The problem with my (otherwise totally rocking) Dell XPS M1330 I previously blogged about here, and earlier here, where the Dell MediaDirect application restored itself over the first several gigs of my hard disk, wiping out part of my LVM physical volume, is solved.
To prevent the Dell MediaDirect from reinstantiating on certain reboots where the BIOS thinks you’ve had a problem, just zero out the whole drive before repartitioning. (Obviously this means a complete loss of data, so back up your data first, mmkay?) That says to me that the BIOS is looking for certain things on the hard disk at precise sector offsets. If they’re not found, the BIOS will instead simply issue an error message instead of an army of flying data-killing monkeys.
If you decide you want MD back, you can use the recovery CDs that come with your system. Reinstall MD before restoring the OS. However, I’m guessing no one reading this is probably going to want that. ?
ADDENDUM: Thanks to Matt Domsch for his usual above-and-beyond care.