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Michael Marley

[HOWTO] Install Windows XP Professional x64 on a Dell Vostro 1500

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Michael Marley

This is the very first howto I have ever written, so if anyone has comments, suggestions, or insults, do not hesitate to contact me.

This howto describes step-by-step how to install Windows XP Professional x64 SP2 on a Dell Vostro 1500. It should be applicable for similar Dell laptops (like the Inspiron 1520) as well (But, no guarantees!) If you use this guide, all of the hardware in the system will have a driver. However, note that I have not tested any of the Dell 802.11 drivers or the Creative Webcam driver, so I do not know how well, or even if, the work. Also, this may void your warranty, but I am not sure. So, if you screw up your system, neither I nor Dell will not be held liable in any way, shape, form, or fashion. However, if you need help, you can ask me.

I have read that you must enable the "Hardware Virtualization" function in your BIOS in order to use x64. I can neither confirm nor deny this, considering that I already enabled hardware virtualization for other reasons, before I installed XP x64.

1) The first step is to decide whether you would like to use AHCI or plain old ATA for your hard disk. AHCI, or Advanced Host Controller Interface, is slightly faster than ATA, or Advanced Technology Attachment. However, Windows XP does not have drivers by default for AHCI controllers, so the drivers must be added (slipstreamed) to the installation disc. I used AHCI mode, and I am glad I did. To find out which mode your controller is in, when your computer is first booting up (when it displays the Dell BIOS screen), press F12 to launch the CMOS setup utility. Find the storage controller mode in the list. Select whichever you would like. If you would like to use ATA, simply skip to step 7. If you would like to use AHCI, simply continue with step 2.

2) (These steps assume that you have a working computer running Windows 2000/XP/Vista that has a CD burner.) First, download and install the latest version of nLite from here. Once you have done this, insert your Windows XP x64 CD and copy the entire contents of the CD to a folder on your hard drive.

3) Download Driver64.zip (attached to this post) and unzip it into a folder on your hard disk. These are the latest Intel AHCI/RAID drivers from the Intel website.

4) Start up nLite, select your language, and point it to the folder where you copied the Windows XP x64 files. Then, on the next screen, activate the option to integrate drivers and the option to burn a CD/ISO.

5) On the next screen, select the option for integrating drivers and tell it to integrate a multiple driver pack. Then, point it to the folder where you unzipped the files. When it asks you which drivers to integrate, select all of them and click OK. On the next screen, tell it to perform the integration.

6) On the final screen, it will tell you to insert a CD that it can burn. You can call the CD anything you want. I called it "Windows XP x64." Then, burn the CD.

7) Insert the CD into your Vostro 1500. When booting up, press F2 at the Dell BIOS screen. This will bring up a menu asking you which device to boot from. Tell it to boot from the CD drive and then press enter when it says to "Press any key to boot from CD..."

8) The Windows XP x64 installer will load. Just do what it says, opting for a fresh install (not a repair.) When it asks you to partition the hard disk, you can either delete all of the Dell partitions or not, depending on whether you think MediaDirect and Diagnostics are worth the space they take up. (I deleted them, and have had no problems.) Then, tell it to create a partition and format it NTFS (Quick). You could choose the non-Quick option, but in my experience this can take upwards of 30 minutes to format your disk.

9) Windows XP x64 setup will progress by itself, and reboot your computer at least once. Once it boots up into the graphical mode installation phase, just follow its instructions and you will not have a problem.

10) When it is finally done, it is now time to install all of the drivers. Note that if you have an nVidia video card, you must follow special instructions which I have placed below the driver downloads. Below is a list of drivers for all of the hardware that can be in a Vostro 1500:

Chipset (Intel Chipset): Driver

Chipset (Ricoh Card Reader): Driver

Video (nVidia (any)): Driver Modded INF

Video (Intel): Driver

Wireless (Intel (Any)): Driver

Wireless (Dell (Any)): Driver

Wireless (Dell Bluetooth): Driver

Sound (SigmaTel STAC): Driver

Webcam (Creative): Driver

Network (Broadcom): Driver

Modem (Conexant): Driver

Touchpad (Synaptics): Driver

A few notes on installing drivers:

For the nVidia drivers: In order to install the nVidia drivers, execute the executable you downloaded. All of the driver files will unzip into a new folder in the folder which contains the executable. Copy the Modded INF to this folder, telling it to replace the file which already exists. Also, I recommend using your favorite text editor's search function to find a line in the INF containing "lvds_reduce_freq" The value for this line is a 1. Change this value to a 0. This averts several problems caused by this setting, including laggy First Person Shooter games and jerky DVD video. Then, simply execute setup.exe, and the drivers will install. Additionally, after installing the drivers, I would recommend turning nVidia PowerMizer off in the nVidia Control Panel. This is because PowerMizer appears to be somewhat buggy and will often cause audio skipping (at least on my system.) This happens in 32-bit XP as well. I know there is a great deal of discussion about which drivers are best for which hardware, and not everyone agrees. If you do not like this driver, then you can most definitely use something else. However, I strongly recommend against using the 174.xx series, as it can cause certain 2D graphics problems.

For the Broadcom Network: In order to install this driver, you must unzip the dpinst64.zip archive (attached to this post) in the same folder as the drivers and execute the dpinst64.exe program. Installing the drivers using the "Have Disk" method does not work for an unknown reason.

Drivers for all of the Wireless Wide Area Network (Cellular internet) cards can be found here. I have never actually seen a Dell laptop with any of these cards. However, if I find out they are more common, I will make links to their drivers above.

I hope this howto ends up being useful for someone.

Edited by Michael Marley

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Guest Evan Oliver

Have you managed to get the function keys working yet by chance? (e.g. screen brightness etc)

Edited by ®®®
Removed Full Quotation of First Post

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®®®

Great post. Thanks for sharing your findings.

:)

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Michael Marley

Get them working? They work by default on mine.

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Guest nitram

For some reason I couldn't install the network drivers attached in this post... I get a message that the software was "unable to find any drivers designed for my machine". I'm trying to download the modem, wireless and network drivers from the dell support site but apparently their ftp is down...

XP seems to be working fine, I just can't get the drivers to work!

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Guest nitram

OK, I managed to install all the drivers... apparently I had to download the drivers directly on the laptop for the links to work (I was trying to do it from the desktop).

Thanks for the howto!

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Guest Guest

I got all these drivers installed on an inspiron 1520. Everything is working fine except the card reader. It could read the regular sd card just fine, but not my 4gb sdhc card. Does anyone have this problem?

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Guest Guest

Most of the drivers worked for me except for the Bluetooth and Webcam drivers. The webcam driver installation encounters an error and closes before it can complete the installation. The bluetooth driver cannot detect my bluetooth device, so it does not install any bluetooth drivers.

I also have 7 entries of "USB Root Hub" in the Device Manager that needs drivers.

Any help would be appreciated.

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Guest Guest
Most of the drivers worked for me except for the Bluetooth and Webcam drivers. The webcam driver installation encounters an error and closes before it can complete the installation. The bluetooth driver cannot detect my bluetooth device, so it does not install any bluetooth drivers.

I also have 7 entries of "USB Root Hub" in the Device Manager that needs drivers.

Any help would be appreciated.

Nevermind, I uninstalled all the USB devices in Device Manager then ran the "Scan for Hardware Changes", and that enabled all the devices to be recognized.

Thanks for compiling all the drivers

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Michael Marley

The webcam drivers appear to have 64-bit .sys files, so you might try to do a manual install using the Have Disk method. The bluetooth drivers work fine for me, so I am not sure what to say....

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ccabb

Can you do this but on a dell 630i, beucase my doesnt work because of memory error.

There are some memory error when i install it windows XP 64 bit

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Triple_Dude

Nice Guide!

I've heard that Windows XP 64-bit is a bit buggy and since it's OEM only, it's not recommended for normal users (a.k.a. if your computer didn't come with it, don't bother with it)... Is there any truth to this, and are there any incompatibility problems with regular Windows XP software?

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Michael Marley

Most of the bad stuff you here about XP x64 (and Vista x64, for that matter) is completely false, and written by people who don't use the OS. Basically, the only reason not to install a 64-bit OS would be if you have hardware which is not supported by it. All of the hardware in the Vostro/Inspiron series is, so that shouldn't be a problem.

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Guest guest
I've heard that Windows XP 64-bit is a bit buggy and since it's OEM only, it's not recommended for normal users (a.k.a. if your computer didn't come with it, don't bother with it)... Is there any truth to this, and are there any incompatibility problems with regular Windows XP software?

Nothing is true in this! WnXP works like a charm on a Dell machine (with x64 processor, of course) and is far much better than normal WinXP. If you have more than 2GB memory, WinXP x64 is the right choice.

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kiisu

Couple of questions:

1) Does RMClock work with xp x64 or is there an alternative that is as good for controlling freqs and volts?

2) How is the gaming performance compared to 32bit xp?

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Michael Marley
1) Does RMClock work with xp x64 or is there an alternative that is as good for controlling freqs and volts?
\

Yes, it works just fine. In fact, I used it for quite a while to eliminate the CPU whine problem, until I discovered that it was causing jerkiness in 3D games.

2) How is the gaming performance compared to 32bit xp?

I haven't used 64-bit XP for a long, long time (I have since seen the light and switched to Linux), but the last time I did use it the gaming performance was quite good. I don't have any benchmarks to show you, but when I switched from 32-bit to 64-bit I did not see any performance decline at all. You can also find benchmarks on the Internet that show this. There are a select few games that will not run in XP x64, however, because of some stupid DRM copyprotection driver not being compatible with it.

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kiisu

So, just for feedback - i did the install as described, with all the AHCI stuff etc, everything works fine. Drivers all installed, so far no compability problems whatsoever. Although since DOX doesn't do xp x64 for quite some time, i've lost a (small) bit of 3dmark06 score, but in games i haven't noticed anything really (currently on official nvidia 185.85) and i can also now use all my 4gb ram. Anyway, thanks to OP and thumbs up from me to anyone who is considering to try this but isn't quite sure about it.

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Guest highkftj

Hi,

I tried to look in the bios for Hardware Virtualization, but I didn't find any option related. I tried several version of bios from the initial A00 to the current A06 of my dell vostro 1500.

How have you already enabled it on your machine?

looks like many users on the net are trying to enable this option especially for windows 7 but they aren't able to. An answer to this problem would be then really helpful to many!

thanks again and great job here!

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