Dell Inspiron 8100 hard drive / optical drive detection

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    a friend of mine gave me a Dell Inspiron 8100 which was not working for
them with Windows. They suspected hard drive issues.

I have seen consistent problems detecting the hard drive and optical drive (CD)
after being powered off for a few hours. I'd suspect the hard drive if it
wasn't also happening with the CD drive...

However, it will eventually start working and continue to work through reboots,
etc as long as it isn't powered down for more than a couple hours.

I've successfully installed Fedora Core 1, Fedora Core 5 and Ubuntu Linux and
all install and work fine.

I tried to install Windows XP from the Dell recovery CD, from a standard
Windows XP CD and various ways from a copy of CD on the hard drive. All fail
with the symptom that the system just stops doing anything. Typically I see
"Setup is inspecting your hardware" and that's it...

I spent time this weekend and took the case apart, found no loose connections
and anything else that appears "broken".

I'm happy to use it just for Linux, but I really want to resolve the problem of
hardware detection. Anyone have any ideas?



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