Windows 7 on Dell Vostro 1400

4 11 2009

I finally got around to pulling a copy of Windows 7 professional off MSDN and giving it a try. The install went fairly smooth, the boot loader automatically gave me options for both Windows XP and Linux, and the installer let me choose which partition to install to. The only bump in the install process was the lack of Dell drivers. Audio did not work at first, but a quick visit to Dell’s driver page and installing the Sigmetel Audio driver for Vista fixed that. It also detected my Nvidia 8400 as a “generic VGA adapter”, which gave my Vostro a nice 1 rating on the video hardware and wouldn’t let me use the fancy new transparency and Aero theme settings. Finally, I noticed the touchpad scroll wasn’t working, and required another visit for drivers. After all the driver updates my hardware rating came out to,

vostroscoreNot too bad. It seems to run the new Aero theme just fine, and I have to admit that it actually looks okay. I’ve used Gnome and KDE fully pimped out with transparency and special effects before, and though the Aero theme doesn’t quite measure up to a full Compiz install on Linux, it certainly looks nice enough to use. The default Windows 7 theme on the other hand, though faster, looks a little… cluttered? I’d prefer the good old XP look. Although Windows 7 has a “Classic” theme, it doesn’t look much like 2k/XP. The taskbar and taskmenu is forever stuck in the new Windows 7 look, as well as a handful of other things like icons.

Going back to performance, it boots, connects to wifi, and launches Firefox in under 60 seconds, which is a bit slower than XP but still not a big deal.

As for the downsides, both the control panel and taskmenu consistently bother me. The control panel has a horribly cluttered feel, and it seems hard to find things no matter which layout (icons, categories) I use. I’ve also never really liked the new taskmenu, and miss the option to put it back into the classic version like in Vista.

Actually, in general I can’t help things feel cluttered. Explorer, for instance, is brimming with helpful buttons to create new folders, burn CDs, view favorites, homegroups, and libraries. A big feature is the new searching ability from the taskbar, but I’m the type that generally knows where the programs and files I want are, and never need to search. The taskbar itself is filled with things like the ability to pin applications to it, and by default looks quite a bit taller than the XP taskbar.

Time will tell how it fairs in the category of stability. I’ll at least resist jumping back to my XP partition for a little while to let myself adjust to it.

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17 responses

13 11 2009
Gabymg

Hey, what driver did you use for the mousepad? my scrolling is not working either :(

14 11 2009
pherricoxide

http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/driverslist.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=gen&ServiceTag=&SystemID=VOS_N_1400&os=WLH&osl=en&catid=&impid=

Follow that link, and then under Input Devices the one that says Touchpad/Pointing Stick.

20 11 2009
Tato S2 Layse

pherricoxide,
does this touchpad driver do the scrolling of your computer works?

because I install the Windows 7 64 bits and when I try to install this driver the computer shows this message:

“This software does not work in you operation system. Click OK to exit setup.”

25 11 2009
pherricoxide

You’ll need a 64-bit specific driver. I’m not sure where you can find one, check Dell’s webpage and see if they have any Vista or Windows 7 64-bit drivers.

9 12 2009
Adam

WINDOWS 7 64 BIT AUDIO DRIVER:
I have a Vostro 1400 with Win7 64 bit as well and was really missing the scroll functionality. I picked a brother Vostro model, the 1520, which has full blown 64bit driver support. I tried the trackpad driver for that model and it worked. Try this link:

http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/driverslist.aspx?os=W764&catid=-1&dateid=-1&impid=-1&osl=EN&typeid=-1&formatid=-1&servicetag=&SystemID=VOS_N_1520&hidos=WLH&hidlang=en&TabIndex=

or visit Dell’s website and download the Vostro 1520 touchpad drivers for Windows 7 64 bit.

Cheers

13 01 2010
karadee

how come i cannot install nvidia geforce 8400m gs driver…?

22 02 2010
socheat

I use dell vostro 1400. When i install windows 7, this are problem with drivers such sound and VGA. Fortunately, i got the sound driver from web that i didn’t remmember. However, i can’t any drivers for VGA and the driver from the disk is not compatible.
Can you help me?!

26 02 2010
pherricoxide

Go to Dell’s support webpage, all the drivers are there. The ones for Windows Vista will work fine for Windows 7.

19 03 2010
Daniel

Im using a Dell Vostro 1400 with Windows 7 ultimate. But seems like laptop is booting up continously. Any ideas?

22 03 2010
pherricoxide

Hm, you mean it won’t turn off and just reboots instead? It could be some sort of problem with the ACPI or motherboard drivers.

30 10 2010
phil

i have a problem about the built in camera of my vostro 1400 dell laptop windows 7 64-bit. there’s a error said that the driver is not supported by the system 32.
and the sound drivers is been disabled.
can u help me about this..
Thank you….

30 10 2010
pherricoxide

Don’t know, I don’t have the camera on my Vostro. I would suggest looking for Vostro 1400 webcam drivers though.

9 01 2011
mahummed

i have problem on sound system an on my system

19 07 2011
andre k

When I installed Windows 7 Ultimate 64bits in my Vostro 1400 everything worked fine (including webcam device), except the soud system and the scrolling device. I solved the sound problem installing the driver to Windows Vista 32 bits, and to the scrolling problem I installed the touchpad driver for Vostro 1520 with Windows 7 64bits (thanks to adam).

1 08 2011
Winz

Anyone knows how to make Dell Vostro 1400 windows 7 ultimate bluetooth works? I just upgraded to windows 7 today. ><

24 03 2012
tisi

hi..i installed windows 7 for my vostro 1400.. Now i can’t find network drivers. can somene help me?

26 03 2012
pherricoxide

Look for the Vista network drivers, they work in Windows 7 as well.

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