Dell Dimension 8200

Friday, January 21, 2011

Last Updated: Friday, December 2, 2011

Quick Specs
Brand, Make, Model: Dell Dimension 8200 [Intel i850/400 FSB version]
CPU Brand, Make, Model (Original, Current): Intel Pentium 4 [Willamette 2.0GHz/400 FSB/1.5V SL5TL, Northwood 2.8GHz/400 FSB/1.5V, SL7EY]
RAM (Original, Current): 1GB (4x256MB) RDRAM, 1.5GB (2x256MB, 2x512MB) RDRAM
Hard Drive Capacity (Original, Second, Last): One 120GB, One 120GB and One 250GB internals with one 80GB external, Two 250GB internals
Optical Drive (Original, Last): LG CD-ROM Drive, LG CD-ROM Drive and Memorex DVD Burner
Chipset: Intel i850 (NOT Intel i850E)
Video Spec, Brand, Make, Model (Original, Addition, First Replacement, Current): Dedicated nVidia GeForce 3 Ti-200 [64MB SDRAM, AGP 2x], Same as First with S3 Trio 64V+ PCI Video Card [2MB VRAM] for Second Monitor, Dedicated nVidia MSI Geforce 6600 GT [128MB DDR RAM, AGP 2x/4x], Dedicated XFX nVidia GeForce 7600 GT [256MB DDR3 RAM, AGP 4x/8x], Dedicated nVidia GeForce4 MX400 [64MB DDR? RAM, AGP 4x/8x]
Sound Spec, Brand, Make, Model: External Turtle Beach Santa Cruz PCI 5.1 Surround Sound Sound Card
Integrated Network Adapter (Yes/No) - If Yes, what: No
Integrated USB Ports (Yes/No) - If Yes, what: Yes, Two Back USB Ports and Two Front USB Ports - All USB 1.1 Specs
Original Peripherals Removed: Conexant 56Kbps PCI Modem, AOpen AcerLAN ALN-325 PCI NIC
Peripherals Added: DLink DWA-552 PCI Wireless NIC, Stratitec PCI USB Card
Operating System (Original, Second, Last): Windows XP Professional Gold, Windows XP Professional SP3 with Ubuntu Linux 10.10 Maverick Meerkat dualboot; Ubuntu Server 11.10
Monitor Spec, Support (Original, First Setup, Current): Dell Trinitron P992 Monitor, Same as First with Dell P793 Monitor, Dell P793 and Dell M770 Monitors; Dual Monitor Support
Date Obtained: January 2, 2002 [Original would have been December 2001]

From slow and stable, to slow and unreliable (unstable), to fast and even more reliable than ever, the Dell Dimension 8200 had been around for so long in this house. Formerly Mom's desktop computer, she has since retired it in 2004, and I took it over in 2007. It has since been retired and is no longer in my possession as a whole. It was my backup desktop computer and FTP server of the CW Cyrix network at one point.


2002: January. The computer shows up for the first time. It wasn't actually powered on until two days later. Even then, it wasn't used often. It came with a Lexmark printer.
2003: Nothing interesting for that year, because it sat for most of the year.
2004: It wouldn't power on. However, the power supply would make a high-pitched whine. Mom was pissed. Also, I managed to get Mom's password for the computer. It proved very useful in the future, as Mom even forgot it then.
2005: Nothing.
2006: Nothing.
2007: I took a wild guess against the original power supply and took one from another PC, as it was the only one with a Pentium 4 power cable. It powered on, after three years of being out of commission. It was in the dining room, then the basement. In the same year, I experimented with openSUSE Linux on this computer. Also updated its BIOS from A01 or A02 to A09, the last version BIOS for the Dell Dimension 8200. [There is also a Hyperthread version, but it is not needed.]
2008: Early on. While having openSUSE Linux on the Dimension, Dad's laptop hard drive died out. Me, using an old notebook drive in the computer for openSUSE, decided to format it and hand it to Dad for an operating system reinstall. Added the 250GB hard drive I removed from the eMachines T1360. Put it in Sis's room in place of her old PC after that. Great idea. It was very bulky and I feared it would fall at some point. Soon removed it later on and put it back in the dining room. It finally made it to my room in late 2008. Also added the external drive [80GB], added USB 2.0 PCI card.
2009: June. Added an S3 Trio64V+ video card to get dual monitor support. It became unstable after that. Also modded the power supply area of the case.
2010: April. Upgraded the CPU from a slow Intel Pentium 4 [Willamette, SL5TL] 2.0GHz to a better Intel Pentium 4 [Northwood, SL7EY] 2.8GHz, graphics card to a nVidia MSI 6600 GT graphics card (then the 6600 GT crapped out, and got replaced with a nVidia XFX 7600 GT graphics card), RDRAM to 1.5GB, replaced the Bestec ATX-250E Rev. P4 power supply with another one, and modded the power supply area of the case even more. Now I can use two monitors more efficiently than before. Unfortunately, the Dell Trinitron P992, my favorite CRT monitor, dies, so I had to get another monitor to replace it. It had to be the Dell M770.
2011: February. Still running well. Future plans to max out the RAM [2GB] is still underway, but low priority. Also managed to dualboot Ubuntu 10.10 after running into some quirks. Also, May; the original hard drive was failing, and everything was backed up except for two unique files. Some point later, a nVidia GeForce4 MX 440 video card replaces the nVidia GeForce 7600 GT video card, and that was sold. That card was epic. Also, June; some planning to make it a web server was just an idea, but I had no higher capacity hard drives. Also, August; a real web server was planned instead. The Dimension 8200 was then pushed aside. Only in November 2011 was when the FTP server idea came out, and only then, it was a prototype. Also, December; it was officially retired and some of the remaining parts were sold.

Documents and/or Notes?
Yes! Here:

Why you should Update D8200's BIOS (Sometimes) - My original BIOS was A01. If I hadn't updated it to A09, I wouldn't be using a 250GB hard drive today.

Yes! Here:

Dell Dimension 8200: October 2008. This one has the Trinitron 19-inch monitor, which kept my room warm in the winter. Unfortunately, it's gone. Another one, except this one shows my 5.1 surround sound speaker set.

Extra Stuff?
Yes! Here:

Dell Dimension 8200 Hyperthreading BIOS, A09 - From here. Absolutely useless with the i850 version but useful with the i850E. Special Note: It has been stated here that it will work with the P4 3.06GHz Hyperthreading CPU only.
[Link to Dell Support Page goes here - well documented]
Messy Link of Dell Dimension 8200 Drivers and Downloads - What the link says. Shows earlier BIOS releases by Dell as well.

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