Update: In 2016 I upgraded to Windows 10… again, it was a lot of trouble. The upgrade process, despite the automatic update being approved for my device, caused windows to not boot. Since I had no option to reinstall Windows 8, I installed a fresh version of Windows 7, then installed drivers, and upgraded to Windows 10. Again, an unbootable system. To eliminate driver issues, I reinstalled Windows 7 from scratch again, then installed Windows 10. This time everything went well. I installed the Dell hardware drivers and now everything works to my satisfaction. The wireless no longer cuts out on me. Only problem is I cannot disable the touchpad. I can live with that since I’m using an external keyboard.
I have a burning desire to share my tale of frustration with this laptop. I love it now, but it took me a while to get here:
1. The WIFI driver simply never worked properly, connecting intermittently or providing only “Limited Access” until I installed VirtualBox, which somehow fixed everything
2. Upgrading to Windows 8.1 was a big mistake – nothing quite worked properly afterwards, including the networking, which I fixed by re-installing VirtualBox. The worst part was it tacked on minutes to the boot time.- I eventually decided to revert back to 8.0. The “restore to factory” operation was surprisingly painless
3. The clickpad did funny things until I updated the drivers
4. I quickly got fed up with the slow mechanical hard drive so I bought a Samsung SSD. Turned out the Dell recovery wouldn’t allow recovery on anything any smaller than the 1TB hard drive that the laptop came with, not even with the recovery disk set I created – come on! I was about to resign myself to hunkering down with some free cloning software to attempt to transfer the OS to the smaller SSD when, in a forum, I stumbled upon Paragon Software’s wonderful utility called “Transfer OS to SSD”. Found a coupon code online somewhere, bought it, and within minutes the application was transferring the OS to my new SSD. I was more excited than I really should have been at this point.
Now it finally runs the way I want it to. The only downside is that it’s running Windows 8… which I’m surprisingly OK with… not my first choice, but I don’t think it’s going to hold me back… though the Charms menu always popping up when I don’t want it to is pretty annoying.