Vostro 420 4GB Memory Limitation

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Vostro 420 4GB Memory Limitation

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Hi, I'm thinking about buying the Vostro 420. According to the Dell site it says that this desktop can only handle 4GB of memory max. Is this a BIOS limitation and are there plans to increase this to 8GB?  I'm assuming Dell made this limitation because the Vostro 420 does not officially support any X64 64bit Operating Systems.  The intel site says that the G45 Exprss Chipset can handle up to 16GB.  Are there plans to change this limitation via a BIOS upgrade? Thanks.

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  • I have a December 28 2008 built Vostro 420  Q6600 quad processor.    I'm running 8gb ram and Vista 64 and Windows 7 on external Drives.

    Windows XP and Vista 32 dual boot on the internal drive.   I just power of the internal drive and boot Vista64 via ESATA cable.

    Just to keep Windows happy every boot drive I use has the 64mb fat16 Dell service partition on it.

    VM ware is next.

     

    I think its a marketing thing to keep the Vostro 420 line off the 64 bit OS.   Also limits the calls to support.

    The paperwork on my system states that Dell will only support the OS that shipped on the system.

    That drive is sitting in a box if I ever need service.

     

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  • The inspiron 530 also says 4 gigs max but I can say for certain that after bios update to 1.0.15 that 8 gigs aka 4 of the 2 gig modules Works fine with Vista 64 BIT.

    I would suspect the same is true for the Vostro 420 but I'm not familiar with that model.

    1.0.3 is the current bios afaikt.

    http://ftp.us.dell.com/bios/Vx20-103.exe

     

     

    Report Unresolved Customer Service Issues here
    I do not work for Dell. I too am a user.
    The forum is primarily user to user, with Dell employees moderating.

  • I have two Vostro 420s using bios 1.0.3 and they both work with 8GB under Windows 7 64bit no problem.  Vista 64bit should work fine too, if you have all the drivers you need.  I think the only one I had to get was the soundcard driver, and despite what Dell says the 32bit download also includes the 64bit driver.

    So, get your 8GB and enjoy! Smile

  • I have a December 28 2008 built Vostro 420  Q6600 quad processor.    I'm running 8gb ram and Vista 64 and Windows 7 on external Drives.

    Windows XP and Vista 32 dual boot on the internal drive.   I just power of the internal drive and boot Vista64 via ESATA cable.

    Just to keep Windows happy every boot drive I use has the 64mb fat16 Dell service partition on it.

    VM ware is next.

     

    I think its a marketing thing to keep the Vostro 420 line off the 64 bit OS.   Also limits the calls to support.

    The paperwork on my system states that Dell will only support the OS that shipped on the system.

    That drive is sitting in a box if I ever need service.

     

  • Thanks for the replies!!! I now have better information when I make my purchase. 

    Curious...  alanc172, why do you put the service partition on every boot drive?  Doesn't the service partition only have the diagnostics on it?

    I agree with the marketing aspect. Although it seems simple to add another driver pack for 64bit operating systems, it must be a major investment to support it.  I noticed that Dell restricts their BIOS with several of their lines.

  • <!-- @page { margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in } -->

    With the Dell Service partition in place, Windows never will ask for a License code.

    I can change any hardware (except mother board) and never have to call Windows

    to re authorize my system for updates.

  • I am thinking of upgrading my Vostro 420 memory to 8 gb. What is the model # and manufacturer of memory you are using

  • Mushkin   996587   2gb x 2   HP2-6400   two kits for 8gb .   Less than $100

  • How do you format a new drive to include the 64mb fat16 Dell service partition?

    I am trying to "clone" my old Dimension 8200 to the new Vostro 420.

    My plan isas follows.  First, format the new drive, including all partitions usually utilized by Dell such as the 64mb fat16 Dell Service partition.

    Second; copy my old windows xp install from the old Dell.  I guess there are no hidden files that I need to worry about, so I would  just do  a straight copy.

    Finally, I would do a Windows repair install using the system disc in order to complete the "clone:"of  my old system.

    Do you think that will work?

    By the way, at what point should I add in the old PCI cards?

  • I'm so confused, i just bought a Vostro 420, and put in 8GB memory. it doesn't work at all, it gives me 2 beep and amber light blinking. once i remove 2 sticks from the MB, it works with 4GB memory in it.

  • originalsnuffy

    I am trying to "clone" my old Dimension 8200 to the new Vostro 420.

    My plan isas follows.  First, format the new drive, including all partitions usually utilized by Dell such as the 64mb fat16 Dell Service partition.

    Second; copy my old windows xp install from the old Dell.  I guess there are no hidden files that I need to worry about, so I would  just do  a straight copy.

    Finally, I would do a Windows repair install using the system disc in order to complete the "clone:"of  my old system.

    Do you think that will work?

    By the way, at what point should I add in the old PCI cards?

    I use Ghost, which copies at the sector level, to transfer over hard drive partitions to new drives. No partioning or formatting is necessary on the new drive.

  • Mushkin 996587 2gb x 2 HP2-6400 two kits for 8gb . Less than $100

  • I run my Vostro 420 with W7 64Bit and 8GB memory.  No issues at all.  Vista 64Bit did not work for me at all.

  • Here's how to recreate the Dell Diagnostic Utility Partition from scratch:

    Method 1 - Cloning:

    If you have a license for Ghost, you can use that to clone the partition (not disk)...however, there are a few caveats.

    1) a partition of the correct size (or larger) must already exist, and

    2) it must be in the correct location on the hard drive, which is at the very beginning of the drive.

    3) cloning the partition often results in an unhidden partition, which may mess up your boot configuration file, if you have an existing operating system on the target drive.

    You can use Clonezilla instead of Ghost, it's just a little more technical.  If you're going to use CloneZilla, I'd recommend downloading the Parted Magic Live CD - it's pretty great, and it's an Open Source combination of Ghost and Partition Magic.

    You can also use Odin, or Acronis True Image... I know that Seagate HDDs come with a free copy, perhaps others do as well.

    Method 2 - DIY:

    **This is how I do it, and it works every time.**

    I like to create the partition from scratch, and then either "upgrade" the "existing" diagnostic partition - which means run the diagnostic tool for your model and transfer the tools to the 64 Mb partition.

    I use MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Free Edition, and it works just fine.

    1) create a 64 Mb Primary Fat16 partition at the beginning of the drive - hit "Apply"

    **note** don't assign a drive letter, but if you do, remove it later

    2) Right-click and "Modify" the partition - hide the partition - hit "Apply"

    3) Right-click and "Modify" the partition, and change the "Partition Type ID" to 0xDE Dell OEM - hit "Apply"

    4) use the Dell diagnostic utility for your model to "upgrade" the diagnostic utility partition.

    Dan Goodells' Method:

    This guy is the Obi-Won Kenobi of the Dell Diagnostic Partition...he shows you how to recreate it, customize it, roll your own, etc.  His name even ends in "Dell"

    http://www.goodells.net/dellutility/

    Old School Method:

    Create the partition with a Hex editor.

    Have fun with that.

  • I advise you stay away from the dell vostro 420 I have one its

    <ADMIN NOTE: Profane word removed as per TOU >

  • I have a vostro 420 I advise you not to get one it is not what it seems its

    <ADMIN NOTE: Profane word removed as per TOU>