esSJae's Virtualization Blog

Virtualization and other IT topics

Windows 8.1 + Dell e6540 (tips and annoyances)

Posted by essjae on September 25, 2013

Installed Windows 8.1 today on my new Dell e6540.  Was ultimately successful with one minor unknown device in the Device Manager.  Don’t try to install the Win7 AMD drivers from the Dell site.  This totally breaks video, I had to re-install 8.1 to get back to a working system.


  1. No more desktop app, it’s just gone.  No icon in the system tray for easy access to files
    1. Solution I used is to add the quick launch toolbar (, then add a shortcut to Skydrive
  2. Skydrive keeps your files online
    1. Unless you explicitly tell them to be available offline.  Right-click to make available offline.  You’ll see the familiar circular blue arrows.
    2. At least you can do it at the Skydrive folder level for all your files

Internet Explorer 11

  1. Most pictures are rendered with some funky diagonal lines in the orders and other rendering corruption
    1. “Fixed” by enabling “use software rendering instead of GPU rendering” under Internet Options–>Advanced

Update 1:  I noticed that the SSDs weren’t being recognized, and I checked the BIOS, SATA was set to the Intel RAID instead of AHCI, so I changed that.  Win8.1 was unable to repair the OS, so this resulted in the 3rd install of Windows 8.1.  After reinstalling, I noticed that the SSDs still aren’t seen correctly and I modified the Registry settings to turn off superfetch, etc.  On the positive side, this install doesn’t have the graphic corruption in IE11, so the root issue was either a driver, or the order in which I installed the drivers.

Update 2: Sleep and Hibernate stopped working for some reason.  Also, the Windows update for the AMD driver broke the video display.  Rolling back to Windows 7 for now.  Win8.1+e6540 seem like a bad combination at this point.  It may have been the driver for the USB3 video card, but the memory.dmp file specificed PCI.SYS.  I may give Windows 8.0 a try if I’ve got time today…after I make an image of the newly installed Win7Ultimate base.

For the Windows 7 SM Bus Controller, the driver is this one:  


2 Responses to “Windows 8.1 + Dell e6540 (tips and annoyances)”

  1. […] Windows 8.1 + Dell e6540 (tips and annoyances) by Steve Jain […]

  2. […] Windows 8.1 + Dell e6540 (tips and annoyances) by Steve Jain […]

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