Originally Posted by Pugsly0014
You have to wait until you see the media direct loading with the bars moving acrost the screen like it does with XP.
The other thing you can try is with Media Direct running Unplug it and remove the battery.
After that, boot up with a Windows XP CD, or some other CD that can see partitions.
I believe that Dell might hide it again once you boot up Windows XP normaly. Hence the problem with Partition Magic, it runs while your in your Windows XP instalation. The old version required a boot floopy so if dell was hiding it again when Windows XP starts the boot floppy would be able to see the partition since the OS didn't get a chance to boot and hide it.
There are 2 ways media direct can be installed. On the original e1705/1505 disks it is installed in HPA and the BIOS will swap in new MBR and adjust the HPA after you press the mediadirect button on the laptop, during the boot process. During shutdown, it will adjust HPA back to normal, but leave MBR. Next request to boot normally, for example pressing the power button on the laptop, it will adjust the MBR back to normal. Not sure why it doesn't adjust the MBR and HPA at the same time. This can lead to various states, visible HPA/valid MBR, hidden HPA/invalid MBR, hidden HPA/valid MBR, depending on how you shutdown. The shipped MediaDirect from Dell is a FAT32X partition.
When you reinstall MediaDirect using P/N MH347 it installs using partition hiding method. It is possible it will also install using HPA method if conditions are just right
, but it seems when I reinstalled stuff I changed things around enough that it determined it shouldn't use HPA and instead used partition hiding. Partition hiding method installs NTFS partition for MediaDirect instead of FAT32X and it "hides" the partition by changing the partition type tp "D7" instead of "07". The latter indicates NTFS, while the former is "Dell 07". For type D7, WinXP will still recognize the drive as NTFS, but it won't mount it, so it will show up in disk manager. You can easily access the "D7" partition by either booting to MediaDirect and pulling the plug or you can adjust the partition type using a partition editor.
The MBR that was installed by MediaDirect P/N MH347 was different than the MBR that was installed by the MediaDirect "Repair" utility. The MediaDirect repair utility assumes HPA installation and installs an MBR which swaps MBRs around. It works with Dell Utility partition, Windows partition and MediaDirect HPA partition. The MBR that was installed by the MediaDirect reinstall utility doesn't work with Dell Utility partition. If you select diagnostic utility from BIOS option, BIOS will make the Dell utility partition active, but the MediaDirect "reinstall" MBR will change the active partition back to the windows partition it was installed with.
Also the MediaDirect reinstall does not know how to properly calculate partition #s for boot.ini if you use Extended/Logical partition. If you have an extended partition, it overcounts the partition #s and installs the boot.ini for the MediaDirect partition with the wrong info. This will cause MediaDirect install to fail because boot.ini is pointing to the wrong partition. The fix is to mount the MediaDirect NTFS partition through whatever means, ERD, use another computer, etc. and change to boot.ini to use the correct partition #.
In the end, I preferred the "hidden" partition method of installing MediaDirect, because I can always see the partition and get rid of it later if I want to. Also the MBR is simpler and doesn't have to swap MBRs all the time and I don't have to do anything special to get rid of the MediaDirect partition. The HPA installation is just annoying to me because the swapping MBR thing is just prone to more trouble when you use partition tools.