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    G-AVLN in front of her home

    Mostly Unix and Linux topics. But flying might get a mention too.

    Friday, October 26, 2007

    Re-installing Dell XPS M1330 (Part 2)

    I only need Vista for MS for a few applications used at work. Other than that, everything I need can be done by Linux.

    Also, I don't want *all* applications installed by default, so I had to start from scratch. As every self-righteous know-it-all techie, I threw the Vista install disk in, to re-install, clean up the disk and repartition it in the process.

    Allowing your M1330 to boot from DVD
    First little hiccup that surprised me was that CD/DVD is after hard disk in the BIOS booting sequence.

    Not a problem: reboot the system, hit F2 as soon as the first Dell screen appears and locate under "System" the "Bootable Sequence" menu item. Scroll down to it, press <Enter>. Now, with the list of available bootable devices displayed, reshuffle them to have HDD after DVD. Nice to see that booting from a USB device is available: reassuring if not surprising.

    There is some help at the bottom of the BIOS setup screen. I couldn't get how to actually move the entry. If up/down arrow keys are described as Up/Down arrows (to select the line), what could U/D mean (to move the entry)? Well, trial and error proved that U/D means Shift-Up or Shift-Down arrows. Obvious !?

    My preferred sequence would be:

    1. CD/DVD/CD-RW Drive
    2. USB Storage Device
    3. Internal HDD

    That's for my personal use - security consideration may dictate different approach (not a good idea to allow booting from removable media in a commercial environment).

    Once you have the correct sequence, do ESCAPE, then choose Save/Exit and Enter. That will accept your new setting and continue booting the system.

    During my first attempt, I have followed this with a fresh install of CentOS 5. It kind of worked, however, no sound, Ethernet or wireless were recognised. Screen required adjustments, but was fine after that. However, on reboot, although Vista was shown (as "other"), it wouldn't boot - missing MBR!

    Not very worried about any of this - I never expect my first install to work. But I decided to take a step back, and rethink my approach. A bit of googling didn't go amiss. There was a very useful blog entry from a chap who tried to achieve a similar configuration, and I took his advice. More in the next part...

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