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    G-AVLN in front of her home

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

    Monday, October 29, 2007

    Re-installing Dell XPS M1330 (Part 3)

    Using Dell MediaDirect (TM) 3.3 to partition disk
    Before I move on, I need to give credit to another blogger, who published a quick howto about installing M1330 with dual boot configuration: ( Without his information, it would've taken me a lot longer to realise that the MediaDirect disk is more than an application. It is a bootable CD, and is important for partitioning and making sure that Vista would be able to make use of the various media buttons the M1330 has (at this point I'm not sure if Linux will be able to use them ).

    Installing Vista
    Put Vista disk in the drive and restart the box. Follow the few simple instructions. No problem with the install, except I had to insert the disk several times before it started - I hope I don't have an inherent CD or drive problem! A quick reboot into Vista to confirm it worked - it did, after a fashion. What surprised me is, though, it started into 800x600 resolution! A quick adjustment (Start --> Control Panel --> Appearance and Personalization: Adjust Screen Resolution) and slide the resolution to 1280x800.

    Worked fine, but I thought Windows do these things automatically. Hmmm.

    Installing Drivers and Utilities (grey Driver and Utilities disk)
    Insert the Drivers and Utilities CD disk in the drive. Select "Run..." in the AutoPlay pop up screen. Say "OK" to start. On my machine, the virus wizard showed a warning: "An unidentified program wants access to your computer". Not really knowing what it's about, I can only assume that driver setup.exe is regarded as potential virus. So, selected "Allow". A couple of more "OK" clicks and 30 seconds later the Dell Resource Disk printed a Welcome message with hardware, drivers and hardware utilities being displayed. Close this screen, and you will find that behind it the install wizard is waiting for you to press "Finish". Do that. Eject the disk (with the eject touch key above the main keyboard).

    Installing Dell Webcam Manager (blue Driver and Utilities disk)
    Insert the Drivers and Utilities CD disk in the drive. Select "Run..." in the pop up screen. Scroll to the bottom of the licence text and press "Yes" to accept the licence. Unless you have a good reason to change the default destination for the drivers to go to, accept the default location: c:\Program Files\DELL. Select the "Full Installation".

    The "Dell Webcam Software" screen will be displayed, and this stage of the installation should take not more that 5 minutes.

    Allow the laptop to restart (default action on "Finish"). The CD will be automatically ejected, and the machine will reboot.

    Installing Dell MediaDirect(TM) 3,3
    Insert the Drivers and Utilities CD disk in the drive. Select "Run..." in the AutoPlay pop up screen. Say

    Another warning from the virus - press "Allow" again, Then "Enter" to start installation. First time round the disk got stuck again (you know when it happens, because it starts making repeatable noises). Had to eject the disk and restart the process. Not happy about it!

    But eventually it all worked, and MediaDirect installed itself in a separate partition. Another reboot to confirm it's all installed and working from Windows perspective. Vista booted fine, all touch keys work OK (although I haven't really played any media with it - can't wait to put Linux on and see how it can handle the same hardware).

    So, the next step is to obtain Linux - this time I'll go for Ubuntu - and install it in the free space.

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