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701C obscure disk issue? Any suggestions?

Older ThinkPads.. from the 600, the 7xx, the iSeries, 300, 500, the Transnote and, of course, the 701
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tdot
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701C obscure disk issue? Any suggestions?

#1 Post by tdot » Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:48 pm

So, I'm not even sure what to put for the subject. I think this issue I'm facing is so obscure that I doubt anyone has encountered it, but hopefully someone will be able to point me in some direction?

So basically, I put an SSD (SiliconDrive 1GB PATA SSD) in my 701C. I had experienced absolutely no issues - the unit performed flawlessly.

So, I eventually found a Dock II and bought a Dock II adapter kit for the 701C, just to have a nice place to display it. Docking the system caused major issues. Windows starts crashing, and eventually the entire drive becomes corrupted to the point Windows won't start. I tried countless things, including entirely reinstalling Windows 95 multiple times (while docked) - same issue. Most of the time, it can't even install successfully. Re-installing Windows undocked - again, works fine and runs fine until re-docked.

At this point, I had no idea where the problem was (if the issue was in the dock or adapter). So, I decided to try the easiest solution - put the original 360 MB mechanical back in the 701c. Docked it, it works flawlessly. Reinstalled Windows, worked flawlessly. Everything works perfect.

So now, the only logical conclusion is, Dock and Dock kit work fine, 701C works fine, 701C + SSD works fine, 701C + Dock + HDD works fine, but 701C + Dock + SSD corrupts the drive. I'm really not even sure where to begin. It can't be an issue between the 701C and the SSD alone - as they work fine together. I also am going to *assume* it can't be a power supply issue, as the Dock II only feeds a single voltage into the 701C (like an adapter) and is most likely regulated inside the 701C the same as an adapter, unless it's some kind of ripple/noise on the supply line. I'm really not sure how the Dock II really interfaces with the system - if it can be caused by the drive size showing up as 22 MEG in the BIOS (and that somehow interfering with the Dock II programming?). One odd thing I can state with certainty, is that there is bleed when the drive is being accessed into the audio system (you can hear the drive being read through the speakers). It's about 3 times louder when the SSD is installed vs the HDD. I'm wondering if this can be related to the SSD casing seemingly lacking any grounding ...

If anyone has any starting direction to point me ... or any idea at all, it would be helpful. Otherwise, if I ever figure it out, I'll post a followup in case anyone else faces the same issue ... but I assume this one is going to take a while to diagnose.

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Re: 701C obscure disk issue? Any suggestions?

#2 Post by fultontech » Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:01 pm

Could easily be memory address incompatibility with the SSD that only crops up when the dock is connected.
Just look at how goofy the addressing was on the older systems for PCMCIA
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IBM ThinkPad 700, 720C, 750Cs, 360C, 360P, 360CE, 360PE, 730TE, PC110, 365CSD, 365ED, 701Cs, 820, 600X, 770X, 240, T30
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tdot
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Re: 701C obscure disk issue? Any suggestions?

#3 Post by tdot » Thu Oct 25, 2018 4:06 pm

fultontech wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:01 pm
Could easily be memory address incompatibility with the SSD that only crops up when the dock is connected.
Just look at how goofy the addressing was on the older systems for PCMCIA
Any ideas on what I could look at? I wasn't old enough to start building computers until around the P2/PCI era, so I don't fully understand all of these older concepts.

I tried toggling the BIOS address and port address switch block on the Dock II, but it seems to do nothing but entirely break the communication between the 701C and dock.

I'm going to attempt to run the system off a 512MB IDE to CF drive, but I'd prefer to get the SiliconDrive working, as it was designed as a PATA HDD replacement and apparently implements wear leveling and whatnot. More than anything, I'm just curious to find the problem :lol:

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Re: 701C obscure disk issue? Any suggestions?

#4 Post by pkiff » Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:00 pm

My guess would be something related to "IRQ channels". IRQ = Interrupt Request Channels. In DOS and Windows 95/98, you had to manually configure which devices would use which channels. With Thinkpads, you could do some of this using the Thinkpad Configuration software. For some devices, it was even necessary to manually assign memory ranges in the UMB (?) or something so that different input/output devices wouldn't conflict with each other while they were trying to read and write.

When you are first docked, Windows 95/98 tries to reconfigure the IRQ channels to work with all the hardware it can find. These can be finnicky to set up and configure properly in a simple docked setup. Hard drive bays will each want a separate IRQ. And you can choose whether to enable or disable additional IRQs in the drive bay in your Dock. Any changes you make, or devices you add or remove, can screw up whatever was working before.

I found that in Windows 98, these settings would eventually (after 3 months to a year) get totally messed up and sometimes result in my Thinkpad being unbootable. The solution at that point was usually to wipe out the "hardware profile" in Windows that was associated with the dock. I forget how that worked exactly, but I think you could only wipe out the "docked" profile when you were booted up successfully in the non-docked profile. And then reboot a couple times to make sure everythying works when undocked. And then start over by booting up the machine while it is in the dock again with the hardware attached exactly as you want it. The "docked" profile would then be recreated by Windows from scratch. And it gets affected by settings both in Windows and sometimes in your Thinkpad's BIOS - though I can't actually say for sure if that is true with the 701.

Does any of that help?
tdot wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:48 pm
One odd thing I can state with certainty, is that there is bleed when the drive is being accessed into the audio system (you can hear the drive being read through the speakers). It's about 3 times louder when the SSD is installed vs the HDD. I'm wondering if this can be related to the SSD casing seemingly lacking any grounding ...
The sound/static bleed issue is probably not related. I had this issue on my SelectaDock III's in various configurations - I could hear extra static during hard drive access. I ended up solving it by putting in a separate sound card.
X1 Carbon Tablet (3rd Gen) · P52 · W520 · Legacy: T60p, X61T, 600X, 770Z
Nostalgic for: 600X PIII 850MHz in a SelectaDock III with 64MB Voodoo 5 5500 and Sound Blaster Audigy 5.1.

tdot
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Re: 701C obscure disk issue? Any suggestions?

#5 Post by tdot » Fri Nov 02, 2018 6:24 pm

pkiff wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:00 pm
My guess would be something related to "IRQ channels". IRQ = Interrupt Request Channels. In DOS and Windows 95/98, you had to manually configure which devices would use which channels. With Thinkpads, you could do some of this using the Thinkpad Configuration software. For some devices, it was even necessary to manually assign memory ranges in the UMB (?) or something so that different input/output devices wouldn't conflict with each other while they were trying to read and write.

When you are first docked, Windows 95/98 tries to reconfigure the IRQ channels to work with all the hardware it can find. These can be finnicky to set up and configure properly in a simple docked setup. Hard drive bays will each want a separate IRQ. And you can choose whether to enable or disable additional IRQs in the drive bay in your Dock. Any changes you make, or devices you add or remove, can screw up whatever was working before.

I found that in Windows 98, these settings would eventually (after 3 months to a year) get totally messed up and sometimes result in my Thinkpad being unbootable. The solution at that point was usually to wipe out the "hardware profile" in Windows that was associated with the dock. I forget how that worked exactly, but I think you could only wipe out the "docked" profile when you were booted up successfully in the non-docked profile. And then reboot a couple times to make sure everythying works when undocked. And then start over by booting up the machine while it is in the dock again with the hardware attached exactly as you want it. The "docked" profile would then be recreated by Windows from scratch. And it gets affected by settings both in Windows and sometimes in your Thinkpad's BIOS - though I can't actually say for sure if that is true with the 701.

Does any of that help?
tdot wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:48 pm
One odd thing I can state with certainty, is that there is bleed when the drive is being accessed into the audio system (you can hear the drive being read through the speakers). It's about 3 times louder when the SSD is installed vs the HDD. I'm wondering if this can be related to the SSD casing seemingly lacking any grounding ...
The sound/static bleed issue is probably not related. I had this issue on my SelectaDock III's in various configurations - I could hear extra static during hard drive access. I ended up solving it by putting in a separate sound card.
Hey there, thanks for the reply!

I haven't had time to play with this yet, and I wanted to wait until the "ThinkPad IDE Adaption Kit For Dock I and Dock II" came in the mail, so I didn't have to run a SCSI PCMCIA card CD rom drive off a bench power supply to reinstall an operating system ...

But, now I'm really confused.

I received the "ThinkPad IDE Adaption Kit For Dock I and Dock II" P/N 46H6004 ... but that's not IDE. I know very well what IDE looks like, the connector is no where near as wide and the pin pitch is much smaller. I'm obviously missing something here ............ was there more than one type of IDE cable that existed???

This "thing" that says its an IDE adapter has 60 pins on it. I've never seen anything but a 40 pin IDE cable before.

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