Fedora Core 2 on a Dell Inspiron 8600
The installation was a basic desktop installation apart from a separate home drive. The large hard drive was partitioned into 10 gig for the base XP image, 40 gig for Linux. The rest will be for either another Linux installation or for windows.
I updated the BIOS to the latest version, which at the time was A08(now A14), before doing anything. The system seems to run reasonable quiet and cool with this version. The fans come on only occasionly when on for some time and under load. I don't use Windows very often so it is hard to tell if it is any worse or better in Windows.
Later on I installed the development tools to compile a couple of programs.
The best bet for dual booting the Dell machine is to use a good partition tool, such as Partition Magic. The partition tool I used, and whose name shall never pass my lips again, failed after resizing the partition down to the 10 gig I wanted for Windows. Windows refused to boot and it looked easier to re-install Windows than to fix it. It does take a lot of time to re-install all the Windows drivers so its probably worth giving Partition Magic a go.
When partitioning the drive please bare in mind that there is a small dos partition at the start of the drive. Best to leave this alone, as I did, as apparently it contains some hard drive diagnostics.
Apart form the problem partitioning the installation went fine. Anyone who has done a RedHat or Fedora installation should have no problems. I did notice a bit of an issue with the optical drive which is an NEC DVD burner. It seems tricky to get the Fedora cd's to mount properly whether during the installation or adding programs afterwards. It seems to want to continually poll the cd so a bit of persistence is required. Playing music cd's doesn't seem to cause any problems, when I think of it I will try some other cd's.