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Latest OS For T21

T20-T23 Series and T30 specific matters only. NOT for T25-Retro.
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Takeda
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Latest OS For T21

#1 Post by Takeda » Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:59 pm

Many years ago I gave my sister, and her husband a new T21 to use in their business. Since then, they have bought several desktops, and a newer Thinkpad through the IBM EPP program. She has returned the T21 to me, which is immaculate, and works well. The only problem it has Windows 2000, and I would like to upgrade the OS. What would be the latest OS that would work, hopefully something newer than XP.

Thank you!

RealBlackStuff
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Re: Latest OS For T21

#2 Post by RealBlackStuff » Thu Apr 17, 2014 9:54 pm

With only a max. of 512MB RAM, XP (in the FLP version) or some Linux is the best you can hope for in a T21.
Lovely day for a Guinness! (the Real Black Stuff). And pigs CAN fly!
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Takeda
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Re: Latest OS For T21

#3 Post by Takeda » Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:19 pm

RealBlackStuff wrote:With only a max. of 512MB RAM, XP (in the FLP version) or some Linux is the best you can hope for in a T21.
Thank you! It has 512MB of RAM now. What is the FLP version of XP?

ajkula66
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Re: Latest OS For T21

#4 Post by ajkula66 » Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:21 pm

Personally, I'd stay with W2K.

At this point in the game it's probably safer than XP, and will make the use of this T21 much more palatable.

As for FLP:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Fu ... Legacy_PCs

Very nice OS.

My $0.02 only...
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FlexView AARP club members:A31p, T43pSF, X60T

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Takeda
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Re: Latest OS For T21

#5 Post by Takeda » Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:35 am

ajkula66 wrote:Personally, I'd stay with W2K.

At this point in the game it's probably safer than XP, and will make the use of this T21 much more palatable.

As for FLP:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Fu ... Legacy_PCs

Very nice OS.

My $0.02 only...

Thank you!

Temetka
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Re: Latest OS For T21

#6 Post by Temetka » Sat Jun 07, 2014 11:16 pm

Unless you are stuck with Windows for whatever reason, I would go with Linux on a machine like that.
New:
Thinkpad T430s 8GB DDR3, 1600x900, 128GB + 250GB SSD's, etc.
Old:
E6520, Precision M4400, D630, Latitude E6520
ThinkPad Tablet 16GB 1838-22U
IBM Thinkpad X61T, T61, T43, X41T, T60, T41P, T42, T410, X301

RealBlackStuff
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Re: Latest OS For T21

#7 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sun Jun 08, 2014 7:13 am

Although I've never been a fan of anything Linux, recently I changed my mind.
I have some older machines, that used to run W2K or XP quite well.
All of them have a 1GHz or faster CPU and can have 512MB or more RAM.
After trying about 57 Heinz Linux varieties, I have finally 'landed' on Zorin OS.
I went for the rock-stable Zorin OS 6.4 Core (LTS) Desktop version.
This Linux looks and feels remarkably like Windows XP or W7, and is a pleasure to play with.
Coming from an until-now staunch anti-Linux person, not bad!


Q: What are the minimum system requirements that I need to install Zorin OS?

For the Zorin Desktop based versions (not Lite):
1 GHz x86 processor
5 GB of Hard Drive space
512 MB of system memory (RAM)
Graphics card capable of 640x480 resolution

For the LXDE based versions (Lite):
266 MHz x86 processor
2GB of Hard Drive space
128 MB of system memory (RAM)
Graphics card capable of 640x480 resolution
Lovely day for a Guinness! (the Real Black Stuff). And pigs CAN fly!
Check out The Boardroom for Parts, Mods and Other Services.

brchan
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Re: Latest OS For T21

#8 Post by brchan » Sun Jun 08, 2014 12:57 pm

Another option would be puppy linux, specifically, wary puppy 5.5. It includes all the drivers for older hardware, has good apps, excellent speed, and is easy to use. Also, stay away from heavy linux distros like Ubuntu and linux mint. Even their slim downed relatives like Xubuntu, Lubuntu, are still slow. Additionally, these distros include new Xorg drivers which dropped many optimizations for the savage graphics cards in the T2x series. In some cases, you will get immediate graphics corruption as well.

I have tried many linux distros on my T23 (excluding zorin, however) and have found that wary puppy is the fastest and hassle free option. However, Crunchbang linux, with some tweaking, can be nearly as fast (managed to slim idle at 56mb ram!), but includes more up to date software that I need to use.
Current Thinkpads: W530 (functional classic keyboard mod), X301, T61, T60, T43, A31p, T23, 600X, 770
Other: mk5 Toughbook cf-19, mk1 Toughbook cf-53

Neil
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Re: Latest OS For T21

#9 Post by Neil » Sun Jun 08, 2014 1:33 pm

Puppy Linux is quite nice. But if that doesn't do it for one, or if a Debian based distro (with all the software in the Debian repo available to use) would be more to your liking, AntiX is a good choice. Like Puppy and Crunchbang, it doesn't use a desktop environment as such, but offers the choice of IceWM (default), Fluxbox, JWM and more (already installed).
Collection = T430 - T500 - R400 - X300 - T61 (14" WXGA+) - R61 (15" SXGA+) - X40 - T43p - T43 - T42p - A30P

chzuck
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Re: Latest OS For T21

#10 Post by chzuck » Sun Jun 22, 2014 3:03 pm

Read my post just above this one. I am running MX-14 on a T22 and really like it.

Amadeus Amadeus
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Re: Latest OS For T21

#11 Post by Amadeus Amadeus » Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:25 pm

This is my first post here. I must say GREAT FORUM!

My first (working) Thinkpad is this old T21.
Since I'm a bit of a retro computing aficionado and an OS junkie at the same time, this is right up my alley. I first upped the RAM to 512MB, which is max for this model. I also added a 4-port USB card to the upper PCMCIA slot. The lower is occupied by a WiFi card with an Atheros chip on. A replacement 40GB HDD and newest BIOS were added too. Here's what I found out.


Linux
I will confess that Linux isn't my thing. I regularly use Puppy linux though. Puppy (Slacko) is great for fixing stuff, getting into the file system when Windows refuses to work, for quickly booting and downloading that NIC or WiFi driver for Windows, and similar tasks. I always keep both a CD and a USB stick with Puppy Linux on them.

I installed Ubuntu 11 and it was as slow as Windows, maybe even slower. It was also ugly to look at. The fonts weren't nice and that command line syntax isn't for humans.

OK, harsh words, but I have some support for these complaints. From Linus Thorvalds himself. He said, in my native language, which is the same as his, "Linux must look more like Windows.".


MS-DOS
I use MS-DOS in similar ways to how I use Linux, for fixing stuff and for temporary solutions. But there's a wealth of programs for DOS out there. I installed my MS-DOS 7.1 (from W98) to the SECOND partition of the HDD. That partition wasn't even flagged for bootability. So what gives? Well, I needed DOS for some special tasks. Didn't want to have it as my main OS. Didn't even want the system to be multi bootable in the proper way. What made DOS boot from the second partition was an extremely usable program called Plop. Some brainy guy in Austria wrote this for people who wanted to boot from their USB sticks even when the computer's BIOS didn't support it. Plop also allowed for boot from partitions without their own boot sectors. Normally after I've finished playing with a machine, I sell it. An older machine like this one is still attractive to some special interest people. That's often people who want to use MS-DOS to control some old machine (or model train) through the serial or parallel port.


Windows XP Home SP3
XP Home worked remarkably well on this machine. I had no original recovery disks, so I made my own IBM OEM XP installation CD. The OEM part is important. In the BIOS of the T21 there's a digital signature, or tattoo, and that thing makes sure that the IBM OEM version of XP will activate offline and consider the OS genuine. Mind you, this is neither a crack nor a trick. This is how the big boys do it. It is not the installation media that provides me with an OEM license, it is the presence of that tattoo in BIOS. Paired with Office XP and the Maxthon browser, this laptop could be used as any modern computer. Provided you use only one program at the time. On my main computer I'm now listening to City Boy on Youtube, downloading some file and writing this post, all at the same time. That will not work on the T21. And it wouldn't be fair to expect it to.

XP updated nicely, there were some 137 updates after fresh install, took some time to get through it all, but no problems. When equipped with the ZoneAlarm combined antivirus and firewall program, this system was pretty safe on the net. Shame the Chrome browser wouldn't work on the machine.


Windows 7
Yes, I installed W7 on the T21!
There's something called "Windows 7 Ultimate Tiny" out there on the Internet. A reduced W7 that fits on a CD and installs on something as old as the T21. The Ultimate part is important. For us people who prefer other keyboards and languages than English on our systems the Ultimate version of 7 allows for just that through the Control Panel. W7 works surprisingly well on this machine. It isn't in the slightest slower than XP and it's prettier. One needs to find some drivers on Microsoft Catalog and some exist only as XP drivers, which work quite well on W7. The sound drivers were impossible to find, but once installed W7 found them on its own. When all hardware is provided with drivers the system is fully operational. It's no speed king, but it works nicely. Even installed a theme pack so that the desktop background changes every 15 minutes.


Some general observations. I actually own two 4-port PCMCIA USB cards. The difference between them is that one is powered by a VIA chip, the other by a NEC chip. The Plop boot loader works with the NEC card, but not with the VIA card. Good to know if you plan on buying a card.

Neither of the cards provide enough mA on their 4 ports. Doesn't matter if the attached deviced are fed by their own adapters, but will matter if you try attaching 4 USB sticks at the same time.

I attached a ZIP 250GB drive to the T21, it is fed by the USB connector only, but it got stuck in a startup loop when on the 4-port USB card. It had to be moved to the lone built in USB 1 port in order to work properly.

A parallel port ZIP 100 unit worked without flaws as did an ancient HP CD writer attached to the same port.

At first I had no CD reader in the machine, just a floppy drive. In order to install an OS I attached an external USB CD/DVD reader to one of the extra USB ports. Installation of XP this way demanded that I made 6 boot floppies and start the system from them. Official images of XPSP2 boot floppies exist on Microsoft's support pages, but no SP3. To upgrade SP2 boot floppies to SP3, one can copy over the TXTSETUP.SIF file from the XP SP3 installation CD to the first floppy, replacing the existing TXTSETUP.SI_ file. The floppies must also match Home vs Pro and your installation CD language.

It is possible to instead of floppies try transferring the XP installation CD to a USB stick. There are many ways to do this and several won't work. In my case Rufus and Novicorp didn't work.
WinSetupFromUSB did work though. But that was after I had made the 6 floppies. :)

So, the latest OS that works on the T21 is Windows 7. Who'd have thought it?

sdfox7
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Re: Latest OS For T21

#12 Post by sdfox7 » Sun Jan 18, 2015 9:40 pm

Amadeus Amadeus wrote:On my main computer I'm now listening to City Boy on Youtube, downloading some file and writing this post, all at the same time. That will not work on the T21. And it wouldn't be fair to expect it to.

XP updated nicely, there were some 137 updates after fresh install, took some time to get through it all, but no problems. When equipped with the ZoneAlarm combined antivirus and firewall program, this system was pretty safe on the net. Shame the Chrome browser wouldn't work on the machine.
The limitation with Chrome is that newer versions of it require a SSE2-compatible processor (Pentium 4 and up).

Sometime last year new versions of Chrome (30, 31, 32?) starting displaying a warning information bar on each launch (on non-SSE2 machines) that "This computer will soon stop receiving Google Chrome Updates because its hardware is no longer supported
". I posted a How-To on it here last year: This computer will soon stop receiving Google Chrome Updates because its hardware is no longer supported

There is also an in-depth discussion on this issue that I was involved in on Google Groups: This computer will soon stop receiving Google Chrome updates because its hardwar - Google Product Forums:

I believe that Chrome 34 officially no longer runs on non-SSE2 processors, namely the Pentium II, III, and AMD processors from the early 2000s.

You can download Google Chrome 26 from my FTP. Being that my T40 has been my daily use machine for years and that it indeed supports SSE2, Chrome 26 was the last version I bothered to archive. Not realizing that standalone versions are no longer available, I didn't realize it would become impossible to archive the newer ones. Google's website only provides stubs when downloading, so it seems there is no longer a way to obtain the full versions.

Also grab the updated PepperFlash Flash Player from my FTP. I regularly upload the current versions to my FTP. As of this writing version 16.0.0.257 is the current version. PepperFlash is the customized version of Flash Player built into Chrome. So at least with Chrome 26, Flash 16 and maybe an antivirus you'll be somewhat up to date. The standalone versions of Chrome are unable to update by themselves and you don't want to be running Flash 11.
ThinkPad 600E (Win98); T23 (WinNT 4.0); T41 (Win2000); T61p (WinXP)
My name is Stephen Fox. I am a '18 BBA and '20 MBA student at WCSU.
Disable Google Chrome End of Support Infobar on Windows XP/Vista

sdfox7
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Re: Latest OS For T21

#13 Post by sdfox7 » Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:27 pm

UPDATE: I have located a copy of standalone Google Chrome 33 34 which is the last version of the browser that does not prompt to upgrade hardware because the hardware is no longer supported.

It was released on November 6, 2013 and is digitally signed by Google.

I found it on Sante Fe College's directory, and determined the correct version by searching for a digitally signed copy from November 6 2013 which is the date that Chrome 33 was officially released.

http://home.ite.sfcollege.edu/software/ ... ns/chrome/

Direct link: http://home.ite.sfcollege.edu/software/ ... eSetup.exe


If that link goes down in the future you can get it from my FTP. It runs on XP SP2 and SP3 so I have copied it to both locations: http://sdfox7.com/xp/sp2/ChromeStandaloneSetup.exe or http://sdfox7.com/xp/sp3/ChromeStandaloneSetup.exe
(/sp3 directory is only for SSE2 Chrome 49.0.2623.112)

This will run on older processors like the Pentium III and AMD socket processors without SSE2.

ENJOY! Don't forget to update the PepperFlash per my above instructions!
ThinkPad 600E (Win98); T23 (WinNT 4.0); T41 (Win2000); T61p (WinXP)
My name is Stephen Fox. I am a '18 BBA and '20 MBA student at WCSU.
Disable Google Chrome End of Support Infobar on Windows XP/Vista

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