Dell Latitude XPi CD

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coius's picture
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I can't believe it...

I set out about a month ago trying to find a suitable Operating System for Tsunami (The Name of My Dell Latitude XPi CD MMX) (P.S. I name all of my computers. Crazy huh?)
Windows 95?, Nah.. To buggy.. Windows 98... To useless.. (plus it wouldn't play MP3's AND play solitaire at the same time..
RedHat? couldn't get the sound to work... , BeOS... Couldn't get the keyboard to work. Win2k? Sound didn't work... Until NOW!

I happened to run into a site that On the Microsoft Webpage the had this short...
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;247169
It explained that the IRDA port wasn't getting the amount of DMA Channels that it was supposed to receive. After messing around, I came up w/ a configuration that gave enough resources to the IRDA port by taking a DMA Channel from the 3 that the sound card had, and gave it to the IRDA port... After that the sound work...
I am so happy... right now I am able to Play Mp3's AND [shouting] (SURF THE WEB!!!!)
So I was able to to get more power out of it just by switching to Windows 2k. Right now I have Mozilla Firefox open (Which I am typng this in) and MusicMatch Jukebox without a Hiccup so far. (Nothing like playing the song "Vater Unser" and browsing the web at the same time.) I was wondering if anyone else was having any similair problem with an older computer and windows 2k?

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martakz's picture
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I know someone in Chi who has

I know someone in Chi who has the exact same dell machine and calls it the exactly the same name.

Weird!!!

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What speed is your XPi? If i

What speed is your XPi? If its the series i'm thinking of, you can upgrade the unit (even if its an old 166mhz) all the way to a pentium 2 400mhz or a celeron 466mhz. with my Dell, i upgraded it to a 366mhz pentium 2 from the 266mhz that it used to be.

i just need to get another edo sodimm (rather pricey) to bump it up to 128 megs of ram then i will put win2k on it.

I really like win2k on older hardware if you got the memory for it.

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coius's picture
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My Dell

My dell is a 166MHz P166 MMX ST. It has 64 MB's of ram. 12x CD-Rom. I'm not really thinking of upgrading it for the reason that it is just a machine for tinkering around in. If I need horsepowe,. I either use my 900MHz G3 iBook or 400MHz G3 Pismo. I also have a PCC Clone Powerbase. All I wanted the machine for was to play old games like "Descent" and "Transport Tycoon (the original Tycoon game)" But the fact that I can play MP3's and surf the web/ play solitaire, Is good enough for me. I also just recently received an emachine 2.3GHz Celeron (or whatever speed it was) for a business machine to do Data Recovery. (for the NTFS stuff) The Fat Format can be done w/ my powerbook. One thimng I wish I could do is use my USB 2.0 Card w/ the Dell. But unfortunately, It does not work w/ dell latitude XPi series. including mine.
on the thing of 128MB bump up.... you can do win2k on 64MB ram... It's not bad, the menu reaction is a little slow though.

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coius's picture
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Well I hit a bump..

after being on the ego trip of that experience... i messed up. I tried to force my USB 2.0 card to work in the laptop. The problem is that it locks up when it recognizes it. sadly, it did in in the install process. So off i go to the recovery part. I have had it on the backburner until i Have time. And the time is now... I will be staying up till about 1 AM or later till I have it up... Hopefully I can remember how it was setup for sound...

EDIT: My iBook went down as of this typing and is now in need of reinstall. It started today w/ Yahoo IM. I will be doing that at the same time..
Oh, and if you want a gmail account... Email me at

EDIT 2: To document which setup the sound was:
Input/Output Range : 0230 - 023f
Input/Output Range : 0388 - 038b
Input/Output Range : 0330 - 0331
Interrupt Request : 05
Direct Memory Access : 00
Direct Memory Access 03

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FXG
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xpi

Hello there, can anyone help me out with some info about the dell xpi? I just recieved 2 of them (one p133, another p166), and was wondering what I can do to upgrade? I already have win2k ready to install, but want to wait till i have more ram. Are the cpu's in these the same as a desktop cpu? Where can I find them if not? So many unanswered questions, please help!!!

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coius's picture
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what are the config's

do they come w/ the cd-rom built-in? also, does the bios say (p166/p133) MM? (when you press the Fn-key and hit the light-blue "setup" key, you get the bios) also how much ram do they have in it?
My setup is P166 MMX/64MB/6GB/800x600 display/win 2k. I have none of the Win2k updates, as they slow down the machine unbelievably. So I only visit a few sites when I am on the net. The CPU's Can be upgraded, but good luck finding the CPU's. The ram is in the config of 2 slots/ 8/16/32/64MB 72-pin ? (it might be 68-pin) so the max that will go into the slots is 128MB total.
As Bobotech said, it can be upgraded, but not very much. there are two Infrared ports on them, but only one can be used at a time.
The video card is set and NOT upgradable (then again, I don't think that many laptops have upgradable graphics card) I only have 1.3 or 1.7MB vram (I'd have to check) and it's not very speedy.
If you want to put win2k on the lapops, you have to have a built-in cd-rom (I have not had any luck with PCMCIA externals) and 4 Win 2k Boot disks made out (these can be on another computer.

Good-luck.

P.S. also note the sound card settings above

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Barjack's picture
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Are you sure you are not refe

Are you sure you are not referring to the vastly more popular "Latitude Cpi"? The Dell Latitude Xpi was designed by a company called Quantex for Dell, the same company that manufatured the Inspiron 3000/5000/7000/7500. The Latitude Xp and the Latitude LM should both have unupgradeable CPU's as they were built before the popular MMC1 and MMC2 laptop CPU chips were introduced to the market (by the Gateway 2300/2500 series).

I was never able to get sound working on my XPi, I ended up just trading up to a Latitude Cpi. The Cpi is nice because almost every drive and battery for every black-form Latitude as well as the Inspiron 3700/3800/4000/8000 etc works with it. If you work for the goverment or a large company that has issued you a laptop, it will most likely be a Dell Latitude Cp-something (or a Thinkpad T/600 series).

For a good "lowend" value these days, you can get an IBM Thinkpad 600, a Dell Latitude Cpi, a Panasonic Toughbook CF-71, or a Gateway Solo 2500 for under 200.00, usually as cheap as 150ish. These are fast 300+PII systems that take standard PC100 SODIMM RAM.

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You are right, i have a CPi,

You are right, i have a CPi, not a XPi. Like agentmeow says, its bay components (batteries too and docking stations/port replicators) are all compatible with a wide variety of dells. My dell lattitude c610 (1.2ghz p3) uses the same bays and batteries and expansion ports as the cpi models.

The CPi models ONLY use EDO 168pin SODIMMS (the LM series also use the same edo sodimms). The CPi models can use either 64 or 128 meg chips. The 128 meg chips are quite rare and pricey (like 70-80 dollars on ebay).

The cpi models up to 300mhz ONLY use MMC 1 cpus, they cannot use the cheaper much more common MMC 2 cpus. The dells above 366mhz use MMC 2 cpus and they can use standard pc66/100 (celeron/pentium) memory.

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FXG
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xpi

Yeah they have cd drives in them. Each had a 32mb ram chip so I put both in one. So I have 64mb of ram. In the bios it gives me "166" or "compatible" options for cpu speed. What could I possibly use the infared ports for? Do you know the cheapest place to get this old ram? Dude, thank you so much for answering my questions. Oh and also, I have W2K server with SP4 already on the cd, do you suggest I look to get the OS without any service packs, or will mine be fine? I only have a 2g HD, I figure W2K will eat up one gig of that. Thanks, by the way my name is Frank.

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As for ram, if it takes EDO s

As for ram, if it takes EDO sodimms, just go to ebay for them. You should be able to find 64 meg edo sodimms for around 20 dollars (if you hunt around enough, that will include shipping.). I search for "edo sodimms" and i find the hits. You might be able to find 128 meg edo sodimms too but they probably sell for around 70-80 bux.

I have never noticed any degradation in performance when upgrading to the latest service packs with any install of 2000. HOwever i do NOT recommend using win2k server, server is the same basic kernal but its optimized for background processes and not foregroud processes and it has a larger over head than win2k pro. I would just go with standard win2k pro. Server also usually wants a large amount of ram before it runs smoothly.

I would get one or 2 64 meg chips, and a 4 or 6 gig drive off of ebay for the laptop and then stick win2k pro on it. It should be a fairly usable machine.

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FXG
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Gratitude

Thanks bobotech, you are a god to me. Haha

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BeOS on the XPi

I have a Dell Latitude XPi CD - 166, exactly the same as you describe only 48mb ram instead, and have had the same problem with BeOS. I very much want to use either BeOS or Debian to improve performance from 95 - I tried Debian but the install was far too lengthy and I couldn't get a GUI to work properly, and then with BeOS Personal Edition 5 I can't get the keyboard to work. Do you know if it will work with Pro Edition, where I won't have to use the floppy boot disk (very slow), and can you get yours to boot from CD? Cheers

coius's picture
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May I suggest SUSE?

Try SUSE Linux. I find it pretty fast. In fact I have it running on an 80MHz 8100.
The reason BeOS doesn't work I think is because BeOS looks the system differently and does not support Plug-N-Play. Which means it would require messing around with the files directly. As for the Keyboar, Upon closer inspection, Uses a dell specific chip. (It says "DELL" on it and after looking for data, I read somewhere that dell used a special chipset for the keyboard which makes it very hard to access through software. I think it has to be accessed through the BIOS. Therefore, it is not a standard Serial KBD.
As for the BeOS Pro Question - NO. I have tried.

Also the machine will not boot off of the CD-Rom drive.

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The Czar's picture
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Music Player Alternative

May I suggest Winamp 2.x for your music enjoyment on older hardware? I've run 2.8 on a P1 133 with 48MB RAM under Windows 95 as well as work in MS Office '97, and while it wasn't fast, it was still usable. I've found MMJB to be bloated and somewhat of a resource hog on any system I've used it on.

Then again, I don't use visualizations, I just want something to play music. I get a very simple skin for Winamp (It's called Aqua X - very nice for laptop's, highly visable) and collapse the player and playlist into the upper corner of my screen. However, if you've got a lower-end machine and you need/want MP3 playback, you can't beat Winamp 2.x.

The Czar

(P.S.: If anyone knows where to get the Mopar Winamp Skin that used to be available on Nullsoft's Winamp Skin site, I would be most appreciative. It's a black skin with green indicators - it was a remake of an 80's Chysler Stereo. Any info greatly appreciated. TC)

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Installed WinXP Pro on my XPi

I know it's not the most efficient OS for the XPi CD but I thought ... "What the heck! Let's see if it works."

I used my Win98 installation floppy to start-up the XPi in MS-DOS mode with CD support (you can also do it with a Win95/98 Emergency Boot disk). I then loaded another floppy to run/install SMARTDRV.EXE. I then placed the WinXP Pro CD, and typed D:\i386\winnt. This was all done with a freshly FAT32 formatted C: drive.

It loaded (rather slowly even with SMARTDRV) and worked. The only problem was that there was no sound. I'll need to tinker with those DMA settings and see if that takes care of it. Thanks for posting the info coius! (Do you read Tenchi Muyo?)

Performance-wise, it seems only a tad slower than when I was browsing the web using Firefox on Win98. Of course, it is a drive hog and uses up 60% of my 2GB drive.

Incidentally, if anyone wants to use this laptop as a wireless portal, you can use Belkin's Wireless 802.11b 2.4GHz PCMCIA card (Model F5D6020, Version 2.0 or 2.101). They're about $20 or less if you can find them.

coius's picture
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Wow!

Hands down on the most overload done with a dell. I thought Win XP required a 4MB VRAM min. I know that the XPi series had between 700K- 1.7MB of VRAM. But Wow! I thought 2k was pushing it. Jeesh..

2nd. Yes, I do read tenchi Muyo, and own some of the series. I am an Avid Anime fan and am currently working on The Evangelion Series. (just pick them up the other day.) And I love it! I also love Hayao Miyazaki Films. (Spirited Away, Pincess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service, The Cat returns, Laputa, Castle in the Sky, and Na'sica of the valley of the wind [I just got that recently]) Hayao's films are more family oriented.

3rd. I had to pitch the dell, as It fell off the table and broke the screen. I also got another PC and my family basically said that if I get a new computer, one of them must go out. So I threw out the dell.

Thx. everyone who replied to the post.

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Re: Wow!

coius wrote:

Hands down on the most overload done with a dell.

Thanks! (I think. 0_o)

Just got sound on my XPi by switching the ESS driver from CURRENT CONFIGURATION to BASIC CONFIGURATION 001 using Device Manager. Thanks so much for your post!

The XPi has long been demoted to "the living room browser device" so speed is not an issue with this laptop. I know that the XPi is notably below WinXP Pro's minimum config specs but I thought I'd try anyway. My peeves (besides the mild sluggishness) are that the screen only displays 16-bit color and that I only have 0.7GB left. Still, that's more than enough for its purposes.

If anyone knows how I can add USB 1.0 to this thing, I'd really appreciate the info. I have an old webcam that I'd like to try hooking up.

I'm surprised that some folks have suggested that you can load 64MB RAM to the XPi. I recall that the the max config was 80MB (32MB slot1, 32MB slot2, 16MB fixed). Using 64MB would take the memory up to 144MB and should boost the performance with WinXP. I'd like to know where I might be able to find those modules if they're still inexpensively available.

The practice of naming PCs and servers is a long oldtime tradition, IMHO. Back when I worked as an intern for IBM, I helped the IT Director name all the systems on our division's network. We had so many servers that I suggested getting names from the LOTR trilogy.

If you enjoy anime and live close to Northern California, you may want to consider joining greencine.com. They have the best selection of rental anime DVDs in this area. They really specialize in a broad range of cinema but anime enthusiasts seem to make up the bulk of their clientele.

Sorry to hear about your XPi. Ah well, out with the old, in with the new.

coius's picture
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I live in Nebraska

But we have a place called "Dragon's Layer" And they have a HUGE anime selection. 2 floors to be exact. And you can buy a lot of RPG stuff from there. Even Comics and Manga. So I still have my fix.
almost all of my computers have been named after Anime Characters. You may recall that my iBook G3 900 went in to apple for the last time. Well, I received the iBook G4 yesterday, and have yet to name it. I want it to be a good one. My last iBook was named "Tsubasa Shibahime" after the anime "Kerishi Kanoji No Jijou" or "His and Her Circumstances"
She was one of the minor Characters in the Anime. You may want to check the series out. It is more of a Anime for people who are into the "boy meets girl, both have a complex, then they are trying to work out how to deal with their life as well as being together."

I am into most anime except hardcore shoot-em-up anime.

Things like "resident evil, Vampire Hunter D, and mainly {dracula} related anime." PM Me if you have heard of any interesting ones that you can recommend to me, and I can do vice-versa.

Thx. again

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