Many new developments here. It turns out that the 160-gig drive DOES fit, but you have to remove an adapter from the old drive pins and put it on the replacement drive. I would never have known about this adapter (it's pretty well hidden when you look at the drive), but I happened to read some comments on Dell's store for replacements and upgrades and a few users mentioned it. I took the old drive out again and looked and what do you know? There was the adapter! When I put it on the replacement drive, I was able to install it. It would have helped if Dell had mentioned the adapter *anywhere* at all. Many users posted that the drive didn't fit and were unaware of the adapter. If I hadn't read many comments I'd still be using the 20-gig drive. :-(
The computer is too old for 48-bit LBA, so 128 formatted gigs is the maximum the computer can use. Partition Commander said not to format past this point. (There is no jumper to limit the size of the drive the BIOS sees to what it can use.)
I made a partition for / and a partition for /home (and a swap partition) and installed VL6 Light on the new big drive. At this time I have just 256 megs of RAM but I have a 512-meg stick coming next week and I may spring for another 512, to max the computer out at a gig.
I'm using a mouse but I haven't disabled the touchpad. So far it has not been an issue. It doesn't act erratic like touchpads often do, it doesn't send clicks seemingly by accident, and it doesn't interfere with typing. So if it behaves I'll leave it "as is." This Dell laptop has the best keyboard of any laptop I've used.
VL6 Light isn't "light" any more, as I've installed many additional programs and I don't care how "heavy" they are. I like Light because I can make it exactly what I want it to be. I actually like IceWM quite a bit, though it's a bit of a pain to configure it with text files.
The Intel 82845G/GLI Brookdale G1/GE graphics chipset is proving to be somewhat problematic. I'll start a thread about some of the problems and hope someone can help me take care of the loose ends. But I've been using the laptop for about 10 hours today without problems.
This has been like getting a new computer! It performs really well on just 256 megs (but does use some swap), so when it has 640 or 1 gig it should be everything I could want.