Loading Windows 7 on a Dell XPS 400 – Running into a few issues


Dec 29, 2012
Hi all, was wondering if I can get a little help upgrading my old XPS 400. I have seen several posts on this site about Dell PC, thought I would throw my name in the hat. My system is a Pentium D 3.0Ghz with 3.0GB of Ram. I have Windows XP and am trying to upgrade to Windows 7.

I am doing this because I want to use my old machine for two purposes:

1. I bought two 1T HD that I am going to set up in raid. My wife takes 1 billion pictures and the little 160GB drive is maxed out. (I have backed up all my stuff for the move, I know windows 7 deletes everything)

2. I want to put this in my living room to use as a media center, I do not have cable, I do not need a super machine, just going to watch OTA antenna TV, maybe pause a football game or record a show while watching something else. I bought a homerun dual (BTW I plan to use a 32GB flash drive for this purpose, I realize I can only record like 8 hours on it, but really this will be low use, we mostly watch hulu and Netflix)

I ran the windows upgrade advisor and most of the issues it complained about I can handle except I have a few questions:

1. It says that my Radeon X600 256MB is not compatible. I could not find any Windows 7 drivers for my card so what does that mean? I won’t be able to see anything? I need to by a new video card?

2. If I buy a new video card… My PCIE x16 slot is 1.0, will a 2.1 card work on it? I would like to stay under $50

3. So I have a Pentium D, its dualcore, 64bit according to Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentium_D Is it better to load up Windows 7 32 bit or 64 bit? I only ask because I believe my current configuration is running Windows XP 32bit, the processor is x86 family 15 model 4 stepping 4 Genuine Intel ~2992 MHz. Research says the D is 64 bit. So I am confused here.

So I wrote a bit here, any help or advice would be most appreciated.

Thanks and happy New Year.


1) The standard VGA drivers included with Windows 7 should be sufficient for basic viewing. Only if a specific function doesn't work (such as viewing live TV), should you consider purchasing a new card.

2) In most cases, newer PCI-E cards (3.0, 2.1, 2.0) are fully backwards compatible with PCI-E 1.0/1.1 slots. There were some issues with PCI-E 2.1 cards and 1.0 slots, so I would probably try to stay away from that combination.

3) Your system is either 32-bit or 64-bit compatible. It will run either version. With only 3GB of RAM installed, there's no *need* to get a 64-bit OS, but I don't see any reason NOT to get one either. I'd go ahead and get the 64-bit OS.

-Wolf sends