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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:01 am 
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Location: New York, NY
Just picked up a used, OS'less thinkpad x60 and I'm have the devil's own time trying to get an os onto it.

PC is an ibm (pre-lenovo, or at least pre lenovo logo) thinkpad X60 (mini laptop) intel celeron core duo, 3G RAM, 80G fujitsu SATA HDD, ethernet and a bunch of USB sockets (i'm betting on on 2 USB 2.0 controllers). Came with a docking station, which is equipped with a DVD r/w drive shoved into an ibm ultrabay.

The issue is that, after passing the POST successfully, I recieve a list of boot devices queried. All results are either "not detected (for items which are physically disconnected)" or, "No OS available" for physically connected devices EVEN IF THEY HAVE AN INSTALLER /IMAGE. The HDD was initially empty. I have tested it and even mounted it on another pc. It's fine.

I've tried: Debian installer CD, Boot image on a USB stick, and NETBOOT from my LAN. All efforts return a "No available OS" from the BIOS on the device in question. I also tried a windows XP boot CD with the same results.

I installed grub on the boot sector of the HDD from another PC, reinstalled it and booted. GRUB booted ok, but there wasn't anything else on the HDD, so it only proves I can boot from from the HDD.

Now, I'm also looking at bootstrapping an i386 debian system onto the HDD and then reinstalling it but this should NOT be necessary. Does anybody know how to fix the alternative boot issue? I get lots of google hits on this issue but none of the threads actually provide answers (that I've found)

For further info, the device precedence list is set correctly with all of the aforementioned devices higher in the boot list than the hdd. Also, it bears mention that lenovo's site says you can boot from a device attached ultrabay but not a docking station ultrabay. If this is true, then there's no way to boot from a cd to the X60 b/c there IS no local ultrabay in an x60.

I really don't want to buy a usb cd drive. Based on the behaviour, so far, I doubt I could boot from THAT either. Please tell me there's somet BIOS setting that I'm overlooking...


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:16 am 
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I just put an Ubuntu 9.10 Live install CD into the Ultrabay CDRW/DVD combo drive of my Ultrabase docked X60, and it booted right up to Linux. Anything else that you'd like me to try? If you think about it, if you could not boot off of that Ultrabay CDRom drive what use would it be?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:29 am 
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Thanks for the tip, Harry. I'm glad your thinkpad boots up. Mine does not. I just tried an ubuntu CD. It didn't boot, either.

My T30 has no problems booting from any of these media, so I know they all work. I notice also that the indicator on the DVD drive maintains a constant periodic flashing when the media is present. That doesn't seem right. The drive works, I tested it in a colleague's T40 (they have the same ultrabay).


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 12:05 pm 
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Lets start with the basics. You have an X6 Ultrabase, correct? What is the FRU # on the bottom of the Ultrabase? Also what is the FRU# of the CDRW drive? In BIOS, on the start up tab, boot section, the CDRW is listed as first in boot order? (Hold F1 on boot to get into BIOS).


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 12:51 pm 
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Docking station: Thinkpad x6 Ulatrabse Fru 42w3108
Lenovo DVD multi Fru 39t2677

Yes, Asm mentioned earlier, the Dvd (ATAPI DVD 0) is first in the bootlist


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:22 pm 
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Ok, everything appears to be compatible and set correctly in BIOS. We can assume that the drive works since it was tested in another machine. So, that leaves the Ultrabase itself or the X60. There is only one way that I am aware of to isolate the two, and that is to try the X60 in another Ultrabase or to try the Ultrabase with another X60. I can offer to test either for you if you want to ship them to me.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:33 pm 
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Appreciate the offer and maybe I'll need to do that. For now, though, I'm going to try and solve this, here. Maybe I'll reflash the bios... if I can get the drive to read the the media, that is.

I'm more concerned about the inability to boot from USB or the LAN than I am about the integrity of the docking station, to be honest.


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