Wednesday 26 January 2011

Installing Windows on Dell Inspiron 1545

If you're trying to install a clean copy of Windows XP or Windows 7 on a Dell Inspiron 1545 laptop, these notes might help...

  • You must update to Dell's latest BIOS before you start, otherwise the XP installer will fail with a blue screen.
  • Dell's BIOS updater only runs under Windows, so use the preinstalled Windows to update the BIOS before you do anything else.
  • If installing Windows XP, you need to build a "slipstreamed" installation CD that incorporates Service Pack 3.  (Google for the instructions on this.)  Otherwise, again, the XP installer will fail with a blue screen.
  • You can also install a full retail RTM Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) DVD.  Of course that will need a unique license key (just like XP).    There may be a cheap way of buying legal license keys if you already own a genuine Windows 7 installation disk: see - but I can't vouch for that website, and it sounds a bit too good to be true. 
  • Out of curiousity, I also tried installing from a Dell OEM disk of Windows 7, but this was unsuccessful: halfway through, it complained that it couldn't see the DVD drive.  I wish I'd taken advantage of Dell's free Vista-to-Windows-7 upgrade offer before it expired!

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