Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Installing Windows 7 on Dell Dimension 2400

Here are instructions on how to install a fresh copy of Windows 7 on a Dell Dimension 2400 desktop system.
The Dell Dimension 2400 is a low budget desktop which I believe was manufactured in 2004. I was given this system as a gift and was pleasantly surprised on how well it functions.
My problem is not with the computer itself  but with  the operating system it came with which was Windows XP. Now Windows XP is a wonderful system but prone to many viruses which force me to install and reinstall my system with a Windows XP Upgrade disk I purchased for 99 bucks a couple of years ago. The most annoying part of the reinstall is the need  to activate Windows by telephone because the product has been activated too many times. The last time I activated Windows XP by phone the lady was pretty rude to me so I will never activate Windows XP by phone again. I don't know why they put a limit on how many times you can activate Windows. It seems to me that if you paid for the product you should be able to install it as many time as you need especially considering how Windows XP is so susceptibe to crashes and viruses. Well anyway the instructions to install Windows 7 can be used to install it on any system you may have with a few modifications. To see of your system is compatible with Windows 7 you can run a compatibility test here.

Now back to installing Windows 7 on the Dell Dimension 2400. You must install the 32 bit version of Windows 7. The 64 bit version will not install on this system. Now we can do this honestly or dishonestly. You can purchase a 32 bit version of Windows 7 from places like Microsoft and Amazon or you can download a torrent for Windows 7 32 bit. If using a torrent you can remove Windows activation by using a program called removewatt. Okay so I cheated I used a torrent to install a fresh install of Windows 7 Home Premium. I used removewatt 2,2.6.0 to remove Windows activation. 
You must perform a new installation do not use the upgrade option. Use daemon tools to creat a virtual drive and mount the iso image that you downloaded . When you mount the downloaded file setup starts and you choose the option to do a new install. All of the drivers for the Dell Dimesnion 2400 are installed automatically except for two. The sound driver is quickly installed during one of the first automatic updates when you  use the system. The graphics driver created a huge problem. Windows 7 installs a generic graphics driver which forces you to  use a low resolution. After much searching I found a driver which works in Windows Xp compatibilty mode. You can download the graphic driver below:
Link was removed. Here is the new link:

Intel 82845G/GL/GE/PE/GV Graphics Controller

You must install this driver in window xp sp2 compatibility mode. Right click on the downloaded file and on the menu that pops up click properties. On the next menu click compatibilty. Select Windows XP service pack 2 and check run as administrator at the bottom of the list  Leave every else unchecked. Now run the install and everything should run fine.This is the only driver that will work for the graphics chipset. There is no Windows 7 graphics driver for  this system. You can download the audio driver here.  Everything else you should automatically be installed.
Below is a video explaining how to use compatibilty mode in Windows 7.