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The first issue is the 600E CD is bootable and try as I could, the 385ED would not boot from the CD, even with the BIOS setup to do so, and there is no setup or install file to get the install to start; this seems to be true of all the Thinkpad recovery disks. When you bought a 600E the Recovery Disk it came with a bootable diskette to start the recovery process in case you could not get the CD to boot. Fortunately,there is a recovery boot diskette creating file available among the Think Pad drivers with this website. Checking the "380, 380D, 380E, 380ED, 385D, 385ED" driver section, there a a file called "Boot disk for use with the Windows 95 Recovery CD", this works with either Win95 or Win98. I've used it in the past with Windows 95 recovery disks and it not only boots the Recovery CD, it automates the install/recovery process. The bootdisk is created by downloading the file, placing a 3 1/2" diskette into a drive and then double clicking on the file fyi I have used an exterior 3 1/2" drive, but it's best to use a computer with an OS earlier than XP, or creating the diskette may not work (using XP is a hit or miss proposition). Using the recovery bootdisk and 600E Win98 recovery CD, Win98 was installed on my 385ED without any issues. Now it's time to check out what 385ED drivers will be needed. It should be noted as with most or all of the win9x/ 2000 rescue disks, you will need a COA to activate the installed windows version, but there is no checking in with Microsoft, so any COA that matches the OS will work.
The 380/385 series uses Neomagic MagicGraph128ZV, while the 600E uses Neomagic MagicMedia256AV, however the Neomagic 128ZV driver was loaded so there was no need to download the Graphics driver. When I used 380CXD and 380/380D rescue disk to load Win95, I had to download the Neomagic drivers both times, so this was a surprise.
The 380/385 series has a Crystal CS4236B chip, while the 600E has a CS4239/CS4610 chip, when these drivers were loaded the Device Manager could not find all the drivers, however when the driver install process was done, the Device manager showed drivers were properly loaded (no Unknown devices or yellow triangles). As an experiment I downloaded the 380/385 series Audio drivers and extracted them. When I clicked on setup.exe file in the C:\Drivers\W9x\Audio folder, the setup program worked, but the end result was the Audio drivers were deleted. I uninstalled the Audio drivers using the Add/Remove utility, and rebooted the computer, but the old drivers did not reinstall, however through the Device Manager had an option to "Reinstall the previous driver". Instead I tried manually installing the audio 385ED drivers from C:\Drivers\W9x\Audio folder that is not deleted when the program is uninstalled, and the manual install worked. So either way it seems the audio is supported.
You may see a device called something similar to a "Ultrabay Hot/Warm card swapping" with a yellow triangle. This is for a SelectaDock docking station available for 600 and 700 series Thinkpads, so in this case, it appears the 600E recovery disk installed the "PCMCIA SelectaDock I/II driver for Windows 95/98 driver". The 380/385 series Thinkpads, are compataible with the SelectaDock 1, however if you don't have one, you can simply delete it and it will disappear.
One of the main reasons for wanting to install Win98 on my 385ed was I wanted to see if I could a USB to work; especially since most 380/385 series do not have any USB ports (the exceptions are the 380XD, 380Z and 385XD), but the docking station has one, along with 2 PCMCIA Cardbus (the 385ED only has a PCMCIA Type ll/lll slot, which BTW worked after the Win98 install) and some other ports as well. While I could not get the USB port in the docking station to work (or the Device manager even recognize the port), I was able to get a Via USB Cardbus to work. First I placed the Via CD in the CD player, and plugged the Cardbus into the docking station. The Device manager recognized the Cardbus found the Via USB drivers on the CD, but even after the drivers loaded, the Device Manager could not find a driver when I plugged in a USB drive. This is, however, not usual for WIN98, and there are some drivers available on the WEB to fill this need. There are two I have used, one usually labeled "NUSB###" or similar the other something similar to USB2.0. While both work, the NUSB installs an "Intel 82801DB(ICH4) USB2.0 Enhanced Host Controller" along with a USB host Controller, while the USB2.0 driver does not. While it's possible the "Intel 82801DB(ICH4) USB2.0 Enhanced Host Controller" may result in a faster I/O speeds, I have found it conflicts with the PCMCIA driver, disabling the PCMCIA Type ll/lll slot, so I use the later (USB2.0 driver), and indeed it worked and I was able to use a USB drive with my 385ED. Granted a PCMCIA Compact flash works just as well and sometimes better, getting a USB to work was simply a dragon for me to slay. As a matter of fact, the Win98 USB drivers work by identifying the USB drivers as a PCMCIA Compact flash.
My hope is, if you plan to install from a recovery disk, even if it is for your specific model, there will be something in here that help with the process.
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