XPS 420 Windows XP drivers (This is not supported by Dell!)

How to get Vista SP1 update into XPS 420
(Thanks to Rafael Polit)
I spent a good time of yesterday trying to figure out why was SP1 not being offered through the automatic windows updates in my XPS 420. If anyone else is having this issues, the Sigmatel Driver needs to be updated since the version offered in the Dell XPS 420 support site prevents the SP1 to be downloaded. The strange thing is that the driver to be installed comes from Dell, is much newer, allows the SP1 to be installed but is only listed as supported for the OptiPlex 740. Yet, when you run it, the window clearly shows it is also for the XPS 420. The driver can be found here. If you are concerned, just download it, run the exe to unzip the files and you will see that the XPS 420 is supported. 5 minutes after the new driver was installed, Windows Update showed the option to install the SP1.

No Internet Connection with Norton and/or PC-Cillin
Computers with Norton and/or PC-Cillin installed may be unable to connect to the internet. Repairing the connection will often re-establish it temporarily; however the issue will reoccur after a reboot. This issue is being caused by the Common Firewall Driver portion of those softwares. As a workaround, disable the Common Firewall Driver in Vista.
* To disable it go to Control Panel- Network and Sharing Center- Manage Network Connections
* Open the Connections properties (WLAN or LAN)
* Uncheck the Common Firewall Driver
* Click Ok
* Restart the PC

Power supplies
375w KH624 LiteOn
375w PH344 Delta
425w TP728 LiteOn (the new one is C921D)
The new 425w power supply (C921D) should be available to our technicians even though it is not listed in the RSL. When they setup a service, they should notate the following:
Parts Returned = TP728 425w power supply
Parts Ordered = C921D 425w power supply
Power Supply Self Diagnostic Features
The XPS 420 computers have power supplies that include a self-diagnostic feature. The test button for the power supply is visible on the back of the system. This LED is not the same as the flea power LED on the motherboard. Press and hold the self-diagnostic switch on the power supply -
* If the LED stays green, the supply is functioning
* If the LED stays off, get the power supply replaced

High Pitch Noise Heard
Power the PC off. Disconnect the hard disk drive power cables. Power the PC on. If the noise does not continue with the hard disk drives disconnected, get them replaced. If the noise continues with the hard disk drives disconnected, replace the power supply.

Installing the processor
The Dell heatsink will work fine. Clean the old thermal paste off with alcohol, pick up some Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste, and apply it to the processor after you install it per the Arctic Silver instructions. Be very careful of the socket when you remove the old processor and install the new one. It is extremely easy to bend one of the tiny little pins, all 775 of them. If you bend one, you likely will not be able to straighten it, and you will need to replace your motherboard. Make sure you update the bios to the latest version BEFORE you switch the processor.
HU587 Conroe Kit, E4300, 1.80G, 2MB, 800FSB, L2
DX483 Conroe Kit, E4400, 2.00G, 2MB, 800FSB, L2
DX485 Conroe Kit, E6320, 1.86G, 4MB, 1066FSB, B2
DX484 Conroe Kit, E6420, 2.13G, 4MB, 1066FSB, B2
MP160 Conroe Kit, E6550, 2.33G, 4MB, 1333FSB
MP162 Conroe Kit, E6750, 2.66G, 4MB, 1333FSB, G0
MP628 Conroe Kit, E6850, 3.00G, 4MB, 1333FSB, G0
WM543 Conroe XE Kit, X6800, 2.93G, 4MB, 1066FSB, B2
MP626 Kentsfield Quad Core Kit, Q6600, 2.40G, 8MB, 1066FSB, G0
MP627 Kentsfield Quad Core Kit, Q6700, 2.66G, 8MB, 1066FSB, G0
UP673 Kentsfield Quad Core Kit, QX6700, 2.66G, 8MB, 1066FSB, B3
RX656 Kentsfield Quad Core Kit, QX6800, 2.93G, 8MB, 1066FSB, G0
PW016 Kentsfield Quad Core Kit, QX6850, 3.00G, 8MB, 1333FSB, G0
C863D Yorkfield Quad Core Kit, QX9300, 2.5G, 6MB, 1333FSB, M1
C864D Yorkfield Quad Core Kit, Q9450, 2.66G, 12MB, 1333FSB, C1
C865D Yorkfield Quad Core Kit, Q9550, 2.83G, 12MB, 1333FSB, C1
C299C Yorkfield Quad Core Kit, QX9650, 3.0G, 12MB, 1333FSB, C0
H786G Yorkfield Quad Core kit, QX9650, 3.0G, 12MB, 1333FSB, C1
X198G Wolfdale Dual Core kit, E7200, 2.53, 3MB, FD, 65W,M0
Y932C Wolfdale Dual Core Kit, E8200, 2.66G, 6MB, 1333FSB, 65W, C0
K905F Wolfdale Dual Core Kit, E8300, 2.83G, 6MB, 1333FSB, 65W, C0
Y935C Wolfdale Dual Core Kit, E8400, 3.0G, 6MB, 1333FSB, 65W, C0
Y934C Wolfdale Dual Core Kit, E8500, 3.16G, 6MB, 1333FSB, 65W, C0

Sound Cards
The XPS 420 uses the onboard SigmaTel 9227 Audio or the PCI Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer (D) Sound Card. If purchased, it can come with the Sound Blaster Audigy HD software overlay. It resides on top of the onboard SigmaTel 9227 Audio. The Sound Blaster Audigy HD is not a sound card.

eSata port not working
* Go into the BIOS and record you current Raid, HDD settings, Overclock settings, and enabled/disabled integrated devices. Once recorded, restart into windows
* Load the A07 BIOS and restart the PC
* Load the Intel Matrix Storage Manager driver
* Load the Intel Matrix Storage Manager Application
* Click Start- Turn Off Computer- Restart
* Always backup your registry before editing.
* Disconnect the device from the eSata port
* Click Start- Run
* Type regedit
* Click OK
* Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Iastor or IastorV
* Click in the right pane with the right mouse button on Start
* Click Modify
* Change the Value data from X to 0
* Click OK
* Close the Registry Editor
* Click Start- Turn Off Computer- Restart
* Press F2 to enter the BIOS Setup
- Set External SATA is set to On
- Set SATA Operation setting to RAID ON
* Exit the BIOS saving changes
* Save and Exit
* Once into Windows, all of your drives will be redetected by Windows
* Click Start- Turn Off Computer- Restart
* Once back into Windows, reconnect the device to the eSata port

What is the Dell Media Xcelerator?
Introduction
Setup Instructions
Operation
Troubleshooting
Specifications

* Verify that the Dell Xcelerator is installed
* Install the driver
* The Dell Xcelerator hardware ships with the following driver software:
Driver setup utility (DrvSetup.exe)
WDM driver (LazerUsb.sys, LazerUsb.inf, LazerUsb.cat)
Filter (LumanateX.ax)
Diagnostic utility (LazrDiag.exe, LazrDiag.dev)

* The Xcelerator is supported in two applications, Roxio Creator 9.1 (the version that ships with the 420) and the MCE plug-in
1. Roxio: if you want to actually see your Xcelerator working, open an MPEG-2 video in Roxio MyDVD (that is the only input file supported). Then click on the video and select Edit File. In the file editor, select the video and go to File, Output As. Select MPEG-4 as the output file, either the iPod or PSP versions. When you run the render, you will see that the preview window (which, yes, usually previews the video) turns grey and Dell Xcelerator is displayed. If you run the test with the Xcelerator enabled in Device Manager, you will see that your processor utilization averages about 25% or so (at least, that is what my Q6600 does, across all four cores). If you run the test with it disabled in Device Manager, you will see your processor sustain up to 100% utilization. In timing the render, I didn't notice a great speed differential, but the CPU utilization savings was significant.
2. Media Center: First, go to Online Media, and then Programs. Select Dell Xcelerator for Portable Devices. Configure for your portable device (in my case, a Zen). One of the items is the folder to transcode to. If you have your TV tuner setup, record a TV program (but not on a DRMed channel, such as HBO). Sometime after the program records, you will notice a transcoded file in the folder defined in the configuration. That file will be synced to your device as long as you have Recorded TV selected as a sync option.
3. The Xcelerator front panel simply provides a pass through to the TV tuner card (which is why a TV tuner card is required with the Xcelerator). The Xcelerator itself is connected via internal USB. Your actual input is therefore the TV tuner card, not the Xcelerator, and that is what you should select in Roxio Media Import in the Select a device or source to import from drop down. In mine, for example, I choose the ATI AVStream Analog Capture.
* The front ports are just a pass through to the Hauppage HVR 1200 TV Tuner card which also has S-video and Composite video connectors. No Hauppauge software is supplied to access these
* The software to use is the supplied Roxio Creator Premiere software
* Go to the Capture Video option
* Select the Hauppauge device from the Select a device to import from drop down list
* In the Capture settings select the Input drop down as Composite Video 2
* This activates the front 3 phono connectors
* Composite Video activates the composite port on the TV card at the back
* Connect your video device
* Press play and capture

Software Supported
* The Dell Xcelerator card provides hardware acceleration for Sonic Creator 9.1 and the Dell Xcelerator MCE Plug-in v1.0 for Portable Devices
* Roxio Creator 9.1 Premier DVD burn and authoring software that makes it easy to get movies onto disc. It allows you to import standard and high-def movies, photos, audio and video content from camcorders, digital cameras, and other sources. Create and edit home movies and slide shows into polished productions, and then record onto DVD or Blu-ray Disc., or convert for use on the web, portable devices, mobile phones, etc.
* Dell Xcelerator. MCE Plug-in 1.0 (with Xcelerator feature) replaces MyDVD for media conversion (transcode, transrate, transcale)
* Drivers use standard Microsoft DirectShow property sets. The drivers can be found on the Dell Resource CD.

Supported Video Formats
Video Input Formats Supported: MPEG-2 (MP/ML), MPEG-2 (MP/HL)
Supported Input Resolutions [SD]: NTSC: 720x480; PAL: 720x576
Supported Input Resolutions [HD]: HDTV: 1080-30i, 720-30p, 720-60p
Video Output Formats Supported MPEG-2 (MP/ML); MPEG-4 (SP, ASP)
Supported Output Resolutions [SD]: NTSC: 720x480, 320x240, 368x208, PAL: 720x576, 320x288; 320x240, 368x208

Diagnostics
* Start- Windows Explorer and open the C: drive
* Open Program Files- Lumanate- LazrUsb and select LazrDiag.exe
* Click the Run button to start the diagnostic tests. The software will run a number of tests on the device and will report back the status. If the device is OK, a PASS message will be displayed. If the device FAILS the test, contact Dell technical support

Digital Cable Ready?
If you want to determine whether your Windows Vista system is Digital Cable Ready, you can run this free OCUR BIOS Check Utility.

Digital CableCard
* Look for the Digital Cable Product key on the PC
* On the COA sticker there are two keys, one for the Digital Cable Product and the other for the operating system
* Click Start, Right Click Computer and Click Properties
* On the System page click the Change Product Key
* Enter in the key from the COA listed as the Digital Cable key and activate windows
* After doing this you can go into Media Center and activate the CableCARD

What if I do not see the Digital Cable Product key on the COA sticker or the bios is not OCUR ready?
We do not have the Digital Cable Product key to hand out. The Digital Cable support in the bios and operating system had to be purchased at the point of sale. The key is attached to specific XPS 420s with OCUR turned on at the factory. These XPS 420s with OCUR enabled and the key had to have been purchased from the For Home Desktop and All-in-Ones sales website. Any other Dell sales website (Dell Outlet, Small/Medium Business, Large Business, Public Sector, For Data Center) XPS 420 is not OCUR and Digital Cable Product key qualified.

Tuner Not Available Error - XPS 420, ATI TV Wonder Digital Cable Tuners, ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT
Problem - I have entered in my digital ready vista product key in system settings. I am using a DVI to HDMI connection to a HDCP compliant plasma. XPS 420 is connected to the internet. Cable Cards have NOT been installed yet. The directions ask the user to get the tuners working with basic analog cable channels, which is what I am trying to do. Vista Media Center sees the dual tuners in setup. I get to a step when it prompts me: Digital Tuner Setup: Select Next to connect to the internet and upgrade the security components of your digital tuner. Click Next. Get Digital Tuner Setup not complete error. Choose No. Get Tuner Not Available Error.
Solution - Turn off Windows Firewall and any 3rd party software firewall.

Bluetooth mouse cursor in Vista is offset
The fix is to uninstall the video card drivers, restart the PC, reinstall the video card drivers, restart the PC. Or, just disable Aero.

Some PCI-E Cards May Not Work in the x1 Slot
The x1 slot is PCIe 2.0 compliant. Third party PCIe 1.1 cards will not work in this x1 slot. Use the x8 slot.
PCIe slot x16 = PCIe 2.0 compliant
PCIe slot x1 = PCIe 2.0 compliant
PCIe slot x8 = PCIe 1.1 compliant

MiniView LCD and Windows SideShow
Powered by Windows Sideshow technology, the Dell MiniView LCD display device is designed to provide quick to access to information available on a computer running Windows Vista. SideShow technology uses gadgets, which are add-in programs, to extend information from the computer onto devices such as the MiniView LCD display. Gadgets allow you to view information from your computer regardless of whether it is on, off, or sleeping. The MiniView LCD display menu includes a list of all the gadgets shipped with your system. It also allows you to remove existing gadgets from the list or add them back. All the gadgets available on the MiniView LCD display can be viewed with the help of the Menu button and activated with the help of the Navigation buttons. The default gadgets available on the MiniView LCD allow you to view photos stored on your system, play or browse audio and video files, set reminders and alarms.

Sideshow
Click on Start, on the Start Search line type sideshow, then click sideshow properties. You will see a list of Gadget items for the Sideshow feature. Check picture viewer. Any of the gadgets you want should have a check mark in the box.Then when you wish to use it, use the arrow keys on the miniview screen, click picture viewer, use the enter key (check mark in the middle) to select it. Then click the button above the arrow keys to get a menu, select start sideshow and it will show on your miniview screen. Or are you referring to the slideshow on the sidebar. Sidebar is the feature of the gadgets on your monitor, sideshow is the feature of gadgets on your miniview screen.

To enable SideShow gadgets in Vista, perform the following steps:
* Click Start- Control Panel- Windows SideShow
* Click Windows Sideshow and scroll down, you'll see an option that says get more gadgets online. It will list about 22 different gadgets. If you search for Sidebar gadgets (those are the gadgets on the right side of your monitor) you will find some that will work on Windows Sideshow. Some of those sidebar gadgets will work with the miniview, but they will only work if they are open under sidebar

Configure the MiniView LCD
* Click Start- Control Panel- Windows SideShow
* In the left-hand pane of the window, click MiniView
* Use the drop-down boxes and check boxes to configure the desired settings
* Once complete, click the OK button

MiniView Display Reset
* Click Start- Turn Off Computer- Restart
* Press F2 to enter the bios setup
* Navigate to Onboard Devices Group- LCD display
* Turn the LCD display OFF
* Exit the bios setup and save the changes
* Reboot into Windows
* Click Start- Turn Off Computer- Restart
* Press F2 to enter the bios setup
* Navigate to Onboard Devices Group- LCD display
* Turn the LCD display ON
* Exit the bios setup and save the changes
* Reboot into Windows

MiniView XPS Gadgets - Open File Security Warning?
* In explorer go to the folder C:\Program Files\XPSMiniViewGadget
* Right click XPSMiniViewGadget.exe and go to Properties
* At the bottom of the general tab, there is an option button that says, Security: This file came from another computer, and might be blocked to help protect this computer. There is an Unblock button
* Click it to unblock
* Repeat the steps for the XPSMiniView Settings.dll file

Optical Drive Not Detected When Booting From USB Key
If the XPS 420 system is booted to DOS using the USB key, then the extcd.sys drivers will not detect the optical drive. Change the BIOS boot order setting to the following:
1st: USB Device
2nd: Optical Drive
3rd: Hard Drive

RAID
The XPS 420 only supports RAID 0 and RAID 1.

Remote
The remote and keys do not look exactly the same, but it maps to the one that ships with the XPS 420. If you did not receive a remote with your PC, contact Customer Service and they can send you MR268 Remote Control Kit for Vista.