You can try clearing NVRAM - Boot to system setup by pressing F2 immediately after starting the computer. Turn on Caps Lock, Scroll Lock, Num Lock, then press Press ALT+E then ALT+F then ALT+B.
You can clear the NVRAM by taking out the battery. Just follow this procedure......
With the machine unplugged from the wall remove the battery from the motherboard. Then with the machine still unplugged press the On button for several seconds to dissipate any remaining electrical charge on the motherboard. Then re-install the battery, plug the machine back into the wall and see if it will boot normally.
I doubt clearing the NVRAM will resolve the problem you are having. If the battery is hot to the touch then I would try first replacing the battery with a new 3-V CR2032 coin cell which can be purchased for around $3 at any computer store or Radio Shack. It is possible your present battery has failed in some way and could be shorting out which is the cause for the overheating. The fact that you can see a chip or dent in it is a good indication there is a problem with it. If the new battery starts to get very hot to the touch then either the motherboard is overcharging it or your power supply in giving the motherboard too much power. In that case I would contact Dell Tech Support if your machine is under warranty for repairs.
Message Edited by Majestic on 01-15-2005 08:15 AM