I have an Inspiron 1525 with Vista Home Premium as installed at the factory. What I'd like to do is dual boot the laptop with Ubuntu. I've done this before with other machines, and normally you'd just install Ubuntu and it nicely handles the dual-booting. But, evidently there's a wrinkle with the 1525: the Media Direct button. Googling indicates that it's very hard to dual-boot a 1525 without Media Direct, or pressing the Media Direct button, messing up the system. Since I have the factory recovery disks, I am willing to completely reformat the drive, which currenltly has the recovery partition, the Dell Utility partition, the Vista partition, and the Media Direct partition.
Has anyone come up with a safe way to dual-boot Vista and Ubuntu, where pressing the Media Direct button while suspended or powered off won't trash the system? Ideally I'd like to leave the recovery partition and Dell Utility partition intact, remove the Media Direct partition, shrink the Vista partition in half and install Ubuntu in the released space.
FYI I tried loading unbutu dual boot with xpmedia edition os on my XPS 200 / did similar... now back to restoring to origional state.... very big mess... And guess what my recovery discs are not not working.
That makes me want to accomplish this all the more by deleting the Media Direct partition, resizing the Vista partition, and installing Linux in the freed space. That should leave the recovery and diagnostic partition intact. I never intend on using Media Direct anyway; I have no problem performing a "normal boot" and running a media player to watch a movie.
If you have only one partition C which is an active partition( ie on which OS is installed) then you just cannot resize your HDD with Vista Partition utility or with any other Third party partition software. You have to reformat your C partition and again reinstall Vista in some smaller space viz 25GB and simultaneously create another partition where you can install Linux.
That's ok. My worry concerns the many stories I've googled where messing with (removing) the MediaDirect partition, followed by pressing the MediaDirect button while the laptop is suspended or off, results in trashing the data on the drive. That's what I'm trying to avoid. My intent is to be able to dual-boot Vista and Linux, or more likely, since I've reserved some upgrades to Windows 7, be able to dual-boot Windows 7 and Linux on the laptop.
There should be a way to remove MediaDirect from the laptop without messing anything else up. Reformatting and reinstalling is fine. Gparted should be able to shrink and move the partitions. I've done similar things just by booting a Ubuntu 9 live CD, using gparted off that, and then installing.
I have been dual booting a 1525 for over a year now. Vista with 8.04 and now 9.04. I left the MediaDirect partition alone. The MediaButton has never been pressed. When I install 9.10 I will redo my partitions and put the MediaDirect space with my /home.
Now that I now about the MediaDirect I will avoid it when buying future machines.