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[T30] A new guy in the collection and problems to solve

T20-T23 Series and T30. NOT for T25-Retro.
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WarMachine
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[T30] A new guy in the collection and problems to solve

#1 Post by WarMachine » Wed Nov 10, 2021 7:22 am

Hello,

I'm since yesterday the proud owner of a beaten up T30. I've put some photos at the end of the post so that you can see how I received it (and how it is, now).
The seller announced that when he plugged the charger, there was only the battery LED that was blinking and nothing more. I tried too to confirm that the laptop was pretty lifeless.

Then starts the fun !
  • without battery: idem;
  • without CMOS battery: idem;
  • CCMOS by pressing the power button during 30 seconds (without batteries and without charger): idem;
  • without hard disk: idem;
  • without optical drive: not better;
  • without RAM: no reaction;
  • without Wi-Fi card: still nothing;
  • without CDC: nothing new;
  • after unplugging the touchpad: the same old story.
As it's my first T30, I don't have spares. But I have plenty of T4x components. Wild guess: would the T40 keyboard do the job to boot the T30? For sure, it can't be used on the T30 because of the fixations (4 vs. 2), and the connector isn't with the same orientation. But ! But the said connector is strictly the same (it could have a different pinout, but finally not).

So, I plug the keyboard of the T40 and tadaaaaaaaam: the laptop boots!!!

Then stops (3 seconds after). I tried 3 times. Same behavior. :(

On a 2002 laptop (july), I'd be surprised that the thermal compound is in good shape. And on a Pentium 4-M, that must be something. I disassemble the palmrest, the cooling system and, of course: very old thermal paste, nothing left or just very little. Too little. I clean the CPU, I clean the cooling system, I apply some MX-4 I put back together the components in the laptop, I reboot and again, the laptop reacts fine and this time keeps running. And I have something on the screen !

Oh nooooo! Artifacts everywhere!
I move the screen, nothing changes. I plug a VGA external screen: Artifacts too!

What is strange is that there isn't no cooling system on the GPU. Something missing? No, according to the HMM, there is no cooling system on the GPU.
I'm probably good to find another system board.

But let's have a look to the keyboard shall we ?

I haven't said, but the laptop was one of the crappiest I have ever had! Mud, animal cocoons, remains of spider webs and a lot of dust (not even clean dust, go figure out!). The keyboard was no exception. So, I disassemble it, the keys in a bowl of hot soapy water, and energic brush on the rest. Thirty minutes later, all is clean, reassembled, I can try the keyboard on the laptop again. And it boots, and without artifacts!!!

Sooo, just dust and mud problem?

Unfortunately not. It seems that the keyboard doesn't respond every time. And the artifacts appear if I move the laptop or If I try to flex the chassis. I've checked all the screws and screwed them all a little more. It seems that it's better, but still not perfect.

You have probably guessed: I think my T30 has the same problem as the T4x: bad wielding of the GPU.
And you would have guessed that it also has the RAM slot problem.

That's a little too much to consider it's reliable at the time I'm writing this, but I know I can fix that. I could access to the OS (not password protected), it seems that it hasn't seen the light of the day for at least 12 years ! :o Totally "bloatwarized" ! The system partition fully full of crap softwares (toolbars, printers tools, porn, toolbars, updates and oh, did I mention the toolbars? :D). For the fun, I did some cleaning. I cleaned 15 GB out of 40 (over three partitions)!

So, here are my questions:
  • is your diagnostic the same as mine?
  • I haven't read about wielding problems on the T30 GPU. Is that a common thing?
  • I'd like to try a thermal gun on the system board. Can I use it like it was a T4x system board or are there any precautions to take?
As promised, some pics:
https://imgur.com/a/T7eBrZn

Have a good day! :)

W.

PS : by the way: it's a 2366-85G, Pentium 4-M 1.8 GHz, 512 MB of RAM, 4200 rpm 40 GB hard disk drive, 1024×768 display, Wi-Fi 802.11b card. I'll try to find a no-1802 BIOS to change the Wi-Fi card, as it's only a WEP one (I have two others that are Wi-Fi 802.11g and that will accept the WPA2-PSK).
IBM ThinkPads 701Cs | 755Cs | 560 | 2x 600E | 3x T23 | X20 | X24 | 3x X31 | T30 | T41p | T42 | X41.
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Re: [T30] A new guy in the collection and problems to solve

#2 Post by kfzhu1229 » Wed Nov 10, 2021 5:46 pm

From my experience with T30, it seems like too much current or too much internal resistance is there for the power button circuitry that after a while of use the button becomes extremely unresponsive!
And yes, You can use T4x keyboard on T30! In fact, in my A30p and A31p, I am able to use both T2x keyboards and T4x keybaords and it works electrically! (though for T2x it's really awkward because the keyboard connector is fixed at one spot)
Also, ThinkPad T series never had any GPU cooling at all until the Radeon 9600 and FireGL graphics that required cooling. This is a lazy mistake on IBM's end as the GPU overheats on A3x and the GPU gets too much bend from the chassis on the T4x!
I have no idea why they did that because Dell on the other hand, fitted all of those Radeon graphics with ACTIVE cooling, some even with their separate fan!
I think at this point you should put the entire motherboard into an oven which maybe can "solve" the graphics issue and the RAM slots problem.
Maybe you should also hose down the RAM contacts with contact cleaner to actually make sure you have RAM slot soldering problem instead of just contacts problem.
Dell Lat CP MMX-233 64mb 40gb W2k
600 PII-266 416mb 40gb WXP
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
Precision M4300 X9000 8gb 160gb WUXGA Ultrasharp fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10 (Sharp)
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Re: [T30] A new guy in the collection and problems to solve

#3 Post by WarMachine » Thu Nov 11, 2021 7:13 am

Hello,

Thanks for the useful informations. My friend, if I remember, has a thermal gun (and an oven - I don't have one). I think we could try that next time we see each other (more difficult than before with the pandemic). I haven't thought about contact cleaner. I have some (I used if for an old Peavey KB120 and it was magical, the buttons work flawlessly since, hence the sound).

I have used the laptop yesterday, and today too. I launched Quake III with max default options, and it runs very well. No glitches or whatever. Yesterday, I had to reboot it as some little artifacts appeared (I didn't do nothing special, consulting the files in the explorer, and not even by moving the laptop).

When I said that the artifacts could appear when we flex the chassis, I didn't add the precision that the laptop was partially disassembled. When all pieces are gathered together, there is no flex (or no noticeable one should I say).

Have a good day ! :)

W.
IBM ThinkPads 701Cs | 755Cs | 560 | 2x 600E | 3x T23 | X20 | X24 | 3x X31 | T30 | T41p | T42 | X41.
lenovo ThinkPads T60 4/3 | T60 15″ WS | T61 14″ WS | R60 | X60t | X61s | X61t | X301 | T400 | T400s | W500 | X200 | X201 | T410 | T410s | 2x X220 | T420 | T420s | W520 | T430 | T440.

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Re: [T30] A new guy in the collection and problems to solve

#4 Post by TPFanatic » Thu Nov 11, 2021 10:34 pm

I was blessed to be gifted a beautiful T30 a couple years ago, and it too has the infamous RAM slot problem. The last thing I did with it was trying to digitize a cassette through its Line In, to some success. Audacity gets stuttery after only a few minutes on 1GB of RAM.

The worst condition ThinkPads I've seen were an eBay T42 that had been left in a barrel of rainwater, and an eBay T500 that looked like a building collapsed on it. In person, I've touched an A20m at the junkyard, completely exposed to the elements, but otherwise intact. I'd actually have rescued if not for the spiders living in the Ultrabay. I don't do spiders. Finding a dead house spider under the lid bezel of my old A31p sent me halfway across the room.
lenovo T420 i5 2520m 16GB QHD w/ eGPU GTX 960
lenovos T520 i7 2720qm 8GB FHD, T420s i5 3320m 8GB QHD, T430 i5 3320m 8GB FHD, T430 i5 3320m 8GB FHD w/ Optimus, S1 Yoga i7 4600u 8GB FHD
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[T30] A new guy in the collection and problems to solve

#5 Post by WarMachine » Fri Nov 12, 2021 4:34 am

Hello,

I can understand. When you're afraid or disgusted by certain animals, it can be difficult. Sometimes, just the fact of speaking or thinking about them can awake the fear or make the person sick. Fortunately, I don't have too much problems with spiders, but I must admit it's not a joy when I see a big one. I think the animal I was the most afraid when I saw one was a scutigera (I would have put a link to a pic, but I don't think it's a good thing! :D) Feel free to search one if you're curious! It's a centipede. Approximatively 2 or 3 cm (but I can go to 10). The two ones I saw were big specimens (7 or 8 cm). Fifteen pairs of long legs. The two encounters were in my ancien appartment. The day was finished, I arrived in one of the room, I open the light and here, in front of me, on the wall, the animal. It was the first time I saw one and it's so ugly and so big I was petrified for two seconds.

In fact not a dangerous or bad animal. It goes after mosquitoes. It's venomous, but nothing to fear as an human. It's a relief to know that and it helps to calm the fear. We often fear what we don't know and it's not easy to change someone's mind or its own, it's often so deeply buried in our brain.

About the Thinkpads (let'go get back to more pleasant things ! :D), I had also machines in very bad shape, or very dirty. The 560 had mud in it and things like dandruff inside. The X60t was also in very bad shape. It was missing screws, the parts were not even well put together, broken and/or missing. A miracle if it's still running (and not bad at all with that). The second 600E has had a long life and like a lot of hardware this old, the paint is horrible. On the upper lid, it's not even like paint but like sticky modeling paste. The paint of the palmrest is also very damaged and we can see the bare metal under it on certain spots, and the covers of the ports are of course broken. My 701Cs is not really damaged, but the previous owner has painted it with the colors of the germain flag. And time isn't doing well with it. I would love to clean it, but I don't know how to do it, and I don't want to damage it or to see that under the paint, the original coat is very damaged itself. I think I would have to sand the laptop entirely, then repaint it, but for that, it has to be disassembled and I don't think it will survive. Too old and probably too fragile inside. I have had also T4x in bad condition (but I had bought them just to have spares). They are in a box and I hope I won't have to use them. In fact, my T41p and T42 are always fully functional and a pleasure to use. One that serves me as a jukebox, the other in the bathroom to listen to music when I take a shower. It's better to use them than to let them lie. All in all, I'm often lucky, and the T30 was really a nice surprise. There is an NMB keyboard that arrives, next week from Germany.

I've tried contacts cleaner with no luck, on the slots and also on the keyboard, who knows. But nothing changed.
I must also do a BIOS update (a no-1802 one). Do you happen to know where I can find the one I can use with Windows ? I found the one for my X41 3 weeks ago, but the only modified BIOS I find for the T30 is the one on Thinkwiki, with which I must do a boot CD or a diskette. I would prefer to avoid that.

Have a good day ! :)

W.
IBM ThinkPads 701Cs | 755Cs | 560 | 2x 600E | 3x T23 | X20 | X24 | 3x X31 | T30 | T41p | T42 | X41.
lenovo ThinkPads T60 4/3 | T60 15″ WS | T61 14″ WS | R60 | X60t | X61s | X61t | X301 | T400 | T400s | W500 | X200 | X201 | T410 | T410s | 2x X220 | T420 | T420s | W520 | T430 | T440.

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Re: [T30] A new guy in the collection and problems to solve

#6 Post by RealBlackStuff » Fri Nov 12, 2021 5:05 am

@TPFanatic:
a vacuum cleaner is an extremely efficient anti-spider/intruder weapon! 8)
Especially with accessories such as these crevice tools.
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)
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Re: [T30] A new guy in the collection and problems to solve

#7 Post by RealBlackStuff » Fri Nov 12, 2021 5:20 am

To remove 1802 errors: https://www.deveblog.com/index.php/make ... 802-error/

This one is even better, it also adds Slic 2.1 for W7: viewtopic.php?p=801775#p801775
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)
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Re: [T30] A new guy in the collection and problems to solve

#8 Post by kfzhu1229 » Fri Nov 12, 2021 4:34 pm

Well the most beaten up ThinkPad for me would definitely have to be my ThinkPad T61 14.1" widescreen.
The casing's condition is just far too much gone and aside from a working keyboard, there's zero part of the casing that's salvageable - All are having lots of cracks, and even if it's not cracked, it's no stronger than potato chips.
But I did have a ThinkPad T41 that although looked in pretty good condition, it was infested with cockroach and one of them turned out to be alive and almost made it out before I killed it.
If you are gonna do BIOS update though, maybe you wanna sort out the RAM contacts before that, as the RAM contacts going off during the BIOS update might be the final nail in the coffin
Dell Lat CP MMX-233 64mb 40gb W2k
600 PII-266 416mb 40gb WXP
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
Precision M4300 X9000 8gb 160gb WUXGA Ultrasharp fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10 (Sharp)
Lat C840 P4-2.5 2gb 60gb W7 (Ultrasharp)

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Re: [T30] A new guy in the collection and problems to solve

#9 Post by WarMachine » Mon Nov 15, 2021 4:47 pm

Hello,

Thanks for your replies and the share of your experiences ! :)
It's certainly safest to wait for the BIOS update and only doing it when the graphics problem will be solved.
I mentionned three problems. Well, just two more to solve.

Indeed, I received this evening a new keyboard. And "new" is not just a word. This keyboard was supposed to be refurbished, but it's really like new. Even more newer :D that the new keyboard I had bought for my X201. The trackpoint is immaculate (the little hard one), the feeling is absolutely gorgeous (it's an NMB as announced). The laptop isn't the same anymore. I'm so happy ! I'm dying to try and repair the motherboard, I want to use and abuse (but gently, of course) of my new computer. To see what is has in the belly. I've installed Quake III (one of my favorite games, with WoW and DooM³) and it runs very well with the max options in the menu. Ca. 80/90 fps. I've tried the same options on the T23 and it's sluggish (if I choose 16 bit colors instead of 32 bits, I gain a lot of performances, and I'm ca. 30 fps). What difference between the two machines, whereas one is just a generation after the other.

:)

W.
IBM ThinkPads 701Cs | 755Cs | 560 | 2x 600E | 3x T23 | X20 | X24 | 3x X31 | T30 | T41p | T42 | X41.
lenovo ThinkPads T60 4/3 | T60 15″ WS | T61 14″ WS | R60 | X60t | X61s | X61t | X301 | T400 | T400s | W500 | X200 | X201 | T410 | T410s | 2x X220 | T420 | T420s | W520 | T430 | T440.

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Re: [T30] A new guy in the collection and problems to solve

#10 Post by kfzhu1229 » Mon Nov 15, 2021 10:39 pm

WarMachine wrote:
Mon Nov 15, 2021 4:47 pm
Indeed, I received this evening a new keyboard. And "new" is not just a word. This keyboard was supposed to be refurbished, but it's really like new. Even more newer :D that the new keyboard I had bought for my X201. The trackpoint is immaculate (the little hard one), the feeling is absolutely gorgeous (it's an NMB as announced). The laptop isn't the same anymore. I'm so happy ! I'm dying to try and repair the motherboard, I want to use and abuse (but gently, of course) of my new computer. To see what is has in the belly. I've installed Quake III (one of my favorite games, with WoW and DooM³) and it runs very well with the max options in the menu. Ca. 80/90 fps. I've tried the same options on the T23 and it's sluggish (if I choose 16 bit colors instead of 32 bits, I gain a lot of performances, and I'm ca. 30 fps). What difference between the two machines, whereas one is just a generation after the other.
Well it's pretty clear that the ThinkPad T23's S3 graphics was meant for 2D productivity workloads rather than 3D. If you got some other laptops of this calibre, you might end up with a Mobility Radeon like the one found on a ThinkPad A30 and that slots perfectly right inbetween the S3 graphics and the Mobility Radeon 7500.
Sadly these mobile graphics really didn't age that well, as while 7500 was great in 2002, by the time IBM recycled it over and over again all the way to the ThinkPad T42, its performance is quite long in the tooth then, and one could argue that by then even the Intel integrated graphics at the time had something that the 7500 doesn't - DirectX 8 support.
Dell Lat CP MMX-233 64mb 40gb W2k
600 PII-266 416mb 40gb WXP
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
Precision M4300 X9000 8gb 160gb WUXGA Ultrasharp fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10 (Sharp)
Lat C840 P4-2.5 2gb 60gb W7 (Ultrasharp)

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[T30] A new guy in the collection and problems to solve

#11 Post by WarMachine » Tue Nov 16, 2021 3:06 pm

Hello,

You're right, I'll do the BIOS update when the soldering problem will be ancient history.

An update with new pics ! :)
I've bought a new keyboard. It was supposed to be refurbished, but in fact, it's new ! Absolutely immaculate and very comfortable.
https://imgur.com/a/F6Jekg8

I just looked at the date the keyboard was manufactured : november the 12ᵗʰ, 2002 !
This thing is 19 years old !
An NMB (the other brand being an Alps) manufactured in Thaïland, FRU 08K4672. The package still sealed. I paid barely 20 € for it. Again a great bargain !
Will this lame duck become a new highlight in my collection ? Who knows ?

:)

W.
IBM ThinkPads 701Cs | 755Cs | 560 | 2x 600E | 3x T23 | X20 | X24 | 3x X31 | T30 | T41p | T42 | X41.
lenovo ThinkPads T60 4/3 | T60 15″ WS | T61 14″ WS | R60 | X60t | X61s | X61t | X301 | T400 | T400s | W500 | X200 | X201 | T410 | T410s | 2x X220 | T420 | T420s | W520 | T430 | T440.

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Re: [T30] A new guy in the collection and problems to solve

#12 Post by WarMachine » Tue Nov 16, 2021 3:45 pm

kfzhu1229 wrote:
Mon Nov 15, 2021 10:39 pm
Well it's pretty clear that the ThinkPad T23's S3 graphics was meant for 2D productivity workloads rather than 3D. If you got some other laptops of this calibre, you might end up with a Mobility Radeon like the one found on a ThinkPad A30 and that slots perfectly right inbetween the S3 graphics and the Mobility Radeon 7500.
Sadly these mobile graphics really didn't age that well, as while 7500 was great in 2002, by the time IBM recycled it over and over again all the way to the ThinkPad T42, its performance is quite long in the tooth then, and one could argue that by then even the Intel integrated graphics at the time had something that the 7500 doesn't - DirectX 8 support.
Hi,

I'm not a big player, and if I play, that's with old games. Quake III being an all-time favorite, I have it on almost every machine I own and it's a nice means to compare the graphics performances of old ones. I was astonished to see performances almost three times higher on a machine that was manufactured not even one year after the other. To have this kind of difference, often several generations of machines are being conceived. Not here.
I don't use much my desktop PC, it's old (but perfectly functional), and I'm so in love with the Thinkpads. But well, when I use it, it's mainly to watch movies or to play Q3 or DooM³. The graphics card is not even a graphics card, but just the integrated chipset (an HD3000). With the same options (and tweaks to add some effects and more details in the configuration file, and with a Full HD textures pack too), I'm runnning Q3 with ca. 200 fps. (on a Full HD+ screen). When I had my GTX 560, I could have around 600 fps !!! (I have had to troubleshoot the card, because of the fans, that I replaced, everything works fine now, but as I don't play so much, I haven't put it back in the computer yet). The HD3000 is fine.
I always try to keep the machines like they were when they were still sold. It's normal that I use the sofwares from the same era. To use those machines like they were years ago has something very satisfying, It's a time travel. It's like riding an old bike or an old car (I have a BMW 318is E36 coupe from 1994 and it's nothing like today's cars, but what a pleasure, EVERY TIME, to ride with it) ! The same with my bikes. I have an old Peugeot mountain bike from the 90's, I made a single speed with it and it's super fun. Another bike from 2012, in mint condition, but it's a 2012 bike, I love it very much, but it's not comparable to a 2021 mountain bike (not fan of the mountain bike with 27 or 29" wheels, they are also too sophisticated and more difficult to fix if we have a problem). And I have another bike also like new, I bought it in 2006 (i don't know the exact word in english, I'll say a racing bike), again, so different from the bikes we know today. But different doesn't mean worse. For me, most of the time, it means fun and nostalgia. And I love to own old hardware, in very good condition, again, it's so satisfying !

:)

W.
IBM ThinkPads 701Cs | 755Cs | 560 | 2x 600E | 3x T23 | X20 | X24 | 3x X31 | T30 | T41p | T42 | X41.
lenovo ThinkPads T60 4/3 | T60 15″ WS | T61 14″ WS | R60 | X60t | X61s | X61t | X301 | T400 | T400s | W500 | X200 | X201 | T410 | T410s | 2x X220 | T420 | T420s | W520 | T430 | T440.

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Re: [T30] A new guy in the collection and problems to solve

#13 Post by kfzhu1229 » Tue Nov 16, 2021 4:47 pm

WarMachine wrote:
Tue Nov 16, 2021 3:45 pm
I'm not a big player, and if I play, that's with old games. Quake III being an all-time favorite, I have it on almost every machine I own and it's a nice means to compare the graphics performances of old ones. I was astonished to see performances almost three times higher on a machine that was manufactured not even one year after the other. To have this kind of difference, often several generations of machines are being conceived. Not here.
I don't use much my desktop PC, it's old (but perfectly functional), and I'm so in love with the Thinkpads. But well, when I use it, it's mainly to watch movies or to play Q3 or DooM³. The graphics card is not even a graphics card, but just the integrated chipset (an HD3000). With the same options (and tweaks to add some effects and more details in the configuration file, and with a Full HD textures pack too), I'm runnning Q3 with ca. 200 fps. (on a Full HD+ screen). When I had my GTX 560, I could have around 600 fps !!!
Well my point was that the ThinkPad T23 had some pretty disappointing 3D performances back in its days, compared to offerings of Mobility Radeon (7000) or the GeForce2 Go. If you compare the ThinkPad A30 to the A31, which the A30 is just 2 months newer than the T23 and the A31 has the exact same graphics as the T30, the difference is much smaller, though still pretty noticible.
It's generally true that Mobile graphics have big improvements year by year for the most part, which is why I say they don't age as well. Something like a Mobility Radeon 9800 for instance in 2004 was top of the line graphics and reserved to only the big gaming beasts such as the Inspiron XPS. But then in late 2007, something like the more mainstream Quadro FX 570M is already night and day faster, and if you step up to the beasts again, something like the Quadro FX 3600M absolutely murders the 9800 in terms of performance.
I for one also enjoys overhauling old laptops and then restore them to as good of a shape as possible. The end result of what I achieve is quite satisfying to myself.
Dell Lat CP MMX-233 64mb 40gb W2k
600 PII-266 416mb 40gb WXP
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
Precision M4300 X9000 8gb 160gb WUXGA Ultrasharp fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10 (Sharp)
Lat C840 P4-2.5 2gb 60gb W7 (Ultrasharp)

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