I have made great progress on this Inspiron 8100! I have straightened out the bent frame, replaced the optical drive, and replaced the fan assembly. Here’s some pics of the original.
These were worn out and incredibly noisy. This fan assembly can be had NOS for about $6 or $7 on eBay.
And just for the hell of it, I put Windows Longhorn on it (the build number escapes me, but it is apparently one of the more “stable” versions of Longhorn if there ever was such a thing). I do know it’s a pre-reset version though (Google that if you’re not sure what that means). I really need to put more memory in this though. 256MB is not ideal for any version of Longhorn, and I suspect with 512MB it should run better. It currently takes it quite a while to boot up.
I’ve had a few issues with this (which is to be expected from a beta I suppose). The startup/shutdown sounds don’t play (even though they are set and work fine when you manually play them). I also haven’t been able to get it to connect to the internet.
Messing with beta versions of Windows is something that I’ve been meaning to do for a long time, and now that I’ve started, I’m hooked! Windows “Whistler” (XP code name) is going to be the next OS I try on this machine.
So, here are some pics of Longhorn running on this beast!
I was shocked that i8kfangui worked on Longhorn! i8kfangui is a utility I highly recommend to anyone with an Inspiron 8000 series machine. It is an excellent fan control utility that keep these things running very cool! IMO these 8000 series Inspirons just let them self’s get too damn hot before kicking the fans on (to the point where it is uncomfortable in your lap). I think that running i8kfangui on these will definitely extend their life.
BTW I do have another drive for this machine setup with a Windows 2000/XP Home Editon dual boot. That is the primary drive I use with this machine.