Inspiron 9400 E1705 Hard Drive Upgrade ? - General Hardware - Laptop - Dell Community

Inspiron 9400 E1705 Hard Drive Upgrade ?


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Inspiron 9400 E1705 Hard Drive Upgrade ?

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A couple of questions:

1) What's the largest hard drive that the 9400 BIOS will recognize? Please include drive manufacturer and model number.

2) What drives have most 9400 or E1705 owners upgrading to?

Reason for this post: I've a 9400, T7400, BIOS Rev. A09, 4GB RAM (3.25 available), 100GB Hatachi HTS721010G9SA00 with XP Pro SP3 installed; and, I want a second drive sitting on a shelf with Vista Ultimate 32-bit installed in case something goes wrong with the 100GB Hatachi.


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  • Any 2.5" 9.5 mm SATA drive, any size, any speed will work.  Only the high-capacity Hitachi and Toshiba drives that are physically too large (12.5 mm) will not.

    That said, if you plan to clone the existing drive, you have several things to consider.  Read the link below.


  • Have a E1705 T7600 4GB Ram (all available) 200GB 7200 RPM w/Vista ultimate 64bit, so yes you can upgrade your hard drive, don't believe capacity really matters as long as physical size is the same.

  • Thanks for the reply.

    Just did you get all 4GB available? I thought that the E1705 was basically the same as the 9400. Is that not correct?

    CPUZ (from shows my main board as a Dell 0YD479

    My BIOS setup indicates that the System is an MP061, BIOS Version A09.

    Is your BIOS the same?

  • Hi,

       I have called Dell's Support Line, informing that my Dell Inspirion 9400 is running over A09 BIOS, and would like to know the maximum hard-drive capactiy.

       On my several calls, I always was informed that from my current 2.5 SATA 120Gb hard-drive I could upgrade to a 2.5 SATA hard-drive of 250Gb max. capacity.

       Larger then 250Gb, Dell doesn't assure that hard-drive will be recognized

       They don't assure, but that doesn't mean that it won't work ;)

       Therefore, did any of you already tried a hard-drive larger then 250Gb?

       For me 250Gb still being a low size for an HDD.

       Regarding Dell's Media Direct, I must be honest... is a waste on a such machine as this Inspiron. Reason why, I have format the full HDD when I bought the laptop ;)


  • Hello

    Has anyone installed a new 320Gb 2.5 SATA and kept Media Direct? If so can you give this novice some direction??

    Thanks in Advance

  • Media Direct has to be installed on the new drive from the Media Direct CD - it cannot be cloned.


  •    You can clone it, but you must be careful on what type of clone to do, as it must copy the MBR Table too!


       I cannot recall anymore, but I once came across a website which had instructions of how to do a proper clone of Direct Media.


       Now, in continuation to my previous post, I can clarify that I removed the original HDD from my Dell, and installed a new 500Gb 2.5 HDD that I bought.


       Five months have passed, and so far so good. There were no conflicts any other issues with the OS.


       The only thing that I notice was a slight increase of temperature in the areas that surround the HDD.

    But as long as you keep the underneath are open so that air can flow, there should be no problem whatsoever.


       Therefore, I can conclude that it is possible to use a larger HDD then the maximum stated by Dell (see my previous post).


       Regards and awesome 2010 to everyone

  • How did you get 4GB memory when the Dell spec indicate only 2GB is supported?

  • Dragon Dagger, if you read this post:

    it tells you how to get 4GB in the E1705.

    P.S. to anyone that ever posts on a technical forum, if you find a solution dont just say "oh hai i got it worked bia" with out putting part numbers in the post. then guys like me that search google 5 years later can still use the relative information.

  • What your bios will recognize according to dell is 250 GB . This does not mean you cannot put a bigger one ;You can but one very important thing is to make one partition with 250 GB maxi (or smaller)and the other partition does not matter . The reason is that if by any chance windows put any neccessary file to boot your system to a location after 250 gb ,your system won't see it and than won't start .

    This means any HD will work (with at least two prtitions)

  • I've upgraded my HD to a 250GB just last night. I have the e1705 laptop on Win XP.  I flashed the BIOS to A09. Currently, the BIOS only reflects my old HD of 100GB and will not let me change it. Anyone know what I need to do next to get my new hard drive size recognized for 250 and not 100?

  • Hi You need to make one partition of 100 gb or less and the other one with what is left .

    Good luck

  • my Inspiron 9400( bought in 2006, BIOS @ A08) HDD is showing up errors. I am looking to replace the current HDD(2.5" SATA 100GB 5400 RPM). I am faced with a delima, when I look at the various websites thrown up by google. I am confused which SATA version my laptop supports, I can see SATA, SATA 2, SATA II, SATA 300. can somebody clarify which SATA version my laptop will support and can I go for 7200 RPM or am I restricted to 5400? Thanks for the help in advance.

  • On my Inspiron 9400 I have a T2500 CPU with BIOS A09

    I have successfuly upgraded to a Western Digital Scorpio Black 320GB 7200rpm 16mb cache, SATA3 hard drive with no problems.

    I recently installed a KINGSTON SV200S3 128GB SATA3 Solid State Drive again with no problems.

    I have also installed an additional 2GB DDR2-667 for a total of 4GB of memory,  because my processor is 32bit only about 3.2GB of memory is actually recognized, again no problems.

    One other point, be aware the SATA interface on the Inspiron 9400 is SATA 1 so whatever SATA drive you install whether it be 1, 2 or 3 the drive throughput will never be more than what the SATA1 interface allows.

    Do an internet search for Inspiron 9400 upgrades, lots of info available.

  • I know this has been awhile.  I tried to upgrade my e1705's hard drive, but it gives me an error [XLDR] !ATA when it tries to boot up after cloning.  May I ask how did you do it?