The 630i Resource Collective: consolidated resources for Dell XPS 630i users
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  1. Is there any difference between an XPS 630 and a 630i?
  2. No. Dell Liaison Chris Mixon explains:

    "XPS 630 and XPS 630i = Intel. They are the same. XPS 630a = AMD (This was bantered about, but we never built on it. There are some references of this around, which is why I brought it up)."

  3. My 630i came with Vista, but Service Pack 1 (SP1) wasn't installed as advertised. Why is this?
  4. Dell failed. You can request, at no expense to you, a new reinstallation DVD (available at least as of July 23, 2008 in the U.S.), which includes Service Pack 1 on the DVD. Be sure to have your Service Tag number and postal address handy, as well as which version of the DVD you want (32- or 64-bit).

  5. Can I get a backup set of DVD/CD install discs for my 630i?
  6. Yes. The following online order form allows you to request one set of backup discs. For Windows Vista users, the discs should now include Service Pack 1 (SP1) by default. If they don't, you can request (at no expense to you), the new reinstallation DVD (available at least as of July 23, 2008 in the U.S.) and includes Service Pack 1 on the DVD).

  7. Does Dell support upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit Vista?
  8. A: Yes. The following was posted by Dell Liaison Chris Mixon on October 6, 2008:

    "(1) The file library [Dell's Driver website] will be updated to have a 64-bit Vista drop-down. When, we don't know. For now, if you check the Compatibility section, the drivers should state "Microsoft Windows Vista 32-bit" and "Microsoft Windows Vista 64-bit". So, they are officially supported in Vista 64-bit.
    (2) If you bought the PC with Dell Vista 32-bit and you upgrade to Dell Vista 64-bit, we will support the hardware, operating system, drivers, and Dell-installed software."

    If your 630i came with a 32-bit Vista configuration you can request a free 64-bit version by sending a private message requesting it to Dell Liaison Chris Mixon on the Dell Community Forums. Be sure to include your Service Tag number as well as your postal address.

  9. Can I get a free 64-bit DVD copy of Vista or XP from Dell?
  10. If your system came pre-installed with Windows Vista at the time you ordered it, yes. If it was pre-installed with Windows XP, no. To request your free 64-bit version of Vista, send a private message requesting it to Dell Liaison Chris Mixon on the Dell Community Forums. Be sure to include your Service Tag number as well as your shipping address. Note that you cannot get a new key with your free 64-bit version of Vista. Also of note is that Microsoft's Windows Vista Alternate Media offer does not apply to Dell's OEM version of Vista or XP that came as part of your system.

  11. Is there anything I should know before installing a 64-bit version of Windows XP or Vista on my system?
  12. There seems to be differing installation experiences for some users on this. Some have been unable to install their 64-bit Windows (XP or Vista) if more than 2GB of RAM is installed. Though apparently after it is installed, you can safely add more RAM. However, user ubergoober reports that:

    "I installed Vista Ultimate 64-bit with SP1 twice now with 8GB of RAM installed both times. I didn't know about the 2GB restriction prior to my go with 64-bit. But I've had no problems since. I had to go 64-bit if I wanted the full use of my 8GB and all four cores of my Quad 6600." user ai5u reports that:
    "I have been able to install Win XP x64 (by nLite slipstream) on my XPS 630i, and it actually runs very well with this." user KryttosArcadia reports similar findings:
    "I did the exact same thing, and yes--I had all 4GB installed."

  13. Do I need nTune if I have Nvidia Control Panel installed?
  14. No. nTune has since been integrated into Nvidia's Control Panel, and is no longer necessary.

  15. Are there ways I can improve, or add to, my 630i's cooling?
  16. Yes. Several ways, such as rear exhaust fans, more powerful CPU cooling, PCI-slot fans, and more. See the Mods and Recommendations page for links and additional information.

  17. What is Dell's policy regarding overclocking within a valid warranty?
  18. Dell Liaison Chris Mixon, on June 17, 2008, stated that:

    "You can overclock it. In a troubleshooting scenario, Dell will take the PC back to a factory overclock state before we troubleshoot. While overclocking using our BIOS and our ESA software, if the hardware dies and your warranty is current, then we will replace the parts."

  19. I would like to return my 630i for a full refund, but am past the 21-day period. What can I do?
  20. Unfortunately, the special refund period expired as of October 15, 2008.

  21. The Performance list item is missing in the Nvidia Control Panel. How do I get it back?
  22. The solution may lie in one of the following four sets of steps:

    Solution 1:

    Solution 2:

    Solution 3:

    Solution 4:

  23. I lost the Chassis icon in ESA Performance and/or my fans are messed up. How can I fix this?
  24. Try the first (and if necessary, second) of the following sets of steps (taken from the XPS 630 FAQ):

    Solution 1:

    Solution 2:

    Note: if resetting the jumper fails to correct the issue (i.e. you've tried both of the above solutions and neither works), contact Dell Technical Support (chat, e-mail, and phone) and have them replace the "CY260 Master Controller I/O Board". They will need the following information:

  25. Are there any driver updates or things I can try to resolve some problems I've been having with my Creative X-Fi audio card in my 630i (especially in Windows Vista)?
  26. Some users have reported problems with the outdated X-Fi driver that Dell has on their support website. Current, properly working X-Fi driver updates can be found here. More information about the X-Fi and Windows Vista can be found here. Other audio devices from Creative can be found here. In addition, if you are experiencing low audio levels, you can activate SVM in the ConsoleLauncher, which will boost your sound (though unfortunately, not microphone gain).

    There is also the PAX modded driver (apparently works well, though not an official driver from Creative, and thus not supported by them). PAX drivers are also available for PCI Audigy and PCIe X-Fi, and there are some drivers for Windows 7. The official site is: If this latter URL doesn't work, try this one from

  27. Is there a way to fix problems with Sleep Mode in Vista (64/32-bit)? My OS either runs in a slow/strange way, or has other problems after returning from Sleep Mode (freezing, BSOD, having to force-quit, etc.)
  28. Yes. 90% of the time the problem can be detected and solved thanks to the Vista Signature Verification utility:

    1. Click on Windows Start -> Run... and then type sigverif.
    2. Once inside the File Signature Verification utility, click Start. After the scanning process, you should see a few files (mostly drivers). Now, bear in mind that not all of them are causing conflicts, but some of them might be. Check their position under the "In Folder" column.
    3. Go to that area--generally, C:/Windows/System32 or C:/Windows/System32/Drivers
    4. Find the file and right click on it (Properties) and try to determine which program created that file. If you can't find details about that specific file, try to find it on Google.
    5. Once you have found the program responsible for it, try to uninstall the program and see if the Sleep Mode problem is solved. If you have several files, you might have to uninstall all the associated programs, run Signature Verification and see if there are still some files left.

    In addition, the following Nvidia files are known to conflict with 64-bit Vista:


    If you see any of these files listed in the File Signature Verification utility, try to update Vista and the Nvidia drivers (especially if you bought a new computer). Wait a few weeks, then check Signature Verification to see if they are still there. Eventually, those files should just disappear from the Vista Signature Verification utility.

    For programs that have been uninstalled, but in which the program did not properly remove its drivers (for example DVDFab 5):

    1. Uninstall the program, then manually delete the driver (e.g. in C:/Windows/System32/Drivers).
    2. Delete the same file, but this time located in the Windows Registry.

    To access the Windows Registry, click on Start -> Run... and type in regedit, then press the Enter key. The Registry Editor window will open. Using the > icon, navigate down through the registry key branches until you reach the subkey (the folder on the left) that you want to delete, or the subkey that contains the value (on the right) you want to delete.

    Using DVDFab 5 again as an example (which typically leaves pcoufin.sys behind after uninstalling):

    1. Remove pcoufin.sys from C:\Windows\System32\Drivers
    2. Delete the following entry from the Windows Registry:

      HKEY LOCAL MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\pcouffin

    3. restart your computer.

    Warning: never manually delete a driver unless you also find it in the Windows Registry, and always try first to remove it by uninstalling the program.

  29. Is there anything I can try to resolve lockups and/or Blue Screens of Death in XP/Vista?
  30. Yes. Below are some things you can check to begin ruling out possible causes of the crashes/lockups:

    Check the intergrity of your RAM: Burn one of the following Memtest86+ .ISO files to CD, and boot up your 630i with it. It will then let you run numerous tests on each of the RAM modules in your system, checking for possible hardware errors. -- contributed by various users.

    Check your virtual memory settings: Right-click on "My Computer" and select "Properties". On the right hand-side, select "Advanced system settings". In the popup window under "Performance", click "Settings", then go to the "Advanced" tab. You can now view your Virtual memory settings. You should have it set between two and two-and-a-half times the amount of physical RAM installed in your system. -- contributed by user billybigfoot.

    Create a new Windows user profile: "It then occurred to me, if I am able to login to safe mode without problems, then there is nothing wrong with my hardware, and the issue probably has something to do with my profile or the OS. Not wanting to have to try the reintalling OS route and have to reinstall all my software again, I decide to create a new profile. Doing some research on the BSOD errors, I got a hunch that my issue probably had to with my messing with the fan settings and some how they got corrupted. The control panel must have messed with my windows profile startup. I created a new profile, and it started up without any problems. I uninstalled all the Nvidia drivers and programs, restarted, and logged back in to my original profile and everything loaded. I reinstalled the Nvidia drivers and software applications. All that and it was just the profile. In summary, my issued lied first and foremost that my video cards and bridge needed to be reseated. Also, if you're adjusting settings in the Nvidia control panel they may not write correctly to the startup file. If you start getting BSODs after making adjustments and can't login to that profile, more than likely the profile is corrupted. At this point, you should see if you can login to Safe Mode--more than likely your OS is ok. While you're in Safe Mode, just create yourself a new profile. Log into that profile and uninstall/reinstall your Nvidia software. I hope this can be helpful to someone." -- contributed by user JTSmith.

  31. I get a BSOD when trying to do a clean install of Windows XP (with Service Pack 2). Is there a workaround for this?
  32. ...when I try to do a clean install of XP (with Service Pack 2), it goes through the entire setup, restarts, and immediately returns a blue screen of death. It encourages me to run check disk, and I cannot boot in safe mode either. Disabling RAID (I have two 250GB SATA hard drives) and adding in the driver during the XP Setup for the nVidia Raid do not help.

    You need to download Dell nVidia MediaShield drivers, and 'inject' them into your setup CD-ROM. Use a program like nLite to add them to your setup CD-ROM. [Thanks to user irios for this workaround].

  33. What does Dell's warranty cover if I replace my 630i motherboard with a different, retail one?
  34. On August 6, 2008, Dell Liaison Chris Mixon stated that: "You may replace the motherboard with a retail motherboard. The PC warranty would still apply to all of the remaining Dell hardware."

  35. What are the benefits and requirements of upgrading to a higher-end graphics card in my 630i?
  36. Note: This entry is still a work in progress--please don't hesitate to send your additions/corrections to make this as useful and accurate as possible.

    The benefits of upgrading to a higher-end graphics card are, of course, faster frame rates and better graphics. However, this comes at a price--the two biggest issues being performance gains and power consumption with the current motherboard and power supply in the 630i.

    Performance of Nvidia GTX-series (or later) graphics cards are limited by the fixed 8-lane PCIe limit of the Dellified nForce 650i SLI motherboard standard in the 630i. Older Nvidia graphics cards such as the 9800 GT/GTX or earlier apparently use nearly the maximum possible bandwidth of the 8-lane PCIe limit, so are therefore not affected. To see performance gains offered by newer graphics cards, you will need to upgrade to a motherboard that supports at least full 16-lane, version 2.0--not version 1.0 or 1.1--PCIe slots. One such example is the EVGA nForce 780i SLI FTW.

    Not surprisingly, newer graphics cards have substantially greater power requirements. Depending on the configuration you plan to upgrade to, you may need a higher-wattage power supply, or a supplemental power supply that fits in an unused 5.25 in. drive bay. In addition to more power, the quantity and type of power connector required by higher-end cards is often different from what the 630i ships with, and adapters may be needed. The 630i's power supply comes standard with two 6-pin PCIe connectors.

    Cooling is perhaps less of an issue, as newer graphics cards often exhaust hot air directly through the back of the 630i case, eliminating further internal air flow problems and inadvertently heating other interior components.

  37. How do I restore the original software configuration that my 630i shipped with?
  38. When you bootup your 630i, look for a blue bar at the top of the screen that says you see it, immediately press Ctrl + F11 (if using XP) and F8 (if using Vista) until the restart screen appears. Then click on PC Restore. If you miss the blue bar and don't press the key combination in time, the computer will just boot up; simply shut down and try again. If you don't see the blue bar, you do not have the Dell PC Restore installed on your system.

    Warning: If you ever restart your hard drive with the discs (i.e. reinstall Windows) this option will no longer be available.

  39. How do I clear or restore my 630i BIOS?
  40. Simply follow the steps in the 630i Clearing CMOS Settings manual. The item in question is no. 9 in the System Board Components diagram.

  41. My bluetooth memory card reader stopping working and/or has disappeared. How do I restore it?
    1. Click Start -> Control Panel -> Device Manager -> USB controllers (or however you want to get to Device Manager). You should see the 'HX2LP' driver listed there.
    2. Right-click Properties -> Driver -> Roll Back Driver. If you cannot roll back the driver, try to do a system restore from before the date that the HX2LP Kit (3.03.0000.2) driver was installed. Be careful with this one as it may be 'past its sell by date'.

    If you cannot rollback the driver or go back to the restore point, try this:

    1. Right-click on the HX2LP Kit (3.03.0000.2) in Device Manager.
    2. Click Update driver software.
    3. Click Browse my computer for driver software.
    4. DO NOT click next; click on Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer.
    5. Select generic USB Hub and click next.

    Note from user and contributor lockwoodman: For me, the only option was to chose the generic USB hub, and hey! presto--not only did my card reader come to life, but the bluetooth started to work!

  42. How does Microsoft Windows activation work?
  43. The Dell Windows Vista discs that say "Already Installed on your Computer" on them are activated by a system known as "SLIC 2.0". Basically, these discs have an embedded product key, and a special "certificate" (kind of like SSL certificates, if you will) registered to Dell on them. These two things interact with a special table in the Dell BIOS known as a SLIC table, which contains some strings identifying the computer as a Dell. When all above criterion are met, your copy of Vista will be pre-activated during installation, or to put it another way, you could install Vista without being connected to the Internet, and your copy of Vista would show up as activated before ever entering any key code, or connecting to the Internet.

    Dell Windows XP discs with the words "Already Installed on your Computer" on them will also pre-activate on a 630i as well; however XP uses an older scheme for pre-activation--it does not look at the SLIC table, rather it looks in a different area of the BIOS for its identifier.

    Windows 7 pre-activation uses an updated SLIC version 2.1. At this time (Aug 21, 2009), and the current 630i BIOS version 1.0.13, the 630i is not SLIC 2.1 compatible. However, since the 630 is still sold, and is currently offered with a free upgrade to Windows 7, it seems very likely that sometime before October 22, 2009 Dell will issue a BIOS update for the 630i with an updated SLIC table. SLIC 2.1 will pre-activate Windows 7, and Vista, but SLIC 2.0 will only pre-activate Vista, so if the 630i continues to be sold after the release of Windows 7, it will be imperative that Dell issue a new BIOS. It seems likely that with each future version of Windows, the SLIC version will be updated, thus keeping everybody with older machines from getting free upgrades (assuming of course Microsoft does not come up with a totally different scheme like they did between XP and Vista).

    Things to keep in mind (assuming you are not using an, uh, "Arr, me Maties" version of Windows):

    Please note that I've never had the chance to play with Dell "upgrade" Windows discs, so I can't comment on how they are supposed to work or if they are supposed to pre-activate like the ones labeled "Already Installed on your Computer". Please PM me on if you have such a disk, and would like to exchange information regarding its structure. I hope this clears up some of the misconceptions about OEM activation.

    Original post by user fatterpuddytat.

  44. I have some questions about upgrading to the EVGA 780i FTW motherboard...
    1. Will there be any modding of the wires, cables, etc, and will all the wires reach everything?
    2. Will all the colored case LEDs/lights still work?
    3. I know the stock heatsink will work with this motherboard, but should I clean and reapply some new thermal paste (e.g. Arctic Silver 5)?
    4. Is it safe to assume that whatever cables I unplug from the 650i motherboard will get reconnected to the new motherboard?

    With the exception of the front panel 1394 wire in question one, the answer to these four questions is "yes". In addition (and as a suggestion) you might consider upgrading the heatsink. If you're going to have it off anyway, you may as well go ahead and do it. You're going to be able to overclock your memory and CPU with this new motherboard, so it's a good idea to already have a good heatsink installed for when you begin the process. Other than that, buy a good anti-static wrist band, and have an extra long, slim screwdriver. Newegg has some inexpensive Rosewill kits available, and they work great.

  45. When trying to boot up, I get "FATAL ERROR: Failed to find ACPI location. Not compatible with this system. Press any key to continue booting." How do I resolve this?
    1. Insert the Windows 7 disc into the PC DVD drive, and restart the PC into safe-mode.
    2. Once in safe-mode, click Repair Windows, type in your country, and click on NEXT (which will bring you to a list of options.
    3. From the list, click the bottom one called Command Prompt.
    4. When in the command prompt, type in C: and click the Enter button and the drive C: will come up.
    5. Then type in the following sets of instructions one at a time (it will say Successful after each entry). Press Enter after each one.
    6. bootrec/fixmbr
    7. When all of these commands say Successful, then type in Exit to close the Command Prompt. Click Restart and that will fix this annoying problem.

    Thanks to My630i's zenno757 for this solution.