Windows Vista Forums

Reinstalling Vista and Dell's "unknown" partitions

  1. #1


    Albédo Guest

    Reinstalling Vista and Dell's "unknown" partitions

    Hello from France (again).
    I'm upping this because I'm afraid "Timothy Daniels", who started answering my
    problem on 06/27, seems to have missed my reply, and this is getting drowned by
    now. Kindly forgive me if it is considered unfair or whatever...

    "Timothy Daniels" :
    | This posting belongs in "alt.sys.pc-clone.dell",
    | as it concerns procedures and software
    | that is specific to Dell laptops.

    I did post there, but to no avail.

    | (...) the 2.01GB partition will contain
    | the re-installed MediaDirect application
    | and its "embedded" OS.

    I don't get this: so far, that peculiar volume seems empty (as far as I can
    tell, since it can't be accessed in the usual way, like through File manager),
    and I'm finished with reinstalling Dell MediaDirect. Do you mean that 2.01 Gb
    partition is were the system copies its temporary files when I'm using Dell
    MediaDirect? Does that apply both from Vista and without having loaded Vista in
    the first place--which seems to be the reason why Dell MediaDirect is made for?)
    ? If so, if I just delete that partition so as to let C: get the liberated
    space, what will happen next time I launch MediaDirect?

    I am *very* sincerely grateful for bothering to explain that much, and I hope
    you can explain a bit more...
    --
    a.



      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2.   


  3. #2


    Malke Guest

    Re: Reinstalling Vista and Dell's "unknown" partitions

    Albédo wrote:

    > Hello from France (again).
    > I'm upping this because I'm afraid "Timothy Daniels", who started
    > answering my problem on 06/27, seems to have missed my reply, and this is
    > getting drowned by now. Kindly forgive me if it is considered unfair or
    > whatever...
    >
    > "Timothy Daniels" :
    > | This posting belongs in "alt.sys.pc-clone.dell",
    > | as it concerns procedures and software
    > | that is specific to Dell laptops.
    >
    > I did post there, but to no avail.
    >
    > | (...) the 2.01GB partition will contain
    > | the re-installed MediaDirect application
    > | and its "embedded" OS.
    >
    > I don't get this: so far, that peculiar volume seems empty (as far as I
    > can tell, since it can't be accessed in the usual way, like through File
    > manager), and I'm finished with reinstalling Dell MediaDirect. Do you mean
    > that 2.01 Gb partition is were the system copies its temporary files when
    > I'm using Dell MediaDirect? Does that apply both from Vista and without
    > having loaded Vista in the first place--which seems to be the reason why
    > Dell MediaDirect is made for?) ? If so, if I just delete that partition so
    > as to let C: get the liberated space, what will happen next time I launch
    > MediaDirect?
    Go to Dell's user forums and post your questions about Dell Media Direct
    there. It's a special partition that is used for Dell Media Direct and
    there are specific instructions on Dell's site for restoring Dell Media
    Direct. This isn't a Windows issue.

    You can get to Dell's user forums from here:

    http://www.dellcommunity.com/supportforums/

    Malke
    --
    MS-MVP
    Elephant Boy Computers - Don't Panic!
    FAQ - http://www.elephantboycomputers.com/#FAQ


      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #3


    Albédo Guest

    Re: Reinstalling Vista and Dell's "unknown" partitions

    "Malke" :
    | (...)
    | You can get to Dell's user forums from here:
    | http://www.dellcommunity.com/supportforums/

    Thanks, I'll try that.
    Now I do have a question that's a Windows issue: if I start it all over again,
    booting from the Vista DVD (not using Dell's MediaDirect DVD at all) and going
    to re-install Vista, do you think all partitions will disappear and I'll get to
    create a new C: and D:?
    Thanks in advance.
    --
    a.



      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #4


    KDE Guest

    Re: Reinstalling Vista and Dell's "unknown" partitions

    if you choose to reformat your drive as part of the install then yes, you
    can wipe out the partitions and start over. you could also re-install in an
    existing ppartition leaving the d: drive intact. it's up to you.


    "Albédo" <ac.albedo@xxxxxx> wrote in message
    news:ebDQ6LG3IHA.4484@xxxxxx

    > "Malke" :
    > | (...)
    > | You can get to Dell's user forums from here:
    > | http://www.dellcommunity.com/supportforums/
    >
    > Thanks, I'll try that.
    > Now I do have a question that's a Windows issue: if I start it all over
    > again,
    > booting from the Vista DVD (not using Dell's MediaDirect DVD at all) and
    > going
    > to re-install Vista, do you think all partitions will disappear and I'll
    > get to
    > create a new C: and D:?
    > Thanks in advance.
    > --
    > a.
    >
    >


      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #5


    Colin Barnhorst Guest

    Re: Reinstalling Vista and Dell's "unknown" partitions

    Is the dvd a standard retail dvd or a recovery dvd? A recovery dvd will
    simply restore the computer to factory condition.

    "Albédo" <ac.albedo@xxxxxx> wrote in message
    news:ebDQ6LG3IHA.4484@xxxxxx

    > "Malke" :
    > | (...)
    > | You can get to Dell's user forums from here:
    > | http://www.dellcommunity.com/supportforums/
    >
    > Thanks, I'll try that.
    > Now I do have a question that's a Windows issue: if I start it all over
    > again,
    > booting from the Vista DVD (not using Dell's MediaDirect DVD at all) and
    > going
    > to re-install Vista, do you think all partitions will disappear and I'll
    > get to
    > create a new C: and D:?
    > Thanks in advance.
    > --
    > a.
    >
    >

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #6


    Timothy Daniels Guest

    Re: Reinstalling Vista and Dell's "unknown" partitions

    No, Dell provides a real installation DVD that re-installs Vista.
    Dell also provides a DVD that contains the necessary drivers
    plus the diagnostic utilities.

    *TimDaniels*

    "Colin Barnhorst" asked:

    > Is the dvd a standard retail dvd or a recovery dvd? A recovery dvd will
    > simply restore the computer to factory condition.
    >
    > "Albédo" wrote:

    >> "Malke" :
    >> | (...)
    >> | You can get to Dell's user forums from here:
    >> | http://www.dellcommunity.com/supportforums/
    >>
    >> Thanks, I'll try that.
    >> Now I do have a question that's a Windows issue: if I start it all over
    >> again,
    >> booting from the Vista DVD (not using Dell's MediaDirect DVD at all) and
    >> going
    >> to re-install Vista, do you think all partitions will disappear and I'll get
    >> to
    >> create a new C: and D:?
    >> Thanks in advance.
    >> --
    >> a.
    >>
    >>
    >


      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #7


    Timothy Daniels Guest

    Re: Reinstalling Vista and Dell's "unknown" partitions

    The MediaDirect manual for v. 3.5 says that the MediaDirect
    reinstallation DVD is used twice. The first time, it is booted
    by the BIOS, and the small (3GB for v. 3.5) MediaDirect logical
    drive is made having type code dd(hex) within an Extended
    partition that is at the very end of the hard drive. A Primary
    partition of about 78MB is made which contains the diagnostic
    utilities is put at the front of the hard drive, and you are given a
    choice of making all the unallocatted space between those two
    partitions to be one big C: partition or a C: partition and a D:
    partition.

    Then, you remove the MediaDirect DVD and insert the Vista
    installation DVD and boot that up and install Vista, and then
    remove the Vista DVD. Then start Vista, and when it is running,
    insert the MediaDirect DVD again, and let Vista start it up and
    let it reinstall MediaDirect into the type dd(hex) logical drive and
    do whatever else it must do to install the code that runs as a
    result of pressing the button with the "house" icon.

    The MediaDirect logical drive contains a small OS which runs
    MediaDirect in normal operation so that Vista is not needed
    when viewing DVD movies, etc., and the security risk of having
    a running OS is not incurred. Whether the code for MediaDirect
    (as an application) resides in the MediaDirect logical drive or in
    the C: partition, I don't know, but the MediaDirect application
    also resides in the C: partition and it can also be run from Vista,
    so it may reside in one or both locations.

    When there is no partitions of type dd(hex) to be found by the
    MediaDirect startup code, processing does not progress beyond
    the MediaDirect splash screen, and you can shut the laptop down
    and restart it by using the power button.

    What I would do (and what I plan to do) is to leave out the Media-
    Direct app until Dell releases versionn 4.0 of MediaDirect, which
    has been designed to be less brittle and more user friendly in its
    reinstallation procedure and in its tolerance for additional partitions
    (such as for Linux and/or XP). Just allocate partitions without any
    use of the MediaDirect DVD just as if it didn't exist. To do that,
    I'm using Gparted from a USB "thumb" drive, and it all works OK
    so far. Whether the eventual v. 4.0 of MediaDirect will work with
    pre-Vista partitions is something that is not yet known. It may
    comfort you to know that the predominate feeling among Dell laptop
    owners who add partitions (such as for dual-booting) is that
    MediaDirect is just junk and should be discarded.

    *TimDaniels*

    "Albédo" wrote:

    > [......]
    > "Timothy Daniels" wrote:
    > | (...) the 2.01GB partition will contain
    > | the re-installed MediaDirect application
    > | and its "embedded" OS.
    >
    > I don't get this: so far, that peculiar volume seems empty (as far as I can
    > tell, since it can't be accessed in the usual way, like through File manager),
    > and I'm finished with reinstalling Dell MediaDirect. Do you mean that 2.01 Gb
    > partition is were the system copies its temporary files when I'm using Dell
    > MediaDirect? Does that apply both from Vista and without having loaded Vista
    > in
    > the first place--which seems to be the reason why Dell MediaDirect is made
    > for?)
    > ? If so, if I just delete that partition so as to let C: get the liberated
    > space, what will happen next time I launch MediaDirect?
    >
    > I am *very* sincerely grateful for bothering to explain that much, and I hope
    > you can explain a bit more...
    > --
    > a.
    >
    >


      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #8


    Albédo Guest

    Re: Reinstalling Vista and Dell's "unknown" partitions

    "Timothy Daniels" :
    | The MediaDirect manual for v. 3.5
    | says (...)

    Yes, I found the information in a flyer that came with the machine and did just
    what you describe. I still don't quite understand where the unnamed, 2.01 Gb
    partition came from though...

    | (...) It may comfort you to know that
    | the predominate feeling among Dell laptop
    | owners who add partitions (such as for dual-booting)
    | is that MediaDirect is just junk and should be discarded.

    That is *just* what I was hoping to read. Since I just reinstalled the whole
    thing and haven't done much more with it up to now, I guess I'm going to install
    once more, skipping the whole DMD step(s), and have some Vista resident program
    read my DVDs instead.
    I am grateful, Tim, that you bothered to resume the thread, as I went to that
    other forum you suggested but never got any answer.
    So my Frenchiest thanks again!
    --
    a.



      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #9


    Timothy Daniels Guest

    Re: Reinstalling Vista and Dell's "unknown" partitions


    "Albédo" wrote:

    > "Timothy Daniels" :
    > | The MediaDirect manual for v. 3.5
    > | says (...)
    >
    > Yes, I found the information in a flyer that came with the machine
    > and did just what you describe. I still don't quite understand where
    > the unnamed, 2.01 Gb partition came from though...
    The small MD partition is made during the 1st use of the MD
    reinstallation DVD, when the utility and main Vista partitions are
    made. The MD reinstallation DVD is necessary to do this (I believe)
    because nothing else short of a hex editor could make a partition
    having hex DD as its type code (this is a partition type that is
    proprietary to Dell). During this time, the startup code that passes
    control to start the MD OS in the small DDh partition is also probably
    set up. Whether the code for that small OS is inserted into the DDh
    partition at this time, I don't know, but whatever is done happens quickly.
    Later, after Vista has been installed, the code for the MD app can be
    inserted into wherever it resides - in the Vista file structure and/or in the
    DDh partition's file structure.


    > | (...) It may comfort you to know that
    > | the predominate feeling among Dell laptop
    > | owners who add partitions (such as for dual-booting)
    > | is that MediaDirect is just junk and should be discarded.
    >
    > That is *just* what I was hoping to read.

    MediaDirect is a "product differentiation" feature that is meant to
    make Dell laptops different from other manufacturers' laptops by
    providing a pleasant way to enjoy media while visiting friends or
    while sitting on a long airplane flight and not have all your private
    documents exposed by a running Vista. But to anyone doing
    anything "interesting" with their laptops, MediaDirect has been a
    serious pain in the butt - to both owners and to Dell. A Dell tech
    rep even told me to just dump it because it's nearly worthless. He
    said that if I wanted watch a DVD movie, to just run it under Vista.
    And that is why Dell has funded the effort to revise MediaDirect
    so that it doesn't require a complete rebuild of the entire hard disk
    in order to reinstall it and to maintain that differentiation feature.
    That should come with version 4.0, and I won't do anything about
    reinstalling MediaDirect until 4.0 is released.

    *TimDaniels*



      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  11. #10


    Albédo Guest

    Re: Reinstalling Vista and Dell's "unknown" partitions

    "Timothy Daniels" :
    | (...) to anyone doing anything "interesting"
    | with their laptops, MediaDirect has been
    | a serious pain in the butt (...)

    ....and it still is: I just decided to go through a whole Vista installation
    again--*without* of course using the DMD DVD at all-- and here I find that the
    smaller, 47 Mb partition that was created the other day (when I installed by
    brand new hard disk using the DMD DVD) is *still* there, and Vista can't seem to
    make it go. This volume (which I simply cannot use at all but which, though it
    is unnamed, uses up one of the three volume Vista allows) is stuck on my
    yesterday-brand new hard disk. >:-(
    Would you think there is any way I can get rid of it, please?
    Thanks again--and possibly in advance, once more.
    --
    a.



      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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