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Windows 7 upgrade tips for Inspiron 1420

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Windows 7 upgrade tips for Inspiron 1420

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I just finished upgrading to Windows 7 64-bit from Vista 32-bit (which came with my machine) on my Inspiron 1420, by using the custom installation from a Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade disc.  I was kind of intimidated about necessity of 64-bit driver since there is no 64-bit support option on Dell's website.  So having gone through it successfully now, I thought I would share how I did it for those who may be thinking about the upgrade.

Chipset, Audio and 3945abg Wireless:

Although Dell does not list support for 64-bit drivers for the Inspiron 1420 on its driver homepage, there are three drivers on that page that do support both Windows Vista 32-bit and 64-bit.  These drivers are for the Intel Chipset, Sigmatel Audio and the Intel 3945abg wireless card.  Note that the Inspiron 1420 booted fine for the first time after the Win7 OS was installed, and the wireless card and audio were functioning with the Win7 native drivers.  So the Dell drivers are not absolutely necessary.  However, I decided to install the Dell chipset and wireless drivers from the 1420 driver page in case they would be more efficient.

Touchpad and Quickset:

Now, Dell's 1420 driver page does not have 64-bit drivers that may be used for the touchpad, quickset functions (external audio buttons) or video card.  After booting Win7, I found that my touchpad lacked the scroll features and only the mute button for quickset worked.  However, no quickset graphic popped up when the quickset buttons were used either.  Fortunately, Dell provides touchpad and quickset drivers for Windows 7 64-bit for the Inspiron 1545.  I downloaded and installed these drivers with success.  As far as I can tell, the scroll features and external quickset buttons function fully with the 1545 drivers.

Video Card:

Finally, the video card.  I have the NVIDIA 8400M GS.  In the past, I do not believe that the nvidia website offered support for this card.  In any case, there is a Windows 7 64-bit driver on their website that supports this card and worked for me.  Note that the nvidia website recommends updating the bios of the computer to version, A09 (available on Dell's driver page).  I had updated to the newest bios, version A10, and the driver seems to be compatible with this version.

For what it's worth, I also installed 2x2GB (for 4GB total) of DDR2 RAM prior to the install, and the OS recognizes all 4GB.

I hope this helps some other Inspiron users who may be interested in upgrading their OS.  Although I have not used the OS a whole lot yet, the machine seems completely stable and functions well. Good luck!




All Replies
  • I'm going to be doing this in a couple days.  Which version of the Dell Notebook System Software (NSS) did you use?  The version for the 1420 seems to be for vista 32-bit with no 64bit option.

  • I have not used the Notebook System Software.  Since Dell does not support drivers that are designed specifically for Windows 7 on the Inspiron 1420 (at least at this time), I do not think the software will be able to function properly for you.  You will need to locate and install Win7 drivers (and driver updates) manually if you upgrade to Windows 7, until Dell creates an NSS version specifically for Win7 and the 1420.


    thats for your Geforce for Win7 64bit


  • brayker310,

    I just updated my Inspiron 1420 to Win7 and came across your post. I encountered most of the same problems you did and managed to resolve them all except the VIDEO CARD issue. My Device Manager does not detect the NVIDIA Video Card, instead it just displays the Standard VGA adapter, which I believe is simply the integrated graphics of my motherboard.

    I tried installing the Windows 7 64-bit driver you specified from the NVIDIA website, however when I ran it the following message was displayed: ''No compatible drivers found for your configuration.'' Please let me know if you encountered the same problem or are aware of any solutions for this issue. Thanks.

  • Hi Brayker,

    I want to thank you for your post.  I have an Inspiron 1420 as well, and was frustrated when I upgraded my OS to Win 7, and touch pad scroll didn't work.  I then tried your suggestion of downloading the driver for Insprion 1545 and it worked great! 

    Thanks again,


    Big Smile

  • I was just at the driver page for the Inspiron 1545, and I did not see an NVIDIA driver for Windows 7 64 bit.  There is an Intel driver and an ATI driver and two TV drivers.  Any more suggestions?

  • abalter


    I was just at the driver page for the Inspiron 1545, and I did not see an NVIDIA driver for Windows 7 64 bit.


    Welcome to the forums first of all Yes


    I don't know why there wouldn't be Nvidia drivers offered on your downloads page if they shipped Inspiron 1545 models with Nvidia cards/chips?

    The following info obviously assumes you do actually have an Nvidia card/chip in yours Idea



    Thankfully... it hasn't been necessary to rely on Dell providing updated drivers for Nvidia graphics cards - nor specific OS, for over a year now.

    Back in December 2008, Nvidia themselves released specific 'Notebook' drivers, so all you need to do these days, is visit the Nvidia website, select your card (the drivers you need have 'Notebook' in brackets at the end, to indicate they're the laptop version of the drivers), select your OS, and click the 'Search' button, to be taken to the downloads page Wink



    BTW:  Although it might not be relevant to you, for the benefit of anybody coming across this thread as the result of a forum search... anyone in the UK should go to the website, because there are different/UK specific drivers available.

    From experience, I've found that:   “Beauty is in the eye of the beer-holder”!!


    XPS M1730:

    Smoke Grey Magnesium Alloy Chassis - with White LED Backlights
    17" UltraSharp WUXGA Widescreen TFT (1920 x 1200) with TrueLife
    Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T9300 @ 2.50GHz (800 MHz FSB, 4MB L2 cache)
    4GB (2x 2GB) Patriot Signature PC2-5400 @ 667MHz
    DUAL 512MB Nvidia 8800M GTX cards in SLi + 128MB Ageia PhysX
    640GB SATA II (2x 320GB WD Scorpio Black 7200rpm)
    8x Super-Multi DVD±RW
    Creative X-Fi Notebook (ExpressCard) + Creative GigaWorks T40 Series II
    Integrated 2MP Webcam
    Dell Wireless 355 Bluetooth 2.0 Module
    Intel Next-Gen Wireless-N Mini-Card
    TV Tuner and Dell Travel Remote Control
    4-in-1 Flash Card Reader (SSD/MMC/MS Pro/xD)

    230W AC Adapter / 9-cell Lithium-Ion Battery

    Windows 7 Home Premium (64bit)

  • I updated my Dell 1420 from Vista Home Premium 32-Bit to Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit on a clean install. Everything works fine except for the video driver. I read the posts here on the Dell forums and other forums not including contacting Dell Technical Support. (which my laptop is still  under warranty) I have not been able to fine a working Windows 7 video driver for the GeForce 8400gs m.

    I was told by the Dell Tech support that Dell is not supporting the Window 7 video driver nor will they in the future. It was recommended to me to re-install Vista back on my system.

    Does anyone have any links to a workable video driver? or figured out how to get it to work?





    select the "GeForce 8M Series (Notebooks)"

    and "Windows 7 64-bit"

  • I tried the first time around and still no dice. Currently attempting to use a driver with modified file to bypass the impass on start up screen.

    Not sure why for some users of the Dell 1420 can install a workable video driver and others can't.


  • Wow, Thanks.  You are better than Dell Support!!!

  • My 2 cents:


    Wireless issue for Dell 1420 and Win 7:

    I installed the 3945 802.11a/g Mini-card driver 1st, and then installed the 1545 quickset driver 2nd.  After restarting, I got the following error message:

    " Your Wi-Fi catcher band configuration is not compatible with your WLAN card band configuration."

    I then reinstalled the 3945 802.11a/g Mini-card driver, and have not gotten the error again.  Note that I don't have wireless at home, and will go to starbucks tomorrow to test the wireless out and post whether I've had success.  I am able to see my neighbors' networks so I am hopeful that it will work (all their networks are secured so I don't have access).  But be careful about the *order* in which you install the drivers if you are attempting a Win 7 install on a 1420.


    Nvidia 8400M GS over-heat warning:

    Right after installing Win 7, I then installed Win Updates, AVG antivirus, A10 BIOS, and then the chipset.  I left it for 15 min to watch the Olympics, then returned to continue the install process.  Upon returning, I noticed the frame just to the left of the touchpad was quite warm.  I downloaded CPUID HWMonitor to look at the temps - the 8400M GS GPU temp had risen to 90 C (at idle) and was continuing to slowly creep up!  The cores were up in the 70s C as well.  So I quickly downloaded the Nvidia drivers from the Nvidia website as suggested above and installed them.  After reboot the temp slowly crept back down, and I am now idling at 58 C on the GPU and 35 C on the cores. 

    Make sure you install the Nvidia drivers right away!  Don't wait around!  But make sure you update the bios to A10 first, as suggested above.



  • Hello,

    I am just inheriting a 1420 from my daughter. It's one with the integrated Intel Graphics. 

    I am planning on upgrading the Vista install to a fresh Windows 7 install. Does anyone have any idea which drivers I should use for the Integrated graphics?  I plan to try the 64bit version on Win 7.


  • The native Windows 7 drivers should work fine.

  • Hi, generally speaking Windows Vista drivers work for most of Dell products that still dont have genuine Windows 7 drivers - and im not talking just about laptops, guys.. we could easily install Windows 7 even on OptiPlex GX520/GX620 series.. 

    as for the laptops, the biggest trouble and headache is usually QuickSet application. I found out in other post a link to an older version of QuickSet that DOES NOT detect OS version.. it worked beautifully on my Dell Precision M65 - Windows 7 Enterprise 32bit with Beta SP1

    (thanks Tavilla! :)