Inspiron 6400 – 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.

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).


9 thoughts on “Inspiron 6400 – Windows 7 and 8.1 32 Bit

  1. Hello,

    I am trying to install the video driver for the ATI X1300 on Windows 8.1, however when I try to browse for the cab file, Windows is telling me that the default driver is the best driver. How do i force an update?

    1. Try the AMD legacy driver using the options above. Unfortunately if I like to the legacy driver it will redirect you to the AMD home page. They don’t have the X1300 listed but it should be the same driver as the X1150…

  2. Installed Windows 10 Preview 64bit mode on 2GB system. Everything worked, runs well considering it’s on my old 5400rpm drive, not the SSD

    1. I installed it in a Latitude D820 which is the business version of the Inspiron 9400 and has much the same drivers. It also works well. I’ve not tried it on the Inspiron 6400 yet but I expect the same results.

      With Windows 8.1 on the Inspiron 6400 I experienced consistently 100 % disk usage with a mechanical drive. I think it was a Windows 8.1 problem however which should be resolved in Windows 10.

      For the Latitude D820 I needed only the Video Driver. I got this by going to the device manager and telling it to get the driver from Windows Update. I updated the touchpad driver via the device manager using the Dell driver and I installed Dell Quickset.

    1. It depends on the processor installed. There are a few processors which support the 64 Bit OS but even then the RAM is still limited to 3.25 GB making little point in a 64 Bit install.

  3. Upgrade to Windows 10 from XP on this Dell Inspiron E1505 laptop went great following your directions! Afterwards, installing the Vista drivers for the display (Dell calls them video) and Synaptics touchpad enhanced the system even more. Display looks gorgeous and system runs fast. Thanks for all your helpful resources!

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