Thanks guys. Of course I can copy anything using PM but the system must be installed anyway. During install it wipes PM from memory and I again have to answer questions "blind" and even if I manage this the system must be tweeked for external monitor and I don't know how.
I tried live CDs to get entire OS in memory and then install using external monitor. Old versions and "compact" distros have entire install in "dos" mode: external monitor doesn't work. New versions require better hardware: I have only 512Mb ram and what is worse the video card has only 32Mb of memory despite processor is Pentium-M 1.7GHz.
I tried to find D800 bios screenshots to try blind setup but couldn't find so far. Will try again.
The function combo fn-F8 (LCD/CRT)doesn't work even in "native" winXP some drivers are probably required. Anyway I tried fn-F8 every time - no luck.
Mint 12 LiveCD installed itself in memory and fired up external monitor but few mouse movements froze it completely so...
Fedora 17 showed its fireworks and then display turned black with moving (!) mouse pointer: I need to do some tweeks to X probably and don't know how.
Of course I consider new lcd panel, not brand new priced like better used laptop but used panel and this is tricky market: will take a while. The panel is LTN154P1-L01 (WSXGA=1680x1050) and I ordered it in 2 places...silence so far. They offer LTN154X1 but it's WXGA=1280x800.
In meantime I installed Ubuntu 8.4 on 30Gb hdd and made partition image with partimage. I'll try to apply the image to the laptop's hdd and then restore grub on mbr. However hardware is quite different and it could be just vaste of time.
jefro, what bios you did blindly? Mine is Phoenix, year 2004 but Dell could order already "delled" one from Phoenix...
Anyway I would try if know what to do