Finally upgraded my ageing XPS m1330 from Windows XP (32 Bit), which of course worked perfectly, to Windows 8.1 (64 Bit), which of course initially didn’t.
The major problem that I encountered was major latency when playing audio. The DPC latency would cause the music to stutter and jerk and basically be unlistenable. A major pain in the arse for someone who likes to listen to streaming audio while they work.
After doing a bit of reading and research, I thought it was the NVIDIA driver that was causing the problem, PowerMizer was flagged as being the culprit. But adding the “correct” flags to the registry didn’t fix the problem, music was still impossible to listen to and the DPC Latency tool showed me major spikes.
Some more testing and research lead me to find the Intel Wifi card I have, a Intel PRO Wireless 3945ABG as the cause of the problems. The issue was there is no later driver for it, indeed Intel haven’t officially released any driver for it, but Windows 8.1 seems to have a driver built in.
The fix was to download the Windows Vista x64 driver from <a href=”http://ftp.dell.com/FOLDER95945M/2/Intel_multi-device_A06_R171132.exe”>here</a> and to force Windows 8.1 to install it as the driver. Which takes a few options because it’s an older version of the driver than the one Windows 8.1 comes with.
But once the “new” old driver was installed, all DPC latency issues dissappeared. Music can be listened to without stuttering and jerking.
I’ve still got three items in Device Manger under “Other devices” all called “Data Interface” that don’t have a driver, but I expect that’s something to do with the 3G Modem this laptop has installed (the official Dell one)