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First post, by mikeyp

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Hi all

I have an otherwise functional Toshiba T1850C but the Conner CP2124 (120Mb) has the arm sticking in the park position. If I open the lid and free it up, it'll then power on and read/write just fine. Obviously this isn't a long term solution. It seems the BIOS of this machine needs very specific hard drives (listed here https://blog.nicholasandre.com/toshiba-t1850- … before-windows/) but obviously there aren't any working ones for sensible money. Any attempt to use a drive of even the same size but a different model results in the BIOS complaining it can't detect a drive and refusing to boot. It won't allow anything to be selected.

Does anybody know of either a way to mimic the existing drive with say, an SD adapter but spoofing the identity or know of a guide on hacking the BIOS to recognise something else?

Thanks

Reply 1 of 38, by keenmaster486

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Your best bet is probably to find a Compact Flash card that you can use with an adapter. Maybe BIOS overlays would work to make it see larger drive sizes - otherwise, just use a low-capacity CF card.

I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.
World's foremost 486 enjoyer.

Reply 2 of 38, by mikeyp

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keenmaster486 wrote:

Your best bet is probably to find a Compact Flash card that you can use with an adapter. Maybe BIOS overlays would work to make it see larger drive sizes - otherwise, just use a low-capacity CF card.

No go. The BIOS has been pre-programmed to only recognise 3 hard drives with no option to change anything. I even tried a 120MB hard drive from a 486 toshiba laptop which won't POST. It won't even allow you to boot from floppy if it can't detect a hard drive. It just says error - no hard drive detected, press F1 to enter Setup which is the only option. An overlay would have been ideal if it would do anything other than say "no drive" in the BIOS.

Reply 3 of 38, by mikeyp

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I had a look in the BIOS using HxD and can see it specifies the following drive sizes and models:

Capacity No Drive 20MB 30MB 40MB 60MB 80MB 120MB 130MB
CP2024 CP2034 JD-E2825P CP2044 JD-E2850P CP2064 MK1122FC CP2084 JD-E2085M MK2024FC CP2124 MK2124FC AB140 AH260 AH280 CP2088 JD-E2130M

At a guess, nothing other than the specified models will even register.

I've since found this thread Re: Toshiba T5200 mods and upgrades and reached out to IanB who seems to have found a way to mod the bioses.

Reply 4 of 38, by keenmaster486

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Could you also modify a CF card or some other IDE drive to register as one of those models?

I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.
World's foremost 486 enjoyer.

Reply 5 of 38, by mikeyp

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keenmaster486 wrote:

Could you also modify a CF card or some other IDE drive to register as one of those models?

This is what I was asking in can I mimic the original drive... I've not had any luck searching. I'm hoping IanB comes up trumps with the moded BIOS.

Reply 6 of 38, by Richi

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Hey mike,
I know this is an old topic, but maybe you could find a solution to it. I also have several old Toshiba laptops with this problem.
I found a German page with a similar problem:
https://www.winhistory-forum.net/showthread.p … id=13332&page=3
The solution was to use anydrive. I tried it on a T1850, and used a 1GB CF card with a CF-44IDE adapter. I configured the CF card with the specs of CP2064, but still no possibility to use it in my T1850 nor a possibility to change the HDD in the original BIOS.

Thanks already!
Cheers, Thomas

Reply 7 of 38, by mikeyp

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Never found a solution. I ended up picking up another with a damaged screen to harvest the hard drive from. I’m still hoping to see about hacking/ flashing the firmware for a disk on module but time is scarce with covid and two children.

Reply 8 of 38, by Richi

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mikeyp wrote on 2021-02-20, 20:14:

Never found a solution. I ended up picking up another with a damaged screen to harvest the hard drive from. I’m still hoping to see about hacking/ flashing the firmware for a disk on module but time is scarce with covid and two children.

Hey mike,
thanks for your reply. To keep hope a bit up: for the T2000SXe, which has the same issue, a BIOS was modded and I use in both of my 2 machines at the moment CF cards. https://github.com/biketronic/T2000SXe-BIOS
It seems the trick is to skip this testing of a specific hard drive (searching for the string).
I never modded a BIOS before, but maybe someone is here and can compare the original and the modded one (you can download both BIN at github). Maybe it is also possible for us to modify.

In the mentioned link the guy even extends the possibilites. Usually the BIOS searches for specific string values of the HDDs. If not there --> no HDD selectable.
1. it seems that the BIOS now skips this.
2. additionally he added a 504MB HDD you can select.

For my easy understanding it wont be necessary to have a 504MB drive. For me it would be fine, if you could force the BIOS to use one of the common geometries of the HDDs and just build in a CF with larger geometry and format it to nice 60 or 120 MB, I dont care if i loose 800MB because I use a 1GB CF card.

Cheers,
Thomas

Reply 9 of 38, by weedeewee

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Just adding my 2 cents... there are these SD to CF adapters which have an eeprom onboard that houses the firmware and it also contains the name with which the SD2CF card identifies itself. one might change that into the name that the BIOS expects...

Right to repair is fundamental. You own it, you're allowed to fix it.
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Reply 10 of 38, by mikeyp

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weedeewee wrote on 2021-02-20, 22:54:

Just adding my 2 cents... there are these SD to CF adapters which have an eeprom onboard that houses the firmware and it also contains the name with which the SD2CF card identifies itself. one might change that into the name that the BIOS expects...

Exactly what I’m hoping to do but haven’t found any instructions/guide yet from anyone else who’s done it. As I said, a bit beyond my level of ability.

Reply 11 of 38, by Richi

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weedeewee wrote on 2021-02-20, 22:54:

Just adding my 2 cents... there are these SD to CF adapters which have an eeprom onboard that houses the firmware and it also contains the name with which the SD2CF card identifies itself. one might change that into the name that the BIOS expects...

Sounds like a good idea! Maybe it is then possible to "emulate" the Conner HDD. To be honest I was not aware of such things till now. Do you have any suggestion what could be used or send us a link.
Thank you!

Reply 12 of 38, by weedeewee

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https://imgur.com/a/6LfT5tS
search terms...
SD to CF adapter INIC-2051 FC1307A

I was hoping it would've been the INIC2501 chip, since I already had some mixed results with th FC1307A, so was hoping to test a different chip, but, yeah well. that's the id that was in the firmware so I'm assuming that's the chip id. Can't read it anymore since they sanded the id off of the chip 😐

Haven't read out the firmware. So no use in asking me questions about it.

Best case it would be as easy as taking the ID, searching it in the firmware, replacing it with the ID you want, and reflashing the altered firmware on the eeprom.
More annoying case would be similar but would have to find some checksum that gets checked by the main IC and correct that also.

Right to repair is fundamental. You own it, you're allowed to fix it.
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Reply 13 of 38, by mikeyp

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I was looking at a similar solution with the "SINTECHI HighSpeed SD to CF Adapter V1.0".

If it helps, my drive identifies as below:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
(3) Conner Peripherals 121MB - CP2124
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Model : Conner Peripherals 121MB - CP2124
Firmware : 2.36
Serial Number : BB00VP8
Disk Size : 121 MB (0.12/----/----/0.07)
Buffer Size : 32 KB
Queue Depth : 1
# of Sectors : 237744
Rotation Rate : Unknown
Interface : Parallel ATA
Major Version :
Minor Version : ----
Transfer Mode : |
Power On Hours : Unknown
Power On Count : Unknown
Temperature : Unknown
Health Status : Unknown
Features :
APM Level : ----
AAM Level : ----
Drive Letter : E:

The BIOS seems to look for any of the following models, so looks to be a partial string match.

Offset 8980 to 8A0D inclusive.

CP2024.CP2034.JD-E2825P.CP2044.JD-E2850P.CP2064.MK1122FC.CP2084.JD-E2085M.MK2024FC.CP2124.MK2124FC.AB140.AH260.AH280.CP2088.JD-E2130M

The other option would be to change one of these in the BIOS but again, not by field of expertise.

I also have a selection of BIOSes/updates from that era so if needed can provide those also. If someone can tell me how to dump the BIOS in DOS, I can do that too. I don't fancy desoldering that chip to read it though I could at a push. Some while back I bought a few spares and some sockets but never got around to getting it out along with my hot air station.

Reply 14 of 38, by Richi

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mikeyp wrote on 2021-02-21, 18:06:
I was looking at a similar solution with the "SINTECHI HighSpeed SD to CF Adapter V1.0". […]
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I was looking at a similar solution with the "SINTECHI HighSpeed SD to CF Adapter V1.0".

If it helps, my drive identifies as below:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
(3) Conner Peripherals 121MB - CP2124
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Model : Conner Peripherals 121MB - CP2124
Firmware : 2.36
Serial Number : BB00VP8
Disk Size : 121 MB (0.12/----/----/0.07)
Buffer Size : 32 KB
Queue Depth : 1
# of Sectors : 237744
Rotation Rate : Unknown
Interface : Parallel ATA
Major Version :
Minor Version : ----
Transfer Mode : |
Power On Hours : Unknown
Power On Count : Unknown
Temperature : Unknown
Health Status : Unknown
Features :
APM Level : ----
AAM Level : ----
Drive Letter : E:

The BIOS seems to look for any of the following models, so looks to be a partial string match.

Offset 8980 to 8A0D inclusive.

CP2024.CP2034.JD-E2825P.CP2044.JD-E2850P.CP2064.MK1122FC.CP2084.JD-E2085M.MK2024FC.CP2124.MK2124FC.AB140.AH260.AH280.CP2088.JD-E2130M

The other option would be to change one of these in the BIOS but again, not by field of expertise.

I also have a selection of BIOSes/updates from that era so if needed can provide those also. If someone can tell me how to dump the BIOS in DOS, I can do that too. I don't fancy desoldering that chip to read it though I could at a push. Some while back I bought a few spares and some sockets but never got around to getting it out along with my hot air station.

Hey mike, youre right. I couldn't find any additional stuff, like geometries which are stored in the BIOS.

On a newer Toshiba laptop I can already use CF cards freely. I used "WHATIDE" to get more information about the CF card and its Model string. Due to the listed strings in the BIOS are just used in the "Model" of the HDD information it would be interesting to just delete "CP2024" and use a part of the CF card string there, ideally again exactly 6 digits.
Maybe it could be recognized?

Maybe also @lanB has an idea?

Cheers, Thomas

Reply 16 of 38, by TronadaSport

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Hi! My name is Javier and I am writing to you from Spain, I have 2 Toshiba T1850 laptops that I need to use and both have a dead hard disk, it is heard but it does not work ... the floppy drive also had problems but it is already repaired!

Has anyone managed to put a solution as a replacement for the 1850 hard drive? IDE / SC, IDE / CF adapter or similar ??
How much maximum disk capacity
Could it be installed on this laptop?
I hope you can help me. Kind regards.

Reply 17 of 38, by NotebookKiller

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Hello. I've posed such a problem with my T4400C, but managed to "fix" it. The solution is to use IDE-to-SD converter based on FC1307 chip. I've changed the device name in firmware from "SINTECHI HighSpeed SD to CF Adapter V1.0" to "TOSHIBA MK2124FC " at offset 00003F32 and correcting the checksum at 00003FFE to B249 (your's can be different). After that any SD card inserted in this adapter will be seen as Toshiba MK2124FC 2.5" 124MB disk on Toshiba laptop, but any modern PC or USB-to-IDE adapter will see it's full capacity. Create the partition with FDISK on Toshiba and enjoy!

UPD: Attached fixed firmware

Attachments

  • Filename
    firmware.zip
    File size
    15.5 KiB
    Downloads
    21 downloads
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception

Reply 18 of 38, by weedeewee

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NotebookKiller wrote on 2021-11-17, 11:17:

Hello. I've posed such a problem with my T4400C, but managed to "fix" it. The solution is to use IDE-to-SD converter based on FC1307 chip. I've changed the device name in firmware from "SINTECHI HighSpeed SD to CF Adapter V1.0" to "TOSHIBA MK2124FC " at offset 00003F32 and correcting the checksum at 00003FFE to B249 (your's can be different). After that any SD card inserted in this adapter will be seen as Toshiba MK2124FC 2.5" 124MB disk on Toshiba laptop, but any modern PC or USB-to-IDE adapter will see it's full capacity. Create the partition with FDISK on Toshiba and enjoy!

UPD: Attached fixed firmware

neat! nicely done . I wonder, if you use linux or windows 95 with native ide drivers, if it would be possible to use a larger CF card for extra storage space. like having a 124MB boot partition and anything above that for storage.
though it will only be available in linux or windows9x.
actually i'm fairly certain it should work, but ymmv.

Right to repair is fundamental. You own it, you're allowed to fix it.
How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
Do not ask Why !