Have a great XPS 720 tower that has been good to me. Had to replace a hard drive a while back and the video card is getting loud now, but I'm still good. However, I made the decision recently to do a clean install of Windows 7 64-bit with two clean hard drives. What I'm learning so far is that was a huge mistake because Dell does not support this and I can't get drivers and chipsets to support it. Needless to say, I've had problems for weeks and spend my nights reading forums and trying different downloads while crossing my fingers.
Specifically, the Soundblaster SB0460 is not working properly. I've tried their drivers and they don't correct the problems 100%. I think it's related to the PCI error I have due to the chipset issue.
So now, with two near 1GB hard drives, a fully legal copy of Windows 7 64-bit, and all of the original equipment, I think I may be out of luck. The option I'm reluctantly leaning toward right now is erasing the hard drives and selling this thing off (and the 2 Dell monitors) and switching to Mac. And this is coming from a guy who has purchased 6 Dell computers in 8 years.
Help me out all...am I out of luck? Someone suggested one of the only ways to get the current hardware to work is to format everything an reload XP and run that into the future. I'm an IT guy, so I get the fact that hardware gets out of date. But the XPS system was basically top of the line and cost a big chunk of money.
>>What I'm learning so far is that was a huge mistake because Dell does not support this and I can't get drivers and chipsets to support it.
It's not clear to me what you're saying Dell doesn't support.
You bring up a good point. Dell doesn't make the various components, so it's not really completely on them that Windows 7 64-bit doesn't work. I'm just frustrated because even using the drivers from the Dell site, my 720 has issues. And if I try drivers provided by the manufacturer of the components (and some are beta drivers), they don't work either. I wish there was better collaboration, I guess, between Dell and the manufacturers on how to assist their customers when newer OS versions come out.
Even a friend who used to work for Dell told me the upgrade was never going to work and I should just stay with the OS provided when it was purchased (XP). He said there are too many proprietary drivers and files that are required.
The Vista 64 bit drivers don't work? Even if you install them in compatability mode?
Windows Reinstallation Guide and Related Wikies See here for other wikies such as Customising and Using Windows 8.1, Dell Wireless Cards and Unofficial Drivers.
It should work.
Pull the SoundBlaster card and work on that later. In fact, pull all cards except video card.
I think that motherboard might have an nVidia chipset (you tell us that it has ... Intel or nVidia) anyway, Microsoft should have them on the DVD or offer them through WindowsUpdate (if they were even written ... link above suggests they were.). If the network drivers load in the beginning, I think Windows-7 will do a "Dynamic Install" and grab stuff from the net during install.
Not sure what 2 HDDs has to do with anything. Just be sure they are not RAIDed and install to the first one. Use the second one for data or whatever.
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Here they are if you can't get them from Windows Update (because ethernet driver isn't loaded)
This is assuming this info from the XPS 720 (Black or Non-H2C) Owners Manual PDF is correct for your motherboard.
Chipset - NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI
Northbridge - C55XE
Southbridge - MCP55PXE
When you installed Windows 7 64-bit did you install the desktop/notebook utility and the chipset drivers first? If not the rest of the drivers will fail to install. How to Download and Install Drivers in the Correct Order If you cannot find Windows 7 drivers, then try using the Vista (or XP) 64-bit drivers for Windows 7 64-bit and install the drivers in the Compatibility mode.
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Thanks to everyone for the advice and help.
Rick - I did not install chipset drivers first. Based on your question, should I reformat everything and start over? Thanks.
Start with the desktop/notebook utility and the chipset drivers first, then install the rest in order.
Rick - when I run the install, it is looking for a diskette drive to transfer files to. Any suggestions on how I get around that since I don't have one?
How to by-pass the Dell Download Manager
Then use Internet Explorer to download the drivers in your browser.
The Dell supplied soundblaster card was a piece of junk and always had trouble with finding drivers. What I did was just replace it. I had full win 7 ultimate running on my 720 with 8 gigs of ram and no issues.
I installed several versions of win 7 on the system when the releases candidates were circulating and never had to use any Dell drives except the chipset. which I always installed AFTER the OS was installed. Unlike XP there is no order of driver installs for win 7.
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Davet - which sound card did you get? And were you able to hook it up to the audio jacks built into the front of the tower using an AUX jack like the standard SB card that comes with the 720? I'd be willing to pay for a card to get this going. So far, I've had a lot of good suggestions, but no luck.
I'm about to replace my video card since the original fan is getting really loud. Might as well get a new sound card too. I'd really like to make this machine work out.
Rick - the problem isn't the download, it's the install. When you run Dell Asset Utility Version 2.09, it wants a floppy disk.
"This program contains 1 floppy disk image. Please put a formatted writable floppy disk in drive F: and continue"
That's where I'm hung up on that one. Any thoughts?