Clean Windows 7 reinstall after Windows10 issues - need PowerDVD + other fixes
My laptop, an XPS 17 L702X, was force updated to Windows10 because Microsoft thinks it knows better than the person who owns the machine and sits infront of it all day.
Worse still, this unrequested upgrade occured during a period of Windows7 instability which is why i didn't want any upgrade to Windows10 until well after the issue was sorted.
The system HDD was bitlocker encrypted, via using a USB thumb drive to unlock at boot time, from the day this laptop was purchased. This made the problems i had even more complex to resolve.
What seemed to occur, was a merging of "os instability" combined with a "Windows10 upgrade" combined with "Windows 10 update" which borked the machine. The end result was that i was locked out of my laptop and looking at a Orange Screen Of Death with no options to move forward.
After much web searching, i gave up. I managed to decrypt the HDD on another system but in the process i found many bad clusters on the HDD by performing a chckdsk (which mapped these bad clusters for non use). I must say i don't really trust the HDD any more.
When reinstalling the decrypted HDD into the laptop, i could get past the OSOD issues, however the system was unusable as the screen would flash uncontrollably once logged into the user account. More web surfing did not yeild helpful information. Since the laptop was not usable in this state, i was at the end of the rope so to speak.
Time for a clean reinstall on a second HDD.
Reinstalling Windows 7 Ultimate from my USB stick is a simple enough process and the laptop is now working well. However, i have some things to resolve but the one thing that has me stumped is:
* Where can i download the Cyberlink PowerDVD software that originally came with my system so i can continue to play my BD's on my laptop?
I have a "My Downloads" account with Dell, but i can't find any links to such 3rd party software. I'm not even sure whether i linked this (laptop) invoice with this account on Dell, it was some time ago...
In reality it would have been much simpler for me had Dell shipped PowerDVD in the same way it shipped "McFee SecurityCenter", "Roxio Creator Starter" and "Soundblaster X-FiMB ".
Speaking of that later disk, Soundblaster XF-i install works but Ceative oddly tells me i don't have an XF-iMB on my laptop when i try to configure the audio device using this application. All this despite that such hardware being listed in the original configuration as delivered!. The other oddity is that the only touch sensitive button that does not work is the "Waves Maxx Audio3" where Quickset states "Please install the audio driver before using this button" when this button is touched! And no audio devices have yellow bungs within device manager?
So any hints on where to find a PowerDVD link and how to resolve the XF-i issue?
With a little help from Dell supports, i managed to remember the "My Dell Downloads" account name i had used when registering my XPS17 laptop many years ago. Thus i was finally able to download a 114MB install file for PowerDVD :emotion-4:
Unfortunately the software provided by Dell was too old to play newer BD's and as a result the player was flagging it needed new decryption keys. Simply clicking "Yes" to perform the new decryption key update either failed or succeded but in either case it would again flag new decryption keys were needed :emotion-7:
After even more stuffing around with this application, PowerDVD indicated an update was available, so another 96MB download and the associated install, i was again back to the new decryption key update cycle [:'(]
Hands down, Cyberlink PowerDVD has got to be the worst piece of software i have ever used. Shame on Dell for bundling such rubbish software with my system.
Why a $2000 laptop can't play back BD movies when an older $100 consumer BD player has no issues to date, i do not understand. Surely Dell can periodically provide the required update on their web site so i can use the laptop BD ODD and player software as intended... to watch BD movies on my laptop.
And i remember there were no time limits or other conditions placed on how long BD playback would work on this laptop at the time of sale so adding conditions post sale (by default via simply by not providing updates to the software) is just not cocher (or legal).
With the stupid attitudes Dell, CyberLink and especially the movie industry of america seem to push when it comes to movies, i am starting to think pirates get the cleaner end of the stick while honest folk end up holding the dirty end :emotion-12:
So, whichever way i go, i either have BD playback and SoundBalaster XFI issues when using a clean install or the same BD playback and now Dell DataSafe + other crapwhare uninstall issues when using the Dell recovery discs image i created many years ago.
What should be a simple reinstall has turned into a P.I.T... well, i don't eally have to say it as i'm sure you all know how i feel....
And one needs to remember, i paid more to get Windows 7 Ultimate on my laptop specifically to use Bitlocker AND Dell sales team knew my requirement AND they still happily sold me the upgrade on a system without TPM hardware.... So now you all should understand my frustrations even more :emotion-12: