Precision M4500 Owner's Lounge

Discussion in 'Dell Latitude, Vostro, and Precision' started by Miriad, Mar 31, 2010.

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  1. rsatx

    rsatx Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hi, I'm thinking seriously of buying an M4500 through the Dell outlet. Naturally I want to know whether people recommend that, but I also have another question. I once purchased a Dell monitor and returned it because the matte surface of the LCD was always very visible and I found it more bothersome than those of other LCDs. So I wonder, how obtrusive is the matte surface of the display on Dell laptops like the M4500?

    Thanks in advance for any responses.
     
  2. ggcvnjhg

    ggcvnjhg Notebook Evangelist

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    This.

    In fact, it was Ekun's posts that got me to uninstall that software. Voila. Fixed.
     
  3. BABABONDOMAN

    BABABONDOMAN Newbie

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    Hi. Can I ask if you had difficulties with both the erratic cursor and also problems with the sound? I have both.
     
  4. ggcvnjhg

    ggcvnjhg Notebook Evangelist

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    When I was watching a movie on Windows Media Player I had both. I uninstalled it right away.
     
  5. VeryOldGuy

    VeryOldGuy Notebook Consultant

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    To be clear, I've purchased several new i7 FX880 M4500's and am pleased with the hardware platform. All of the laptops are ultra-reliable under Windows 7 x64 and performing admirably as virtual machine hosts. Having this capability on a mobile platform provides us with major benefits. But, the operating system on these laptops was installed/configured from the ground up so these laptops are mostly free of the crap-ware supplied by Dell and its device suppliers.

    With regard to crap-ware, IMO HP is ten times worse than Dell.

    My own experiences with Dell's business-class products (i.e. hardware platforms) are very positive; the service life is usually 5 years or more with few problems and some flexibility to support new technologies. Most of my dissatisfaction with Dell relates to product (warranty) support; it's just horrible.

    Good luck.
     
  6. Neal

    Neal Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks I appreciate that and I really hope the new (refurb) i7-820 on the way works out, it is a great machine.
     
  7. steveo1544

    steveo1544 Notebook Guru

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    HOW-TO: Install Windows 7 on the 64GB Mini SATA PCIe SSD with a HDD in the Primary Slot on the
    Dell Precision Mobile Workstation M4500​


    This process assumes your motivation for installing the 64GB SSD is to improve system boot and application performance times by using the small 64GB SSD for only OS and Applications, while using the D: Drive for User Profile and Data Storage.

    After installing the 64GB SSD Mini Card reboot and F2 to enter BIOS Setup.

    Under General / System Information:
    1. check that the BIOS has recognized the Drives:
    a. Primary Hard Drive = nnn GB HDD (in my case nnn = 250)
    b. MiniCard SSD Device = 64GB HDD

    System BIOS Settings
    1. Select Load Defaults > Apply
    2. System Information > Both the MiniCard SSD and HDD are recognized
    3. Boot Sequence > Only USB, CD/DVD, and MiniCard SSD are selected
    4. Boot List Option > Legacy is selected (opposed to UEFI)
    a. Keep the Legacy option, UEFI is designed for dual hard drives in Raid​
    5. System Configuration > SATA Operation > AHCI is selected
    6. Insert the Windows OS Installation DVD
    7. We are done with BIOS settings, Apply and Exit

    The system will reboot and should detect the bootable media in the optical drive and boot from it, assuming the OS Install disk is the only bootable device on the M4500 boot list. If it is not, the BIOS should prompt the user to “Press Any Key to Boot from CD/DVD”

    OS installation
    1. Windows Installation prompts user to select “What type of installation do you want?”
    2. Select Custom (advanced)
    3. Windows prompts user for Drive Options
    4. Select Advanced
    5. Delete all partitions on both drives
    6. Highlight the 64GB drive (may appear as Disk 0 unallocated Space 59.6 GB)

    a. select Next
    7. A pop-up may appear informing user that Windows may create additional partitions
    a. Select OK
    8. Allow Windows to continue the install process
    a. The system will reboot several times during the installation process and prompt the user for input. Do not remove the Windows 7 Install DVD until this installation process is complete. ​
    9. The process is complete when the system reboots to the default Windows 7 Desktop.
    10. Remove the Windows 7 Install DVD
    11. Go to Control Panel > System and Security
    12. Under Administrative Tools select Create and format hard disk partitions
    13. In the top windows you should see Disk Management
    14. In the Volume column you should see C: and System Reserved
    15. Below you should see Disk 0 C: 59.62 GB NTFS and Disk 1 with the System Reserved 100 MB NTFS partition followed by a lot of unallocated space.
    16. Right click on the Unallocated space window under the Black Banner
    17. Select New Simple Volume
    18. Select Next
    19. The default settings will use all the unallocated space for the new volume.
    20. Select Next
    21. Assign the following drive letter: D (if you removed the install DVD Drive Letter “D:” should be available, otherwise use the Drive Letter displayed. (You can swap drive letters later)
    22. Select Next
    23. Change or Delete Volume Label as you like. (adds a “name” to the drive and can be changed latter)
    24. Select Next > Finish
    25. At this point Windows 7 Professional is using approximately 22 GB of the 64GB SSD
    26. Your new drive “D:” or “some_drive_letter:” will be used for you User Profiles locations. Scroll down for instructions.

    System Driver Installation
    1. Insert the Dell Drivers and Utilities DVD (Resource CD) then launch Run autoRcd.exe
    2. Yes/Ok through the User Account Control Pop-Up nag (Click here to learn how to disable UAC)
    3. Precision Resource CD Version: A00 Windows opens and all System Drivers are shown
    4. Under Topic, select Drivers
    5. Open, extract, and install:
    a. Dell System Software (Do not reboot as prompted)
    b. Intel Chipset Software
    c. Eject the Resource CD
    d. Reboot system
    e. Insert the Driver CD and launch the Dell Run autoRcd.exe
    f. Then begin installing drivers in any order you desire. ​

    6. If you are not familiar with this system I recommend you follow the Restart prompt after each driver install.
    7. Go to Control Panel > System and Security > System > Device manager
    8. The Device Manager window will open. Look for any devices which the system does not recognize.
    9. Unrecognized devices with appear with Yellow Bangs (question marks) in the Device Manager list
     


    HOW-TO: Change Drive Letters​

    1. With Resource CD in the CD/DVD Optical Drive:
    2. Go to Control Panel > System and Security
    3. Under Administrative Tools select Create and format hard disk partitions
    4. In the top windows you should see Disk Management
    5. In the Volume column you should see Disk 0 C: , Disk 1 E:, and Resource CD D: (Assuming you no other drives)
    6. Scroll down to the graphical drive representations and right click on the Resource CD Banner
    7. Select Change Drive Letter and Paths… > Select Change…
    8. Click on the Drive Letter Down Arrow and select an available Drive Letter such as K:
    9. Select OK > Yes
    10. Now right click on the Disk 1 graphical Banner
    11. Select Change Drive Letter and Paths… > Change… > Select D: > OK > Yes
    12. Now back to the Optical Drive Letter
    13. Right click on the Resource CD Banner and, following the steps above, change to Optical Drive Letter to the next available drive letter after D:
    14. You have now changed Drive Letters, making you Second HDD Drive D:



    HOW-TO: Move the User Profile Directories from C:\ Drive to D:\ Drive​


    Have you ever noticed how, in Windows Explorer, that My Documents is under the Desktop AND under in the User directory? This is what is known as LINKING. We are going to use Linking to move the User Profile directories from the C:\ drive to the D:\ drive.

    1. Prepare the D:\ to receive a complete copy of the User\[UserName] folder you want to relocate.
    a. [UserName] is the exact same name of the User’s directory on C:\Users.
    b. On D:\, Create the directories “Users\[UserName]
    c. Example: where [UserName] = Steve
    i. C:\Users\Steve\
    ii. D:\Users\Steve\​

    2. Shut Down Windows and reboot in to Safe Mode by pressing the F8 key during initial system boot

    3. Go to Control Panel > Folder Options > View, and uncheck “Hide protected operating system files”
    a. It is very important that you copy ALL the files from the old [UserName] directory to the new [UserName] directory, including the normally hidden system files. This is why you make them visible.​

    4. Apply and Ok out of Folder Option

    5. Open Windows Explorer, go to C:\Users\UserName, select all files, copy, go to D:\Users\UserName, and paste all files.

    6. Got to C:\Users\UserName to C:\Users\UserName.Old

    7. Open a command prompt and create the Link from the virtual C:\users\[UserName] to the now real D:\Users\[Username],

    Type:
    mklink /J C:\Users\[UserName] D:\Users\[UserName]

    8. Restart the system and allow Windows to boot normally. If everything works as planned, your system will:
    a. Not use the renamed C:\Users\[UserName].Old
    b. Instead, use the new link to D:\Users\[UserName]
    c. And your profile will load as usual.​

    9. Test the new setup by creating a new text file and saving it to My Documents

    10. Using Windows Explorer, navigate to D:\Users\[UserName]\My Documents\ and ensure that the newly created text file has been saved to the D:\Users\[UserName]\My Documents\ location

    11. If you are confident the copied Username directory on D: is working properly you may delete the UserName.Old from the C:\Users\ directory to make room on your C: Drive. BE CAREFUL!!

    12. This process must be repeated for each User Directory and for any new user profiles created.
     
  8. Rewstah

    Rewstah Notebook Enthusiast

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    Steveo, thanks for this great little tutorial. However, as you describe it, your "System Reserved" partition is on you 250GB HDD. Which means that even if Windows is installed to your SSD drive, you will not be able to boot if you remove/replace your 250GB HDD.
    Indeed, as I said earlier, the System Reserved partition is the place from which the first steps of the boot process take place. This occurs because your 250GB HDD port is "hard-wired" to be the first on the list of SATA devices. If you want to get that partition back on C: (the SSD drive), PM me.
     
  9. CSHawkeye81

    CSHawkeye81 Notebook Deity

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    Anyone interested in the 64gb SSD card for the M4500?? I have one that I am going to list up shortly.
     
  10. ggcvnjhg

    ggcvnjhg Notebook Evangelist

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    PM me whit a price.
     
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