Dell Media Direct 3.5 Install and want to make 4 partitions

New to the Community

New to the Community
Having trouble deciding where to post? Get tips and recommendations here.

Dell Media Direct 3.5 Install and want to make 4 partitions

  • Hello , I bought Inspiron 1525 a week ago...which have 160 GB hard drive.... well I partitioned hard drive with Acronis Disk Director Suite in 3 parts. First part c have 40 GB,E have 30 GB and F have 30 GB space after partition... left 10 GB for recovery in D drive Untouched... Now when i press media direct button, My OS (vista) boot to start media direct... As we all know that media direct don't need OS to boot to play any media... So i think i corrupted Media direct partition... But In Acronis Disk Director Suite I can able to find 2 GB Unallocated space which i used for media direct... Now i need to repair media direct... please lemme know step by step procedure to install media direct... (I dont want to reintall the OS or Restoring factory setting .)Just want to repair media direct... i made all partitions Logical drive only, so Drive C is active and rest are logical drive...
    Regards

    PS: In Sort I want :-
    1. 4 Partition from 160 GB hard drive
    c: Vista (40 GB)
    d: recovery partition (10 GB)
    e: Stuffs (40 GB) Logical drive
    f: Movies (40+ GB) Logical drive

    2. Dell media direct 3.5 work

    I want 4 partitions with dell media direct working... If i partition my hard drive using dell media direct then it make only 2 partitions... which i dont want... i need max of 40 GB partitions and working dell media direct 3.5...

    If i have to reinstall Dell media direct and Vista then please lemme know step by step how i can make 4 partitions of and dell media direct working?
    Please guide me mates...

  • Once the Media Direct Button functionality has been lost there is no way to get it back without reinstalling everything from scratch.  Well almost no way.

    Changing the partition structure changed where the Media Direct button searches to load the embedded XP hidden partition containing Media Direct.  Unless the MD partition is the fourth and last partition, pressing the MD button just boots Vista, then Media Direct.

    Solutions to wanting 4 usable partitions plus the Media Direct partition....  You can create extended partitions with a Live CD like Ubuntu Live CD.  I used that to create a quad boot M1330 (XP Pro x64, Vista x64, Ubuntu and Media Direct).  For all the hassle, you could just store your movies, etc. in separate directories.

    As for having to reformat the HDD to get the Media Direct button to work...  Yes, you have to use the MD disk and repartition and reformat the drive.  There is no other way of getting it working again.  There were some threads on here from Dell saying to use the MDfix utilities from the MD disk but they don't work with MD 3.x.  After using the MD disk to format the HDD, at that point, you COULD create the extended partitions if you really need to.  To get Vista back the way it came from the factory there IS a way of doing it without starting from scratch.  The only thing you really need is the large Factory.wim file in the D:\RECOVERY\Dell\Image folder.  I also save the other folders from D:\RECOVERY but that isn't absolutely necessary.

    In short, the process (at least for me) is to:

    • Copy the D:\RECOVERY partition to something (DVD, large Flash Drive, USB hard drive).
    • Format the system HDD with the MD disk.
    • Boot a Live CD like BartPE and copy the D:\RECOVERY folders back to the new D:\ partition.
    • Using imagex in the Tools folder, apply the Factory.wim image to the C:\ partition.
    • Rebooting may require the Vista disk for startup repair but after that your system will boot as shipped (OOBE and all) and the F8 Dell Factory Image Restore functionality will also return so you can restore the factory image any time you wish again using F8 startup repair.

    If you need more details, let me know or PM me.

    Tom

     Tom

    XPS 420, Q6600, 4GB, 500 GB, WIndows 7 x64 RTM Ultimate

    XPS 420, Q6700, 8GB G.Skill 1.9v, OCZ Vertex 30GB x2 (RAID0), Windows 7 x64 RTM Ultimate

    XPS M1330, 2.4 GHz, 4GB, 60 GB OCZ Vertex, Windows 7 x64 RTM Ultimate

    XPS M1330, 2.4 GHz, 4GB, 320GB, Quad Boot: XP Pro x64, Vista x64 Ultimate, Ubuntu, Media Direct

    Mini 9, 1.6 GHz, 2 GB, BT, 1.3MP Webcam, 32 GB Runcore, Windows 7 x86 RTM Ultimate

    Mini 10, long gone and good riddance

    Mini 10v,  1.6 GHz, 2 GB, Dual Boot XP & Windows 7 x86 RTM Ultimate

  • Thanks a lot Tom for your reply, But i am n00b and dont understand much what you said :(

    can you please tell me step by step procedure please !!!

    see i need 3 partition of 30-40 GB each,except 10 GB partition for recovery untouched and MD 2-3 GB... So total may be 6 partitions (4 partition visible and 2 hidden)

    I want media direct to work without booting into vista.

    So first i need to Press F12 and have to choose cd/dvd and insert me dell media direct dvd.

    then i need to choose option 2, and allot 40 GB to C drive for vista and rest to D for data... (Now here how can i make multiple partition?)

    By this way i partition my hard drive using media direct into 2 parts...

    Then again i press F12 and choose cd/dvd and insert my vista dvd and insall vista on c drive...

    then install all drivers and then i have to install media direct....

     this is what i know but by this method i can only get 2 partitions :(...

    as u said to copy D: recovery to flash drive ...OK i will do that... so that i can use later to use factory setting...

    now tell me what is bartPE and ImageX?

    where i can find factory.wim?

    how i can use bartpe and when to partition my hard drive?

    I know i am bothering you but if possible please help me...

    I will be highly obliged...

     

    respect and regards

  • you COULD create the extended partitions if you really need to

    How can i make extended partition which can work with media direct?

  • Creating extended partitions AND have Media Direct work can be a little complicated so I'll try to find a link or two on how to do it.  It may take me a day or so because I'm going to be away today.

    As for my short tutorial on getting the MD functionality back by using the MD disk and restoring a previous image, I'd hold off on that.  It worked for me yesterday but now the MD button is "broke" again.  I'm redoing that right now to see what happened.

    One thing I've done to support my trials is to buy a spare HDD to experiment on.  Actually I have six or seven.  You can get a really good 320GB HDD at Newegg for $79, free shipping and they usually arrive the next day.  Anyway, I'll get back to you.

    Tom

     Tom

    XPS 420, Q6600, 4GB, 500 GB, WIndows 7 x64 RTM Ultimate

    XPS 420, Q6700, 8GB G.Skill 1.9v, OCZ Vertex 30GB x2 (RAID0), Windows 7 x64 RTM Ultimate

    XPS M1330, 2.4 GHz, 4GB, 60 GB OCZ Vertex, Windows 7 x64 RTM Ultimate

    XPS M1330, 2.4 GHz, 4GB, 320GB, Quad Boot: XP Pro x64, Vista x64 Ultimate, Ubuntu, Media Direct

    Mini 9, 1.6 GHz, 2 GB, BT, 1.3MP Webcam, 32 GB Runcore, Windows 7 x86 RTM Ultimate

    Mini 10, long gone and good riddance

    Mini 10v,  1.6 GHz, 2 GB, Dual Boot XP & Windows 7 x86 RTM Ultimate

  • indyan

    Hello , I bought Inspiron 1525 a week ago...which have 160 GB hard drive.... well I partitioned hard drive with Acronis Disk Director Suite in 3 parts. First part c have 40 GB,E have 30 GB and F have 30 GB space after partition... left 10 GB for recovery in D drive Untouched... Now when i press media direct button, My OS (vista) boot to start media direct... As we all know that media direct don't need OS to boot to play any media... So i think i corrupted Media direct partition... But In Acronis Disk Director Suite I can able to find 2 GB Unallocated space which i used for media direct... Now i need to repair media direct... please lemme know step by step procedure to install media direct... (I dont want to reintall the OS or Restoring factory setting .)Just want to repair media direct... i made all partitions Logical drive only, so Drive C is active and rest are logical drive...
    Regards

    PS: In Sort I want :-
    1. 4 Partition from 160 GB hard drive
    c: Vista (40 GB)
    d: recovery partition (10 GB)
    e: Stuffs (40 GB) Logical drive
    f: Movies (40+ GB) Logical drive

    2. Dell media direct 3.5 work

    I want 4 partitions with dell media direct working... If i partition my hard drive using dell media direct then it make only 2 partitions... which i dont want... i need max of 40 GB partitions and working dell media direct 3.5...

    If i have to reinstall Dell media direct and Vista then please lemme know step by step how i can make 4 partitions of and dell media direct working?
    Please guide me mates...

     

  • zrtom

    Creating extended partitions AND have Media Direct work can be a little complicated so I'll try to find a link or two on how to do it.  It may take me a day or so because I'm going to be away today.

    As for my short tutorial on getting the MD functionality back by using the MD disk and restoring a previous image, I'd hold off on that.  It worked for me yesterday but now the MD button is "broke" again.  I'm redoing that right now to see what happened.

    One thing I've done to support my trials is to buy a spare HDD to experiment on.  Actually I have six or seven.  You can get a really good 320GB HDD at Newegg for $79, free shipping and they usually arrive the next day.  Anyway, I'll get back to you.

    Tom

    Thanks Tom

    I am waiting for your tutorial...

    Regards

  • Please tom reply back !!

  •  

    Okay, you asked for it....LOL

    I'll start with reinstalling your factory image on a new hard drive.  PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK!!

     

    You'll need to create a Live CD.  BartPE works if you have a Windows XP disk to use for the base files.  Ethically, I would recommend the XP disk be legitimately licensed.  Search for BartPE and www.nu2.nu will probably show first.  Download and install PEBuilder.  Follow the directions to create a bootable BartPE disk.  

    1. Copy the folders from your original D:RECOVERY partition to something (a USB flash drive or a USB backup drive, etc.).

    2. Boot from the Dell Media Direct disk and choose the option to create a D: partition.  Make it as large as you DON'T want the Operating System partition to be.

    3. Boot the BartPE disk and run the A43 file management program.

    4. Format both C: and D: partitions to NTFS.  Quick format is probably okay.

    5. Copy those D:RECOVERY folders from your backup media to the new D: partition.  If you use a USB hard drive as backup media rather than a USB flash drive, the BartPE file management program may not see your backup drive.  If this is the case, boot to the BIOS settings and switch the storage device from AHCI to ATA mode, then boot the BartPE disk.  It should then see your backup drive.  Remember to switch the BIOS setting back to AHCI when you are ready to boot your reinstalled Vista.

    6. There are two options for applying the factory image to the C: partition to get the computer back to the way it left the factory.

    First option is to run the Command prompt from the BartPE menu.

    type: path=d:\windows;d:\windows\system32 <enter>

    type: d: <enter>

    type: cd/tools <enter>

    type: pcrestore <enter>

    This should start the Dell Factory Image Restore utility where you are asked if you want to format and proceed.

    Once you have checked the check-box and hit next, it should start the process.  After 10-15 minutes, the window and progress bar MAY change to "Successfully Restored" or something like that. 

    If it hangs, do this:

    Assuming you are still at D:\tools, type the following:

    imagex /apply D:\Tools\Image\Factory.wim 1 c:

    imagex /apply D:\Dell\Image\Factory.wim 1 c:

    This will show DOS progress in percent.  Once complete it will (should) report Success.

     

    Reboot and it SHOULD come up to the first screen (Out of Box Experience-OOBE) when you started the computer for the first time.

    If it does not boot but keeps trying to start then rebooting to the BIOS, insert the Vista installation disk and hit F12 while the blue DELL BIOS screen is showing.  That will present a boot menu.  Select CD/DVD and boot from the Vista DVD.  In the lower left, it will present an option to "Repair."  Select that.  It will look for Windows installations and probably report that it can fix and reboot.  DON'T select that but go to "next" (it seems that selecting that option will "break the Media Direct functionality again....just what you are trying to repair).  At the top of the next screen select "Startup Repair."  It SHOULD find a problem and offer to repair and reboot.  Proceed with that.

    NOW when it reboots, you should be at the OOBE.

    Once you have gone throught all of the intro. screens and rebooted, etc., insert the Media Direct disk and install Media Direct.  Media Direct IS installed on your C: OS partition but you need to do this to install the files to the hidden MEDIADIRECT partition.

    Now you should have your Operating System the way it left the factory as well as the MD button working again.

    It may sound complicated but once you've done it a dozen times, it will be like second nature.

     

    As for the other partitions you want to create....like I said, it CAN be done and done quite easily on a desktop.  But on a Dell Laptop and have the Media Direct button work it is quite tricky.  I guess I would first really think whether you couldn't store your "stuff" and movies on folders on the D: partition.  You can hide folders and/or make them selectively accessible, etc. if need be.  Otherwise you would need to create the hidden partitions another way.  A Linux-based Live CD and would work.  This link is for something slightly different but would give you the idea of how to go about it:

    https://stairway27.net/blog/2008/02/23/m1330-quadruple-boot-mediadirect/

    Now for the cautions and the reason why I suggest doing all this on a hard drive that is not your factory original.  SOMETIMES, after going through this process you MAY find that everything works but one thing.... the Windows Memory Diagnostics Tool.  If you haven't used that tool before, you select it and it requires reboot and it runs prior to booting Vista.  The problem we sometimes experience is that when it reboots it returns an error that "memtest.exe is corrupt or missing."  If this happens and you really need to test your memory there are several workarounds.  You could google and add a DOS-based memtest.exe to your BartPE disk.  Or, you could run the memory test utility built into the BIOS.  Or you could download the diagnostics utility from the Dell drivers page for your computer.

    LASTLY, (I'm almost done blabbering now) if all else fails to get your computer back the way it left the factory AND have the MD button work AND have memtest.exe work, there is an option that works for some and not for others.  If you call Dell service and ask nicely they MAY send you the Field Restoration DVD set for your computer.  This is not the standard set of disks (Vista, MD, Drivers, Anti-virus, etc.) that came with the computer.  This is an installation "process" based on your service tag.  You boot the first DVD and it copies all three or four DVDs and uses Norton Ghost to reinstall everything as well as Media Direct.  This may take an hour or so.  I have found that it may not include some bloatware that originally was shipped (google desktop in the case of my M1330).  Why does this option work for some and not for others????  Generally, they don't ship it to you just by asking nicely.  Usually they need to be convinced that the original Factory.wim file was corrupt or doesn't reinstall (hint, hint).

    Tom
    XPS 420, Q6600, 4GB, 500 GB, Vista Home Premium
    XPS 420, Q6700, 4GB, 750GB x2 (RAID0) Vista x64 Ultimate
    XPS M1330, 2.4 GHz, 4GB, 320GB, Vista x64 Ultimate
    XPS M1330, 2.4 GHz, 4GB, 320GB, Quad Boot: XP Pro x64, Vista x64 Ultimate, Ubuntu, Media Direct

     

     Tom

    XPS 420, Q6600, 4GB, 500 GB, WIndows 7 x64 RTM Ultimate

    XPS 420, Q6700, 8GB G.Skill 1.9v, OCZ Vertex 30GB x2 (RAID0), Windows 7 x64 RTM Ultimate

    XPS M1330, 2.4 GHz, 4GB, 60 GB OCZ Vertex, Windows 7 x64 RTM Ultimate

    XPS M1330, 2.4 GHz, 4GB, 320GB, Quad Boot: XP Pro x64, Vista x64 Ultimate, Ubuntu, Media Direct

    Mini 9, 1.6 GHz, 2 GB, BT, 1.3MP Webcam, 32 GB Runcore, Windows 7 x86 RTM Ultimate

    Mini 10, long gone and good riddance

    Mini 10v,  1.6 GHz, 2 GB, Dual Boot XP & Windows 7 x86 RTM Ultimate

  • Hey tom, I installed vista ultimate and its working fine now... dell media direct is also running fine... Now i want to use my recovery partition feature,which u told me to copy before format. I have factory.wim in a dvd.

    tom please tell me how to use imagex to paste my factory.wim?
    what command i sud use? I pasted factory.wim in D: dell/image/factory.wim

     

    please give me proper command for imagex so that i can use my recovery again...

    PS: i heard vista ultimate also have feature to make recovery? can u please tell me more about it and step by step on how to use vista ultimate to make my OS backup with all drivers so that i dont need to fresh install again and again. i want to create a dvd like dell gave me... but it should be made by vista ultimate?

    respect and regards

  • Hey tom, I installed vista ultimate and its working fine now... dell media direct is also running fine... Now i want to use my recovery partition feature,which u told me to copy before format. I have factory.wim in a dvd.

    tom please tell me how to use imagex to paste my factory.wim?
    what command i sud use? I pasted factory.wim in D: dell/image/factory.wim

     

    please give me proper command for imagex so that i can use my recovery again...

    respect and regards

     

    ~BUMP~

  • Today i used this command for imagex

    imagex /apply d:\dell\image\factory.wim 1 c:\

    But i get following error.

    IMAGEX' IS NOT RECOGNIZED AS AN INTERNAL OR EXTERNAL COMMAND, OPERABLE PROGRAM OR BATCH FILE.

     

    Note:-I run openthe Command prompt with the "Run as Administrator"

     

  • Hello,

    I get the same message, after booting from DELL's OEM VISTA BUSINESS DVD:

    imagex /apply d:\dell\image\factory.wim 1 c:\  -> IMAGEX' IS NOT RECOGNIZED AS AN INTERNAL OR EXTERNAL COMMAND, OPERABLE PROGRAM OR BATCH FILE.
    imagex /apply d:\tools\image\factory.wim 1 c:\  -> IMAGEX' IS NOT RECOGNIZED AS AN INTERNAL OR EXTERNAL COMMAND, OPERABLE PROGRAM OR BATCH FILE.

    Any ideas, how to return device to the state as it was received (preinstalled Vista)?
    I do not have recover disk, it was lost.

    Dell Lattitude D830, Vista Business.

    Thanks

    DELL LATTITUDE D830, Vista Bussines

  • Did you execute the imagex command from the d:\tools folder?

    I recall having this happen even from the d:\tools folder when booting from the Vista install DVD.  I worked around it by booting from a BartPE or VistaPE bootable recovery disk (as I recall, either of them worked when the Vista DVD didn't).  Just need to make sure imagex is run from the d:\tools folder.

    A more complicated work-around if you have the ability to run the target hard drive from a fixture like a hard drive dock would be to install the Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK) on a desktop and run the imagex command from the appropriate \tools\ folder (x86 or amd64) of the AIK and point imagex to apply the image to your target partition.

     Tom

    XPS 420, Q6600, 4GB, 500 GB, WIndows 7 x64 RTM Ultimate

    XPS 420, Q6700, 8GB G.Skill 1.9v, OCZ Vertex 30GB x2 (RAID0), Windows 7 x64 RTM Ultimate

    XPS M1330, 2.4 GHz, 4GB, 60 GB OCZ Vertex, Windows 7 x64 RTM Ultimate

    XPS M1330, 2.4 GHz, 4GB, 320GB, Quad Boot: XP Pro x64, Vista x64 Ultimate, Ubuntu, Media Direct

    Mini 9, 1.6 GHz, 2 GB, BT, 1.3MP Webcam, 32 GB Runcore, Windows 7 x86 RTM Ultimate

    Mini 10, long gone and good riddance

    Mini 10v,  1.6 GHz, 2 GB, Dual Boot XP & Windows 7 x86 RTM Ultimate