Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've got a Dell Studio 1535 laptop, which shipped w/ Vista 32-bit. I've since formatted and installed Windows 7 64-bit. Everything has been fine for months, but recently, every time I leave my machine unattended and it goes to sleep, it wakes with the Dell Media Direct splash screen, and then goes to the "Windows was not shut down properly..." dialog that asks if you want to boot safe mode/start Windows normally/etc.

The stupid button is also stuck on currently, but even when it is off, the problem still occurs.

From the searching I've done, I've learned that the program is installed on its own partition, but I'm fairly certain I formatted everything. See screenie of my partitions:

enter image description here

How can I stop the madness?

Update: I've removed the 39 MB OEM Partition and it is still happening.

share|improve this question
The Dell Media Direct software is probably loaded on the unlabeled OEM Partition. – Darth Android Jun 11 '10 at 1:23
Many of the sources I've read have indicated that the Dell Media Direct partition takes up several gigabytes ( The partition in question is only 39 MB with 100% free. – wsanville Jun 12 '10 at 3:48

I have bought my XPS system (m1730) with Vista 32-bit and also have had by the default MediaDirect installed on separate partition. So, you won't see this partition in Windows Disk Management, but you can use of course other soft that can detect hidden or removed partitions and you will see it and it's around 2.43 GB in weight.

Soft that can detect hidden or removed partitions, you can find out here:

Also you can try use DELL partition fix tool:

If you do not use MediaDirect, I recommend to delete it from your drive to free up space for something else. However you using Windows 7 and it has had build-in Windows Media Center which is same as DELL's MediaDirect... You can just bind a the MediaDirect button to WMC and have up to 2.5 GB more space on your drive.

share|improve this answer
The Partition Recovery tool shows the same exact partitions as my screen shot of MMC, so no hidden partitions are showing up. Partition Recovery does however confirm that the 39MB partition does indeed have Dell files on it. I have removed it using diskpart, so we'll see what happens... – wsanville Jun 13 '10 at 17:48
If Partition Recovery does't see anything, it might be deleted with primary partition and recreated with new one with both merged -> primary+mediadirect partition. And of course it must be have had a full format after recreation of partitions C: and D:, only that can describe why Partition Recovery doesn't see MediaDirect partition, or maybe, but not sure, hdd used that space for Windows. Well, when I was installing Windows 7, I cleaned up all dell partitions and master boot records from my hdd... and just made a clean install of Windows 7, so that recreate MBR and now it works like a charm. – Anotomix Jun 13 '10 at 20:02
Be very careful with this. Don't know if it is true, but makes you pause to consider... I have a Dell as well and I reformatted the HD and installed Win7. Haven't risked pushing the MD button when the laptop is powered off.… – h4rrydog Jun 17 '10 at 18:42

Okay. from at the bottom by MikeyMike01...

Claims the solution is to shut down and press the MediaDirect button a second time.

He has a video on YouTube showing this:

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.