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IBM ThinkPad 380D Adventures

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Reply 21 of 32, by bjwil1991

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Update on the beast. Bought a fair condition ThinkPad 380D with a TFT display and Li-Ion battery (cells are shot) for $10 at a consignment shop yesterday. Decided to swap the screens around so that the good looking ThinkPad 380D can have the TFT display, however, the poor shaped ThinkPad 380D is missing a lot of things: screws, CD-ROM and bracket, plus the bezel for the FDD, and the shielding that goes above the CD-ROM/FDD combo (piece of metal that screws in next to the combo drive or above it, to the display hinge mounts, and the front of the chassis). Planning on fixing up that one and put in a TFT display for DOS/Windows gaming. On the positive side, the poor 380D I bought yesterday boots up after I replaced the RTC battery (good thing I had a spare) and boots into Windows 98. The HDD in the poor 380D works without issues as well, so that's a good sign and I'll be doing a recovery on that system after I buy parts for it.

HDD still works and the FDD was swapped to the good looking 380D as the one that was in my first 380D wouldn't read diskettes (kept making a noise and said general read error with a 1.44MB diskette, but Lemmings on a 720K diskette got read), so I copied the files onto my modern PC (Windows 10) that has an LS-120 drive inserted and connected to the SATA port using IDE mode (ports 5-6 are set to IDE for the DVD-RW and LS-120; ports 1-4 are AHCI for the SSD, SSHD, HDD, and BD-RE) and formatted the diskette with the laptop, copied the files again, and installed the modem drivers.

Discord: https://discord.gg/U5dJw7x
Systems from C64 to FX-6300.

Reply 22 of 32, by FazzaGBR

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Just picked up an IBM ThinkPad 380D myself, had the 161 and 163 errors which I sorted by replacing the CMOS battery but now I'm getting a 174 error which I believe is a "bad system configuration" but I cant work out how to get in to the BIOS to check all the settings, some say to hold down F1 and then power it on but that doesn do anything.

My personal website blog: https://www.retrocomputing.co.uk/ and my new Retro Computing YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCL8UT2gm3EvNl2tvomN7reg

Reply 23 of 32, by bjwil1991

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That's the only way to get into the BIOS. Press and hold F1 and then power on the system. Check the keyboard connections to make sure they aren't loose.

Discord: https://discord.gg/U5dJw7x
Systems from C64 to FX-6300.

Reply 24 of 32, by FazzaGBR

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bjwil1991 wrote on 2020-01-29, 13:30:

That's the only way to get into the BIOS. Press and hold F1 and then power on the system. Check the keyboard connections to make sure they aren't loose.

Mmmm. If I hold down any other key and power the laptop on I get a 301 keyboard error (stuck key I assume), but if I hold down F1 and then power on the laptop I dont get the 301 error but I also dont get in to the BIOS/CMOS.

Do you know if the BIOS is stored on the laptop itself or is it (like some old laptops) stored on a hidden partition on the hard disk drive as if it's the latter then it could be a hard disk drive issue maybe?

My personal website blog: https://www.retrocomputing.co.uk/ and my new Retro Computing YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCL8UT2gm3EvNl2tvomN7reg

Reply 26 of 32, by FazzaGBR

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bjwil1991 wrote on 2020-01-29, 21:09:

The BIOS is normally stored on the laptop itself and not on the HDD.

Thanks for that, at least I know that's no the issue then. Back to the drawing board it is then...

[EDIT]

I took the laptop apart during my (extended) lunch break today, removed the HDD, replaced it with another one I just happened to have lying around and low and behold F1 now lets me in to the BIOS! It seems a faulty hard disk drive can prevent you going in to the BIOS settings! Windows 95 is now currently installing - not sure if I need any drivers for this or if they are all included with Windows 95 itself?

My personal website blog: https://www.retrocomputing.co.uk/ and my new Retro Computing YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCL8UT2gm3EvNl2tvomN7reg

Reply 29 of 32, by FazzaGBR

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bjwil1991 wrote on 2020-06-06, 23:06:

Here's the archived recovery media: https://archive.org/details/thinkpad380rec

Thanks for that! Downloading it now for when I get time to use it 😀

My personal website blog: https://www.retrocomputing.co.uk/ and my new Retro Computing YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCL8UT2gm3EvNl2tvomN7reg

Reply 30 of 32, by sangokushi

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I checked ThinkPad 380D may have a DTSN or TFT screen.
http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Category:380D

Is there anyway I can tell which screen the unit has? I may buy one from eBay. But it's difficult to tell if the screen is TFT or not.

Reply 31 of 32, by bjwil1991

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TFT has the sun icon for brightness control and DSTN has the Yin-Yang (or half circle filled/1st quarter moon) icon for contrast.

DSTN is crappy as it has a whole lot of shadows. TFT is better for DOS games and OSes that scroll constantly.

Discord: https://discord.gg/U5dJw7x
Systems from C64 to FX-6300.

Reply 32 of 32, by sangokushi

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bjwil1991 wrote on 2020-09-27, 00:57:

TFT has the sun icon for brightness control and DSTN has the Yin-Yang (or half circle filled/1st quarter moon) icon for contrast.

DSTN is crappy as it has a whole lot of shadows. TFT is better for DOS games and OSes that scroll constantly.

Thanks!! @bjwil1991 Do you know if the docking station works in DOS without special drivers? Meaning DOS game can detect the gamepad attached to the joystick port on the docking station.