My Inspiron 9400 E1705 began to act a little strange, thought it was dying on me. This model has the ATI Radeon Mobility X1400 graphics card and runs Windows (XP) Media Center 2005.
Did a lot of gaming on this machine (COD2). One of the symptoms was not booting (no error messages) and if it boots there was high CPU utilization (100%) without any running programs. I ran SpeedFan (http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php) and noticed my laptop was running hot. You could also feel it when placing your hands on the keyboard. :)
After reading the Dell™ Inspiron™ 9400 Service Manual I decided to disassemble my laptop and clean the fans. http://support.euro.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/ins9400/en/sm/fans.htm#wp1000550 The're two of them, CPU fan on the left and GPU fan on the right A lot of dust came out, so much the CPU fan couldn't spin any more.
Then I assembled my laptop and measured again, Hell what, the tempature was 10 - 15 °C lower!! Now it's boots and runs Windows (XP) Media Center 2005 as smooth as it used to do. And it definitely paid off to use a least-privileged user account (LUA) all those 5 years, because it kept my OS clean and healthy from all world wide threads. Tip: do your software research in a VM (VMware Workstation or VirtualBox) BEFORE running it on your fine working desktop/laptop and don't say "Yes" to every dialogbox that pops up. \0/
Last week I added some memory (3 GB max.), installed Windows 7 Enterprise x64 (SP1) and it's running smoothly. This was actually the 1st re-installation in 5 years. The only x64 driver to look for, was the Ricoh R5C8xx Card. Look for Vista x64 drivers @ Dell, it's one of these: http://search.dell.com/results.aspx?s=gen&c=us&l=en&cs=&k=Ricoh+R5C832&cat=sup The ATI Radeon Mobility X1400 x64 driver was found by Windows Update. If you have "unknown" entries in device manager, examine the Properties - Details - Hardware ID's and find the PCI Vendor ID and Device ID. Like: PCI\VEN_1217&DEV_00F7&CC_0C00 Look them up here http://www.pcidatabase.com/ and then you know what drivers to look for.
Dell Inspiron 9400 E1705, good machine it never let me down.
The only thing that passed away is the battery (after 3,5 years). No problem for me, because I always run it on AC power.
Nice forum btw.
Kind regards from NL