Preparing your Hard Drive: Setting Up Media Direct [A Small Subset of Dell Systems Only]

This step is only for systems shipped with Media Direct version 3. If your system does not have Media Direct version 3 skip this step. Note most Dell systems don’t have Media Direct.

Only the following systems are compatible with MediaDirect 3.3:

  • MXC061 – Inspiron 640M
  • MM061 – Inspiron 6400/E1505
  • MP061 – Inspiron 9400/E1705
  • MXC062 – XPS M1210
  • MXG061 – XPS M1710
  • MXP061 – XPS M2010

The following systems are compatible with MediaDirect 3.5:

  • XPS M1330
  • XPS M1530
  • MXG071 – XPS M1730

Other Media Direct DVDs (I don’t have).

  • Inspiron 1420=Vostro 1400
  • Inspiron 1520=Vostro 1500
  • Inspiron 1720=Vostro 1700
  • Inspiron 1521
  • Inspiron 1721

If you have his .iso please load it on Google Drive so we can have all the Media Direct .isos.

The Media Direct Button has the symbol below and is in close proximity to the power button.

Media Direct

1. Setting up the Partitions by booting to the Media Direct DVD

The partitions for Media Direct must be set up before the installation of Microsoft Windows otherwise pressing the Media Direct Button while the system is powered down can corrupt your entire Operating System.

Insert the Media Direct DVD supplied with your system. It should look like the following:

Media Direct DVD

If you don’t have the DVD you can download the .iso from here and then burn it to a DVD:

The Media Direct 3.3 .iso will definitely work with the following systems MXC061 (Inspiron 640m/E1405), MM061 (Dell Inspiron 6400/E1505), MP061 (Dell Inspiron 9400/E1705), MXC062 (Dell XPS M1210), MXG061 (Dell XPS M1710), MXP061 (Dell XPS M2010).

The Media Direct 3.5 .iso will definitely work with the following systems XPS M1330, XPSM1730 and MXC071 (Dell XPS M1730).

Since the .iso are Downloaded from an unofficial source I recommend however installing the latest version of 7-zip and checking the CRC SHA. Once 7-zip is installed, simply right click the .iso and select CRC SHA and then select the *:


This will give you the various checksums and they should match the checksums below.

If they are different you will have an incomplete/corrupt download.

checksum Dell Media Direct 3.3 checksum Dell Media Direct 3.5

Power down your computer. Hold F12 while powering up your computer (at the Dell BIOS screen).

1. Dell BIOS

Press the [↓] key and highlight CD/DVD drive and press [Enter].


The MediaDirect preinstallation setup will then load.


Press [1] (recommended) or [2] (if you want a C:\ and D:\ partitions).

For [1] the MediaDirect preinstallation setup will format the drive creating a 47 MB diagnostics partition and a 2 GB Media Direct partition assigning all remaining disk space to the C:\ Drive.


Type in [Y] to continue:


The MediaDirect preinstallation setup will inform you it has successfully carried out the operations.


Next you need to boot from the Windows Reinstallation DVD/USB. During Windows Installation select the largest partition which should be listed as Disk 0 Partition 2 and then press [Next].

Do not use Drive options or delete any partitions if you want Media Direct to function properly.



The Media Direct partition is 2 GB for a Media Direct 3.3 DVD and 3.0 GB for a Media Direct 3.5 DVD. The diagnostics partition is 47 MB in both cases.

2. Installing the Media Direct Application

Note: The application must be installed after the system drivers including Dell Quickset while on the Windows Desktop .

Once on the windows desktop, insert the media direct disc; it should autorun follow the onscreen instructions to install the application. If it doesn’t you should navigate to the WindowsMD3 folder and click setup.exe.


Accept the User Account control prompt:


Press [Enter] to begin the installation:


The Dell Media Direct application will now install:


Note that Dell Media Direct only installs on Dell hardware:

dell media direct error

3. Install Updates

You should then run the following patch R157449 to get to the latest version.

To update the diagnostics partition download the following file A1394A0. Run the .exe

2. CW1394A0

Extract to the default location

3. CW1394A0

Once the files extract navigate to this folder and run the DDDP program (if it doesn’t automatically run):

4. CW1390A

The DDDP program will now run:



The Media Direct may now be pressed within Windows to load Media Direct or Media Direct Launched when the system is powered up using the Media Direct Button.

  • I have tested this on the Inspiron 6400 with Windows 7 and 8.1 32 Bit and found full functionality.
  • I have tested this on the Inspiron 6400 with Windows 7 and 8.1 64 Bit and found that the button doesn’t work within Windows due to the Dell Quickset Application. It can still be launched via the Start Menu and accessed when powered up with the Media Direct Button.

30 thoughts on “Preparing your Hard Drive: Setting Up Media Direct [A Small Subset of Dell Systems Only]

  1. Unfortunately, the steps to extract and burn Media Direct 3 files to a DVD did not make the DVD bootable. Files are there, but the DVD cannot be boot into by any laptop. Please advise.

      1. When I extracted the first file using 7zip, it extracted all files and folders into a specified folder (named “MediaDirect3.iso”), rather than a single .iso file. It’s as if the 10 files are treated as a single big .zip archive. ImgBurn was then used to burn the files and folders to a DVD, but this resulted to a DVD not being bootable from any laptops.

      2. I got time today to redownload and test. My instructions above were slightly wrong and have now been amended. Combine should be used instead of extract. Please follow the new instructions above.

    1. Launch 7zip navigate to where you downloaded the files using 7zip window. Right click on Mediadirect3.iso.001 click combine files select where you want the combined files to be saved to and wait till its done there should be an ISO file in the directory you selected to save the files to.

  2. Going for Dell 1520 XP upgrade to 8.1 using full version install disk choice of “Custom” followed by PCMover Upgrade Assistant instructions. Do I still need to prep drive with Media Direct install (since I thought Custom would preserve my 3.5 MD already on partition)? Any help would be greatly apreciated.

    1. I have never used PCMover however as long as you don’t delete the partition/modify partition sizes during the Windows setup it should still work.

  3. Hi Sir, Can you please make a download for the Dell MediaDirect 3.5 like you did the 3.3 ??? That would be great!

  4. Can you tell me precisely why we should use 7zip and ImgBurn , as any burner will do the job.ALSO ,WHY ,oh ,WHY am I now finding “Plil Yip ” search engine installed in Chrome…THAT IS ,My CHROME account???????…..

    1. 7zip because I split the .iso up using 7zip and have only tested rebuilding the .iso with 7zip. ImgBurn because I made the .iso with ImgBurn and its free.

      I have no idea what you are on about with the search engine…. I suppose thats meant to be a bad way of spelling my name. Regardless I do not have a search engine named after me.

  5. Partitions set up correctly 1. 47MB OEM, 2. 109.7GB System, 3:MEDIADIRECT 2GB Logical. When it comes to installing Windows 10 should I install into the System partition or delete 2 and let windows create its 500MB System and remaining Primary and install into that ?

    1. I’ve not tested Media Direct with Windows 10. I have been informed its pointless to setup however as Windows 10 encrypts the drive and booting to Media Direct hence cannot read media files from the drive.

      1. It’s really just that I’m worried about pressing the Media Direct button could corrupt the OS as I have read elsewhere, doesn’t really need to work

      2. Yes I’ve experienced that issue in the past…

        You can try to install Windows 10 on the largest partition after setting up Media Direct but I have not tried this. On one of my videos I was told it did work but Media Direct couldn’t access files on the HDD/SSD because it was encrypted.

        I haven’t personally tried however.

  6. Ok thanks will try, so your best guess is to install on the existing partition rather than deleting it and letting windows create its normal 2 partitions for MBR ?

    1. Update – Windows installed ok, Media Direct opens ok and plays Dvd’s from menu item, doesn’t respond to button press in Windows, pressing button when power off results in “NTDLR Missing”‘ solved by pressing MD button again to boot into Windows.

      1. Thanks for letting me know. I suspected the NTDLR is missing if the system was attempted to be powered from the MD button. Its not happy with the partitions/Windows 10 boot manager.

  7. Hi, I have got most of everything working on my XPS M1710 apart from this. I followed everything you have said (I think). So, it will fire up in windows 7 by pressing the media button. If you power up using the media button it gives the old “NTDLR is missing” message. You then have to power down and power up via the media button and it will just boot in to windows 7 normally. I’m guessing that it is looking for the NTDLR in the windows partition but it is looking in the wrong place ?? Any ideas ?…. I’m soooo close to getting everything working😦

    1. Media Direct partitions need to be setup before Windows 7 installation. Then Windows 7 is installed on the largest partition with all the system drivers. The Media Direct Application is finally installed alongside its patches. Its honestly more hassle than its worth to setup however.

      1. Thanks for the reply. I know it’s a lot of hassle🙂 I’ve been at it for a while. I have already done everything in your reply, starting with the mediaDirect partition etc etc and finishing off with the patches. I did try bootsect.exe /NT60 All. As you probably guessed it now says “Bootmgr is missing” instead lol. As before if you boot again from the Mediadirect button it loads windows ok but when you log it in actually fires up Mediadirect in the windows environment. So I have done a bit of reading around the subject but I’m still a bit unsure as to why it says the Bootmgr is missing. Is it really not finding it or is the problem with BCD. Obviously the mediadirect partition has no associated drive letter with it, could this be part of the problems. I would really like to get this working just for the heck of it. It seems like other people have managed but there is no explanation as to how. Any help would be appreciated or it could be back to reading the voluminous tomes provided by Microsoft. Have you anything worth trying ? (It’s all backed up🙂 )

      2. bootsect.exe are likely to only create hassles with Media Direct. The Media Direct partition is meant to be hidden and the easiest way is with a complete clean Windows installation setting up the partitions using the Media Direct DVD then loading Windows and making sure its 32 Bit Windows. Not sure how it fares with 64 Bit Windows.

      3. I finally got it working, after reading god knows how much stuff. The solution is so simple yet nobody has said how to do it. Boot in to windows 7, put the mediadirect cd in the drive, navigate to dellkit and run delkit.exe. Do the install, take the cd out of the drive, shut down the laptop then boot with the mediadirect button. Job Done at last! Enjoy🙂

  8. Is there any way to have the media direct button do something else entirely like launch a different o/s.

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