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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dell 700m on Windows 7

I own and regularly use a Dell 700m laptop which I purchased in the first quarter of 2005. From the factory the machine came with:
  • 512MB of PC2100
  • 1.6 GHz Pentium M
  • 5400 RPM 80GB hard disk
  • DVD-ROM/CDRW drive
My then girlfriend borrowed the machine for a year and installed 2GB of RAM to assist with performance of a variety of applications. This more than anything else has contributed to the machines longevity, and in fact I have now had the laptop for longer than that particular relationship lasted.

In anycase, earlier this year I came into a license for Windows Vista and figured that perhaps I would see how it faired on the laptop. And, for the most part it worked pretty well. There are some graphical performance problems given that the 855GM driver does not support much beyond mode setting, and as a result the graphical capabilities are less than what is available on Windows XP or pretty much any other operating system. However the machine has worked well for me all this time, although booting the machine took a fair amount of time

Earlier this month I experienced a hard disk malfunction and was in the position of replacing the drive, replacing the laptop or going without. After a goodly amount of humming and hawing over what to do, I decided that I would replace the hard disk. However, I got carried away and bought myself a 64GB IDE SSD from Transcend.

Yes, I am completely aware that investing the $200 that I paid for the drive into a new laptop would have been a vastly more economical use of my money, however, I am sentimental and a tinkerer at heart and I want to be able to show off my old machine booting faster than many peoples brand new computers.

So I purchased the SSD and installed it a couple days ago, and while I was at it I installed a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate that I got stuck with after one of my customers waffled on me.

Low and behold, the OS installed just fine and recognized the Broadcom network adapter out of the box, from which I was able to run Windows Update and install the wireless network driver for the allegedly unsupported Intel 2915 802.11g wireless card.

Then this morning I wrestled the video driver into place and achieved proper mode-setting.

So what does this all mean?

Well I can testify that I am running Windows 7 Ultimate on a Dell 700m with only one outstanding driver problem which applies to my never used SD card reader.


  1. hi I have that same dell and I too have had since 05 , it has not been used much for a few years and the SO keeps telling me to get rid of it as it collects dust on the desk , but I too liked it , nice size and feel and am going to install Linux on it and I wonder if an SSD would work for me ?
    did you notice much of a speed upside ?
    also the new SSDs are all SATAs it may be hard to find an IDE variety ??
    thanks Ben

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