Inspiron 9400 – Windows 7 and 8.1 32 Bit

This model and Operating System is not supported by Dell.

Legacy BIOS

See Updating the BIOS.

Recommended hardware Upgrades

SSD – Solid State Drives

It is recommended to upgrade it to 4 GB of RAM (3.25 GB usable). This is also unofficial, the official maximum is 2 GB.

Refer to the Service Manual when performing hardware upgrades.

Media Direct

This is a Media Direct system and the Media Direct partition should be setup before installing Windows 7 see Preparing your Hard Drive: Setting Up Media Direct.

Windows OS

Windows 7 and 8.1 are now obsolete if you have these Operating Systems you should use them to take the Free Upgrade to Windows 10.

If you don’t have a Windows 7/8.1 license you have until the 2nd of October 2015 to upgrade to Windows 10 for free using the Windows 10 Insider 10130 as a stepping stone. See Free Upgrade from Windows Vista to Windows 10 (also works with Windows XP).

OS Updates

System utilities



* See instructions on using the Microsoft Update Catalog and install drivers via the Device Manager.


Try in order latest first, if it doesn’t work try for an older version.



For Windows 8.1 the audio driver is inbuilt to the OS and the registry file or older SigMatel Driver should not be installed.

Install the registry file and then the audio driver. New untested.


Media Direct Updates

* Requires installation of the Media Direct program.

Dell Backup and Recovery

Only install if you have a larger than a 120 GB SSD/HDD

Note this system won’t be able to boot from a Rescue Disk (external hard drive) so make a Factory Backup (Bootable USB Flash Drive).

18 thoughts on “Inspiron 9400 – Windows 7 and 8.1 32 Bit

  1. Many thanks for your wise tips. Everything was fine until the video driver installation (ATI Radeon x1400). I am looking for the right driver or procedure to start working. In any case, many many thanks.

  2. Hello Mr Yip, I am very satisfied with the Windows 7 Family Edition 32 bit installation on my DELL Inspirion E1705, I also installed a 240 Gig SSD Hard drive. I have the 2 Gig RAM which came with the E1705 when I bought it new; i would like to upgrade to 4 Gigs of RAM. Is it necessary to make some chassis modifications and alter the heat pipe? The SSD disque I bought was made by CRUCIAL, Two 2Gig RAM Offtek cards (FT256MSQ64V6U) are less than 1/2 the price of two Crucial 2 gig RAM cards. (CT2KIT25664AC667) and the CRUCIAL product refers to a 64 bit configuration. I would just as soon order the cheaper cards from Offtek. Sincerely Stephen Bach. BTW I live in Bayonne, France Most all software and hardware which I buy here is in French or a combination of French and English

    1. The Offtek parts work fine, if it helps I actually have them in my system.😉
      As for heating, I’ve not noticed any significant difference in heat and made no modifications to the chassis.

      I would recommend however using one of these:

      I actually have this one but its similar:

      There are cheaper parts such as these which are best to avoid because usually the fans don’t align with the events and products like these when used on soft surfaces heat the system up because the fan jams and you heat the system up by covering the vents with a piece of plastic:

  3. Hello good sir, thank you for this FANTASTIC solution to all of my sound related issues. My old ass Dell laptop had some issues after installing windows 7, after applying the registry file and the newest sigmatel driver, the sound returned after a restart. Can’t wait to try the rest of your work. Thank you kindly for all your hard work.


    1. It’ll work with Windows 7 32 Bit provided you have 1 GB (preferably 2-4 GB of RAM installed).

      Windows 7 has reached end of mainstream support and is becoming hard to come by to purchase.

      Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 will automatically update to Windows 10 in Late Summer. So theres little advantage in purchasing Windows 7 over Windows 8.1 at present as Windows 8.1 is cheaper.

      You can alternatively install Windows 10 Technical Preview:

      Evaluate how well it runs and then take advantage of any promotional deals.

  5. Just got this to work and support XP on an inspiron 9400 and also on an e1705/ Windows 7

    Added Micro SD-XC support up to 64 gb card tested!

  6. hello.sir i have dell inspiron 9400 xp operting system and i would like to update window 7 or window 8.1 so which one is work with my coumputer.

    1. 64 Bit compatibility depends on the processor and RAM but as the system cannot address more than 3.25 GB of RAM there is little advantage of 64 Bit on this system.

      Windows XP is obsolete (end of life April 2014)
      Windows Vista is obsolete (no Digital Distribution, no IE10/11 or Office 2013 support)
      Windows 7 will be obsolete in Summer (free upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10). Also Windows 7 is in scares supply and has a high price.
      Windows 8.1 will be obsolete in Summer (free upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10). Its available but not worth buying for only a few months use.

      The best thing to do is to install Windows 10 Technical Preview 32 Bit:
      Hold out on the evaluation until Microsoft fully release Windows 10 at RTM. This will possibly lead to a free upgrade path at the best or a discounted promotion at the worst. Have at least 2 GB of RAM installed. The 120 GB or 250 GB Crucial BX100 SSD will also help this system out a lot.

  7. my coumputer : genuie intel(R) cpu
    T2250 @ 1.73 ghz
    1.73 ghz.3.24 gb of ram
    microsoft window xp professional
    version 2002
    serrvice pack 3

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