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How to Upgrade Alienware to Windows 10 Without Pain

August 2, 2015 8:57 pm Leave your thoughts
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Windows 10 has now been released in the wild and this morning I decided to update my trusty Alienware 13. I had expected a smooth upgrade because most articles and some friends said that. I guess the Alienware is specialised or something, but my experience today was not the best. The good news is that I didn’t have to do a rollback or lose any data, however the bad news is that I couldn’t use the machine for a few hours until I figured out what went wrong.

The problems that I had:

  • Touchpad doesn’t work at all
  • Sound output is noisy with crackles

Thought there were only 2 issues, I think those two above are pretty important for a gaming and multimedia machine.

Prepare All Drivers

Before upgrading, make sure to download all of the drivers for your Alienware. This is important in case you lose your wireless connectivity at any point after the upgrade.

These drivers can be found from here: http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/19/product-support/

Once you have downloaded all the drivers, then proceed to upgrade to Windows 10

Disable Driver Auto Upgrade

The first thing that you need to do before installing the Alienware drivers is to disable the Windows driver auto upgrade. The problem that I encountered was quite maddening, after installing the correct synaptics driver, the touchpad will work for a while until the next restart and at some point it will get completely disabled. Upon looking at the device manager, there will be an exclamation mark next to the touchpad device. It seems that windows overwrote the Alienware synaptics driver at some point (not entirely sure).

change device installation

In order to disable the auto upgrade, simply search from the start menu “device installation”. Then choose “No”.

If for whatever reason you are like me, installing the drivers without disabling the auto upgrade, don’t worry too much. Go to device manager and uninstall the touchpad device, make sure you check the option to delete all driver files.

Install the Drivers

The next step to do is of course install all the drivers. Make sure that you restart the computer after installing them just to make sure all the new files are loaded properly.

Fixing the Crackle

So the sound crackling is probably the one that drove me crazy. At first I have no idea what is is but apparently what I needed to do is to setup the sound again after installing all of the sound drivers.

  • Right click on the speaker icon on your taskbar
  • Click on playback devices
  • Click on “Configure” and follow the wizard
  • You’ll notice that on the speaker setup part, none of the options are selected. Once selecting the left and right speaker option, the crackling noise is gone for good.

Wifi Security

I’m sure you might have heard that by default Windows 10 comes with what you call Wifi-Sense. There is an option to connect automatically to open hotspot shared by your contacts. Now this sounds like a good idea, but what if your contacts accidentally shares malicious hotspot? I’m not 100% sure how the Wifi sense security works, but I won’t take any chances for now.

To disable this, go to start–>settings–>network and internet–>wifi. Then select “Manage wifi settings”. What I did was disabling both options to connect to open hotspot and to connect to network shared by contacts.

I think for now this is the best course of action until we find out more what the security implications of using Wifi sense. It could very well be that I’m overly paranoid about this too :)

Business as Usual

After following some of the steps above, I think you should be set to work with you Alienware as usual once more. Hope this post helps you.

UPDATE

So, after a day for whatever reason my touchpad stops working again! This is starting to get real annoying, anyway, the way to fix this as far as I know is by doing the following:

  • Go to device manager
  • Right click on the touchpad device
  • Choose Update Driver Software
  • Choose browse my computer for driver software
  • Select the I2C HiD Device
  • After that you won’t be able to click anything
  • Re-run the Dell touchpad driver installations, then restart the computer.
  • So far it’s working again.

2015-08-03 21.15.08.sml 2015-08-03 21.17.48.sml

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