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Hello! I bought a Thinkpad 240 from the Car Boot

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beko1987
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Hello! I bought a Thinkpad 240 from the Car Boot

#1 Post by beko1987 » Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:30 am

Good Morning!

My name is Sam, I live in the UK and yesterday I picked up a Thinkpad 240 from my local car boot sale! The guy had no charger with it, did not know if it worked, but it looked clean and tidy, and was £3, so I dug for some change and bought it home!

The first thing I did was go rootling through my box of power supplies and found a 15v one with a plug that fitted. This bought it to life, and it started to boot

http://ultraimg.com/images/2017/08/21/YAhp.md.jpg

It blue screened once or twice, but eventually found the desktop. I got the quick start guide with it too

http://ultraimg.com/images/2017/08/21/YAhg.md.jpg

Amazingly, the battery took and held a charge. I was pottering about on it for a good 2 hours before it suddenly shut off at 30% remaining battery. A few charges/discharges should fix that, and I'll find my trusty multi laptop power supply which might feed it a few more volts.

It's a 400mhz/64mb ram and an upgraded 20gb hard drive model. It runs very well once I took the previous owners bloatware off it. I spent last night listening to his odd music collection via the mono speaker and media player 6

http://ultraimg.com/images/2017/08/21/YAhv.md.jpg

But ran into major driver issues! It's got 98SE on, but no drivers at all. So no USB mouse, and no thumb drive (or LAN). Eventually I found drivers on the HD within some mobile phone tools software that got the mouse working, but no mass storage drivers. I then remembered a colleague at work has a caddy for these things as I've borrowed it before, so I text him nice and early this morning, and he bought it in!

Image

I copied the 98SE generic drivers onto the HD from here http://www.technical-assistance.co.uk/kb/usbmsd98.php and hopefully that will let it access a USB stick.

My aim it to get it running in a vaguely usable way (for fun I might add, I'm not expecting great things here!) I've already been reading on these very forums about RAM upgrades, and have a 256mb stick in my watch list ready for pay day! I have bought already a £6 USB CDRom drive, and a £3 PCMCIA Wifi card (hence my needing to find some way of getting drivers onto the thing! After that, I might enter the murky world of 2017 underground support for Windows 98!

Or, underground murky support for Windows 2000, or even puppy/[censored] Small linux and use it as a netbook type thing. If I can remote desktop into my windows 10 machine I keep in the loft as a file server, even better! (Although I'm not sure how it will render a 1920x1080 screen on an 800x600 one...)

If I may ask a question, how does one load OS's onto the thing from disc? I got nothing with it, and I presume I need the fancy IBM floppy drive to boot the thing up using a boot disc, then point it at a CD drive to begin, no USB boot here I expect! Or is there a way to pop the HD into a caddy on my main machine and start an install off from there? If not though, I'm not too fussed.

I've started reading up on integral WIFI using the micro PCI slot the modem currently sits in, I have a few scrap HP's with those card in, but haven't looked into it yet, as well as overclocks, although that seems to involve soldering?

I'll play with it as is for now, it's like being 13 again with our first PC! I've already put the stupid theme on I had when I was younger! The hard drive is currently having drive fitness tests run on it from my main machine, and has passed them all. Half looking at SSD upgrades purely to make it more resilient to being dropped/just because, but I'll need an answer to my loading OS question above for that!

If all else fails/ I run out of motivation, my 5 year old daughter spent a happy hour last night typing on it/testing the battery for me (office 2000 is installed), so if all else fails she can use it for that! But it seems a waste...

Either way, that's my intro, and hopefully I'll find lots of ace info on here, I've already been reading it all morning!

Cheers
Sam
Last edited by beko1987 on Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:10 am, edited 4 times in total.

Thinkpad4by3
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Re: Hello! I bought a Thinkpad 240 from the Car Boot

#2 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Mon Aug 21, 2017 5:55 am

Before the Mods get to it first, you need to reduce the picture sizes to <50Kb, say ~640x480.

Now for what I ACTUALLY have to say:

It's a great find. Those are cute little machines that can pack a little punch. Great for writing and retro-gaming.
Just collecting vintage machines....Thinkpads included.
Have: IBM PC 5150, Tandy 1400LT, Macintosh Portable, Metalis 286(dead), Satellite 200CDS, TP 755C&CDV , 701C, Slimsport 286(deadish/zombie).
New: TI Travelmate 4000E 4/25, AMREL SLT486 (4DX2/66)

beko1987
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Location: Oxon, Britain

Re: Hello! I bought a Thinkpad 240 from the Car Boot

#3 Post by beko1987 » Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:02 am

Thanks! I did think about the pictures, having seen lots of mod edits on other threads, but their hotlinked, does size still matter? (if so, I'll find the smaller img codes and edit!)

I've never been much of a gamer, maybe I should start! Seems to be plenty of MSDOS abandonware out there! I did try the keyboard and tbh utterly hate it, but only because it's small and the keys are laid out oddly, I'll persevere though!

I quite like the idea of getting it useable day to day (within reason of course!) Make it into a netbook type device for lite forum browsing on the sofa, it's alot nicer to sit with than my Probook 6570b on my knees! (Plus I've got the probook for actual use!)

May have had a result with parts. I collect vacuum cleaners (if you google beko1987 you'll probably see that!) Another collector is of the geekery persuasion too, and is sending me some old e-machines he was going to bin, which has a 40gb IDE, 128mb of RAM that will fit, but more importantly, I can use this to kick off an OS install, pull the drive at the first reboot, fit it to the IBM then carry on the install. For the price of a hermes label it seems the easiest way to begin.

Might upgrade it to windows 2000 though eventually, and make use of the underground updates (service pack 5b etc). Can't say installing windows 7 for fun hasn't crossed my mind though, will need the RAM upgrade for that though

Thinkpad4by3
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Re: Hello! I bought a Thinkpad 240 from the Car Boot

#4 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:04 am

Yes, all images in the [img] tag have to be <50kb. If they are just bare links, then it doesn't matter.
Just collecting vintage machines....Thinkpads included.
Have: IBM PC 5150, Tandy 1400LT, Macintosh Portable, Metalis 286(dead), Satellite 200CDS, TP 755C&CDV , 701C, Slimsport 286(deadish/zombie).
New: TI Travelmate 4000E 4/25, AMREL SLT486 (4DX2/66)

beko1987
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Location: Oxon, Britain

Re: Hello! I bought a Thinkpad 240 from the Car Boot

#5 Post by beko1987 » Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:05 am

I've shrunk the images a bit, hope that's better?

Can't wait for the children to go to bed and see if my drivers work tonight

fultontech
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Re: Hello! I bought a Thinkpad 240 from the Car Boot

#6 Post by fultontech » Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:34 am

I have one of them sill in the box. For factory restoring, it boots off a PCMCIA a IBM UltraslimBay Portable Drive Bay Kit 37L1511 with IBM ThinkPad 24x10x CD-ROM 05K9122.

I believe it was made for IBM by a 3rd party. I don't recall who though. The model name "Chandra" comes to mind or something like that. I remember it was available under a couple of vendor labels.
IBM P75
IBM ThinkPad 700, 720C, 750Cs, 360C, 360P, 360CE, 360PE, 730TE, PC110, 365CSD, 365ED, 701Cs, 820, 600X, 770X, 240, T30
IBM RS/6000 43P 150
Lenovo ThinkPad X41T, X61T, X200T, X201T, X220T, X230T
Lenovo ThinkCenter M92p Tiny, M900 Tiny

beko1987
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Re: Hello! I bought a Thinkpad 240 from the Car Boot

#7 Post by beko1987 » Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:19 pm

:bow:

Ace info, thanks! A quick Google reveals them to be ultra cheap on American eBay, but at £16 buy it now then £60 postage to me in england I might give it a swerve and stick to my low key workaround!

If it boots off a pcmcia card though, would an SD card adapter work? I presume I'd need a floppy to boot from and point it the right way though wouldn't I?

Might stick to me 'start the install off in another machine and swap the drive on the first reboot approach". But I'll play with win 98 for a bit, it's a nice solid install!

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Re: Hello! I bought a Thinkpad 240 from the Car Boot

#8 Post by fultontech » Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:28 pm

I think it may be hard coded in the BIOS as to which CD-ROM it can boot from (i.e. IBM), but it should boot from floppy and read from any PCMCIA CD-ROM
IBM P75
IBM ThinkPad 700, 720C, 750Cs, 360C, 360P, 360CE, 360PE, 730TE, PC110, 365CSD, 365ED, 701Cs, 820, 600X, 770X, 240, T30
IBM RS/6000 43P 150
Lenovo ThinkPad X41T, X61T, X200T, X201T, X220T, X230T
Lenovo ThinkCenter M92p Tiny, M900 Tiny

beko1987
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Location: Oxon, Britain

Re: Hello! I bought a Thinkpad 240 from the Car Boot

#9 Post by beko1987 » Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:35 pm

I imagine I'm barking up an incorrect tree if I were to buy a usb pcmcia card, the official floppy drive with special connector and try my cheap USB cd drive!

Are there any official/unofficial bios updates for the thing? And would plop boot manager or otherwise work with the USB port that's built in?

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Re: Hello! I bought a Thinkpad 240 from the Car Boot

#10 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:49 pm

Uh...it might work if there was a solar eclipse.

Oh wait..there is. Quick, go try it before the magical PCMCIA pixies fly away.

Really, if that worked, I'd be EXTREMELY surprised.
Just collecting vintage machines....Thinkpads included.
Have: IBM PC 5150, Tandy 1400LT, Macintosh Portable, Metalis 286(dead), Satellite 200CDS, TP 755C&CDV , 701C, Slimsport 286(deadish/zombie).
New: TI Travelmate 4000E 4/25, AMREL SLT486 (4DX2/66)

beko1987
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Location: Oxon, Britain

Re: Hello! I bought a Thinkpad 240 from the Car Boot

#11 Post by beko1987 » Mon Aug 21, 2017 2:40 pm

I can't imagine it would work, I'd have found a thread on here explaining it all by now if there was a way!

Stuff has happened though! The usb drivers worked, and I now have flash drive support, my only way of getting anything on or off it! Finished uninstalling the rest of the rubbish on it, downloaded CCleaner 2.something and killed 500mb of assorted tat, popped the latest directx for 98 on and am currently running pcmark2002 for reasons I'm not sure of! It's already said nope to the graphics tests!

Not much else I can do now until my wifi card arrives, and even then I'm only 40% sure it's got win 98 drivers! But it was £3 posted so I won't be too fussed

beko1987
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Re: Hello! I bought a Thinkpad 240 from the Car Boot

#12 Post by beko1987 » Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:20 am

Having issues running the kernelx update on it. Managed to get the unofficial service pack 3 on, but not kernelx. Currently installing 98 in a vm on my work laptop to see if the comments about it working better on a fresh install are correct!

I have started filming a mini vlog though, different to my usual subject matter but people might find it interesting!

Part 1 is up this morning

https://youtu.be/SlmHHQsecmo

Should work for America, my usual videos do!

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Re: Hello! I bought a Thinkpad 240 from the Car Boot

#13 Post by ctg_s » Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:39 am

Your machine is in great condition, congrats on the find. Trying to use the machine without a CD-ROM or floppy is a pain and in most cases I was stuck with using my PC with one of those 2.5 IDE adapters. An alternative is if you have an older laptop with a CD drive you can swap the hard drive, copy files/install windows on the other laptop and then put the drive back in the 240 and start the install process. Also, my 240 had two different preinstall CDs; a Windows 95 and Windows 98 (First Edition) and a separate disc that had drivers if you're looking for them. I never got as far as XP but I know this machine will run Windows 2000, Linux (need a light distro though) and even BeOS if you're into that. Also, if you ever plan to use compact flash instead of a mechanical drive, you'll need to set your card to fixed disk mode otherwise it will not detect it. Even though mine is in rough shape, it is still one of my favorites and I actually still actually use it occasionally.
Used Regularly: X220, x131e
Storage: 345C, 755CD, 760EL, 240, 570E, 600E, 600X, 390E, A22p, T23, T30, A31p, A31, X31, X41t, X61, IBM L40/SX, X301, X21
Workbench: 240X (LCD+speaker), 365X (keyboard+TFT swap), 760EL (CD drive), 701C (speaker), 380ED (TFT swap), 700C (LCD cable), 755CDV, 770ED (caddy)

beko1987
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Location: Oxon, Britain

Re: Hello! I bought a Thinkpad 240 from the Car Boot

#14 Post by beko1987 » Thu Dec 21, 2017 6:49 am

I've still got this! Currently away for christmas, but I got an IDE to SD adapter, and got windows 98 running quite happily on it! Even got it on the web with a cheap ebay PCI card! Then I installed Puppy Linux on it and it runs, although not well... Then I lost the wifi card, found that and now can't remember where I put the laptop! So I'll carry on playing with it!

I did hack windows 98 to run a bit more 'modern' (98toME, SP4 etc, but it didn't like it it seems, as I rebooted one day and it corrupted it's install annoyingly. Finding versions of software to run was a stab in the dark too...

I do need it now though, and with Windows 98! Someone gave me a brand new Philips Pronto remote set, which I want to play with then sell, but it needs windows 98 for the drivers! Little project for next year I think.

Bought 2 more modern broken thinkpads yesterday though, the bug is slowly biting! Would like to get a proper charger for it if I find one, and a replacement battery (cheapo will do), the original one lasts as long as it likes, got half an hour out of it once, usually it's about 7 minutes...

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Re: Hello! I bought a Thinkpad 240 from the Car Boot

#15 Post by jaspen-meyer » Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:22 pm

http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Category:240 says the max ram is 192MB.
That will run the current version of Debian with a minimalist windows manager, like i3, and a simple web browser.
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Re: Hello! I bought a Thinkpad 240 from the Car Boot

#16 Post by bluetomgold » Sat Dec 23, 2017 2:31 pm

Nice work... love a car boot find - looking forward to summer. :)

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