2005 Dell Dimension 8400 SATA DVD +/- RW DL upgrade

By jstasney
Jun 13, 2009
  1. Hi,
    Well, my Dell owners manual leaves me wondering...:rolleyes:
    about a planned upgrade to this PC.
    The Dell Owners manual says that "SATA HD's" connect to the system board connectors labeled SATA-0 thru SATA 3 and CD/DVD drives to the PRI IDE connector.
    My question is, can I hook up a LG GSA-H62L 18X DVD +/- RW DL SATA Drive w/LightScribe to the SATA connectors instead of the IDE connectors?
    I have a extra SATA power connector on the power supply cord to the single HD with just enough length to reach the upper drive bay for a workable power connector. I'll have to order a SATA signal connector cable though.

    My minds eye says yepper rooney, it's a doable thingy.
    Just crossin' my "T's" and dotting my "i's".
    How about it guru's?

    ARE Any 'MB set-up' configurations that would be needed?


  2. dustin_ds3000

    dustin_ds3000 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 869   +8

    yes you can do that. im sure when the manual was written there was no SATA CD/DVD. you sould have no problem installing the LG GSA-H62L DVD drive
  3. jstasney

    jstasney TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks Dustin :approve:
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Good system. You should have no trouble doing what you want to do.
  5. jstasney

    jstasney TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks raybay...this thing has slowed down over the used to boot in less than 1/2 a, everytime I re-install Symantac and Spysweeper gets slower and slower on the boot and seems to drag along with apps too...I'm pondering Maxing out the DDR2 SDRAM to 4 GB's, replacing the other DVD reader with a SATA drive too since it's gotten iffy on reading CD's...I'm also pondering messing with the boot sequence too to speed up the boot time. Any thoughts guru's other than a re-install that I don't rellish the idea of doing?
    Lot's of apps in this thang....and stability does suffer sometimes with background JAVA updating addressments popping up while email is coming in and I'm working graphics with surfing windows open. She'll hang up like a stuck pig.....sometimes...especially when she's been on a while without a re-boot. Of course, my lazy *** didn't toot the dust bunnies out in forever too...that didn't help....AND my OE inbox is currently 2447 messages that haven't been weeded out and sorted to their respective folders in forever as well.....*\;o:/*...I gotta work on THAT before it C&B's. :eek:
    Any thoughts?

    JLS :suspiciou
  6. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    It is time to remove Symantec, and switch to something better... I like Avast and Avira Antivir... Kaspersky, Bit Defender, Nod32, and not to many others (I use Avira) Use the Symantec removal tool after going to their help section to write down all the codes to reinstall...
    Then run the antivirus, MalwareBytes, SuperAntiSpyware... then run them again in safe mode... This will take a long time.
    You might want to run the 8 steps found elsewhere on the TechSpot site, and send them in for others to look at.

    Your system will only use 3 GB of the 4 GB or memory with Windows XP.
    Your computer is old enough to need some updates... a new CPU fan, a new hard drive, and an optical drive along with the memory upgrade. How much free space do you have on the hard drive? That system is now four years old, and if it has been running a lot, you are pushing it enough to shorten the life of the computer..
    The Power supply is not powerful... and if you have added a new video card or other hardware, that could be a reason for the slow down.

    This is one of Dell's better Dimension computers, and with care it could last another five to seven years.
  7. jstasney

    jstasney TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hey raybay,
    Well, I'm using a fresh version of Symantac 2009 Internet Security, with the email spam catcher, I really like that feature, it traps a pile of spam and learns really fast.
    I just got it so I'd hate to not get my moneys worth for the next year. What about these codes to reinstall?? What's up with that?
    AND... You might want to run the 8 steps found elsewhere on the TechSpot site, and send them in for others to look at?? What's up with that?

    I have XP Pro now, I've been told 4GB of memory will be utilized with this MB.
    Are you sure about that? I'm just sayin'....

    My CPU fan pulls a good stream of air over the radiator and it's hardly audible(that's nice) , what would you be suggesting?
    My HD is 230GB cap of which I still have 175 GB Free Space left.
    Are you suggesting a faster and larger SATA HD?
    Dual HD's with RAID-0?
    I've often pondered a mirror HD system for safetys sake.
    No new hardware has been added other than USB connections to floppy/card reader, cameras and MP3 players. The 128MB PCI Express ATI Radeon X300SE video card came with the system. It seems like every re-install of Internet Security and all of the MS updates slow it down and gobble up system resources with every newer sweeter version and update to the OS or IE. Right now my task manager shows 53 processes running, CPU usage % jumps from 0 to 20, I've got 942 MB's committed of 2153 MB's of system memory. 6 different instances of "svchost.exe"
    I'm looking at this culprit really hard here: The How to Geek site (This thread made me remove the link) They're pointing me to Black Viper's site for absolute processes that should run.

    The software bloat points me to this slowdown really. I'll explorer this a little more.
    Yeah...I'm gonna try and get another 5 to 7 years from this old dog, The PSU could use a upgrade just for safetys sake since it's so weak at 350 watts. Got any ideas on a replacement that's compatible??

    Thanks man, y'all are great with the tech advise..:approve:

  8. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Windows XP Pro does not utilize all four GB of RAM in the Dell 8400... You will need VISTA to do that... but 3 GB or if it will go as high as 3.5 GB (some do) is all the memory you will need.

    Software bloat, if there is such a thing, is easily fixable...

    Power Supply: Sparkle, OCZ, PC Power and Cooling (best, but costly) Corsair, Most Antecs, ... There are a lot of good ones... just get 450 or more watts with dual rails.

    A CPU fan that is four years old probably has more miles on it, but it is the cheapest upgrade you can make.

    If your SATA drive already has four years on it, it will go in a year or so.

    Your video graphics simly doesn't have enough power to do much... as it ages, it is the main cause of the slow down... get the right unit with 256 MB minimum and a lot of cooling power.

    Can't think of a reason to use Black Vipre
  9. jstasney

    jstasney TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the heads up raybay...
    So, no opinion on dual HD's with RAID? Say in the 500GB cap.? Brand preference?
    WD, Seagate, Fujitsu??

    A preference on the video card? You think the slow down is here, right?
    Before all of the software and update installs, this thing was lightening fast as is now with this stock video card. Not argueing, just say it is somehow aging and slows down with age? How is that?? Can you reference an article on this? Thanks...

    Any preference on the brand of CPU cooling fan that is compatible with this Dell 8400?

    Software bloat, if there is such a thing, is easily fixable...?? Just how might I ask?
    Can you reference an article on this as well?

    I've got 1.5 GB of SDRAM now, 2X 256MB and 2X 500MB, your saying 2X 1GB replacing the 256MB's is about all we can utilize? You can't use matching pairs of SDRAM modules and get 3.5GB that I am aware of?? The owners manual states matching pairs up to 4 GB cap. for this MB. Do you know of any appreciable difference of using Corsair against Crucial SDRAM? Are there any special matches of SDRAM to accomplish the coveted 3.5GB you mentioned??

    You have no love lost for Black Viper I take it??:stickout:

    You've been a great help here, thanks for your patients...:grinthumb

  10. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Don't use RAID often enough to comment.
    The motherboard and power supply will take 4 GB of memory, but Windows XP will only utilize 3 gB for sure... sometimes 3.5 GB... never 4 GB. VISTA will go 4 GB.
    My preferences on hard drive are any except not Maxtor, Hitachi, and Trigem. My personal choice would be Fujitsu, then Seagate, then Western Digital, then Samsung.
    I have no real preference in video cards, but they do seem to age under high power and constant use... I don't know how you define that... but many times we have tested new cards against old cards of the same model number and memory... and new is better.
  11. jstasney

    jstasney TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Anymore input gurus?
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