Dell Mini 9 Discussion Discussion on the Dell Inspiron Mini 9.
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Re: Help with USB flash drive boot - 12-07-2008, 05:40 AM
Go into the BIOS by pressing "2" at the Dell logo during startup. Go to the Boot tab and set "USB Storage" as the first boot option (highlight it then press the Function key and H at the same time to move it to the top of the list). Make sure there is no exclamation mark beside either "USB Storage" or "Hard Drive". If there is, highlight the device and press Shift and 1 to get rid of the exclamation mark.
Go to Exit and save and exit. Shut off the computer. If you have a SD card in the card slot, remove it. Unplug all peripherals. Only thing that should be connected to the computer is the power cable.
Go to http://www.eeeguides.com/2007/11/instal ... thumb.html
Follow the instructions there EXACTLY. If you're not a technophile, it may look daunting, but I assure you it is not. Just take your time and follow the instructions carefully. It's easy to miss a step if you rush. You will need another computer with a cdrom drive to create the bootable USB flash drive (your other laptop should be fine). ***NOTE: only use a USB thumb drive, or an SD/SDHC card with a USB card reader for this procedure. To the best of my knowledge, the built-in SD card reader of the mini 9 will not work with this method. It must be a USB thumb drive or a USB memory card reader. The capacity should be at least 1gb.
When you've completed the procedure on that website, and windows is successfully installed on your Mini 9, you should go back to the BIOS, go to the Boot tab, and either move the USB Storage below "Hard Drive" in the list, or press Shift and 1 to disable USB Storage in the boot menu. "Hard Drive" should be enabled (no exclamation mark), and at the top of the list. This probably isn't necessary, but it will ensure your Mini doesn't try to boot from any USB devices.
I've done this procedure multiple times with no issues. If the above does not work for you, either you missed a step, or there is a hardware problem.
Join Date: Nov 2008
Re: Help with USB flash drive boot - 12-07-2008, 04:22 PM
For driver install after reinstalling Windows XP:
Go to support.dell.com. Use another computer with internet access if necessary. You can download all the drivers onto another computer, copy them to a USB thumb drive, then copy them over to the Mini 9 for installation.
Once you are at support.dell.com, click Drivers and Downloads.
Then click either "Select Model" or if you have your service tag, click "Enter a Tag". Note: the service tag is the 7-digit alphanumeric code, not the longer numeric number (that is called the express service code). If you clicked on Select Model, click Laptops, then Inspiron Laptop, then click on the Mini 9 (910) at the bottom of the list. Click Confirm.
You should now see a list of driver categories. ***MAKE SURE IT SAYS "WINDOWS XP" AT THE TOP BESIDE OPERATING SYSTEM!!*** If it says anything else, like Vista or whatever, change it to Windows XP.
Here is the list of drivers you need to download. I am also listing them in the CORRECT ORDER of installation. It is important to install them in this order, rebooting your Mini after each driver install is complete (most of them will prompt you to reboot anyway). Failing to do this (follow correct order, reboot after each driver install) can cause system instability, and you may end up needing to reinstall windows again. You can download the drivers all at once, but only install one at a time, and reboot your computer after each driver installation. ***TIP: When downloading each driver, rename each one with a number (1 to 10), followed by a brief description (for example - "01 - Chipset - Intel", then "02 - Chipset - JMicron", etc. This will make it easy to remember which order to install them. Here is the list (category - driver name):
1) Chipset - Intel Driver (R) Mobile Chipset
2) Chipset - JMicron Driver JMB385
3) Video - Intel Driver Graphics_Media 945...
4) Audio - Realtek Driver ALC268 HD Audio
5) Network - Realtek Driver LAN RTL8102EL
6) Network - Broadcom Driver Arcadyne Wireless LAN (***NOTE: if this driver doesn't install, then you probably have the ATHEROS wireless card. Go back and download/install it ONLY if this one does not work***)
7) Input Device Drivers - Synaptics Driver Synaptics Touchpad
8) ***ONLY IF YOU HAVE AN INTEGRATED WEBCAM*** Input Device Drivers - Creative Labs Driver Integrated Camera
9) ***ONLY IF YOU HAVE BLUETOOTH*** Network - Broadcom Driver - Bluetooth
If you have the HSPA mobile broadband card, go to the Communication category, then download and install Wireless 5530 driver, then the Wireless 5530 application. Most Mini 9 users will not have this card installed by default, so you probably won't have to worry about it.
Now you should be able to connect to your home network (either wireless or with LAN cable) and get online. Sound should also be working, and the screen should look nice and sharp.
You can now go about configuring XP to your liking (create user accounts, passwords, etc). You should install at least some form of antivirus application. There are many free ones out there. I like Avira Antivir the best because it doesn't slow the system down. AVAST is supposed to be good as well.
Run Windows Update to get all the latest security fixes from Microsoft.
To install programs like MS Office, etc without a USB cd drive, use another computer with a cd drive to copy the entire contents of the Office cd to a USB thumb drive (need about 2gb of space). Connect the USB thumb drive to your Mini 9, then install Office off the thumb drive. If you don't have MS Office, you can google "Open Office", and download/install that. It's a free application suite the is very similar to MS Office, and is compatible with most Office documents.
Join Date: Nov 2008
Re: Help with USB flash drive boot - 12-07-2008, 09:54 PM
Some other tips after reinstalling XP:
Click Start, then Run, then type "services.msc" without the quotations and press Enter.
A window will appear with a list of all the services. Look for one called "Indexing Service". Right click on it, then click STOP. Then right click on it again, and this time click Properties. Look for a drop down menu that says "Automatic" or "Manual". Change it to "Disabled". Click OK to confirm.
Reboot your computer.
After the reboot, click Start, then click My Computer. Look for your C drive. Right click on it, then click Properties. In the window that appears, near the bottom, there are a couple "check" boxes. One will say "Allow Windows to Index this drive..." or something like that. Make sure that box is UNCHECKED. The other box will say something like "Compress this drive..." or something similar. Make sure this box is UNCHECKED as well. Click OK to confirm. If you had to uncheck any of these two boxes, it may take a few minutes to apply. This is normal.
After it finishes, reboot again.
What all this does is turn off Drive indexing. In practice, this will speed up performance of your computer, since Windows will not be constantly accessing the hard drive in an attempt to organize your files. This may also increase the lifespan of your hard drive.
Also, NEVER run Defragmenter or any Defragmenting tool on your Mini 9. The hard drive in it is not designed to be defragmented, and it gives you no benefit doing it.
Join Date: Dec 2008
Re: Help with USB flash drive boot - 12-09-2008, 07:58 PM
I followed these instructions to the dot, I have a working bootable usb stick, but i still have a problem.
when i open up the text mode setup for windows xp, i can't see my ssd, it only shows me my usb stick for partition. I cant get past the partition screen. how do i resolve this problem?
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