Saturday, September 27, 2008

Service Manual

Im due to pick up a 2gb ram upgrade next week. Here is the service manual I will be following:

Thin Client PC

Today I used the mini-9 as my work desktop. I plugged it into a 22" monitor and then connected to my terminal server. It worked great.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

External Monitor 1680 * 1050 Naitive Res

I just got a brand new viewsonic 22" monitor with a naitive display of 1680 * 1050. Connected the mini-9 and crossed my fingers. Guess what? It worked! naitive res without a problem and you wouldnt know it was a mini notebook powering this. This leads to many possibilities.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Save Battery Life

Get into the habbit of closing the lid when you are not using it, this puts the mini-9 to sleep right away. When you open the lid vista restores from sleep by the time the lid is opened fully.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Missing Device Driver

I am yet to find what device is missing in my mini-9 Vista build

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Freeze State with SteadyState

I have put on Microsoft SteadyState as my mini-9, I like the idea of rebooting and getting back to a state I configured and am happy with. When I restart all my files, changes are removed perfect for a netbook. Give it a try.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Save Space

Turn off Volume Shadow Copy, sure you will lose restore capability but its only a 15gb HD, a full backup dosent even take long. It has saved about 3gb and brought my install size to under 5gb with vista SP1 and drivers installed.
Here is a good article showing you how do turn off shadow copy

Updated System Score

I deleted the current video drivers which were the Dell drivers and instead let Vista search online for drivers it recomended. The scores are now very respectable :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Vista Standby

Vista goes into standby mode as soon as the lid is closed, and instantly comes out of standby when the lid is opened. On XP i found standby too a few seconds.

The amazing thing is that I have had my laptop on standby for 12 hours. When I went into standby it was 70% charged, 12 hours later it has 23% remaining.

I have my Vista power saving set to power saver.

How fast is the Mini 9 with Vista?

Vista Install Part 2

Vista has installed sucessfully. I have managed to get the default image down to 4.96 GB. You can make it even smaller by removing the SP1 uninstall files by running VSP1CLN.exe. This will free up another 800mb. Vista is using less space than Dells default XP install.

Once Vista has been installed you will notice that there are a few drivers missing. Before I did anything I installed the Dell 910 chipset drivers for Vista and rebooted. This next step is where the folder you saved from the XP image comes into play. Right click your devices even if Vista has detected them and installed default drivers, select update and then choose to search for the driver manually, when you are promted to choose a path select the drivers folder and it will go though and update the devices.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Vista Install Part 1

So this is my journey so far with the Vista install:

  • Format a USB key as described in my earlier post
  • From a computer with a DVDROM copy the Vista media onto the root of the USB key
  • I used vlite ( to create a cut down vista image.
  • Boot and select USB as the boot option
  • Vista kicks off its install.

EDIT: Before you blow away your XP image make sure you copy the drivers folder and then copy it back t0 your USB key after you have installed Vista.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Drive Compressed

When you first take delivery of your mini-9, go to my computer and right click > properties of your drive. You will see compress data checked on. If you uncheck this it takes about 2 hours to decompress and you gaim about an extra 1gig of data but a whole heap more speed. I prefered to just reformat my drive.

No DVD-ROM No worries

One of my first concerns with purchasing a netbook was the lack of a DVDROM, but I have come to realise, this is actually a blessing in disguise.

1. Ok so you want to reinstall the os (or install a new OS), how do I do it?

When you book the mini-9 and if you select 0, one of the boot options are USB boot.

USB keys are very cheap nowadays, I picked up a 8gb USB key for $80 which is more than enough room.

2. Ive got my USB key now what?

What you have to do is prepare your USB key so the mini-9 will recognise it and boot whatever is installed on it. To do this you have to follow the following steps:

Hop on a machine that has a dvd drive so you can put in your xp or vista media
type diskpart
type list disk (see if your disk is listed)
select disk 1 (assuming this is your usb key)
create partition primary
select partition 1
format fs=fat32

I assume d: is your xp or vista dvd drive e: is the usb drive

Now xcopy d:\*.* /s/e/f e:\

When that is done simply reboot your mini-9, select 0 for boot options and select USB, your computer will boot and load from the USB key much faster than a DVDROM

Monday, September 15, 2008


Hi All

I am a proud owner of the new netbook called the dell mini 9, this is causing quite a buzz around the web due to its specifications and upgradability. The aim of this blog is to be a spot to collate and share useful hints, tips, modifications, os upgrades and more. I like to push the boundaries and really want to see what this little device is capable of. If you also feel you want to contribute to this blog please contact me.