first things to do with a new inspiron 8600? - General Hardware - Laptop - Dell Community

first things to do with a new inspiron 8600?


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first things to do with a new inspiron 8600?

  • Hi,
    I am getting a new inspiron and was wondering if people have suggestions for first things to do.

    Here's what I have so far..

    Get a case
    Backup everything on a dvd-r (recommended tools?)
    Run dell diagnostics
    Make list of software/hardware using belarc
    Check performance using sissandra
    Enable firewall before connecting to internet

    this is my first notebook so I would also be interested in general handling/care/usage tips.

  • 1) Get a case
    2) Wipe the drive, and reinstall windows w/ only what you need.

    Why bother with 'check performance'?
  • I'm expecting an 8600 any day now. First thing I'm doing is reformating the drive and reinstall Windows. I wish Dell would have an option that would ship computers without any extra software.
  • A lot of people have no reason to wipe and reinstall the hard drive.  Any hard drive you may have ordered is more than big enough to just ignore any of the Dell programs you don't need.   What is very important is to try out all components of the computer, including those you may not use right away (for example, make sure the USB ports, audio out, etc, work, in addition to the more obvious things like the DVD, CD-R, keyboard, touchpad, etc. 
  • I think the reason most people prefer to wipe the hdd and start fresh is not so much to clear space, but to remove all the background apps and unnecessary registry mess that bogs down a perfectly good system.  If I wanted my system to run that way i'd just commit techno-suicide and install Kazaa...
  • The first 30 days of your computers life are very important, as anything seriously wrong with should surface within this time frame. I would make sure that every component of the system is working perfectly. I would make sure there are no dead pixels, wireless connectivity (download speeds, for example), run benchmarks and compare with other Dell models or other brands, you know the basics to make sure everything is kosher...

    Once the 30 days are done with you loose the leverage you got with Dell, if you change your mind on the Model for example.

    Myself, I would test the living day-lights out it to a degree of almost throwing water at it.
  • If you dont do a fresh install I would remove any uneeded programs then use  and  websites to shut off any uneeded running processes.
  • I bought an I8600 about 5 weeks ago.  The day I received it, I made sure everything worked, and I wiped it clean.  I believe that all of their software that was preloaded was taking up about 4.5 GIGs.  (I may be wrong.)  After I installed what I needed from them, I think I was up to 1 GIG, if that much, and it was running a lot faster.

    I would suggest to anyone to go ahead and format it.  In the end, after a few months when your computer is running slow and out of space, it will make a difference.



  • So did you reload the OS that came with the machine? Did you load the drivers afterwards as well. Reason for asking is, I may want to do the same to my 5150 after the 30 days are up?
  • Well, I just got an Dell 8600 with ATI 9600,  1.6mhz, 512MB, /g mini-pci card, bluetooth, 80gig, uxga

    These are the things I did first to make sure performance was good:

    1. Use Dell Quick Step to set Max performance even when on battery. By default my CPU on battery power was set to like .5mhz

    2. Un-install all the Norton and AOL sofware. When I had Norton installed, it significantly slowed down the install time of games or any large software.  I think the Norton software checked each file while installing.  So, after I un-installed the Norton software, everything was great

    3. For performance in 3d games, go to your control panel and click the advanced tab of your display adapter properties, and you will find ATI "PowerPlay" settings, that control how much power your 3d card will use while on battery.  Set all the max, obiviously.  I have ATI 9600 card, so it might be different for the Nvidia card option.


    After doing the following, running 3dmark03 at 1024x768, I got a score of 2732, which seems to be the expected mark.

    So, I didn't have to reinstall the OS, just un-install the norton software and tweak the performance settings.




  • Do NOT set the CPU to max as stated above. It is completely pointless. You lose battery, gain heat, and gain NOTHING in performance. Let the CPU self-manage its speed. It will run at 600MHz most of the time, and speed up to whatever its max speed is when needed.

    I will repeat the recommendation to reformat with a clean OS, then install the Dell Notebook System Software, then any newer drivers. Download the system software and drivers, don't use the stuff that ships with the machine. I just got an 8600 with 9 month old drivers.

    Message Edited by SwampNut on 03-04-2004 10:20 PM