Inspiron 1501 – 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. This is also unofficial, the official maximum is 2 GB.

Refer to the Owner’s 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

System Utilities



Make the following selection.

amd selection32


If that doesn’t work use the following:

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.


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).


7 thoughts on “Inspiron 1501 – Windows 7 and 8.1 32 Bit

  1. Most of these worked well for me. I had to play with compatibility to get the BIOS update to work. The link for the video driver is bad. I was able to choose manually from that link though. Everything else worked great. My WEI is 3.1 with 4gb memory. I recommend for anyone else trying to put Win7 on an Inspiron 1501

    1. Yeah unfortunately AMD made some edits to the driver download and so the legacy driver is no longer present as a direct link.
      Probably driver installation via the device manager is the best although I was going to link to DriverHeaven Mobility Modder:

      There is also the following driver version 8.561.0.0 on the Microsoft Update Catalog for pci\ven_1002&dev_5975&subsys_0507107b

      Regarding the BIOS update, I think it just needs to be saved to the desktop and run as an administrator.

  2. I was having an issue with Quickset where it would not show the volume bar moving up or down.
    When I adjusted the volume, the Quickset volume meter would show and the volume would increase/decrease, but the green meter would not show any incremental changes or even what the level was, only a solid full green bar.

    Got it sorted by finding the quickset.exe file, after installation, and changing the compatibility to Win XP SP3 and running as admin.
    Now it works as it should and using Dell Quickset v8.3.17 (A51)! Yay!

    (even went into the registry and adjusted the x/y coordinates so the brightness/volume meters and the Wireless on/off indicator are nicely centered on my screen now)

    Thanks for the great information you’ve made available. It was a big help.

  3. I need drivers for my Dell Inspirion 1501
    Drivers for Pioner DVD RW DVR-K 17 RS ATA for windows 7.
    I can not to find it for a long time.

    1. Drivers for optical drives are inbuilt into Windows. Dell only offered firmware updates for optical drives. In my experience applying these on this vintage of model can be problematic and lead to a non-functional drive so I don’t list them.

  4. Dusted off ye ol’ reliable first laptop 1501, she says hello, after my backup l’top HP met it’s maker. I found a BIOS patched to include product key for win 7 dell oem disk, worked like a charm. Thank you to the genius that went to all that work so I did not need to. Slapped 2X2GB RAM from the HP in here, the system seems to acknowledge only 3GB? I tried inserting the HP’s processor (it only fit if I rotated 90 degrees), but it did not work. I am not surprised, nor disappointed, as it was a long shot with the possibility of only marginal improvement. My first hurdle was a freaky keyboard, but win update (eventually) took care of that. Most drivers from the dell site labeled as win vista work fine. Synaptics touchpad was behaving poorly, but now seems fine. I am not sure if that was a hardware glitch or other: un/replugging it from/to the motherboard *seems* to have fixed it. I have let windows take care of drivers that don’t seem to need my immediate attention. Battery charging issues are the current tragedy d’jour. Anyone else experience trouble, here? Not sure quickset is necessary, or even advisable. I am going to try the dell “system software”, next….

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