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Hardware > Notebooks/barebones

IBM Thinkpad T42


IBM Thinkpad T42

Mark: Good

Just want to let you know I successfully changed my new Thinkpad T42 from a single 75GB Windows + 4GB recovery partition to a multiboot system with Windows in a 12GB primary, IBM Bootmanager, eCS in a 1 GB logical, several data partitions, and room for Linux :-)

The Windows is the original (resized) Windows installation by IBM, so all the goodies that come with it are still there. I may post a more extensive scenario later on my website or on VOICE, but in short the steps I used where:

  1. Make sure the system was NEVER booted before I got it, to prevent the automatic conversion of FAT32 to NTFS which would make resizing more difficult.
  2. Boot with a DFSee CDROM, and resize the FAT32 primary to the desired size, I used 12 GB, which was just a little more than the minimum possible. The NETT contents of the partition is just 4.6 GB, but is spread a bit over the start of the partition.
  3. Let the system boot normally, allowing it to convert that partition to NTFS and initialize everything for normal use.
  4. Using DFSee, add the IBM Bootmanager directly after Windows, and add Windows to its menu, then test if it still boots correctly.
  5. Create a logical HPFS of 1.1 GB and data partitions as desired, again using DFSee and create the required LVM information as well.
  6. Boot the eCS installation CDROM (1.2) and install eCS, I used Easy install and let it install into the prepared logical. No real problems there ...
  7. Format the other (HPFS/JFS) data partition for use by eCS and copy data/applications over the network from my desktop machine

Hardware not supported (yet): Out of the box all things work except the modem and the Intel 2200 wireless NIC and PC-card. The PC-card driver I imstalled was advertized as being for T40/41 in eCS install but did not work very well. I replaced that by the PC-card drivers version 8.0 that I got from the eComStation website, and these work just fine.

Problems encountered: Shortly after installing eCS 1.2 (probably caused/triggered by the install) the Windows installation failed to boot, with a black screen and cursor in the upper-left corner . I could not find a cause using DFSee diagnostic, checking BOOT.INI and hidden-sectors offset and so on. Then used a regular Windows-XP PRO installation CDROM to get to the recovery console, I used FIXBOOT as well as BOOTICFG and that fixed the problem.

After a few days of use (both Windows and eCS) this problem came back ...

This time I made an image-dump of the Windows partition before fixing it, and only used the FIXBOOT from the Windows Recovery Console. (which worked :-)

Examining the differences before and after fixing I found that the 2nd sector of the partition, directly after the bootsector had changed. This is the 1st sector of the NTLDR file, which usually starts with a UNICODE signarture value of 'NTLDR'. In this case that had changed to 'NTHDD' and about a hundred other bytes had changed near that as well.

So this does NOT look like random damage by eCS, but rather Windows itself deciding to change that and make itself unbootable. Perhaps it is caused by eCS messing with hardware settings or whatever ...

Anyway, next time it happens I will try to restore just that one sector using DFSee and see if that fixes it too.

Otherwise I am quite happy with the new T42, with 1GB of RAM and the 80GB disk, it is more than 5 times faster than the A20p it replaced, and it is almost three times faster than the Celeron-1200 desktop system that I use for daily work! (speed compared using full recompile/build of all DFSee versions :-) It is also smaller (14 inch 1024x768) and lighter than the A20p was.

The 1GB memory is needed for SVISTA and VPC testing, as well as for Photoshop CS under Windows, since the Laptop doubles as Photo-storage when I am on the road with my digital SLR too ....

Under eCS all USB stuff I tried sofar works (requires 'Refresh removables' sometimes) and even suspending eCS in full operation and then waking it up hours later works like a charm, including the wired LAN connections!


Information is sent by: Jan van Wijk -- 2005-03-16 19:41:35



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Martin Iturbide
2006-01-10 04:58:18

My T42 model comes with an "Intel Pro/Wireless LAN 2100 3B Mini PCI Adapter" for wireless connection. It works fine under OS/2 Warp 4.52 with the GenMac wrapper available at netlabs. Intel 2100 Driver.

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