XPS 15 (Haswell) Owner's Lounge

Discussion in 'Dell XPS and Studio XPS' started by mark_pozzi, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. jphughan

    jphughan Notebook Deity

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    You can extend the partition. The restriction is that the unallocated space must be contiguous and immediately adjacent to the right of the partition to be expanded. So even if you deleted only the image restore partition, you could extend the OS partition by the amount you just freed up. And if you delete BOTH the Rapid Start partition AND the system image restore partition, then you can extend the OS partition by the combined amount of those two partitions. The only scenario where you'd have been stuck is if you deleted ONLY the Rapid Start partition, since you'd still have the factory image restore partition sitting between the OS partition you wanted to extend and the freed up space you wanted to extend into.

    Interesting about not having an unknown device without the freefall sensor driver. Under System Devices, do you have an STMicroelectronics 3-axis Digital Accelerometer? In that case, Windows may have had that driver (or Windows Update may have supplied it), in which case the Dell driver would simply install the Control Panel applet allowing you to enable or disable freefall protection.

    For the audio driver, the main benefit (other than MaxxAudio for those who want to use it) is the prompt that appears when you connect something into the headphone jack. Since it's a unified line out/mic/line in/headset jack, in order for the laptop to use the connected device properly, it needs to know what you just connected (e.g. to know whether to output audio, accept line-level audio, accept mic-level audio, or output on some pins and accept mic audio on another). When the driver is installed, you get a popup when you connect something asking you to specify what it is so that it can work appropriately. Windows does not provide that functionality on its own.

    For airplane mode, I didn't test before installing it, but I suspect the driver ensures that the Airplane Mode function toggles the Wifi, BT, and NFC radios -- or maybe the Airplane Mode key on the keyboard doesn't work at all until the driver is installed. But those are just guesses.
     
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  2. zakazak

    zakazak www.whymacsucks.com

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    Oh great thanks !

    Just one problem: I can't delete the "Recovery partition".. when I right click it the context menu will only show "help" but no "delete" ?
    @edit: nevermind, I did it via cmd.exe :) 15GB more on my primary partition yay !

    Woopsie I made a mistake their.. just checked my "drivers download" folder and I installed "motiondedect.exe". guess thats the freefallsensor driver ;)

    Audio: Alright but which driver to install? I only want that pop up then, I don't need any sound effects or dell audio interface or anything. When I got the laptop I had like 15 "Audio" process.exe running in the backround.
     
  3. willjob

    willjob Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hello. Okay... I am loving the laptop but am hating Windows 8 upgrade process. :mad: makes me want to go to a macbook pro... no not really!

    I bought the mid tier version and replaced the 32GB with a 240GB msata drive. I then performed a clean install of Windows 8.1 pro which installed fine with the generic key. I have a valid Windows 8.1 pro pack upgrade key (the upgrade key for windows 8 core to pro). The microsoft activation does not like my upgrade key nor the OEM key that came with the laptop. What are my option to make this work? I would rather not have to reinstall windows 8 core and then upgrade as I like the clean install. Thanks for your help and insight.
     
  4. w3thax

    w3thax Notebook Enthusiast

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    It is always a good idea to leave around 10% of the SSD unallocated for the over-provisioning.
     
  5. zakazak

    zakazak www.whymacsucks.com

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    A casual user with a large-capacity SSD may not need to set aside any extra space for OP. The SSD will naturally use any available free space to perform its maintenance algorithms.

    Source: Maximize SSD Lifetime and Performance With Over-Provisioning | Samsung SSD
     
  6. jphughan

    jphughan Notebook Deity

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    Either driver on this page will work the same way: Driver Details | Dell US. Once installed, open the Dell Audio app (search for it on Start), disable MaxxAudio, then under Advanced > Setting, uncheck the option to display the icon in the notification area. You may also want to switch your audio to 24-bit, 48 kHz if you have any source audio that would take advantage of it, though I know there are some very rare occasions where that will mess up applications. At least for a while, the Google Talk plugin for Gmail didn't support that setting, but I haven't used that in years so that may no longer be the case.

    EDIT: Sorry, I didn't see that you did a clean install of 8.1 Pro. Yeah, you can't do that. You need to install Core using ITS generic key, activate with your OEM key, then add the Pro Pack key as described here. But having done the Pro Pack install myself and sharing your reluctance to do upgrade installs, the GOOD news is that the switch from Core to Pro is NOTHING like an OS upgrade; it's actually very much like installing Windows updates. It involves two reboots, the first with a "Configuring Windows features" phase that takes only a few seconds during shutdown and the subsequent startup (like you see when you install Windows updates), then it automatically reboots again, and after that second reboot you're running Pro. But before you can do that you'll have to start again from scratch with Core. Sorry! :(
     
  7. M_Bos

    M_Bos Notebook Guru

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    I finally received mine today. First impression is great. The hardware feels solid. I love the feel of the palm rest and the keyboard, although I do miss my dedicated home and end keys.

    But it's mostly about the screen for me, and for the most part, I'm not disappointed. It's vibrant and unbelievably sharp. I do notice a slight sparkle to it, particularly off-angle. But it's nowhere near as bad as the other laptops I've tried, so no dealbreaker. Overall it's just a joy to look at.

    Or it would be, if I wasn't so distracted by the dead pixels and dark spots (dust?). Good thing it comes with NBD in-home warranty, I guess. :)
     
  8. jphughan

    jphughan Notebook Deity

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    That was one reason I thought about keeping the Rapid Start partition even if I wasn't using Rapid Start, especially since I'm using BitLocker to encrypt the whole OS volume. But at the very least Microsoft supports passing TRIM commands through encrypted volumes, so free space on an encrypted volume should still be seen as free space by the SSD, as opposed to earlier implementations where the SSD saw 100% of its space filled regardless of how much of it was actual data.

    That and the likely performance gains were why I also wish the SM841 had shipped with eDrive-compatible firmware so BitLocker would have simply used the SSD's hardware encryption -- or that Samsung offered firmware upgrades for the SM841. Oh well, it's probably more an academic than a practical complaint seeing as my usage pattern involves FAR more reads than writes and this SSD is still screaming fast. :)
     
  9. ZephirSt

    ZephirSt Notebook Enthusiast

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    Doesn't make much sense, since it was a Windows message asking to close Dota, not Dota not working anymore. Could have meant that Windows was 32bit and believed that I had just 4GB of RAM, but this doesn't make sense either.
     
  10. Cincinnatux

    Cincinnatux Notebook Guru

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    I just saw a web ad for the XPS 15 where Dell ignores the existence of the base model; it cites pricing starting at US$1995 with an i7 CPU. I find that mildly curious, as if Dell realizes what a questionable deal the base model offers, even at $400 less, and how decidedly non-XPS its specsheet seems.
     
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