Computer manufacturers compete based not on the viability of their operating systems (those are the same from model to model) but rather on what they can offer in addition to the basic set-up. One of Dell's standout offerings is a utility called Dell Media Direct, which allows users to perform media functions, watch videos and use a remote control without even booting up the computer. Purists consider it bloatware, though, and since it resides on a hidden partition, many would prefer to eliminate it and take that disk space back.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Microsoft Diskpart.exe (for XP users)
Avoid the temptation of going through the Control Panel's "Add/Remove Programs" function. This will not eliminate Dell Media Direct. It will just make it harder to find.
Use the on-board disk management utility if your computer is running Vista or Windows 7. You can find it in "Control Panel," "System and Maintenance," then "Administrative Tools." In the "Administrative Tools" folder, select "Computer Management." Expand "Storage" on the left and select "Disk Management."
Use diskpart.exe, available for download at Microsoft.com (see Resources below for the link), if you are running Windows XP. Both the Vista/Windows 7 on-board utility and the diskpart utility allow you to manage the partitions on your hard drive.
Delete the hidden partition but be careful not to delete the operating system. The hidden partition Dell uses to house Media Direct is usually 2 GB (sometimes 3 GB). This is different from the recovery partition, which is usually around 10 GB. Both the management utilities show pretty clearly all partitions, visible and hidden, so it should be fairly clear where you need to go.
Merge the partitions into one to reclaim the disk space by using the diskpart utility if you are running XP. This will complete the uninstall and eliminate the hidden partition.
Use the disk management utility for Vista or Windows 7 to merge the partitions back to one. Go up one level to "Storage" and use the merging tool. This will complete the uninstall and reclaim the disk space.
Tips and warnings
- Always back up your entire system before tinkering with drive management.
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