Inspiron 9400 – Windows 7 and 10

System Upgrades

Service Manual

Ensure you reference your service manual before carrying out upgrades:

The most recommended upgrade for this system is a Solid State Drive, here is my affiliate link to Crucial here. If purchasing a SSD or Memory Upgrade please use these links as I will get a tiny bit of commission which will help fund my guides.

SSD Drive Upgrade

Memory Upgrade:

This system supports 2 GB of RAM (2×1 GB Modules) unofficially 4 GB of RAM (2×2 GB) modules work in this system but the system maxes out at 3.25 GB of RAM. This can also be purchased using the affiliate link above.

Media Direct

Media Direct should be installed before the Operating System in order for the Media Direct Button to function correctly.

Operating System

Not all of these systems are 64 Bit capable. A 64 Bit Processor such as an Intel T7200, T7400 or T7600 is required for 64 Bit Windows 7. Note the system maxes out at 3.25 GB of RAM so there is in any case little advantage of installing 64 Bit Windows 0n this model. This configuration works with 64 Bit Windows 10 but it is on the edge of the system requirements, should Microsoft slightly up the system requirements for 64 Bit Windows 10 later down the line, this system will likely fail to meet the minimum system requirements and therefore 32 Bit Windows 10 is recommended on this model.

It is recommended to install Windows 10 on this system see Windows OEM FAQs and Downloads. The Windows Vista OEM or Windows XP Product Key won’t be compatible with Windows 10 Installation Media however you can run Windows 10 Unlicensed. Windows 10 will have most of the system drivers required inbuilt however you can install the Windows 7 Drivers if you have any unknown Devices in the Device Manager.

Drivers and Downloads for Windows 7

Legacy BIOS

System Utilities (Windows 7 Only)

Chipset (Windows 7)

Card Reader

Video (Windows 7 Only)

There are three video variants on this system:

Input

Dell Wireless Cards

Audio (Windows 7 Only)

Install the Registry Edit and then the Audio Driver.

Registry Edit

HTML

Open up Notepad or Notepad++, copy and paste the above and save the file (as all types) ending with the extension .reg. Once done right click the reg file and run.

Add the entries to your registry before installing the Audio Driver.

Application

MediaDirect Updates

Requires installation of the Media Direct Program

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11 thoughts on “Inspiron 9400 – Windows 7 and 10

  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?

    Thnx

    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:
      http://forum.notebookreview.com/hardware-components-aftermarket-upgrades/296731-dell-e1705-processor-upgrading.html

      This user reports issue but they don’t make sense because its a software issue with XP:
      http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/answers/id-1966335/upraded-cpu-dell-1705-inspiron-9400.html

      Heres one listed and sold as a compatible upgrade:
      http://www.parts-people.com/index.php?action=item&id=5313

      1. Thnx for the quick reply,

        okay i found the link were someone had the “Microcode failed to update” error (bios error?)
        http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/laptop/f/3518/t/19279357.aspx
        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.

        Thnx!

      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..

    @philipyip

    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 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dell_Inspiron#Inspiron_9400.2FE1705

    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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