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!
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).