My 2.0GHz Inspiron 8500 appears to be stuck at a lower CPU speed. SpeedSwitchXP reports max speed as 1198 MHz, even when I manually set it to use Max Performance, which should set it to 2000 MHz. WinXP reports the current speed as 299 MHz in System Properties.

Also, the first fan (the loud one at the left rear side) turns on at high speed, even though there is nothing using the CPU that should cause it to turn on.

Here are the temps according to I8KFanGUI (all in Fahrenheit):
CPU temp: 93
GPU temp: 136
HD temp: 122
DIMM temp: 109
CPU load: 4%

According to I8KFanGUI, the BIOS is reporting the cpu speed as 1200 MHz, even though it states 2000 MHz in the BIOS config before WinXP boots. BIOS is version A06.

I installed the SpeedStep fix that is on the Dell Download page, which either does nothing or is not relevant for this issue. Also, problem continues to persist after XP SP2 (service pack 2) is installed.

Once in a while when I reboot, it does start out ok at 2000 MHz, but eventually drops down to 1200 MHz and basically gets stuck again.

I've tried dozens of different variations of Power Option settings from the control planel, as well as Dell Quickset settings, SpeedSwitchXP 1.4 and and I8kfanGUI 2.2. Manually trying to set the max cpu speed does not appear to work once WinXP thinks the max speed is 1200 GHz.

I've read some other posts here that sounded similar, but I have not been able to implement any solutions that correctly resets the max cpu speed. If someone can tell me what the problem is and can point me in the right direction, I would greatly appreciate it. I have not contacted Dell Tech Support directly yet regarding this issue.