Re-installing Windows 7 on a Dell Inspiron M5040

Dell Inspiron M5040 Laptop

Dell Inspiron M5040 Laptop

Just a week or so ago my daughter’s laptop–a Dell Inspiron M5040–was hit by one of those fake antivirus.  She was browsing one of those sites which provides access to movies that haven’t been officially released yet on DVD.  Based on my experience, those sites are typically untrustworthy and are infected with fake antivirus.

If you are ever infected, the best thing is to do a cold shut down of your computer (just turn it off; not a normal shutdown).

Not knowing enough on how and what these things can do, she did a restart of her computer, which is one of the things you don’t want to do in such a situation since that pretty much gives the fake antivirus running in memory permission to embed itself into the computer’s registry, ensuring its persistence between boots.  When her computer completed the restart, it continued to report that there were some problems on the computer, requesting a scan of the computer to fix the problems.

I tried to do a recovery through one of the repair options of the computer, but did not succeed.  I wanted to use the built-in recovery image from the disk drive, but for some reason, I could not see it nor could I find anything that allows the system to reload the manufacturer base computer image.

At this point, I realized that the best way to fix this was to simply re-install Windows 7 from a DVD.  I was able to complete this, but Windows 7 can’t seem to detect the following:

  • Video driver for the display on the Dell Inspiron M5040
  • Network ethernet adapter driver
  • Wireless LAN adapter driver

One would think that would make these drivers easy to find, but no luck.  After multiple searches, I eventually found the drivers at  These were the drivers I used to get my daughter’s laptop looking and working right:

You should take this approach only if you cannot recover the image from the computer’s existing recovery volume.

Let me know if you find this useful by commenting below.

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