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Restoring and Optimizing T42 for Windows 98/XP Games

T4x series specific matters only
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neuropathy
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Restoring and Optimizing T42 for Windows 98/XP Games

#1 Post by neuropathy » Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:16 pm

Hi everyone,

About 15 years ago, I advised my family in buying a T42 ThinkPad, which has sat around for years, but I’ve always loved the feel of it.

I’ve opened it up, upgraded the RAM to 2GB, replaces the CMOS and replaced the battery. I cleaned the laptop, as well, and installed Windows XP SP2, which is running well.

I won’t use the machine for any web browsing or work, just playing older games.

I’m considering installing an SSD and dual-booting Windows 98 and XP.

The T42 has a 1.7GHz CPU and the ATi 7500 32Mb GPU

Does anyone know how I’d determine if the display is the fancier XVGA+? I believe this is the 14” model, as I measured 14” diagonally across the display.

Is it worth replacing the motherboard to get a better GPU, like the 64Mb ATi 9600 or the 128Mb ATi Fire GL?

At the same time, would it help upgrading the CPU to the 2.1GHz chip?

Will there be heating issues to consider and accounting t for? Anything I should be sure the motherboard has if I’m looking at replacements?

Any favorite games I missed back in the day? Some of mine were: Stonekeep, Duke Nukem, Starcraft, Rayman 2, various flight simulators...

I’m really looking forward to bringing this great 32-bit machine back into my life.

Thank you!
T42 - 1.7GHz Pentium M, ATi 7500 32Mb, 2GB RAM, CMOS and battery replacement.

Next upgrades: SSD, CPU? Motherboard:GPU?

dr_st
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Re: Restoring and Optimizing T42 for Windows 98/XP Games

#2 Post by dr_st » Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:23 am

What is the model type (MTM) of the machine (should be on a sticker on the bottom)?

If you are thinking replacing the board - it's almost like getting a whole new T42 system. If you decide to - then yes, Radeon 9600 can give a nice boost. If you only plan to play older games, it won't matter.

Do you know of specific games that you want to run that will run on 98 but not on XP? Do you plan to dual boot? It's not hard to set up, but you either need to install 98 before XP, or tinker with it a bit, if you already have XP installed.
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), X1 Carbon (20HQ), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG
X61 7673-V2V, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

Screamer
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Re: Restoring and Optimizing T42 for Windows 98/XP Games

#3 Post by Screamer » Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:55 am

neuropathy wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:16 pm
Does anyone know how I’d determine if the display is the fancier XVGA+? I believe this is the 14” model, as I measured 14” diagonally across the display.
Right-click on an unoccupied space of your desktop, then click properties. There should be a window that is titled 'Display Properties' that would pop up afterwards, then click the 'Settings' tab.

Once that is done, have a look at the 'Screen area' slider, that should tell you about the current resolution setting. If it is set all the way to the right till it shows a resolution of 1400 by 1050 pixels, that means you have an SXGA+ panel. If it shows 1024 by 768 pixels instead, that means you have a regular XGA panel.

By the way, did you mean SXGA+ (1400x1050)? XGA+ (1152x864) was a very uncommon screen resolution, and I believe it was only available in the HTC Shift X9500.
neuropathy wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:16 pm
Is it worth replacing the motherboard to get a better GPU, like the 64Mb ATi 9600 or the 128Mb ATi Fire GL?
That would depend on your games' system requirements, but generally anything after 2004 would be quite a hassle to run with a Mobility Radeon 7500.
neuropathy wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:16 pm
At the same time, would it help upgrading the CPU to the 2.1GHz chip?
For playing mostly older games made for Windows, not exactly.

If you are talking about emulators, such as DeSmuME, or mupen64Plus, then you would need the extra performance from the Pentium M 765.
neuropathy wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:16 pm
Will there be heating issues to consider and accounting t for? Anything I should be sure the motherboard has if I’m looking at replacements?
Quite a lot regarding heat, if I am not wrong.

A 14.1" T42's case that houses a Pentium M 765 and a Mobility FireGL T2, would generate a significant amount of heat (but not to the point that it overheats). Just keep in mind that you must get the T42p's heatsink, that is if you are interested in using such a setup.

Additionally, try to get a motherboard that has these red epoxy dots surrounding the graphics chip's substrate. These red epoxy dots reduce the chances of the graphics chip from going loose, which is often the case for most T4x models, excluding the T43(p).

neuropathy
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Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:52 pm
Location: Los Angeles, California

Re: Restoring and Optimizing T42 for Windows 98/XP Games

#4 Post by neuropathy » Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:46 pm

dr_st wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:23 am
What is the model type (MTM) of the machine (should be on a sticker on the bottom)?
“Type 2374” is shown on the sticker under the computer.
Screamer wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:55 am
setting. If it is set all the way to the right till it shows a resolution of 1400 by 1050 pixels, that means you have an SXGA+ panel. If it shows 1024 by 768 pixels instead, that means you have a regular XGA panel.
It seems this machine has the regular XGA panel.

I just installed XP to get things going and see how it runs, but I’ll probably redo it with a 98/XP dualboot setup after getting a PATA SSD.

I think it’ll run most of the games I’d like to play on it. Too bad there won’t be any 3D hardware acceleration with the ATi 7500 from what I understand. I’m sure it’ll still be fun to have a Windows 98 gaming laptop! I wish I could have had this back in the day!

Any game recommendations are highly appreciated!

I think I’ll probably just add an SSD and leave the computer as it is. At some point, I might seek out another to modify, but this one will probably keep me happy enough.

Thanks everyone!
T42 - 1.7GHz Pentium M, ATi 7500 32Mb, 2GB RAM, CMOS and battery replacement.

Next upgrades: SSD, CPU? Motherboard:GPU?

Screamer
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Re: Restoring and Optimizing T42 for Windows 98/XP Games

#5 Post by Screamer » Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:52 am

The Mobility Radeon 7500 does have support for hardware 3D acceleration, though.

By the way, the MTM's format consists of 4 numbers and 3 alphanumerical characters, not just 4 numbers alone. For example: 2374-BL6 would contain the machine type (indicates machine model) and 3 alphanumerical characters (indicates configuration).

neuropathy
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:52 pm
Location: Los Angeles, California

Re: Restoring and Optimizing T42 for Windows 98/XP Games

#6 Post by neuropathy » Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:54 pm

I’m glad this GPU supports 3D acceleration! Too bad it isn’t the 64 or 128MB GPU, but it should still be a lot of fun.

I found that the full model is 2374-EH4. Thanks for letting me know about that.
T42 - 1.7GHz Pentium M, ATi 7500 32Mb, 2GB RAM, CMOS and battery replacement.

Next upgrades: SSD, CPU? Motherboard:GPU?

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