HOW TO: Clean Windows 7 Install (Driver Install Order) Guide for Alienware Systems

Well... Since one of our user's is having some issues with his Alienware, i think its time to have some "HOW TO" guides, but this guide it's not mine, i took it from another forum(i'm not willing to say) to have it in our community.

Greetings fellow Alienware Owners... We frequently have folks post asking about driver install order when clean installing Windows 7, what apps to install in order to monitor the system, etc. Some of you have already shared your clean install process with the forum, many thanks for contributing.

Below is the driver install order I use. I have not run into any driver conflicts using this order and each clean install has completed without any odd issues. At the end of the 'guide' I have also included links to a couple of handy apps/utilities which I use.

Concerning AlienRespawn / Dell DataSafe Local:
Before performing a clean install, please do take the time to create your emergency rescue option using AlienRespawn. This will help if you ever need to revert back to an 'out of box' state.

Although it is possible to 'keep' AlienRespawn or Dell DataSafe Local installed on the system with a clean install, I find that its really not necessary (can also be a bit complicated for new users). Just be sure you preserve the out of box state by creating the rescue media and in the event of a failure, you can easily respawn back to when you first unboxed your system. Another third party app for imaging can be used if you want to preserve the fresh install of W7.

Dell Drivers:

Recently, Dell made a change to their Driver Support page. As a result, all of the links I previously had here (to specific models) have broken. Please use this link to reach the Dell Driver Support Page for your model. NOTE: You may have to click 'Select A Different Product'.

Driver Install Order for fresh Win7 installs:
(NOTE 1: I suggest disabling Windows Automatic Driver Install before updating drivers - reference this LINK)
(NOTE 2: I suggest disabling Windows Automatic Updates - reference this LINK. Once you have installed all of your drivers, re-enable Windows Update)
(NOTE 3: If the driver installer prompts for a restart, be sure to do so before proceeding with the next driver)

****Regarding WebCam****
Frequently we have folks ask where the webcam driver is so they can download it. The webcam does not require a device driver. It uses the microsoft driver. For the webcam software which came pre-installed with your system, see below, item #15.

1. Chipset Driver
2. USB 3.0 Driver (11xR3, 14x, 17xR3, 18x only)
3. Intel RST Driver / Intel Management Engine
4. Freefall Sensor Driver (Optional - many members choose not to install this. Also, as long as your drive supports it, the 'App' will work with aftermarket drivers)
5. Alienware On-Screen Display Driver

6. INTEL/AMD/NVIDIA Display Driver
Optimus systems require the Intel Driver be installed prior to the NV Driver. So if you have an M11xR2/R3, M14x or M17xR3, install the Intel Driver FIRST.

If you have a 17xR3 with 3D option, Optimus does not apply to you and the Intel driver is not needed

For M17xR3 with AMD, install the AMD Display Driver. AMD owners report the Intel HD Graphics driver is included with the AMD installer.

For M18x with AMD,
If you are unable to switch between the AMD GPUs and the iGPU (Intel HD 3000), try the following:

1. FN+F7 to initiate the GPU switch call.

You will be greeted by a dialog box:

BinaryGFX Keypress Detected. Choose Yes to continue (a system reboot is required) or No to cancel.
2. Select 'Yes' and the system will shutdown.
3. Once the shutdown has completed, power up the system.
4. When you are back at the desktop, run the IntelHD driver installer (grab it from the M18x Driver Download page - linked earlier in this post).
5. Once the driver is installed, reboot and when you return to the desktop, hit FN+F7 again (dialog box will display).
6. Select 'Yes' to switch and the system will again shutdown.
7. Once you power back up you will again be in discrete mode (AMD GPUs active).

Done - iGPU driver has been installed.

7. LAN Driver
8. Wireless Network Driver
9. Audio Driver
10. Bluetooth Driver
11. Touchpad Driver
12. Media Card Reader Driver
13. Remote Control/Infrared Driver (Older systems - M15x, M17xR1/R2)

14. Alienware Command Center
NOTE: Command Center should always be installed last.

15. Log in over @ to grab any apps which came bundled with your system that were not included on the Resource DVD. Webcam application is one of them.

Recommended Updates after Installing W7:
Once all of this is done, proceed with the following:

1. Update/Install Flash
(NOTE: Be sure to uncheck the 'Install Google toolbar' option - lol)

2. Update/Install Java
(NOTE: Be sure to uncheck the 'Install McAfee Security Scan' option - lol)

3. Update DirectX

4. Update OS by launching Windows Update

*IMPORTANT NOTE:* If you disabled Windows Automatic Updates as suggested at the start of the driver install order portion of this guide, feel free to re-enable automatic updates now (if you like - not necessary, but easy to do if you want)

(NOTE: Once Win 7 SP1 has been installed, be sure to remove the service pack installation files. Right click on your boot drive (C:\) and select 'Properties'. Click the 'Disk Cleanup' button and then check the option to remove 'Service Pack Backup Files', select 'OK'. This will remove all of the SP backup files and free up space.)

Handy Utilities and Apps:
Once this is complete, proceed with any apps, games, etc. A short list of apps/utilities I use follows:

1. Piriform's CCleaner - very handy for cleaning up after driver/app uninstalls.
CCleaner - Optimization and Cleaning - Free Download

2. Auslogic's Disk Defrag - quickest defrag utility I have found.
Disk Defrag - Fast and Safe Defragmenter for Your Disks


3. CPU-Z - Yes, we all need a trusty CPU information app
CPUID - System & hardware benchmark, monitoring, reporting

4. HW Monitor - A handy monitoring app useful for keeping an eye on temps
CPUID - System & hardware benchmark, monitoring, reporting

5. GPU-Z - GPU information Tool
GPU-Z Video card GPU Information Utility

6. Speccy - System Information Tool from the makers of CCleaner
Speccy - System Information - Free Download


7. WhoCrashed - This is a very cool crash dump analyzer for anyone who is not familar with using the Windows SDK to troubleshoot issues. WhoCrashed can point you in the right direction when investigating a crash/BSOD and provides useful data which can then be shared here on the forum for additional advice/help.
Resplendence Software - Advanced System Tools and Developer Components

8. LatencyMon - A much more useful DPC Latency Checker which provides quite a bit of info which can help you pinpoint the offending device/driver/app. If you are encountering DPC Audio dropouts or other issues which may be related to DPC, give this one a try.
Resplendence Software - LatencyMon: DPC, ISR and pagefault execution monitor

9. Notepad++ - Very versatile source code editor and a great alternative to Microsoft's Notepad
Notepad++ | 5.8.7

Have fun clean installing W7!
I may be posting the others "HOW TO" from BatBoy to our community. I hope this helps to keep in touch our AW systems.

All credit goes to: BatBoy. I did NOT make this tutorial, not even edited it, i just borrowed it from its original forum.


May 13, 2012
An excellent "Point of Reference" guide. Thank you for posting it. Personally I reread it twice and took note of timely advice:: take the time to create your emergency rescue option using AlienRespawn


New Member
Jun 16, 2018
When I found this posting I was very optimistic that I would be able to get my M14x webcam and microphone issues fixed.
The microphone does not work and the Imaging Devices is missing from Device Manager.
I've got about 6 ho
urs into researching and working on this with no resolution.
Hard drive failed and replaced but still can't get microphone and camera to work, I'm using Win 7.
I've downloaded the files/drivers from Dell but no luck.
I have C:\Program Files (x86)\Dell Webcam with 'Dell Webcam Central' and 'Live! Cam Avatar Creator'.
But - there is no Imaging Devices tab in Device Manager and all the links from a couple of years ago that were supposed to point to the fix are no longer valid and I end up looping around the Dell site with no solution or end up with' or link to the Knowledge base to get 'The link you have followed may be incorrect or the article may no longer be available. For the latest solutions, please enter search terms that describe your request in the search box on this page.' or try
and I get '
Page Not Found
We're sorry, but this page does not exist. Click here to return to the homepage.'

The link in #15 above results in:
Summary: "The My Dell Downloads pre-installed software download site is no longer be available after 31 July 2017".

So, can anyone provide a workable solution to get the integrated camera and microphone functional?
Thanks in advance!!!