1 Nickel

XPS 400 Hard Drive Upgrade

Hey all,

The 80g Hard Drive in my XPS400 just isn't cutting it anymore.  I would like to pick up a 500g (or larger if possible) drive and totally get rid of my old one.  My question is, can I just toss the new drive in the first SATA port and reinstall Windows XP MCE off the "Reinstallation DVD" I recently requested/recieved from Dell?  If not, how do I go about adding the new drive and using it as the main drive?

Its been years since I've built my own computer and my 400 still runs great and I'd rather not ruin that, so any tips you guys can give would be appreciated.



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2 Iron

Re: XPS 400 Hard Drive Upgrade


Correct. Here <ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed from this post by Dell> are the instructions to open the case and remove/install the hard disk drive. Here are the XP drivers. Go here for help installing XP.

3 Cadmium

Re: XPS 400 Hard Drive Upgrade

Hello jromine, Please follow Chris' link and information.

I would add one other bit of information, if it is not already covered.

I would remove the original hard drive and install the new one in it's place.

Reboot the system with the OS CD\DVD in the optical drive, and install the OS to the new drive.

Update all the drivers, in the appropriate sequence, install all your programs, especially your anti-virus program.

Then go to Windows Update and update all the files for your system.

Then I would install the original hard drive in the second hard drive cage next to your primary drive.

You may need to acquire another SATA cable to connect it to an existing port.

Boot the system and in the drives section, make sure the port that the original drive is connected to, is enabled.

Save the changes and reboot. The system should then boot normally, and the second drive be recognized.

You can then delete the Windows folder on the second drive, copy any files to the primary drive, and use the second drive as a backup drive.

Hope this helps.

1 Nickel

Re: XPS 400 Hard Drive Upgrade

750g drive is on the way, thanks for the help guys.

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1 Copper

Re: XPS 400 Hard Drive Upgrade

I just upgraded my drive, also, and I ran into a couple of issues - so maybe I can save you some time.

My XPS has two hard drives (250GB x 2) which are configured as RAID.  They were formatted to be a system drive C: of 450GB and a recovery drive D: of 50GB (approx).  First I tried to replace one of the drives by just changing the cables over to the new drive -- bad idea.  These two drives (if you have RAID) need to stay 'coupled'.  There are four (4) SATA ports on my mother board.  The top are 'primary' and the bottom are 'secondary'.  I also discovered that the bottom ports were NOT enabled in the BIOS.

Access the BIOS and enable the lower ports.  Then change your BOOT ORDER to use the new drive first, and you can leave the old drive in there with all your data.  The old drives will now be D: and E: or similar.

So, here's the short version:  Do you have two drives RAID?  Don't change the drive config.  Go to the BIOS and Enable the secondary/lower SATA ports and then use the BIOS to change your Boot order.

Hope this helps.


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