Hi, I'm hoping someone can help me. I have a 2005 Dimension 8400 and the original Specs are:
Intel P4 630 (3GHz)w/HT & 2MB cache
512MB DDR2 SDRAM @ 400MHz
128MB PCI Express x16
80 GB Serial ATA Hard Drive
3.5in Floppy Drive
16X DVD ROM & 48X CD-RW
The motherboard went bad and I have since upgraded the following:
Replacement motherboard for the 8400 specifically
Intel P4 670 3.8 GHz CPU
Seagate 1 TB Hard Drive
2 GB DDR2 RAM from Crucial
2 GB DDR2 RAM from Dell
(have a total of 4 GB of RAM)
350 Watt PSU
This computer was nonworking before I upgraded these items so this is a clean brand new hard drive. My question is concerning the Bios, XP Start up discs and the new CPU.
I understand that I need the A09 Bios for the new Intel P4 670. I've read in the forums that I must upgrade to the A09 Bios before installing the new P4 670. That is not possible for me to do.
What are the proper steps to getting this system up and running? I have all the start up disks for my 8400 which comes with XP Service Pack 2
Also I will be upgrading to a 64 bit OS so I also need to know if I can even use the XP start up disks?
I would appreciate any help.
A lot of upgrading on a very old system!
Does it boot with the new 670 CPU? If it does, you should be able to update BIOS to A09. If it won't boot with the new CPU, you'll have to find a CPU that works so you can update BIOS to A09 and then swap in the new CPU.
If you're planning to install a 64-bit OS, the 32-bit Windows XP Reinstallation disk is useless, as is the disk with drivers, aside from testing to see if the system will boot before you install the OS on the new HDD. You will need a valid Windows product key to install the 64-bit OS because the product key from the 32-bit OS won't work.
You can find a good tutorial on installing Windows on Dell PCs here.
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Forum Member since 2004
I am NOT a Dell employee
Be sure to read / follow all the instructions for doing the BIOS update. eg, Disconnect all peripherals except mouse, monitor and keyboard
I don't know if the BIOS version on the motherboard now will support the new processor. Assuming it boots with the new processor, you might want to install Windows and all the 64-bit drivers before flashing BIOS. That way you'll know the system is working correctly before updating BIOS.
If you flash BIOS first and then install the OS, but things don't work correctly, it will be hard(er) to pin down if the BIOS update failed or if the Windows installation failed, or some hardware just isn't working correctly.
Since you have an internal floppy drive, you could run the BIOS update from a bootable floppy diskette with the A09 file on it. But you won't be able to run the "packaged" version of the BIOS updater until you format the hard drive and load Windows on it, because the packaged version only works from inside Windows.
And keep in mind there's always a small chance a BIOS update will fail and turn the motherboard into a useless brick. So updating to A09 is not without risk.
I can't argue with that logic that the system is old and I also ask myself why didn't I just buy a new computer...lol. After buying 1 item, then another, then another, I've found myself in this situation. The new CPU is on its way and will be here Saturday. After I install it I will power the system up and see if it boots. You are saying I can update the BIOS to A09 at that point (if it boots). That is great news! I will then purchase a new OS with product key. Thank you for answering my questions.
Thank you very much for the info RoHe. You've been a big help. I got the CPU installed and found out the BIOS is A09. Now I'm going to install a brand new version of Windows 7. Good day to you!