Saturday, June 28, 2008

Vista 64 bit (x64) on the Dell Inspiron 530

So, I had to replace my regular system due to a power supply failure. In many cases, you would simply pitch the PSU in favor of a new, and preferably working one. Since the PSU in question was in a system consisting of an Intel 2.4GHz Northwood, this was a bigger problem. The CPU is so old (got it in 2003, I think, and it was "old" then) it doesn't even support hyper-threading, let alone the multi-core setups we have now. Getting a PSU that supports the older motherboard connections (including the secondary CPU power rails) and a ton of IDE power connections (I have no SATA items) wasn't something I wanted to deal with. Anything that would support that stuff would be cheap (I like getting nicer units, and those have gone to current power topology) and probably something I wouldn't feel confident in. Besides, who wants to put $50-$100 into a system that old?

Enter Dell, or rather, and their cool deals. After a week of fiddling around with various coupons, I got the following:

  1. Intel Core2 processor Q9300 (2.50Ghz,1333FSB) w/Quad Core Technology and 6MB cache
  2. 4GB DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz
  3. Dell USB Keyboard
  4. Dell Optical USB Mouse
  5. Video ready option w/o monitor
  6. Integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3100
  7. 500GB Serial ATA II Hard Drive(7200RPM)
  8. Dell 19 in 1 Media Card Readerincluded in Dell Bluetooth Package
  9. Microsoft Windows Vista SP1 Home Premium Edition, English
  10. Mouse included with Keyboard purchase
  11. Integrated NIC card
  12. No modem requested for Dell Dimension
  13. 16X DVD+/-RW Drive
  14. Roxio Creator 10 Dell Edition
  15. Integrated Audio
  16. No Speaker Requested
  17. Dell 19-in-1 Media Reader withBluetooth 2.0

Now, while I got Vista Home Premium, I already have licenses for Vista Ultimate and I wanted to put on the 64-bit version. This is desire is what caused me a few problems. It seems that the chipset may be crippled and limited to 4GB of RAM (a lot of RAM, but I wanted 8GB at some point) and seems to have setup this system for 32-bit OS only. Once I formatted it and installed Vista Ultimate x64, my life got a lot more complicated. The Dell website doesn't "officially" support 64-bit software and drivers for this system, even though the CPU (all 4 cores) do. Once I installed the OS, I needed the following:

  1. NIC driver (that's the most fun, since you usually can't get anything else until that's up)
  2. Chipset driver
  3. Video driver (even though it's embedded)
  4. Bluetooth module driver
I am going to throw up the links to get stuff started in case I need it again, and for those unfortunate others that are trying to do the same thing I did. So you know, the system is AMAZING with Vista x64 on it, and I run VMware Workstation 6 and virtualize Windows Server 2008, XP, and a Linux VM right now. It's great with 1080p video that I've downloaded (some movie preview), but I plan on getting PCI-e adapter with HDMI (and HDCP) support for my Samsung 4671 in the next few months.

NIC driver
Binary location 1
Binary location 2

Chipset Driver
On CD, or get from Dell using 32-bit (x86), since it will also create a 64-bit directory

Video Driver*%20Ultimate,%2064-bit%20version&lang=eng

Bluetooth Module Driver
On CD, or get from Dell using 32-bit (x86), since it will also create a 64-bit directory

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