Latitude D820 – Windows 7 and 8.1 32 Bit

This model and Operating System is not supported by Dell.

Legacy 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.

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




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.



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).

11 thoughts on “Latitude D820 – Windows 7 and 8.1 32 Bit

  1. Although Dell doesn’t support Windows 7 for the Latitude D820, Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor gives a passing grade. Mine has 4GB of memory and the current Vista Business sees only 3GB, so I’m looking forward to the upgrade. I’m hoping to see performance improvement, with less paging to disk. I’m also planning to replace the hard drive with an SSD.

    Do you foresee any technical problems with these upgrades Vista Business -> Win 7 and HD to larger SSD?

    Thanks for this great site.

    1. Since I have a Dell Latitude D820 on Windows 7 32/64 Bit with a Crucial M500 SSD and 4 GB of RAM (3.24 GB usable), I can say for sure it definitely works. I have been testing it with Dell Backup and Recovery see here:

      The 64 Bit version will only work with the T7200, T7400 or T7600 processor and I upgraded my processor to a T7200 before I had a T2400.

      The 64 Bit version cannot access any more RAM than the 32 Bit version however due to the limitations of the chipset.

      I am just answering your post on the Microsoft OS Forum:

  2. Thank you for providing the encouraging news.

    I’m in the process of backing up data files with a Seagate Backup Plus Drive. It’s plugged into a USB port on the D820 and it’s very slow but much faster than Explorer drag and drop. What did you use to get your data off the D820 – via network?

    The info you post is very helpful for busy technocrats like me who don’t have time to keep up with latest. I believe I used your guide a couple of years ago to install a replacement drive for my XPS7100. That was hugely helpful.

    I have an OCZ Vector 150, 240GB which came bundled with Acronis TI HD 2013 that will be installed after Win 7. Another learning experience that i’m “kind of” looking forward to some weekend.

    1. I just used Windows Explorer drag and drop and left it for a while. Teracopy works better though for large transfers:

      Sometimes I used Linux Fedora but only usually when Windows doesn’t boot:

      If you are installing Windows 7 on the SSD on the Latitude D820. I would advise installing the drive and then installing Windows 7 opposed to clean installing it on the old drive and cloning it with Acronis to the SSD.

  3. Thanks for the follow-up. A couple of more questions on your D820 upgrades, if I may:

    I notice you have only 3.24 GB of usable memory. What happened to the rest of the 4 GB?

    Would I expect a noticeable speed advantage of Win 7 64 bit vs 32 bit?

    Did you have to do anything special with your SSD before installing it or was it ready to go out of the box? I understand that the SSD needs to be formatted and needs proper partition alignment for optimal performance and that Win 7 does this – at the beginning of the install?

    Is that the reason you advise direct installing Win 7 on the SSD instead of going the clone/restore route, because Acronis might not reformat and align the partitions as well as the Win 7 installer on a brand new SSD?

    FWIW, my new OCZ needs a semi-critical firmware update and OCZ recommends it be physically installed as a 2nd drive inside a Win 7 computer. While it’s there, it could also be formatted.

    I notice that the D820/Vista has a 2nd D partition, named Recovery, on the HD, while my XPS/Win 7 doesn’t. Would the Win 7 box not benefit from a Recovery area?

    Does the D820 need a spacer for proper physical alignment of the connector to slim SSDs?

    Feel free not to answer these questions or to point me to locations where they are. I haven’t had a chance to browse all of your knowledge base here and I know there are some D820 specific items here.

    1. It is a hardware limitation with the Intel 945 chipset. 3.24 GB is the maximum the hardware can address. As the maximum memory a 32 Bit OS can address is about the same there is little advantage to going for the 64 Bit version on this particular system.

      Regarding a spacer it depends on the type of drive you have but most SSDs that are currently on the market are thinner. For a Crucial M500 for example these are thinner then the mechanical drive and hence need the spacer. See here, the pictures are from the drive in the D820:
      The spacer is needed in order for the connectors to align. Installation without the spacer means the connectors miss and the system hence cannot detect a SSD.

      Regarding the recovery partition. Dell DataSafe superseded by Dell Backup and Recovery never used to work on a Clean Installation.Dell Backup and Recovery does now and I have been testing it these week:
      You can use the software to make a recovery partition but I advise doing so on a clean installation with just Windows and Office, Drivers and Windows Updates. The more files you have on your drive, the larger the recovery partition and the larger a bootable USB you will need.

      1. I also have problem with video driver. I have installed Win7 64bit on new SSD 250GB. Updated BIOS to A10 and everything looks OK. But video is only generic up to 1280×1024.
        My screen is 1680X1050 with nVidia quatro NVS 110M. The driver (179.48) from nVidia does not install. Any other options please?

    1. Hi,
      yesterday I switch my DELL Latitude D820 successfully to Windows 10 Pro x86. Excepting the videocard-driver all the rest looks good. For the videodriver (Quadro NVS 110M) use the following link:

      – Unzip this and open the screen-options and then actualize over the properties-button the driver.
      – Explore to the unzipped-folder and click OK.
      – After this you have normal screen-resolution.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

  • normal
  • normal
  • normal
  • normal Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s