Windows 7 forum

General discussion

Installing Windows 7 32-bit on a Dell Dimension 4600 Desktop

by hoopsurfer / January 7, 2010 5:53 PM PST

Another upgrade experience - I upgraded my in-law's Dell Dimension 4600 that had been running XP. The idea was to minimize the upgrade expense - they are planning to buy a new system next year. It was an easy upgrade and with one special driver install to support the built-in graphics hardware, the machine runs GREAT with Windows 7. I wanted to capture the basic experience for others to learn from and use, so here it is.

Preparing
---------
A quick check with Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor noted the machine had only 512MB of memory, so I first bought & installed 1GB (2x512MB)of the cheapest PC3200 DDR RAM I could find and tested it by booting XP and rerunning the upgrade advisor - the only hardware issue reported was no support for the built-in Intel graphics chip. I figured if I couldn't fix that, an inexpensive AGP graphics card would remedy the issue. Overall the system felt sluggish even on XP so I was hopeful it would improve with Windows 7.

I had to do a clean install from a machine that was previously running XP 32-bit to Windows 7 32-bit. I performed a full backup, and then installed the Windows 7 Easy Transfer for XP software from http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/products/features/windows-easy-transfer and backed up all the user information on the machine to an external drive ? THIS STEP MAKES MIGRATION EASY so don?t skip it. It is a good time to make a note of any interesting software you are going to want to reinstall ? the report from the easy transfer software makes this easy.

Installing Windows 7
--------------------
The actual installation process is done by booting from the proper DVD (32-bit for this system). When the disk partitions come up, click the advanced menu and delete all the existing partitions (there were some OEM partitions for recovery that I wiped away - those partitions only supported recovery to XP so they were useless). Once all the partitions are deleted, proceed with the installation and the system will setup default partitions and boot up fine.

Fixing Video
------------
At this point the system runs 640x480 on a generic VGA driver, so fixing the video driver is a priority. I had noted the machine had a
Intel 865G graphics processor, which Windows 7 does not support - don't panic.

Install the graphics processor drivers from http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/download.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=gen&releaseid=R106458&SystemID=DIM_P4_4600&servicetag=&os=WW1&osl=en&deviceid=11167&devlib=0&typecnt=0&vercnt=1&catid=6&impid=-1&formatcnt=1&libid=6&typeid=-1&dateid=-1&formatid=-1&fileid=137459 ,
- the Dell support site, however don?t just run it, instead save it to your downloads directory and perform the following steps and the download is finished and you find it:

o run it by right clicking "Troubleshoot Compatibility
o choose "Troubleshoot Program", next
o "The Program worked with an earlier version of Windows" and "The program requires additional permissions" boxes are checked, next
o select "XP" option, next
o press ?Start the Program" and that should complete the install

If you don?t do this the install may fail (it needs to think it is running on XP). After a reboot the screen resolution improved to 1280x1024 - quite acceptable. Of course you will not get Aero support - if you want that you will need to get an appropriate AGP video card.

Restore your Data
-----------------
At this point, plug in your external drive where the Easy Transfer file is stored, wander to the file, double click it and a wizard will take you through the restore process.

Installing Basic Software
-------------------------
Install all the updates required from windows update, reboot, run windows update again and install any other important updates. Next install http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials/ ? antivirus, Windows Live suite, configure desktop gadgets (clock, weather, and calendar in my case).

Final Check
-----------
Visiting the ?Devices and Printers? off the start menu verified there were no other missing devices. I installed Office (2010 beta), a few other needed apps, and then ran a full backup to an external drive. The system was noticably more responsible and had a faster boot time - some of that is likely due to clearing out the cruft from an old XP system, the rest because Windows 7 works so well.

With that the Dell Dimension 4600 runs great with Windows 7!

Hoopsurfer?

Post a reply
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Installing Windows 7 32-bit on a Dell Dimension 4600 Desktop
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Installing Windows 7 32-bit on a Dell Dimension 4600 Desktop
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Thank you!
by TaraS_WinTeam / January 8, 2010 8:24 AM PST
Collapse -
Dimension 4600/Windows 7 Drivers
by amkfoo / January 10, 2010 10:20 PM PST

Hello, I also have a Dimension 4600 and would like to run Windows 7. Can you please re-post the link for the graphics card driver?

Thank you

Collapse -
driver
by jeff_windows_team / January 11, 2010 12:54 AM PST

Dell should have it on their website...

Collapse -
Dimension 4600/Windows 7 Drivers
by amkfoo / January 11, 2010 1:16 AM PST
In reply to: driver

I cannot seem to find the right driver to work

Collapse -
Broken link
by amkfoo / January 11, 2010 4:30 AM PST

Hello, I also have a Dimension 4600 and would like to run Windows 7. Can you please re-post the link for the graphics card driver?

Thank you

Collapse -
I did some searching
by lacsr / January 11, 2010 8:24 AM PST
In reply to: Broken link

Look here:http://cid-ad503689c74985c7.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Public/Intel%2082865g%20Driver%20%5E5Vista-Win7%5E6.zip

Collapse -
No audio after upgrading a Dell 4600 to Windows 7
by anthony10150 / January 11, 2010 1:24 PM PST

I had no troubles upgrading to Windows 7 and overall things are running smoothly. However, I find that I no longer have audio. It was my understanding that there were no compatibility issues in such an upgrade; and when I check the status of the audio drivers, it shows that it's functioning properly. Dell's website does not have an audio driver for Windows 7. Does anyone have a perspective on how I can work around this?

Thanks

Collapse -
drivers
by jeff_windows_team / January 12, 2010 3:09 AM PST

1st: Try the Vista driver if available.

For the future- be sure to post a new topic instead of asking a question on the end of someone else's thread. It works out better for everyone that way.

Collapse -
Thanks
by bazzaf / April 1, 2010 7:57 AM PDT

This is a brilliant piece of advice! A wonderful step-by-step solution to fixing screen resolution, which I could never have figured out for myself. All the other fixes I could find on the internet for inability to change screen resolution involved spending money on a new graphics card. At least this allows screen viewing at normal resolution and I can think about upgrading the hardware at my leisure.

Collapse -
Upgrading Dimension 4600 to Windows 7

Wish I would have read your post before upgrading. When I upgrading I did not change the setting of the partition so now half of my hard-drive is for recovering Windows XP. Do you know how I can get rid of that partition? BTW-I did exactly what you recommended and now the graphics look great. Thanks much.

Collapse -
http://forums.cnet.com/7723-19411_102-377324.html?tag=mncol;
by milton9412 / March 9, 2011 3:57 PM PST

Went thru the precess several times until I got the fix to work. Just have to be patient a let the computer do its work.
Thanks

Collapse -
Thanks
by TunzBrock / March 3, 2012 1:29 PM PST

I have been working on this problem for the same machine for a week. With your help I fixed it in 5 minutes. Thanks

Collapse -
Dell dimension 4600 Windows 7 multi media controller driver
by rosemeadow58 / September 25, 2012 4:10 PM PDT

Can anyone tell me how to get the multimedia audio controller driver for windows 7 for a dell dimension 4600 Everything is running great but have no sond have tried many drivers and still nothing About to pull my hair out as i can't seem to find the right driver

Collapse -
Windows 7 on a Dell Dimension 4600 is a good combination

The update to Windows 7 (32 bit) went very smoothly for me on an IDE hard drive; and upgrading the video card from the GeForce FX 5200 to a GeForce 6200 resulted in a very capable machine.

Popular Forums
icon
Computer Help 49,613 discussions
icon
Computer Newbies 10,349 discussions
icon
Laptops 19,436 discussions
icon
Security 30,426 discussions
icon
TVs & Home Theaters 20,308 discussions
icon
Windows 10 360 discussions
icon
Phones 15,802 discussions
icon
Windows 7 7,351 discussions
icon
Networking & Wireless 14,641 discussions

Smartphone tip

Hoarding photos on your phone?

Those picture are hogging memory and could be slowing down your phone.