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First post, by ericmackrodt

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Hello everyone!

I got a Toshiba Libretto 50ct from Japan without a hard drive. So the screen is completely blank when I turn it on.
I put an SD to IDE adapter in it because I heard that that's normal with these laptops when they don't have a hard drive but I'm still getting the same issue, except that now the hard drive led turns on as well.

Now, I don't think the LCD is broken because, when I press F12 as I turn it on, I get a message on the screen saying that the laptop is ready to have its battery updated.

I have seen other posts around it and people saying they managed to fix it but I couldn't find a clear way to fix it myself.

Does anyone have any experience with this laptop and would be able to help me?

Thank you all in advance!

Reply 1 of 11, by britain4

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It could well just not like the adapter, do you have an IDE drive to test it with? It's certainly normal behaviour for my 110CT when there's no hard drive in it or one it doesn't like.

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- Toshiba Libretto 110CT, 300MHz, 96MB RAM

Reply 2 of 11, by ericmackrodt

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britain4 wrote on 2021-07-05, 08:34:

It could well just not like the adapter, do you have an IDE drive to test it with? It's certainly normal behaviour for my 110CT when there's no hard drive in it or one it doesn't like.

Hey thanks for the answer.
I can try to extract one from another laptop, but I don't think I have anything that is smaller than 8gb if that's something this laptop needs.

Reply 3 of 11, by britain4

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ericmackrodt wrote on 2021-07-05, 09:16:
britain4 wrote on 2021-07-05, 08:34:

It could well just not like the adapter, do you have an IDE drive to test it with? It's certainly normal behaviour for my 110CT when there's no hard drive in it or one it doesn't like.

Hey thanks for the answer.
I can try to extract one from another laptop, but I don't think I have anything that is smaller than 8gb if that's something this laptop needs.

That could well be the issue - what size is the SD card you’re using with it as I know they do have an 8GB BIOS limit.

I’m not sure what the limit is on a 110CT to be able to test it - mine currently has a 60GB drive in it which works fine.

If it was mine I’d just be going through process of elimination with it which is annoying if you don’t have any drives handy but it sounds like if you had something <8GB you would probably be good to go

- AMD K6-II 400MHZ, PCChips M598LMR, Voodoo
- P-MMX 233MHz, FIC PA2013, S3 ViRGE + Voodoo
- PII 400MHz, MSI MS6119, ATI Rage Pro Turbo + Voodoo2 SLI
- PIII 933MHz, ECS P6IPAT, Voodoo5 5500
- Toshiba Libretto 110CT, 300MHz, 96MB RAM

Reply 4 of 11, by Byrd

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My experience with Libretto 50/60/70 is that the LCD CCFL takes quite some time to warm up, a good 10 - 20 minutes especially on well used machines. Hold down ESC (or press repeatedly) until the menu for getting into the BIOS comes up pressing F1. Lastly, a HD is needed but any size will do - only later on you need to partition < 8GB, leave 500MB empty then format anything past that as big as you like.

Lastly, there is a BIOS upgrade V6.3 for the 50CT, but you need a working PCMCIA floppy drive to flash it. Having said that, any PCMCIA floppy you can find will probably work.

Reply 5 of 11, by ericmackrodt

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britain4 wrote on 2021-07-05, 09:28:
That could well be the issue - what size is the SD card you’re using with it as I know they do have an 8GB BIOS limit. […]
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ericmackrodt wrote on 2021-07-05, 09:16:
britain4 wrote on 2021-07-05, 08:34:

It could well just not like the adapter, do you have an IDE drive to test it with? It's certainly normal behaviour for my 110CT when there's no hard drive in it or one it doesn't like.

Hey thanks for the answer.
I can try to extract one from another laptop, but I don't think I have anything that is smaller than 8gb if that's something this laptop needs.

That could well be the issue - what size is the SD card you’re using with it as I know they do have an 8GB BIOS limit.

I’m not sure what the limit is on a 110CT to be able to test it - mine currently has a 60GB drive in it which works fine.

If it was mine I’d just be going through process of elimination with it which is annoying if you don’t have any drives handy but it sounds like if you had something <8GB you would probably be good to go

I tried it with a 16gb, a 1gb and a 128mb sd cards. I'll check my laptops tomorrow to see if any of them has a hard drive that would work on it, I think it's gonna be hard to find one with 8gb or less though.

Reply 6 of 11, by wiretap

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For my Libretto I used a mSATA to IDE 2.5" caddy. I setup the drive in modern Windows first with Diskpart to make a 4GB boot volume. I've never had good luck with SD to IDE adapters.. retro hardware can sometimes be picky with them. CF, SATA, and mSATA has always worked for me, from Amiga/8088 all the way to modern Win98 hardware.

But yes, without proper HDD recognition, my Libretto just displays a black/off screen.

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Reply 7 of 11, by britain4

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Solid HDD light and no POST is definitely the symptoms I’ve had before with a bad/incompatible adapter.

I’ve tried CF and SATA too all with good results. I’d be picking an 8GB CF card or something up just to eliminate the SD setup as a cause (which I think is likely).

- AMD K6-II 400MHZ, PCChips M598LMR, Voodoo
- P-MMX 233MHz, FIC PA2013, S3 ViRGE + Voodoo
- PII 400MHz, MSI MS6119, ATI Rage Pro Turbo + Voodoo2 SLI
- PIII 933MHz, ECS P6IPAT, Voodoo5 5500
- Toshiba Libretto 110CT, 300MHz, 96MB RAM

Reply 10 of 11, by ericmackrodt

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Yeah, sadly it didn't work with my msata. The led in the msata turns on and the hard drive led on the laptop stays solid green but there's no sign of life aside from that.
I'm hoping the CF card solves that.

Edit:

I got a hard drive from another toshiba laptop and no luck. The hard drive turns on and the hdd led on the laptop turns on momentarily, turns off and there's no sign of life.
Granted, the hard drive is probably bigger than 8gb, so the CF card is my last hope at this point.
I wish I could test it with the hard drive of another libretto.

I made sure to see if the F12 still works and it does, the lcd comes on with the bios update message.

Reply 11 of 11, by ericmackrodt

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Yep, I got my CF card and no luck. The still gives me a blank screen.
At this point I'm giving up, I have tested multiple hard drives. Unless I need something in the file system for it to be detected, I don't think it's working.