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Windows 7: Windows 7 and Dell MediaDirect

24 Jul 2010   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit
Windows 7 and Dell MediaDirect

I currently have Vista 32-Bit Home Premium and wish to perform a clean install of Windows 7 32-Bit Home Premium. I have a few questions:
1) Can I perform a clean install from boot-up?
2) What is the recommended install if I'm stuck currently with Dell MediaDirect 3.0 ? I have heard LOTS of issues from some who attempt to delete all of the partitions and then accidentally press the MediaDirect buttom (looks like a house) next to the power button. I've never used MediaDirect so I don't care if it doesn't work in Windows 7. However I have heard if you wipe out all partitions and do a clean install of Windows 7 and accidentally press the MediaDirect button at some later time, MediaDirect on some "hidden" partition will create a new partition on top of the partition Windows 7 was installed to. Anyways what are my options? Should I just leave my partitions as they are (I have four of them -- C: D:RECOVERY and two other partitions which I believe are the MediaDirect partition and a disk utilities partition
3) After I install Windows 7 (clean install) can I just go to Windows Update to get all my drivers? Or should I install them from the CD first?

I currently am running Windows Vista 32-Bit on a Dell E1705 laptop with 2 GB ram.
Thanks !!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jul 2010   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit

My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jul 2010   #3

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit

Sorry no one got to you sooner. I've never had an issue with the media direct button, other than i wish I could program it to do SOMETHING. The drivers on the CD will work, but some newer versions may be available on the Dell website. Before you do anything I'm going to research the problem you describe a little, and find some tutorials on here that explain how to make sure everything goes smoothly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 Jul 2010   #4

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86


1) If you dont need the mediadirect partition, you can just delete it. However, as you yourself said,you open yourself up to accidentally pressing the media direct button and causing problems.

What some people do to avoid that kind of accident is to remap the mediadirect button. See these links.

Reassigning the mediadirect button- an adventure...

[GUIDE] How to change your Dell MediaDirect button's functionality

2) Yes, you can boot from the win7 dvd and do a clean install. If you wish, you can delete the mediadirect partition and remap that button. Leave the other partitions as they are, if you are constrained for space at a later time, you can consider deleting them.

Before installing win7, make recovery dvds of your current install. That'll let you go back to vista, if need be.

3) Win7 will install many drivers on its own. You can then update them, in case there are missing or problematic drivers you can use the CD to install them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jul 2010   #5

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit

Based on what I'm reading Media Direct and Windows 7 don't always get along. I would recommend deleting all partitions and reformatting the drive completely to insure Media Direct causes no problems. I also found the links I promised

Clean Install Windows 7
Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version
SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation

If the steps to optimize seem a little too complicated, I've never had a problem doing the regular GUI for the custom install option to clean the hard drive and create a brand new partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jul 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ulti. x64

osu... Welcome to sevenforums.
What are your expectations with this install? Do you have all your important data backed up? I would suggest you show us a snip of your disk management so we could advise you how to proceed with your clean install. Should be no problem like you describe if the clean install is done correctly. However I am thinking that will void your warranty if you still have warranty left.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jul 2010   #7

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit

Bill, thank you so much for those links. I will try it out and write back to tell y'all how it works out.

The AutoHotkey program works but there is no GUI for doing it. Read the instructions given in the blog/furom post to understand how to do it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jul 2010   #8

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

When I installed Win 7 on my Dell laptop I had no use for MediaDirect so I deleted all the partitions and did a clean install of Win 7. Afterwards, 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.

As long as you completely delete the MediaDirect partition, you shouldn't have any problems.

Until I read this thread, I had completely forgotten about that horrible abomination called MediaDirect!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jul 2010   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit

Here is a screen shot of my partitions (80 GB hard drive) currently from Disk Management. What I was wanting to do is format C: and install Windows 7 there, but I'd like to delete ALL of the partitions to get my 80 GB back (remove the D:RECOVERY that has my factory image, etc).

Here is the million dollar question: If I do a clean install essentially these destroys my old registry and creates a new registry (clean). How is it then that pressing the Media Direct button after installing Windows 7 and thus creating a NEW registry calls Media Direct to launch? By the way I did read the post on how to re-assign the Media Direct button .. I now have it launching Windows Media Center (I tested it first while I still have Vista on my computer before I do the clean install) ..

I agree, my thought is to wipe away all partitions and do a clean install onto a single partition .. Just want to understand how the Media Direct button calls the program to launch when you do a clean install. For example by going to this tutorial (as suggested):

[GUIDE] How to change your Dell MediaDirect button's functionality

It talks about editing the registry (changing it so that it loads Windows Media Center instead of Media Direct) .. My only question is once I do a clean install and wipe away the registry, it shouldn't call out Media Direct any more since it's not there ?? So then what is that button going to call ?

Attached Thumbnails
Windows 7 and Dell MediaDirect-disk-mgmt.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jul 2010   #10

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit

You can delete all partitions from the 7 installer disc.

I'll try to explain how the key works based on what I have read. The Media Direct key sends a message to the BIOS or something to load a separate operation system, which is what Media Direct acts like. When the computer is off, it will run Media Direct by itself when it is installed. When Media Direct is not present, when the computer is off the key causes the primary OS to run. When the computer has already on and loaded into Windows, the key does nothing, because no other OS is present. When we run a script to make the key do something, it still sends the signal to run the separate OS, but as its not there, nothing like that happens, and it sends the commandl to Windows to open (in my case) my pictures folder. So basically, by default pressing the key does not send the command to Windows but to something else, is my understanding.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Windows 7 and Dell MediaDirect

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