Install Windows 8 on a Dell Latitude D610

These Dell Latitude laptops were very popular and there are still a lot of them out there.  I am sure that some of the users of them are wondering if Windows 8 will even run on these machines.  Well, I was curious too and decided to install it on my Latitude D610.

I did a clean install (meaning I started from scratch) and installed Windows 8 Enterprise.  If you wanted to upgrade from Windows XP it will save all your files but not any settings or programs so you will have to reinstall them.

The install went easily enough but it did take some time.  I am not surprised with how old this machine is.  When it was finished I checked the Device Manager and four drivers were missing.

One of the drivers that installed was the Network Interface Card (Ethernet)  so I connected the computer to the internet and Windows Update installed two of the missing drivers.  One of the remaining two missing drivers is for the graphic card which does not support Windows 8 and I have not found a way to make it work.  (the system runs ok without this)  The other missing driver was the Audio Card.  It is a SigmaTel C-Major Audio Card and the driver works from Dell’s website.

Windows 8 Device Manager and System Properties on Dell Latitude D610

Windows 8 Device Manager and System Properties on Dell Latitude D610

This system does not run the best with Windows 8 on it.  It would probably run better with 2 GB of ram instead of 1 GB.  It would be fine for E-mail, writing documents, and browsing the internet but it is not for doing anything with games or videos. For some reason I was able to install Hyper-V 3.0, however, I am not sure how it would run given its slow performance.  I ran the PassMark Performance Test (which takes a while to start-up on this machine) and it gets a 103.6 so as you can see it really is not much of a performer.  Below is the Windows Experience Index.

Windows 8 Experience Index on Dell Latitude D610

Windows 8 Experience Index on Dell Latitude D610

In the end, I am not sure I would recommend this upgrade to everyone but if you wanted to check Windows 8 and have one of these Latitude laptops lying around you can and at least get a better feel for Windows 8 before it comes out in October.  Clearly, Microsoft has done a good job with performance  because I am sure Windows Vista or 7 would not run as well on this machine. If you are interested you can also pick up these machines for pretty cheap on Amazon.

 

33 replies
  1. eric m
    eric m says:

    latitude d810 is nearly same laptop Pentium-m 2ghz, x300/600 video. Dell drivers video ok wddm compatibility mode, device manager update, have disk with inf files. no error bangs in device manager after driver updates.. wifi pci mini card needs upgraded to Dell PRO 2915 802.11a/b/g Mini PCI Network Card. Intel only has vista drivers, but 8 is reported to work for network wifi. Drivers for video are exe and unzipped from dell in folder and *sub folder Point to sub folder only. I installed the full drivers that failed .. but left me with inf files that did work. select exe files in sub folder, properties compatibility xp sp3. Sort of wrote this is reverse order .. but you get the idea. Yes I was happy with win 8.

    Reply
  2. NganPhuVy
    NganPhuVy says:

    I had the same problem. I installed Windows 8 Pro onto Dell D610, sound driver RealTek R271, Office 2013. The system runs well, but I cannot link my laptop to a projector because it lacks video controllers. I updated with Intel(R)915GM-GMS910-GML (for Windows 7), but no way!

    Reply
  3. Armedrodent
    Armedrodent says:

    I have win 8 running on latitude D610 just fine. upgraded the cpu to 2.13GHz and upgraded ram to 2Gb.and brand new 160gb wd blue hard drive,the faster cpu produces more heat. so I used cooler master ice fusion thermal paste on the chips. it stays pretty cool.win8 seems to run a lot faster on it then win 7. I have metro off ,and running win 7 classic shell, along with a great program called startisback. so now its basically win 7 with a sleek look. only way to access any metro stuff is winkey+c .anyway just have the video controller issue for the driver. that’s why im here .

    Reply
  4. Jakey
    Jakey says:

    There was a way you could use the Vista driver on 7 for the video card. Could the same apply to 8 since you can’t run nor use XP drivers on it? (I could use the XP driver on 7, but after a reboot, it would go back to 800×600 resolution. I did however found the Vista driver and that worked).

    Reply
  5. olprix
    olprix says:

    miren yo instale windows 7 en mi lap y tambien tuve el problema de el controlador de Intel 915GM pero busque en la red y encontre el controlador de xp y no actualizado bueno el chiste es que yo tengo todo vien y no tengo problema con ningun driver todos los tengo instalados tengo discos instaladores de driver y el driver intel 915GM que me partio la cabeza buscandolo si quieren el driver pidan me lo [email protected] pidanme el driver y se los dare

    Reply
  6. Richard
    Richard says:

    I have a Latitude D610 (2.1 Ram, 1.60GHz) running XP and would like to run Windows 8 on it – business applications only. Microsoft’s Windows 8 Compatibility program which I’ve run on this system says that the 915GM/GMS, 910GML Express Chipset onboard video is “Compatible” hardware for Windows 8. Comments above make that suspect. Who’s right?

    Reply
    • Usefulwindows
      Usefulwindows says:

      There is no driver for the Intel GM915 for Windows 7 or Windows 8. Windows 8 will install and run just fine on this machine but the video preference will not be the best so watching videos will not be the best on that machine. So if watching videos is not a priority for you then Windows 8 is a great upgrade.

      Reply
    • Usefulwindows
      Usefulwindows says:

      The only driver you need to download has a link in the article, the other two drivers are downloaded as part of Windows Updates. There is no graphic driver that will work with Windows 8 and there never will be. If I ever come across some hacked driver that works I will change the article to reflect that information.

      Reply
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    vertical leap workouts says:

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  8. Usefulwindows
    Usefulwindows says:

    So I have looked and tested and I have gotten nothing to work, I think it is a dead effort to get the 915 to support Windows 8. But Windows 7 and Vista may be options. I will test those next. As for now I have other machines to test but if anyone finds something please let us know I will go back to this machine in an instant to figure it out and post the results here.

    Reply
  9. Gabe
    Gabe says:

    This driver, unfortunately, does NOT work on Windows 8. Windows 8 does not allow XPDM drivers. So, what we need to do next:

    (a) Find a hack that will allow Windows 8 to use XPDM drivers.
    (b) Find a “bridging” hack that will interpret XPDM to WDDM.
    (c) Find a homebrew WDDM driver, which surely must be out there.

    In fact, I think I may have found (c), I will be investigating further today and reporting back!

    Reply
  10. Gabe
    Gabe says:

    Actually, Windows 7 runs quite swiftly on the D610. The only drawback is the lack of a WDDM driver for this chipset meaning you won’t get any of the flashy Aero goodness, but I haven’t had any adverse experiences with Windows 7, other than that 1080p video is very choppy – I have to transcode it before it’s watchable.

    But I have good news – There IS a working graphics driver that supports 1400×1050; I had to search for months to find it and I’m not sure I can find it again, but what I can do is provide you this file:(don’t click the link copy and paste the whole address including the .zip at the end {limitation of WordPress here}) http://dl.dropbox.com/u/98655243/Video%20(Hacked).zip These are video drivers some guy hacked to work on Windows 7. The only glitchy thing about it is every time you start Windows or open the lid, the display will black out for a second and come back on, but the proper resolution is beautiful! I’m about to test Windows 8 on a D610 and I will report back whether the graphics driver works there.

    Reply
  11. James
    James says:

    I’ve installed 8 twice on my testing different things. The link above has all drivers needed to get everything but video to work fine. As stated by others the video isn’t supported and may never be. The D610 is a great for work and school when away from home. Have ran some Nintendo emulator games on it as well and it has held up very well. Also 8 is an improvement from 7 the video driver is still an issue. Looking at installing Ubuntu but this will be new to me as I have never tried it before. Any advise on recommended version to run?
    PC Info: Intel Pent M 1.86GHz 1.87GHz, Ram 2.00 GB
    Rating: 2.0, Processor: 3.6, Memory: 4.4, Graphics: 2.0, Gaming Graphics: 2.2, Hard disk: 4.8

    Reply
  12. Paul Duran
    Paul Duran says:

    Hi, I installed Windows 8 Professional on my old D610.
    His performance over Windows 7 improved a lot, almost comparable to the performance of Windows XP on it.

    However, video drivers, audio and wireless did not work in compatibility mode or in any way.

    I was forced to uninstall it because I use a lot of the wireless network, and without sound have no fun.

    I hope that in the near future to develop compatible drivers windows 8 for this laptop.

    The Dell Latitude D610 is old, but powerful and high performance. A great product that I’m making the most.

    Reply
    • Usefulwindows
      Usefulwindows says:

      I was able to get Wireless and audio to work but not the graphic card and the graphic card never will, but there should be a way to get the wireless and audio to work, did you check Windows Update? Where did you download the drivers from. I may be able to help you find compatible ones. Thanks for reading and commenting, this conversation is great, we can figure out Windows 8 for a lot of people.

      Reply
  13. Paul
    Paul says:

    I forgot to mention that the D610 was sometimes sold with the ATI Radeon Mobility X300. I think this GPU can be retro-fitted and one or two people seem to have got them working under Windows 8, although I cannot find any mention of this being done on a Dell D610 as yet. Any more information on this appreciated.

    Reply
    • Usefulwindows
      Usefulwindows says:

      I would love to find a model with this graphic card in it. It should just be a motherboard swap at this point but that is not very hard on these older Dell Latidute’s. If anyone has any more information on this please do share.

      Reply
  14. Paul
    Paul says:

    Windows 8 is running nicely on my Dell D610. I have a Pentium M 2.13ghz CPU and 2gb RAM. I get a Windows Experience Index of 2.0. Windows 8 loads in just 14 seconds (from switch on to Metro UI) and most things run much faster than they did under XP. This machine is just fine for email and web browsing BUT there is a fly in the ointment. The Intel 915GM video controller is not supported under Windows 8 and it sounds like Intel will not or cannot produce a driver. So the CPU has to handle the video and graphics and it’s frequently running at 100% with the fan blasting away. Videos are still watchable but may stall if you go full screen. I have another D610 with the same spec running Ubuntu which I use as a catch up TV player and that’s fine. So there’s still life in these old workhorses!

    Reply
    • Usefulwindows
      Usefulwindows says:

      Yeah there is some life left in these after all. Running Windows 8 on this machine I was really able to see how Microsoft improved preformance in Windows much more than Windows 7. The Intel 915GM does not support Microsoft WDM so there will not be a driver for it.

      Reply
    • Usefulwindows
      Usefulwindows says:

      After Windows was done installing there were only four drivers missing, after running Windows Update (it found two drivers and installed them under Optional Updates) there were only two left, one of them is the graphic card driver and there is no support for Windows 8 and that graphic card the second driver is on the article and you can download that and install it. Now Dell is famous for using different components through out a devices lifetime to help keep costs down, so your Dell Latitude D610 could have a different hardware set up from mine. I suggest using Unknown Devices or Unknown Device Identifier just Google or Bing them, they can help you identify which devices are missing and you should be able to get those drivers from Dell’s website.

      Reply
  15. Michael Cole
    Michael Cole says:

    Much the same experiences as Usefulwindows in upgrading from XP to Windows 8 on a business Dell D610. I’ve got 2Gb so my upgrade went perhaps somewhat faster.

    A problem I *did* have is that all my files in ‘My Documents’ and in special folders running off the Root directory disappeared and weren’t saved in the Old Windows folder. Sure enough the Program Files in their Sub directories were still there but, as the writer above says, they need re-installing – not that I’m going to bother as this D610 is to be used for a dedicated Win 8 purpose where speed isn’t vital. So the missing files caused me no bother – just a bit of a surprise.

    I’m not a video user except occasionally but it hangs on Youtube Eric Whitacre Water Night which I’ve never had before on the 610 or Dell 410s running under XP.

    All in all, Win 8 on a D610 seems fine for the business purpose I want to put it to but if yours is running fine on XP and you don’t need to upgrade for any specific reason like me, or simply experiment with Win 8 on a spare machine, then my advice would be don’t bother.

    Reply
    • Usefulwindows
      Usefulwindows says:

      Yeah it really is not for hard everyday use on this device, and watching videos will not be good given that there is no video card driver for this device. I was surprised at how well it did run on there though. I will be writing an article suggesting a good version of Windows to run on this laptop soon as Windows XP is at its end of life in April 2014. Also when you start setup it will ask you what to keep, your files, or to keep nothing, that option is only I believe from running setup from within Windows. Thank you for the feed back and thanks for reading.

      Reply

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  1. […] Answer by DropKickYou can read this article about how this person upgraded to Windows 8 on his Dell D610: usefulwindows.com/2012/09/install-windows-8-on-a-dell-latitude-d610/ […]

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