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Windows 7: Help me install Windows 7 on this old Dell PC?

05 Aug 2011   #1

Windows 8 Pro x64; Win 7 Home Premium x64 SP1 on VirtualBox
 
 
Help me install Windows 7 on this old Dell PC?

Hey all, I know, haven't been here in a while. Life's quite busy though .

Anyways, I was wondering if you guys could help me get Windows 7 installed on an old PC.

The system is a Dell Dimension 2350, at least 5 years old (probably more). Its equipped with a Pentium 4, 768MB RAM, 60GB HDD, and some integrated Intel graphics.

I'm having some issues getting the install started. The computer only has a CD drive. I tried to swap it with a DVD drive that had the same connectors and everything, but it wouldn't detect that at all. Next, I tried loading Windows 7 onto my flash drive (which I was successful at, for once, lol). I can't figure out how to get this computer to boot into it. If its even possible.

XP is just not as fun to use as 7, and I can't install Linux because I require some Windows only software.

Are there any other ways to install? Its really disappointing because from the specs it might be able to run......

Thanks again for any help !

-McD

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Aug 2011   #2
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Hello mate.


If it has XP currently installed, have a look at the method outlined in this tutorial linked below and be sure to post back with any further questions you may have and to keep us informed.


Clean Install Windows 7 from the Windows XP Desktop

My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Aug 2011   #3

Windows 8 Pro x64; Win 7 Home Premium x64 SP1 on VirtualBox
 
 

Thanks for the quick reply !

Yes, the system currently has XP. I'll try that link, and report back with the results .
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Aug 2011   #4
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Be sure to post back here to keep me updated.


Be sure you copied out or make back-ups of any data you need to save to external media first.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Aug 2011   #5

Windows 7 Pro x64 SP1
 
 

Mcdougle:
If the dell has a service tag on it. I would go to dell and go to support, drivers & downloads. Put the service tag in and then select windows 7 to see what drivers you will need for your machine.

I do this all the time for a non-profit where I have to install a new enterprise version of XP for them.

Rich
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Aug 2011   #6
Microsoft MVP

 

Try tapping the Dell F12 key at bootup to access the one-time BIOS Boot Menu key. See if under USB or HD's the flash stick is listed, select it to boot.

If it isn't seen or won't boot, try writing the ISO to flash stick using this handy tool: Universal USB Installer – Easy as 1 2 3.

If you only have the DVD, you can extract the ISO and write to flash stick at same time using Ultra ISO trial version: On file tab select Open DVD, on Bootable Tab select Write DIsk Image, Format, Write.

Now try using F12 to boot stick again. IF no go, enter BIOS setup to see if it's listed there in BIOS boot order, if not check other settings for various USB settings like "Boot from USB" or "Enable USB legacy."
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Aug 2011   #7

Windows 8 Pro x64; Win 7 Home Premium x64 SP1 on VirtualBox
 
 

Okay, I've got good news and bad news.

The good news - Windows 7 is installed. Everything is working except for the graphics, which brings me to the bad news. The picture is completely messed up. I can't even describe it. It took me nearly 15 minutes to download the VGA XP driver and run it in compatibility mode, setup completed successfully, but the picture still didn't change.

I manged to go into Device Manager, and my VGA is listed as "Standard VGA Controller" or something like that. I checked the Dell website with my service tag and there are only XP drivers available.

Is there a way to fix this? It's really frustrating because from what I can see it looks like the performance is great . If only I could get this damn graphics thing to work .

Thanks again for the help !
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Aug 2011   #8
Microsoft MVP

 

Standard VGA driver is an installer placeholder driver. Intel 845G is used on that model Dell so try the latest Dell and Intel website drivers for your model in XP Compat Mode, both the driver installer .exe and the application Setup.exe which it unzips to a specified location.

Rightclick the empty area of desktop to choose Screen Res and see if a better one is available. Standard VGA may be all you can use - the downside for this even with a better resolution is Sleep/Hibernate tend not to work, may not even appear as options.

Let us know if you need more help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Aug 2011   #9

Windows 8 Pro x64; Win 7 Home Premium x64 SP1 on VirtualBox
 
 

I did some searching and as far as I can tell there are only XP drivers for that graphics controller.

I ran the extractor in compatibility mode for XP SP2 and I also ran the Setup.exe in compatibility mode for XP SP2, and nothing changed. Its still detected as a standard VGA, and there are no other resolutions available besides 640x480. The display in Screen Resolution is detected as "Generic PnP Monitor on Standard VGA Graphics Adapter".

Anyone have anymore ideas? Looks like I'm at a dead end here ......

UPDATE:
Sleep and Hibernate are listed as unavailable...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Aug 2011   #10
Microsoft MVP

 

Have you checked optional Windows Updates for a newer driver from MS?

Next I would google both Dell Model and the Intel 845G graphics + Windows 7 to read everything you can find to know for sure you've done all you can. If others have found a way to render better resolution then it should turn up.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Help me install Windows 7 on this old Dell PC?




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