and if you can't successfully find everything, you still have the hard drive with XP and/or you can reformat the new hard drive and install XP on it. If you install Vista, keep in mind the required install sequence (1) Install Windows (2) Install Intel motherboard chipset drivers (3) Install device drivers including video, sound, ethernet, etc.
Dell forum member since 2002
Dell Inspiron 15 - 5577 Laptop
Home Built Desktop PC with ASUS ROG Z170, i7 6700K CPU
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Dell S2719dgf Monitor
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I suggest you to stay on XP because its safer for your case but if you are really interested in having Vista, i suggest you to upgrade it from your current windows XP. In this case most of your installed programs will be worked on your new vista too and also the best option you will get by doing it, is having an option for uninstalling vista and returning easily to your XP. I think its the best choice for you.