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Dell Vista Laptop to XP


OSNN Veteran Original
Ok, my friend has a Dell Inspiron 6400 with Vista Home on it.

For many reasons I want to put XP on it.

Now these laptops come with this MediaDirect software, which allows the front media keys to work. The cd that comes for that says on the disc "Use this DVD before you install your operating system" Do I need to, or can this be done afterwards.

Mind you, the partition Dell had on the computer for Mediadirect in the first place was removed there is only one partition with vista on it.

Also, will there be any other problems with this computer once XP is on it?

Does this all make sense? I have a hard time explaining this....

Will MediaDirect work with XP even? Any help would help.

Admiral Michael

Michaelsoft Systems CEO
I have a new Inspiron 6400 with XP. Now when I got it I formatted the drive clean and reinstalled Windows.

MediaDirect isn't needed for the frint buttons to work. MediaDirect is that program that you can run instead of windows to watch movies and such. The disc will restore it if you change the hard drive. If you format the C partition then you will be fine, you will need to insert that disc to restore the MediaDirect software that can be used in Windows.

Now in response to your question, to get the front keys to work you need to goto the Dell site and download the QuickSet software this will get all the shortcut buttons working which includes the FN+x keys and the power management and battery monitor tools. It also restores the wireless shortcut keys.


OSNN Veteran Original
Alright sounds great, so if I put the XP cd in, format install without mediadirect, and go get QuickSet, all those keys will work fine?

Great, awesome.


Bow Down to the King
Political User
Actually, you do not need QuickSet to make the media buttons work.

Volume Control, Play/Pause, Stop, ect. work for Windows Media Player.

However, you do need QuickSet to make SOME of the Fn key combinations work (e.g. Fn+F3 to show battery status) and the MediaDirect button.

QuickSet is a poorly written program and I'd rather lose functionality than having it installed.

Admiral Michael

Michaelsoft Systems CEO
They offered the Inspiron 6400 with XP so there are drivers for XP. I don't see any issues with the switch.

And like I said I have a Inspiron 6400 which is less then a month old and I opted for XP. All the drivers are on the Dell site.


Bow Down to the King
Political User
Just as long as you reformat (not quick either) you will be fine. Early on I ordered several computers that shipped with Vista (before they started shipping XP again) and swapped it out for XP. I haven't had any problems.


OSNN Veteran Original
Alright, I got all drivers installed needed except for sound.

I cant find a sound driver that supports 6400 XP, got a link?


OSNN Veteran Original
Actually, the mousepad doesn't work now? Where you put your finger to the side and it scrolls the page, how do I get that back?

Admiral Michael

Michaelsoft Systems CEO
When I got my Inspiron I cleared the whole drive and partitioned it the way I want. Doing so I lost the MediaDirect capabilities which isn't a big thing since I use my laptop for other things instead. It is nice for Dell to supply a disc to restore the MediaDirect partition tho, I paid the extra $90 for XP Pro so my laptop didn't have too much crapware except Symantec but I still wanted to clear is fully.

About a week after I bought the laptop I purchased the internal bluetooth module from dell for $30CDN. It's nice to sync my Treo wirelessly now. So far I am loving Dell, the BT install was easy, the format went smoothly.

I will now recommend Dell (wasn't sure about them before since I had no experience with them), the only thing is that I don't have any experience with there tech support yet.

One thing I noticed is it's easy to get to certain parts, you can actually buy parts from Dell, and they have the service manual online. My old Compaq was a pretty solid machine but try to get simply parts for it required me to send it in. I wanted new rubber feet, they said they can't ship that out and I had to send the laptop to them. Now Im not sure if Dell sells the feet but if they sell the BT module then they must or at least have the ability to send it out.

I <3 Dell

Admiral Michael

Michaelsoft Systems CEO
No, I didnt see your post. I was just saying how I liked my Dell and how I don't use the MediaDirect part. I sort of rambled on.

AS for the touchpad, did you install the drivers? I did. It adds a nice "Disable touchpad when USB pointer detected" option.

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