Upgrading Dimension 2400 for Windows 7


Desktop computer Forums (Audio, General Hardware, Video)

Upgrading Dimension 2400 for Windows 7

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It's too late!  I've bought windows 7 and installed it on my Dell Dimension 2400.  Of course I now realise that the Dimension 2400 is not comatible with Windows 7.  Can anyone advise me regarding what component I might buy and install to make Windows 7 work properly?

I have a nice (relatively) new 19" flatscreen monitor, but the resolution is stuck at 640 pixels so everything is big and pixelated!

I have an external Soundblaster Extigy sound card (USB) but no sound device is detected by Win 7.

I have a Belkin PCMIA wireless network card - but it doesn't work with Win 7 either!

Can anybody offer any solutions?  I don't want to buy a whole new system if I can help it and, having bought Win 7 I don't wan't to simply uninstall it and waste my money.


All Replies
  • As Dell does not support anything past XP on this system you are in "uncharted territory".  On a new install the correct and required install sequence is (1) Install Windows (2) Install Intel (motherboard) chipset drivers (3) Install device drivers including sound, video, ethernet, etc.

    You need, at a minimum, Vista drivers for the hardware devices.  The chipset driver is a must as the chipset drivers define (identify) the devices on the motherboard and without the chipset drivers you can't install sound drivers and many other devices.

    You are also looking at upgrading the Video for Windows 7 compatibility and to be able to use the Windows 7 video features, however the 2400 only has PCI card slots, not the newer PCIe slots and with a 200 or 250 watt power supply (depending on model) that would probably need upgrading for most Vista/Windows 7 full feature video cards.  Windows 7 requires at least 2GB of RAM - the maximum that the 2400 will accept  (it will work on 1GB but just barely). 

    Given that hardware upgrades are needed and the task of trying to find drivers that will work with mostly Dell proprietary hardware, you may want to reconsider and reinstall Windows XP and try to resell the Windows 7 or buy a used/newer PC that is compatible and use the Windows 7 on that. 

    I am not a Dell Employee

    Dell forum member since 2002

    Home Built PC with Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H motherboard, i7 3770 CPU,  Windows 7 64 bit Home/Win 8.1.  SSD drive.  Sonar X3c 64 bit Recordng Software.


    Member of Nashville based R.O.P.E.

  • The 2400 is dated. You could look into a PCI videocard to see if Windows 7 will be any happier, but I wouldn't spend more than US$50 on that, as spending more makes it actually more rewarding to just buy a newer (not necessarily new) PC and install Windows 7 on there.

    Member since 2003

  • Thanks fireberd,

    after looking online for various components I've decided to buy a refurbished computer which will run Windows 7.

  • As with fireberd (above), thanks for your advice Dev Mgr, I've decided to buy a refurbished computer that will run Windows 7.  Although the Dimension was fairly expensive at the time I suppose I've had six good years out of it - and I'll salvage some of the bits for future use.

    Thanks again.

  • A good choice.  Although the CPU in the 2400 can run Windows 7 with all the roadblocks to finding hardware device drivers, video, compatible audio (probably would require a new sound card), etc it's not really worth it. 

    I am not a Dell Employee

    Dell forum member since 2002

    Home Built PC with Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H motherboard, i7 3770 CPU,  Windows 7 64 bit Home/Win 8.1.  SSD drive.  Sonar X3c 64 bit Recordng Software.


    Member of Nashville based R.O.P.E.

  • SkyPilot007

    Thanks fireberd,

    after looking online for various components I've decided to buy a refurbished computer which will run Windows 7.

    I had Windows 7 running fine on a 2350. It had a Sparkle 8400GS video card ($50), a Syba SATA card ($16), as well as a Seagate 300gb SATA hard drive and Pioneer Blu-ray drive. It would even play Blu-ray discs, albeit with some dropped frames.

  • Hello SkyPilot007,

    Have you checked compatibility?
    Just an FYI for you.

    It is always best to check with the software manufacturer FIRST. They will tell you if they have tested the product and the version, as well as whether or not it will work with Windows 7.
    Check out the Windows 7 Compatibility site: (There you will find out about hardware and software compatibilty.)
    There is a pulldown from which you can choose "hardware" and "software".

    There are also some great articles, instructional videos and such to help with your Windows 7 at our Springboard site:

    In any event a lot of the times, Vista drivers will work in lieu of Windows 7 drivers, however, it's not 100%!

    As stated previously, it's best to have the Windows 7 certified drivers installed.

    Microsoft does have an official Windows 7 Support Forum located here http://tinyurl.com/9fhdl5 . It is supported by product specialists as well as engineers and support teams. You may want to check the threads available there for additional assitance and support.

    Thanks again,
    John M.
    Microsoft Windows Client Support




  • To skypilot007...........

    Did you find a  solution to your problem.......making windows 7 work properly on a Dimension 2400?

  • I don't think he did, but it can be done. The onboard video probably lacks a driver (my 2350's did) but it's simple enough to add in a PCI card like the various 8400GS offerings. Intel offers a chipset installation utility with Windows 7 drivers for Intel mainboard hardware, and other drivers may be present on the Windows 7 install disc. If the system can be gotten to where it can connect to the Internet, Windows will seek out and install missing drivers automatically. Finally, third-party add-ons like sound cards should have drivers available on their respective manufacturers' s sites, or even on the supplied discs if the products are new.



  • I have just installed Windows 7 on an old Dell Dimension 2400.  I had the same display problem as you. 

    But, I found a thread about downloading the XP display controller driver from the Dell support site for this model saving it and installing it manually.  The catch is that you need to change the compatibility mode to "Windows XP service pack 3" on the executable before you run it.  That worked great for me, now the display works great.  Good luck!

  • it is easy i just had it done do mine maxed out ram 2 gig  all he did to my machine was upgrade my grafics card diffrent xp drivers and my sound card runs great it is possible

  • I just did this today on my dad's old Dimension 2400.  First I downloaded all the drivers from the Dell Support/Drivers site.  Then I installed the motherboard/chipset drivers before any other drivers.  Right click on the executable in the c:/dell/drivers/.... folder and select "compatibility" and choose XP Service Pack 3 and press ok.  Now run the Setup.exe and after the chipset is installed you can install the video card.  This is a little tricky.  First unpack the video driver as all the other drivers.  Then go to control panel>device manager>right click on the display adapter and go to properties.  

    Under properties you'll see "update device driver", click that and choose "browse my computer for file".  Navigate to the C:\dell\drivers\(video card driver)\win2000\  then click ok.  Windows will find and install the necessary .dll driver files for the video card.  Restart and you're all set!

    Do the same with the audio drivers as well.

  • i m not sure if our problems are similar or not but i recently upgraded my dell dimension 3000 from win xp to win 7 and i ran into a few obstacles myself.for one the initial install i got an error every time.not sure exactly what fixed it to be honest.i have 2 g ram and 2 harddrives.after i got it installed i had the problem of everything being so huge and couldnt adjust it.it was a bios setting.had to change the graphics card from 1 gb to 8 gb and that problem was solved .for the sound drivers i got them from the dell website but i had to shop around a bit to find the right one.hope this helps.goodluck

  • Dear SkyPilot007.

    First, I have a Dell Dimensions 2400 and I took off the old windows XP OS and put on a new windows 7 home premium, so I know for a fact that the  Dell Dimension 2400 CAN RUN WIN 7!! I had a problem with the graphics drivers like a lot of people that I have seen posting on here but I finally figured out the problem and now it works great!!