Inspiron 9400 – Windows 7 and 8.1 64 Bit

This model and Operating System is not supported by Dell.

Legacy BIOS

See Updating the BIOS.

Recommended hardware Upgrades

This system will only run Windows 7 64 Bit if a 64 Bit processor is installed such as the Intel T7200, T7400 or T7600. Note the maximum RAM this system can address is 3.25 GB (limited by the chipset).

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 

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.


* Full Quickset functionality in Windows 7 except for Media Direct button within Windows.

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).


11 thoughts on “Inspiron 9400 – Windows 7 and 8.1 64 Bit

  1. Hi.
    I have an Dell Inspiron 9400 Intel Core 2CPU T7200 @ 2GHz 998MHz, 2 GB of RAM. NVIDIA GeForce Go 7900 GS and are running XP. I’m considering replacing the HDD with a 240 GB SSD and upgrade to 4 GB RAM and Windows7/8.

    1. I assume I have to replace the HDD with the SDD (1:1 ? or an adapter ?), so I’m not able to run them both on my system… , How to setup the new SSD , so it will work after the swap ?
    2. Also where to start on my computer… upgrading a) the new hardware or b) the software first (Media Direct, BIOS, OS Updates, System utilities , Chipset, Video, Input, Wireless, Audio, Application, Media Direct Updates) ?
    3. Should I go for a 32 or 64 bit Windows 7/8 ?

    1. Update the BIOS. Then replace the HDD with the 2.5″ SSD (the system only fits one drive) and upgrade the RAM to 4 GB. The Service Manual will instruct you through the replacement. Once the SSD is installed then install Media Direct and Windows 7 or 8.1 64 Bit (Windows will install on the SSD hence the SSD needs to be installed first).

  2. Chipset Intel MP945
    Motherboard 0YD479 oem
    CPU Duo Core T2400 1,83Ghz oem
    GPU Radeon X1400 oem
    Bios version A10
    Power supply unit 90 Watts oem

    Hello, i want to know if i can upgrade to the T7600 2,33Ghz without any problem? will my motherboard, BIOS and chipset accept this new CPU becouse i read on a forum (cant find the link anymore) someone had troubles with the T7400 2.16 Ghz getting errors after upgrade.
    And do i need a bigger PSU if i do this upgrade?


    1. It should work fine with the T7200, T7400 and T7600. A10 is the latest BIOS. Theres no need to change the power supply.

      The T7600 is kinda expensive so I only done a T7200 on an Inspiron 6400/Latitude D820. Heres one with a T7400 without issues:

      This user reports issue but they don’t make sense because its a software issue with XP:

      Heres one listed and sold as a compatible upgrade:

      1. Thnx for the quick reply,

        okay i found the link were someone had the “Microcode failed to update” error (bios error?)
        he/she switched back to his old CPU.

        i was a bit worry, I was not sure if my motherboard would accept the most powerful CPU and if I had to have a bigger psu..Dell made this laptop with allot of options and different hardware.. so i wasnt 100% sure.


      2. It should work, I’m not sure why they had the issue but they haven’t stated their BIOS revision, likely if they updated to A10 it would have worked fine.

  3. Okay i have the T7600 installed and the laptop is running like a dream!!
    Better than new 2014 `budget´ laptops hahaha,
    i only wish it was a tiny bit stronger for FullHD playback (1080p on youtube stutters a bit) but other than that is a great upgrade.. super fast!

    I could upgrade to a stronger GPU but only if i can play Youtube in 1080p without framestutter..


    do you know if i can watch Youtube in fullHD with a stronger GPU.. now i have the radeon X1400

    1. You have the strongest GPU for this system and in general laptop graphics should be considered non-upgradable. How much RAM do you have installed and do you have a SSD installed? The SSD may help with the stuttering but more than likely the bottleneck is the graphics.

      1. i thought it was the weakest, there are far more better ones like the X1600,
        GeForce Go 7800 etc..

  4. yeah i know i read all the information i could find on the net..
    look at the date those conversations.. 2006.. Dell released a new Bios update somewere in 2007/8 with the release of new laptops with the same board (forgot the model) and people can now upgrade the GPU in the 9400 like the x1600 and GS Go etc

    The 9400 was also deliverd with newer GPU’s according to wikipedia

    Anyway let say its possible to upgrade to the GPU to a Geforce8700 or something else (far superior to the X1400).. wil this resolve the frame stutter ?

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