MCE2005 and DELL!


New Member
I was following the advice directly from Microsoft (as stated at and contacted Dell regarding upgrading from MCE2004 (which I bought in September 2004) to MCE2005. What a bunch of lame ducks! The first person in Tech support kept saying that I was out of the 21 day window (which I did not care about anyway) - I told her I wanted an upgrade which Dell is to provide with or without a price. I was then sent over to the Accessories department and got the "We can only sell MCE on an new computer that we sell." I wasted the 30 minutes trying to get some help on this.

Has anyone had sucess dealing with Dell or the other manufacturers on this subject. How about the name of someone at Microsoft? The above website does have a "passport" assistance form for Microsoft to interviene but I do not give that much hope.

Any help is appreciated.

Thank you,

Peter Grossman
T & G Systems
I am dealing with my OEM right now to see what the upgrade policy will be. Microsoft is saying NP, but it's up to the OEM's to decide if they will do/support it, and how much. I believe HP is providing the upgrade for free, but not sure if those were just rumors or what.
HP is providing it for free. All you pay is 9.95 for shipping and handeling of the software. Mine should first of next week, was shipped today.
Well, I try to put pressure on Dell to do the same.

I originally got MCE in order to show other people and clients how the PC can be integrated into the home theater. I have long been a "TiVo" addict and have the HMO installed as well. Either one can provide a solid way to enjoying music and photos on line with a minimum of system configuration. I recently added the HAI Home Control Software for the Omni Pro 2 I have installed and it works fine. I hope other manufacturers follow this direction in create a MCE shell/skin for their products.

I have been quite suprised by the number of similiar packages out there that do something similiar to MCE. This was one of the reasons I was not sure if MicroSoft was truely going forward with MCE, imagine my surprise when earlier this month they announced MCE2005 and its new features.

I guess the OEM partners have not caught up as of yet.

Thanks for the replies - at least I can go to Dell and say that HP does this.

Peter Grossman
Good luck with dell. I am not happy at all with their customer service.

For those looking for a new MCE PC i will say that HP and Panasonic both have good technical and customer support from my experiences with them. I think the fact that you cant upgrade the OS yourself is kinca crapy. That alone is enough to make me wait to see what happens in the future before i go buying a MCE PC
I suggest you build them yourself now, as the OS is widely, and legally available to regular customers.
Dell gave me the run around several times. I spoke to almost a dozen people over two months in both customer support and technical support. Most of them (non-native speakers) couldn't even understand what I wanted to do. The others said a Windows MCE 2005 upgrade wasn't available from Dell, even if I was willing to pay for it (and even when I told them HP was offering the upgrade for only the cost of shipping and handling). Only one tech support guy really "got it" and admitted that Dell should be able to provide me with an upgrade, but even after checking with a supervisor, he said they had no way to do it.

This, along with their rapidly deteriorating customer support (I almost never speak to anyone who can really speak English), are why I will never again purchase a Dell PC, after purchasing several dozen over the past decade for my home and office.
Yeah - I gave up on Dell.

I was at CES and a Senior Product Manager from Microsoft was in the Dell booth and he told me that they (Dell) were NOT doing the upgrade for MCE 2005 - I believe he said it was a support related decision.
I have ran into some of the same problems with their support as well and I do not see purchasing another Dell ever again. I take personal insult to the fact that they run a national commercial showing a "red blooded american" answering the phone for some guy that is lying in his bed in the middle of the night and just checking. IT IS FALSE ADVERTISING!!

So anyway I purchased the MCE 2005 full version (+ a 2 tuner TV card) from a site I heard about here (or on and wiped the MCE 2004 install. After fixing some minor glitches, It works beautifully and I now have both a Linksys extender and XBox with MCE Extender running off of it.

I just thought you might like to know.

Peter Grossman