Inspiron 8100 BIOS options – boot order



I have three questions regarding my ollld Inspiron 8100. A LOT of time spent chatting/transferring/talking with Dell returned only vague answers, so I hope someone here can help a bit more. The BIOS is updated to A15, the latest version available for this machine.


1) Boot order oddity:

Looking at the boot order screen in BIOS, it lists (in this order) Diskette Drive; Internal HDD; CD/DVD Drive.


Not a problem per se, but an oddity. I have a working copy of Windows XP on the HDD, but when I put a Knoppix Live CD in, it boots to Knoppox without a problem. But this shouldn’t be, should it? Since HDD is a higher priority, and there is an OS, what’s going on?


2) Booting from a flash drive:

As an old machine with only 512MB RAM, Windows is very, very slow. Since I occasionally (very occasionally) need to use it for work, I can’t fully escape from MS. But for day to day running (I keep it in the parlor to stream music to the receiver), I just need a very small bit of functionality. I’d love to put Knoppix or DSL on a flash drive and boost the speed of the machine (even a small boost will be great). But can I?


3) Boot order menu choices:

Aside from the main three, I have: Modular Bay HDD; Cardbus NIC; APR NIC; and Mini-PCI NIC as options. What are those? I assume Modular Bay is a second harddrive (but am not sure), and one of those is probably for booting via the built-in LAN, but which one? What is the third? Is there any way of taking advantage of one of those to boot Linux?


Hope someone can help!




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2 Replies

Re: Inspiron 8100 BIOS options – boot order

1. It's not clear, but you're correct - the hard drive should boot first.


2.  The C-series models (of which the 8100 is one) cannot boot a USB device of any type.


3.  Modular bay HDD is indeed a second hard drive.  The others are network adapters - in the advanced port replicator (APR), PCMCIA (Cardbus) or internal (mini PCI socket).



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Re: Inspiron 8100 BIOS options – boot order

Thanks for the quick reply!



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