Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


What is needed to upgrade a Dell Dimension 8300 XP to 8.1?

  1. #1


    Posts : 1
    Microsoft Windows XP Pro V 2002 SP3

    What is needed to upgrade a Dell Dimension 8300 XP to 8.1?


    Dell true to form has made the cmos non-upgradeable for use with WIN8. So, with regrets, I need to know what motherboard, cpu and sound cards, memory, etc, I will need in order to upgrade this elephant.

    Then of course, I need to know if my graphics card, NVIDIA GeForce 6200, power supply 250W, etc are sufficient. The power supply is welded to the frame of the box, so will be a pill to change out. I also need suggestions on which Sound card, since there isn't one now. It too is part of the motherboard.

    I guess I should also ask if this upgrade is even possible. Is WIN 8 backward compatible with xp software? I hope so, since it would be cheaper than purchasing a new machine and software.

    Any and all advice will be appreciated.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Easiest way is to run "Upgrade assistant" : Upgrade Assistant: FAQ - Windows Help
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 102
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro


    I need to know what motherboard, cpu and sound cards, memory, etc
    Hello Wendsong,

    I upgraded a Dimension 8400 to Windows 8.0 and I was able to use all existing hardware (including the Pentium 4 630); however, I would advise you to abandon ship on your effort because the motherboard and PSU are proprietary and you will have to modify the case to get a standard ATX motherboard to fit. In addition, the older PSUs have a thicker connector and they do not easily plug into the newer mobos (I found that out the hard way). I also would not feel comfortable using an older 250w PSU with new hardware. My suggestion would be to go to here and start looking for ways to build a new rig that fits your budget (whatever that is):

    Pick Parts, Build Your PC, Compare and Share - PCPartPicker


    Good luck,

    SpringUpdate
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    The Dimension 8300 does not really make a good candidate for Win 8 (or even Win 7). Also, with what you want to do, you are basically building a new PC. The Dell case has proprietary (and undocumented) front panel connections, so along with all the other new hardware, a new case is needed.

    I've seen a lot of published articles on old hardware XP machines and Win 7/8 and overwhelmingly they say just buy a new PC. A new PC, in many cases, is less expensive than buying all the new hardware and OS.
    Last edited by fireberd; 21 Apr 2014 at 07:24.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Pittsburgh
    Posts : 103
    Microsoft Windows 8.1 64 Bit

    Reasons not to upgrade Dell 8300


    My Dell 8400 is unplugged from the internet and stuck at XP for the following reasons:

    1. $120-$200 Windows 8.1 upgrade cost could be applied to a new laptop.
    2. The Dell 8400 is 10 years old, and a part may fail. Actually, the CD drive did, and a CD and DVD drive have been purchased.
    3. The Dell 8400 is not portable, a laptop is.
    4. Security improves with a 64 bit machine.
    5. Updating to a quad core processor speeds up multi-tasking, which helps when an antivirus program is scanning through memory.
    6. Prices for 64 bit machines are as low as $280 for a refurbished i5 laptop.
    7. The new laptop with Windows 8.1, AMD A6 quad core processor, camera, speaker, USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, audio input and output jacks, DVD Writer, Ethernet jack, wireless N, and a touch screen was $380.
    8. Sometimes upgrading 10 year old hardware with new software has too many problems.
    9. My company has a program for Microsoft Office 2013 at a discounted price.
    10. Microsoft Flight Simulator X and Condor run on windows 8.1.
    11. As a bonus DVD movie discs that are scratched play better on the new laptop.

    The only bad thing about a laptop is that when a component fails, it may not be possible to replace just the component.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    I think you are best off buying or building a new PC. Your plan is not feasable for a variety of reasons.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 2
    Windows 7

    8300 Jump from XP to Win7 was a breeze


    Quote Originally Posted by Wendsong View Post
    Dell true to form has made the cmos non-upgradeable for use with Win8. So, with regrets, I need to know what motherboard, CPU and sound cards, memory, etc., I will need in order to upgrade this elephant.

    Then of course, I need to know if my graphics card, NVIDIA GeForce 6200, power supply 250W, etc. are sufficient. The power supply is welded to the frame of the box, so will be a pill to change out. I also need suggestions on which Sound card, since there isn't one now. It too is part of the motherboard.

    I guess I should also ask if this upgrade is even possible. Is WIN 8 backward compatible with XP software? I hope so, since it would be cheaper than purchasing a new machine and software.

    Any and all advice will be appreciated.
    I upgraded a friend's Dell Dimension 8300 from XP to Windows 7 Professional with little trouble around early spring of 2012 with little trouble. Many posts said it couldn't be done, but a few people reported succeeding with the jump to Windows 7, so I thought I'd give it a try. It was surprisingly easy. The only minor snags were locating drivers for the on-motherboard sound chip, the old stock SoundBlaster PCI card, and the stock NVidia GeForce 5200.

    Bill's 8300 has a stock 3.0 GHz Pentium 4 processor and the highest revision motherboard updated to the latest BIOS. The 8300 was upgraded from stock with a few obvious goodies - memory from 1 Gb to 4 Gb; new Seagate Constellation SATA 500 Gb hard drive added (home for new Win7 install); stock Dell CD-ROM swapped out for a used Dell DVD-ROM player; old square display died and was replaced with a new Dell 22 inch Cinema-style display.

    Including hardware upgrades and the Windows 7 Professional package from Amazon (new display not included), total spending was about $350.

    This year the old stock NVidia 5200 video card got upgraded to a used NVidia GeForce 7600 GT for $30, which made a big difference streaming video and watching theatric DVDs on the new 22" display. NVidia stills provides driver support for this card.

    If your up for it, borrow a Win 8.1 package to install and try it on a dedicated hard drive, of course you won't be able to activate it, but if it comes up OK, buy your own package, enter the new activation code from it, then away you go.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Wynnum Australia
    Posts : 466
    Windows-10-Pro-Build-11099.rs1-x64


    You can buy a cheapish Windows-8.1 Desktop-PC from as low as 300 bucks and they are good enough for web browsing / emails / a bit of office work etc.pp. .

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 2
    Windows 7

    The journey is part of the reward


    Quote Originally Posted by TONSCHUH View Post
    You can buy a cheapish Windows-8.1 Desktop-PC from as low as 300 bucks and they are good enough for web browsing / emails / a bit of office work etc.pp. .

    I can't completely disagree with what you say about just buying a new cheap PC and heaving the 8300 into the recycle, but at the same time, there is something very satisfying about making the older machine continue to serve, especially when others say it can't be done.

    To keep Bill's (Bill is a retired electrical engineer and very savvy) 8300 working well, I am shopping for a used 3.4 GHz Pentium 4 Extreme Edition (478 socket) to give the 8300 a little fresh snap. I find it fun making these older machine continue to be useful.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Wynnum Australia
    Posts : 466
    Windows-10-Pro-Build-11099.rs1-x64


    Quote Originally Posted by jpcallan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TONSCHUH View Post
    You can buy a cheapish Windows-8.1 Desktop-PC from as low as 300 bucks and they are good enough for web browsing / emails / a bit of office work etc.pp. .

    I can't completely disagree with what you say about just buying a new cheap PC and heaving the 8300 into the recycle, but at the same time, there is something very satisfying about making the older machine continue to serve, especially when others say it can't be done.

    To keep Bill's (Bill is a retired electrical engineer and very savvy) 8300 working well, I am shopping for a used 3.4 GHz Pentium 4 Extreme Edition (478 socket) to give the 8300 a little fresh snap. I find it fun making these older machine continue to be useful.
    I did such things in the past as well, but at the end it's not really worth it.

    Like I had still an old Athlon 3200+ (32-bit) and I even bought the fastest available AGP-GPU for it back then (HIS HD 4670 IceQ Native HDMI 1GB (128bit) DDR3 AGP < AGP Edition < Desktop graphics < Products | HIS Graphic Cards) and had to pay already a hefty premium for it.

    I even managed to get Windows-7 to run on it, but it was a big hassle, because there were no standard nForce4-drivers available.

    After I maxed the whole rig out and couldn't upgrade any further, I put it on our front yard and someone took it home.

    If it's like a kind of hobby for you, then good luck with it and I wish you heaps of fun.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

What is needed to upgrade a Dell Dimension 8300 XP to 8.1?
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