After installing Replacement hard-drive, can I use the original Dell disk for my Drivers? - Disk Drives (HDD, CD/DVD, Blu-ray) Forum - Disk Drives - Dell Community

After installing Replacement hard-drive, can I use the original Dell disk for my Drivers?

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After installing Replacement hard-drive, can I use the original Dell disk for my Drivers?

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The harddrive on my Dimension E521 desktop needs to be replaced.  The replacement would be a Western Digital SATA 500gb with 16mb cache, but it is blank - no OS or drivers.  There are complicated directions for downloading drivers from the Dell site, but can't I just use the Drivers & Utilities disk that was originally supplied with my computer? (plus any recommended updates).   If I insert that disk into my disk drive, will it contain everything I need and load them in the proper order automatically?   (When I put it in the computer now, with the old drive, it doesn't seem to do anything.)  

Secondly, my computer was supplied with Vista but I'd like to get Windows 7.   On the Dell site, they say only Vista or XP are validated for that model computer.  On a fresh full install, would I have any problem if I went with Windows 7? 

Thanks - hope you can help me!


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  • spldg

    Yes, you can use the Dell reinstallation discs that were shipped with PC.

    After installing Vista, you need install the drivers and applications in the following order,

    Desktop System Software [if applicable]
    Network Interface Card [NIC]
    Then all other drivers and applications.

    Followed by installing the Anti Virus utility, updating the definitions, followed by all the critical Microsoft updates.

    Regards to upgrading to Windows 7, go HERE for the information about this subject.



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  • The Dell disc labeled “Drivers & Utilities” does not appear to have the drivers you mentioned .  When I open it and select My System, here’s what it gives me:

    Network (NIC) Drivers:  Broadcom 440X 10/100 Integrated Controller   Rev: A01

    Audio Drivers:  SIGMATEAL STAC 92XX C-Major HD Audio   Rev: A02

    Misc. Utilities:  Dell OS Tools Rev: A00

    Modem Applications: 

    Conextant 56K V.9x DFVc Modem  Rev:  A04

    Conextant 56K V.9x DFVc Modem  Rev:  A03


    Modem Diagnostics:  Conextant  D850 56K V9.9X PCI DO Modem ULD Rev: A00

    Modem Drivers:  Conextenat D850 56K V9.9X PCI DO Modem ULD Rev: A01

    System Dell Diagnostics:  Dell 32- bit Diagnosticd for Resource CD (graphic user interface) Rev: A1294

    Video Diagnostics:  ATI X1300 PRO 256MG  Rev: A01

    Video Drivers: 

    ATI TVT2 Wonder  Elite internal single analog NTSC  TV  Tuner Rev: A06

    ATI TIT7 Theater 650 Pro _NTSC-ATSC Combo TV Tuner(PCle) Rev: A01 Vista 32bit

    ATI X1300 Pro 256mg Rev: A00

    AVerMedia TVT5 M779 Interal PAL-SECAM-DVBt Hybrid TV Tuner Rev: A00

    Lumanate Angell II TVT3 -0 Interal Daul Analog NTSC TV Tuner  Rev: A01

    nVidia GeForce 7300 L# 129 Rev: A02


    I also went to the Drivers & Downloads page on the Dell website, entered my Service Tag#, and it gave me different list of drivers.     Nothing like the drivers you mentioned.  I looked everywhere on the site, and could not find the ones you specified.   Here’s all it gave me; they just appear to be upgrades:


    Applications:  Roxio: Roxio Drag to Disc  9.X Vista 117726 Vista Blocking D2D fix ( 14MB); "Urgent"

    Applications:  Sonic Solutions Roxio Creator LE – Vista 117725, Roxio Creator DE 9.0 Patch (37 MB);  “Recommended”

    Applications:  Yahoo Music Jukebox 2.0 for Vista & XP, m.0.1, A00 (161 KB);  “Recommended”

    Audio:  Driver: SIGMATEL STAC 92XX C-Major HD Audio v6.10.0.5511, A04 (7 mb);  “Recommended” 

    BIOS:  Dell Dimension System BIOS 1.1.11 (813 KB); “Optional”

    CD/DVD:  Removable Storage Firmware:  TSST  TS-H653A, HH SATA 16X DVD+/-RW, v.D500, A03  (963 KB); “Recommended”

    Diagnostics:  Diagnostics Utility:  Dell 32 bit Diagnostics (Graphical User Interface version) vA1298/0438, A1298/0 (5 MB); “Optional”  

    Network: Driver:  Broadcast 440X 10/100 Integrated Controller, v.v4.60, A02 (4 MG) : “Recommended 

    Network: Diagnostics Utility:  Broadcast 440X 10/100 Integrated Controller, v.v10.0.7c, A01 (9 MG) : “Recommended” 

    SATA Drives:  nVidia Application:  MediaShield, v.9.92, A02  (20 mb) ;  “Urgent” 

    SATA Drives: nVidia Driver:  MediaShield , v.9.92, A01  (20 mb) ;  “Recommended” 

    Video:  nVidia Driver: DForce 6150, v.97.46  (32-bit) A05 (30 mb); “Optional”

    I looked everywhere on the Dell Drivers & Downloads site and could not find anything more.   No Desktop System Software, no Chipset, no PCMCIA/Smartcard controller, no Intell Storage Manager, and I'm not sure those listed above are even the base drivers for video, NIC, Audio, modem, BIOS, etc.      Is this true?   If so, what do I do?

  • Hi Spldg,

    You only need to install the drivers that came with your drivers disc, network, video, audio, and modem (if you have one).

    Good luck!

  • Thank you Osprey for your kind help.

    1) Just to clarify, does it appear to you that I do not need to load a Desktop System Software driver, Chipset Driver, or Smartcard controller? (as is directed in Dell's general directions for installing drivers to a new Hd).    I don't need these at all?

    2) The reason I'm doing this  (installing a new hard-drive) is because there seem to be a number of irresolvable corruptions among my Operating System and Drivers that I've spent months trying to work out to no avail.  This week I even tried to do a fresh full reinstallation of Vista from the reinstallation CD provided with my computer, and that made everything even worse.   I noticed, however, your link to the artice on "Restoring Your Computer´s Software to the Factory Settings".    Is this worth trying instead as a last ditch effort to save the original drive?   If so, how is that possible to do, if my existing drivers and operation system are bad, and the directions don't seem to include using the factory disks for fresh copies of the Drivers and Windows?    I don't know that uncorruption versions of these exist anywhere on my original harddrive, especially after my recent Vista Reinstallation attempt and all of the old restore points are gone.   How would this be possible?

    3) When I first got my computer, I didn't like Vista, so Dell sent me a "Reinstallation CD for Microsoft Windows  XP Professional with Service Pack 2".  They included a product key #.   I never used this, but I would like to install in if I go with a new harddrive.    Is there any reason why I can't to that?    If I use it on a brand new (blank) harddrive, am I correct in assuming that I don't have to follow the special directions for "Downgrading from Vista to XP"?   ( PC World article:,2817,2287685,00.asp ) ?


  • Since your Dell drivers disc does not include the Desktop System Software driver, Chipset Driver, or Smartcard controller, you don't need them.

    If you want to try the factory image restore, here's the link. There is also an article on how to perform a clean installation (Vista or XP). Unless you diagnose this as a hard drive problem, I wouldn't go to the effort of replacing the hard drive. If you want to install XP, you do not have to go the "downgrade" route.