M.Sc, MA


Hacking the XPS M1330

howto xps linux

Dell Media direct proved out to be a Windows CE Embedded system with a simple media GUI. Not really useful, since it only reads FAT-drives and has no network connection.

Since it’s a windows system, it only took me two minutes to break it and start ending up with a blue screen of death on each MD bootup (I honestly didn’t do anything wrong.. just used it, it hanged and then I had to hard boot..).

I’ve been thinking about replacing the system with a quick’n’small linux distro with something like Elisa starting up instantly, so I did some research and it seems that starting with the home button starts the MBR, while the normal start button fires up the active partition (you can only have one).

Unfortunately if I install GRUB on the linux partitions start and mark it active, vista hijacks the boot flag to its own partition. So now I have GRUB on MBR and MD still works.. for now.

** Quick how to fix your broken MD Howto **

This is what I did to fix the blue screen of MD death

  1. Get the Dell MD recovery disk and follow the instructions
  2. After this I ended up with a broken windows install, so insert the vista CD and do the repair bit that comes after you choose the language.
  3. Insert your flavor of live CD linux (I used Puppy and I heartily recommend it)
  4. Install grub to your MBR with grub-install /dev/sda

I guess I’ll look into replacing the MD with a linux distro at some point. I found a howto on it, but I really want to: - press the power button to enter grub to choose between “the main linux” and vista - press home to boot a quick, small linux for media stuff

If you’ve already succeeded or are interested in the same thing send me a mail at lauriATsokkeloDOTnet