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Windows 7: Windows 7 and Dell MediaDirect

25 Jul 2010   #11
osu1357

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit
 
 

I have re-assigned the MediaDirect key via the registry to instead open Windows Media Center. I tested this key several times and it works also when computer is in SLEEP mode.

I shut down the computer COMPLETELY and pressed the MediaDirect button and it started to load Dell Media Direct Express. It seems to call up its own program.

So why does it pull from two sources?? It seems when my computer is ON or in SLEEP pressing the MD key opens up Windows Media Center (after I re-assigned it), however when the computer is completely shut down, pressing that same button causes MediaDirect to load.

The reason I ask is that by default in Windows Vista the preferred "shutdown" method seems to be a Sleep mode while in Windows 7 the preferred "shutdown" is to completely shut down the system.

I still am unsure what will happen if I were to wipe out the MediaDirect partition completey.

I noticed that I have a C:\Program Files\Dell\MediaDirect on my C: drive (remember I am still using Vista and haven't performed the clean install of Windows 7 yet) .. What will happen once the clean install removes this directory?

What will pressing the MD button do 1) when the computer is shut down completely and 2) when it is ON or in sleep?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Jul 2010   #12
strollin

W10 Pro desktop, W10 laptop, W10 laptop, W10 Pro tablet (all 64-bit)
 
 

When the machine is powered off, the OS isn't in memory so the registry and it's settings don't exist yet so the registry change you made can't have any effect at that point in time. The Dell hardware responds to the keypress and loads the OS from the MediaDirect partition. Once the machine is booted, then OS monitors keypresses and that's when the change you made in the registry can be in effect.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jul 2010   #13
strollin

W10 Pro desktop, W10 laptop, W10 laptop, W10 Pro tablet (all 64-bit)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by osu1357 View Post
... What will pressing the MD button do 1) when the computer is shut down completely and 2) when it is ON or in sleep?
I already answered that in a previous post, here is the excerpt:

... if I press the MediaDirect button with the machine off, it shows the MediaDirect splash screen for a second or two (I believe it must be embedded in the BIOS) but since the MediaDirect partition no longer exists it just proceeds and loads Win 7. The MediaDirect button has no effect when pressed when the laptop is powered up and running.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Jul 2010   #14
osu1357

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit
 
 

So it sounds like MediaDirect is installed in 2 places:

1) On the C: drive
2) Its own partition

Am i close?

with that being said, a clean install of W7 .. how will it affect my system if:

1) Clean install on C: partition (deletes MediaDirect on C: drive), leaving all other partitions as they are (leaves MD on its own partition) .. OR
2) Clean install on C: partition (deletes MediaDirect on C: drive) after deleting all other partitions (including MediaDirect partition)

I understand what you are saying about "... if I press the MediaDirect button with the machine off, it shows the MediaDirect splash screen for a second or two (I believe it must be embedded in the BIOS) but since the MediaDirect partition no longer exists it just proceeds and loads Win 7. The MediaDirect button has no effect when pressed when the laptop is powered up and running."

But how is it then that some people are experiencing issues where they wipe away MediaDirect, accidentally press the MD button (either off or in Windows not sure) and Media Direct creates a new partition on top of the C: drive (basically trying to re-install itself ..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jul 2010   #15
Petey7

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit
 
 

1) the media direct key will work as it did before, but some stuff I read suggest that Media Direct and 7 might not work too well together.
2) the button will work as another power button when off, and it will only do something if you program it to. Otherwise, nothing at all.

It seems that some remnants remain either in BIOS or the HDD on some systems. I have not had the issue. The best thing would probably be to not press the button when the computer is off.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jul 2010   #16
gregrocker

 

You might as well wipe the HD as the utilities partitions become useless once you install another OS which breaks all links to the programs.

See the earlier links to: Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version &
SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation '

If you want to have a path back to factory condition if needed to service warranty or sell the computer but keep retail Win7, then secure Recovery Disks from Dell (later or now) or save externally a Win7 backup image of all partitions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jul 2010   #17
strollin

W10 Pro desktop, W10 laptop, W10 laptop, W10 Pro tablet (all 64-bit)
 
 

Another option would be to buy a new HDD and install Win 7 on it. That way if you ever wanted to restore back to Vista all you would need to do is replace the new HDD with the original.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2012   #18
bigmutt

Vista
 
 
MediaDirect boots directly to Win7

My Dell XPS 1330 has a MediaDirect partition and has Win7-64 installed.
Everything works fine with Windows, but not MediaDirect:

When I press only the MediaDirect button, it briefly (2 seconds) shows me the MediaDirect screen, but then goes into the Win7 boot, as though I had pressed the Power-On button that boots my Win OS.

Hadn't worried about this much, since I didn't really use MediaDirect but lately I'm wishing I COULD use only the MediaDirect, without the full OS (which takes over 4 minutes to boot up.)

Any suggestions?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Oct 2012   #19
irishatheist

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit
 
 

I have a Dell Inspiron with a MediaDirect button
Given the controversy documented on Wikipedia
Dell MediaDirect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
and known a masters student who lost his work because of the mediadirect button, (had changed installed OS), the correct to set up such systems (prior to version 4) is to
first make a backup you trust
boot from the media direct cd/dvd and let it destroy your drive, and put it's sneaky remapped drive size trick (this is not a partition as you understand it), to reserve an area to put it's winpe files on later.
Take care using partitioning utilities (i.e. Dont!) as they can be confused by the above trick
Install the windows OS (thinks it has the full hard disk) (and that works with your media direct)
Install Mediadirect as though it's an application.
Test whether on starting via the mediadirect button works
Reboot to the OS and update mediadirect.
Install any prerequisite patches for your windows OS of choice
Do an inplace upgrade to your OS of choice. This may take several steps, XP to Vista then Vista to Win7, with SP's in between. Retest mediadirect at each step.
If you need Linux look at Cygwin and/or CoLinux or run it within virtual pc or vmware etc.
If changing to another app to manage your music collection, make sure it leaves your files where MediaPlayer expects to find them.
Basically the mediadirect button turns your system from a general purpose computer into a media player. The guy above is lucky the mediadirect button boots him into win7, as all bets are off when the system bios jumps to an area of the desk set aside for Mediadirect.
Getting mediadirect cd/dvd is a palaver, but this will be your starting point. Otherwise it's a liability to have a button there that can seriously corrupt your system.
Hope this helps someone.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Oct 2012   #20
gregrocker

 

Can the button be completely and permanently avoided while otherwise doing a Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7? Or in your experience do people buy the PC expecting the media player conversion feature?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows 7 and Dell MediaDirect




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