Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Dell XPS M1530 Windows 8 Drivers

Dell XPS M1530 Windows 8 Drivers.
Updated 2012.12.01 - New Alps Touchpad Drivers

This is a sister article to Keyliner's popular  Dell XPS M1530 Windows 7 Drivers.

Recently, I upgraded my venerable M1530 laptop to Windows 8 and even with the default Microsoft drivers.  I am pleased with the results and the upgrade to Windows 8 was a positive experience.  In general, he machine is working as-well or better than in Windows 7.  I was having problems with the wireless and ultimately abandoned Windows 8, returning to Windows 7.  The problem may have been the network card. 

Then, later upgraded to Windows 10 with better results.  See notes below.

Additional notes 2017.07:
The author has abandoned this article, as I am no longer working with this machine and cannot test results.  Reader comments will be helpful.  I still think this was one of the finest laptops ever built -- for its day and into the years.

2015.12: Windows 10 Update
I have successfully upgraded the Dell XPS M1530 to Windows 10, using the standard Windows 10 installation.  Only two areas were a problem:

I had to retire the Intel Wireless 3945ABG card, replacing  with an Intel 3160 ($16.00) because the older card dropped the network connection; this was probably a driver problem. When buying the new card, which is half-sized, be sure to buy a full-sized metal card-adapter ($2.00). Related, the white antenna wire was too short. I used a Dremil motor tool to carve a new groove through one of the supporting plastic supports to make the cable long enough.  Even with this, the cable will be a tight fit.  The laptop has three card slots, but you must use the same slot as before; the two other slots did not work for this device and I know-not-why.

The trackpad installs as a generic PS2-mouse driver, so no edge-scrolling or gestures are supported.  I have not researched this yet.  It is serviceable in this state.

Outside of this, all appears to be well. Windows 10 appears to have better driver support than Windows 8.  When I installed, I chose the "Install all new software" option.  I have not yet attempted a clean-install and see no reason to bother.

This Windows 8 article has been abandoned and here are my then-most current notes.  These are rough notes.   I recommend Windows 10.  Windows 10 appears to have better driver support than 8.


Upgrading the BIOS is required, especially for improved power-save features and because of Video driver concerns.  This is the same recommendation as Windows 7.  Note, the XPSM1530 mother board is an Intel Mobile 965PM.

Check your BIOS version during a cold-boot, looking at the bottom DELL splash screen. If you see "A12", the BIOS is current.

NVidia 8M

Download the latest video drivers. 
My machine uses NVidia; your model may be different.

NVidia GeForce Drivers for Windows 8. 
Version 306.97

NVidia Download:

Intel Chipset Device Software (INF Update Utility)


Intel Chipset Download

Download:  infinst_autol.exe

The install will extract files with a significant delay.
Reboot when prompted.

There might be some argument for not installing this driver in Windows 8, and allowing the default operating system drivers to handle this.  I have installed successfully on my machine but am unsure of the benefits.

Intel Rapid Storage Technology - RST

Intel Download: Intel Rapid Storage  11/29/2010
Choose the STOR-allOS version.

Important Note: Intel's newest RST SATA version 10.6 (and Windows 8 version 9.3.0) and above do not work on the M1530 -- giving a message, "This computer does not meet the minimum requirements for installing this software".

There might be some argument for not installing this driver in Windows 8, and allowing the default operating system drivers to handle this.  I have installed successfully on my machine but am unsure of the benefits.

IDT Sigmatel Audio Drivers

The Windows 7 version of the driver installs with no errors but does not actually work.
I recommend staying with the default Windows drivers.  I will continue to research this devil of a driver.  See Dell XPS M1530 Windows 7 Drivers

By default, Windows is installing
IDT "Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher"
Date: 2010.02.26

Ricoh Memory Card Reader
Default Windows drivers are adequate. 
Do not install the Windows 7 versions.

Marvel Yukon Network Driver:
Date: 10/26/2012

I can not take you directly to the driver-download link. Instead, open this site and search for "Windows 8 Installer".  As of 2012.11, Marvell did not show "Windows 8" as a valid operating system (platform) choice, but oddly, they had a Windows 8 installer.

Note this is a Zip file.
Open the downloaded folder, copy and paste the interior contents.
Run the setup.exe

Intel Wireless Network


As of 2012.11, use the default drivers installed by Windows 8.  Intel does not show a Windows 8-specific version for either of these network cards and I do not recommend installing the Windows 7 version of the drivers.

If you have other brands, specifically dell-branded wireless cards, I recommend spending $15 and upgrading the hardware.  It is seriously-easy to do:  See this keyliner article:  Upgrading a Wireless Network Card.

Alps Touchpad

The Toshiba Touchpad drivers, recommended for Windows 7 will not work and will cause the workstation to hang.  Instead, use these Windows 8 drivers:

Fujistu Download:  Touchpad Drivers
Version: 8.100.404.201-DR12-0831_W8-64

1.  Download Fujistu drivers; expand by running the download exe.
2.  Run "DPinst.exe" and allow to install.
3.  Reboot when prompted
4.  In Mouse Control Panel, note new tab: "EdgeAction(TM)"

Alternate Dell Vistro drivers can be found here (not tested by keyliner):
Dell Download:  Touchpad Drivers
Date: 10/23/2012
version:  8.1200.101.209, A00

After installing these drivers, edge detection with the mouse seems improved. 
When using edge-detection with the pad, you will have to teach your fingers a new trick and begin your swipe, starting on the palm-rest.  Amazingly, it will not edge-detect if you start on the very edge of the pad; you have to start further away.

Other swipe actions, such as the inside to outside edge do not work as expected.  However, a standard mouse works well with the same gestures.

WebCam Driver:

Note: This section has not been tested yet by Keyliner, but I suspect this is correct.
The Webcam is comprised of two parts: A driver and an application; both are required.

Driver description: Creative Labs Laptop Integrated 2M CCD Webcam
Dell Download: Not available
  • Windows 8 default drivers appear to have detected this correctly.
Application Description: Creative Labs Dell Webcam Manager
This is an application and initial testing shows it works fine in Windows 7. This is safe to install. Creative Labs is not producing a 64-bit version of this program. Be aware this is a 140mb download.

UPEK FingerPrint Reader

UPEK was bought by AuthenTec and the default Windows 8 drivers work correctly -- actually, they work very well and I have been pleased with the results.  The Control panel will guide you through the setup.  Details on how to do this are pending but the Windows 8 control panel wizard will guide you through the process with ease. This is an improvement over the Windows 7 drivers.

Not yet found; sorry.

Related article: Dell XPS M1530 Windows 7 Drivers
Related article: Windows 7 vs Windows 8 Comments

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Excel Sort and Filter functions grey, unavailable

Problem: The Excel Sort and Filter tools are gray, unavailable, unselectable.  Sort is disabled.

Likely issue:
Two or more spreadsheet tabs are grouped together. 
Looking at the bottom of the workbook, at "sheet1, sheet2", look to see if two or more tabs are highlighted (usually bright white, depending on tab colors).  In the illustration below, "sheet3" is not part of the group.

Hover the mouse over a tab name (e.g. "sheet1").
Other-mouse-click, choose "Ungroup Sheets"

Other possible issues:

Although not greyed out, Sorting will not work on merged cells (cells that span multiple columns or rows) -- "This operation requires the merged cells to be identically sized".  Illustrated below, cell B3 is merged with cell C3.  Highlighting either cell also highlights to other. 


Related articles:
Excel Parse First and Last Names
Excel VB : Return First and Last word / Supertrim
Excel VBLookup Tutorial