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Thinkpad 600 SSD

Older ThinkPads.. from the 600, the 7xx, the iSeries, 300, 500, the Transnote and, of course, the 701
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JPOESQ
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Thinkpad 600 SSD

#1 Post by JPOESQ » Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:16 pm

I’ve read everything that I could find and haven’t found a clear answer. What’s the best SSD approach for running Win98 on a plain 600?
John P. O'Banion, JD, PE, BSEE
Registered Patent Attorney
http://www.intellectual.com

600, X220 (McDonnell bios, Linux), X230, T530 (1vyrain bios), X1 Carbon 5th Signature Edition

Thinkpad4by3
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Re: Thinkpad 600 SSD

#2 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:26 pm

Likely a CF card with a CF to IDE adapter.
Thinkpad4by3's Law of the Universe.

The efficiency of two screens equally sized with equal numbers if pixels are equal. The time spent by a 4:3 user complaining about 16:9 is proportional to the inefficiency working with a 16:9 display, therefore the amount of useful work extracted is equal.

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Re: Thinkpad 600 SSD

#3 Post by axur-delmeria » Wed Feb 05, 2020 2:01 pm

Thinkpad4by3 wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:26 pm
Likely a CF card with a CF to IDE adapter.
Perhaps. The raw throughput of a SATA 3 SSD is roughly 20 times the bandwidth of the Thinkpad 600's IDE port; I expect unusual issues to crop up.
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X601 Core 2 Duo T8100
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
On loan: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
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Re: Thinkpad 600 SSD

#4 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Wed Feb 05, 2020 2:30 pm

axur-delmeria wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 2:01 pm
Thinkpad4by3 wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:26 pm
Likely a CF card with a CF to IDE adapter.
Perhaps. The raw throughput of a SATA 3 SSD is roughly 20 times the bandwidth of the Thinkpad 600's IDE port; I expect unusual issues to crop up.
What? CF is pin comaptible IDE...and runs at IDE speeds. Outside of the speed of flash over a spinny disk, it will be just fine.
Thinkpad4by3's Law of the Universe.

The efficiency of two screens equally sized with equal numbers if pixels are equal. The time spent by a 4:3 user complaining about 16:9 is proportional to the inefficiency working with a 16:9 display, therefore the amount of useful work extracted is equal.

JPOESQ
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Re: Thinkpad 600 SSD

#5 Post by JPOESQ » Wed Feb 05, 2020 4:29 pm

Thinkpad4by3 wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:26 pm
Likely a CF card with a CF to IDE adapter.
That’s what I did with a 750 and a T40 but it was a while ago. Now I see IDE SSDs for low prices and have no idea if they will work with a 600 or if the CF approach (more expensive) is the way to go.
John P. O'Banion, JD, PE, BSEE
Registered Patent Attorney
http://www.intellectual.com

600, X220 (McDonnell bios, Linux), X230, T530 (1vyrain bios), X1 Carbon 5th Signature Edition

axur-delmeria
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Re: Thinkpad 600 SSD

#6 Post by axur-delmeria » Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:24 pm

Thinkpad4by3 wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 2:30 pm
What? CF is pin comaptible IDE...and runs at IDE speeds. Outside of the speed of flash over a spinny disk, it will be just fine.
I realized my post kinda jumped to an SSD's speed all of a sudden. I meant to say that an uber-fast drive like an SSD could cause unusual issues when plugged into a much slower port. I remember an old post in this forum about testing an SSD in an older Thinkpad (T2x I think) and encountering problems like stuttering (might be due to the SSD saturating the southbridge's internal buffers).
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X601 Core 2 Duo T8100
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
On loan: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
:cry:

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Re: Thinkpad 600 SSD

#7 Post by JPOESQ » Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:24 am

Just for grins I’m going to try an ide to msata adapter and drive. $20 experiment.
John P. O'Banion, JD, PE, BSEE
Registered Patent Attorney
http://www.intellectual.com

600, X220 (McDonnell bios, Linux), X230, T530 (1vyrain bios), X1 Carbon 5th Signature Edition

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Re: Thinkpad 600 SSD

#8 Post by keenmaster486 » Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:46 pm

Best solution I've found for Win98 is Compact Flash with IDE adapter.

I used one of those cheap IDE SSDs for a while too, but CF is more convenient.

I tried an mSATA to IDE adapter but it did not work. Perhaps my mSATA drive was incompatible somehow.

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Re: Thinkpad 600 SSD

#9 Post by JPOESQ » Fri Feb 07, 2020 6:56 pm

The IDE to mSATA adapter and mSATA card will be here next week. If it doesn’t work then I’m only out $20 and I can put the mSATA card in my X220. Worth a try at that price.
John P. O'Banion, JD, PE, BSEE
Registered Patent Attorney
http://www.intellectual.com

600, X220 (McDonnell bios, Linux), X230, T530 (1vyrain bios), X1 Carbon 5th Signature Edition

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Re: Thinkpad 600 SSD

#10 Post by JBUK » Sun Feb 09, 2020 4:41 am

JPOESQ wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 6:56 pm
The IDE to mSATA adapter and mSATA card will be here next week. If it doesn’t work then I’m only out $20 and I can put the mSATA card in my X220. Worth a try at that price.
I used this very setup with a Plextor mSata in a T23 using XP and also W7 (experimentally). It certainly sped the T23 up quite a bit. It worked in the Ultrabay too albeit at a slower pace. So you are on the right track.
I still have the mSata in a T61 using W10 in a mSATA to SATA adapter.
Where to begin......
390e FOR SALE
1 x T20
1 X T23 + 3 breaking for parts
1 X T23 with Samsung 840 SSD and XP Great combination !: SOLD
2 X T60
5 X T61
1 X T601 15"
1 X T520
2 X T530

JPOESQ
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Re: Thinkpad 600 SSD

#11 Post by JPOESQ » Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:35 pm

My mSATA experiment failed - the IDE adapter didn’t work so I returned it and the mSATA now lives in the X220.

I acquired an Addonics dual CF adapter and I’m in the process of figuring out a way to install it without taking the 600 apart. My next experiment is trying to fit the adapter into a drive tray.
John P. O'Banion, JD, PE, BSEE
Registered Patent Attorney
http://www.intellectual.com

600, X220 (McDonnell bios, Linux), X230, T530 (1vyrain bios), X1 Carbon 5th Signature Edition

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Re: Thinkpad 600 SSD

#12 Post by kfzhu1229 » Thu Feb 27, 2020 1:16 pm

Unless you are talking about really special types of random seek, I dont know why you would want a full SSD in a ThinkPad 600. With PII266 and 416MB of ram, my ThinkPad 600 can barely even max out the performance of a 5400rpm Hitachi drive from a ThinkPad T4x (or the ram, unless you try to surf the web with the thing)
Then again I also like to say the hit and miss experience of having such a new drive in the system too where creating a main partition larger than 8GB results in the controller panicking and not boot. Even when I get the OS set up I have 25% chance that the HDD wont be read properly unless I power cycle it
Dell Lat CP MMX-233 64mb 40gb W2k
600 PII-266 416mb 40gb WXP
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
Lat D830 X9000 8gb 128gb WSXGA+ 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: Thinkpad 600 SSD

#13 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Thu Feb 27, 2020 1:25 pm

kfzhu1229 wrote:
Thu Feb 27, 2020 1:16 pm
Unless you are talking about really special types of random seek, I dont know why you would want a full SSD in a ThinkPad 600. With PII266 and 416MB of ram, my ThinkPad 600 can barely even max out the performance of a 5400rpm Hitachi drive from a ThinkPad T4x (or the ram, unless you try to surf the web with the thing)
Then again I also like to say the hit and miss experience of having such a new drive in the system too where creating a main partition larger than 8GB results in the controller panicking and not boot. Even when I get the OS set up I have 25% chance that the HDD wont be read properly unless I power cycle it
1) not sure where you're getting those numbers from? I've put in an SSD in a machine from 1993 and the performance over a 40gb IDE drive was just blazing. Sure, it won't get anywhere near the 133MB/s saturation point of a CF card but the benefit was evident and clear...on Windows 95. 600 should have the processing power to really take advantage.

2) HDDs are getting unreliable...and SSDs are quieter.
Thinkpad4by3's Law of the Universe.

The efficiency of two screens equally sized with equal numbers if pixels are equal. The time spent by a 4:3 user complaining about 16:9 is proportional to the inefficiency working with a 16:9 display, therefore the amount of useful work extracted is equal.

JPOESQ
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Re: Thinkpad 600 SSD

#14 Post by JPOESQ » Wed Mar 11, 2020 7:58 pm

My 600 is now running the factory preload on a 32GB mSATA in an IDE adapter. I also have a different OS build running on an 8GB CF in an adapter. All in all I’m pleased with the result.
John P. O'Banion, JD, PE, BSEE
Registered Patent Attorney
http://www.intellectual.com

600, X220 (McDonnell bios, Linux), X230, T530 (1vyrain bios), X1 Carbon 5th Signature Edition

Christian Thomas
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Re: Thinkpad 600 SSD

#15 Post by Christian Thomas » Thu Mar 12, 2020 9:10 pm

I managed to get an mSATA 32GB working on an IDE adapter on a Dell 420. I'm hoping to do the same on my recently acquired 600x (500MHz and ~ 640MB) but have a few worries about how to get the pins in, as the adapter is less than half the depth of a hdd. I have some time since I am still trying to crack the password of the NT4 account that's on there. I'm going to do an image of the disk and see if I can't look at that, but I couldn't get ophcrack, Hiren's Boot CD nor UBCD to work for me.

The Dell 420 responded really well to this upgrade. In its time it had the same sort of "executive" price tag as a 600x but it has a ceiling on the memory, which I have maxxed out. It runs mainly XP but I put Win 10 on the other partition and that just about runs. But more than 3 tabs in Chrome and you're cooked. Unfortunately it is such a good little machine that it persuaded me to buy one of its descendents - a Latitude E6230 - when I should have bought an X220 or x230. I have been regretting it almost daily ever since, even though I have got just about everything on it that I can.

The SSD I bought was a BiWin M6314 which was about £11 on Amazon, and is probably even cheaper now. The adapter I think came from China, is unbranded and just says MSATA TO IDE INPUT M811. It was about $3 but works just fine. I don't remember having any problems doing a fresh install on it.

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Re: Thinkpad 600 SSD

#16 Post by everchanging02 » Fri May 29, 2020 2:49 pm

I have been using msata to IDE adapters for my IDE SSD solutions (mostly because it was all I knew/thought of at the time). I presently have two in use: a 32GB in an R51 and a 64GB in an A30P. I had issues with my first adapter, as it was not designed for a laptop bay (the soldered pins stuck out too far on the bottom), but I then found a better designed (and more expensive) solution. I did have issues with the A30P, as Win98 did not want to format the drive, but using a floppy boot disk allowed me to clear that hurdle. I had plans to do similar to my 600, but I am having driver issues and so it went on hold (don't want to spend the fancy hardware on a unit that isn't fully functional). I have one more 64GB that I plan to use on a second R51 (when it arrives) and which worked fine on an R51e (but was removed because Win98 sadly had initialization driver issues with that unit).
I will be getting an SD to IDE adapter today that I want to try on my 365xd (since it's a ton easier to access than a full-sized msata to IDE adapter and the SD transfer rates are about the cap for IDE transfer rate). Can keep apprised of that venture.

Update 1: The SD card adapter did not work. It appears it brings over the SD card directly, so it's basically just adding an internal SD card interface (that is not hot-swap-able).

Update 2: The SD card adapter actually sort-of works. My 600 died before I could test operation of the SD adapter on it (power to drives is absent - need to perform diagnostic surgery). However, my initial hurdle was that the adapter did not recognize SD cards faster than 80MB/s. With such a card in place, Win98 FDisk recognizes the adapter as a drive, but the 365xd bios could not recognize it. I had bought 100MB/s initially - hence the failure - and then grabbed a 80MB/s for some reason and used it on an R51 install without issue. I will be getting in new 80MB/s cards that I plan to test on my A30p (the next-oldest working laptop I have). If it functions there, it is possible such a solution would work for the 600.

Update 3: I was able to test out a variety of SSD solutions for my working machines.
My SSD options were as follows: IDE SSD (32GB), Compact Flash to IDE (2GB, 4GB, 8GB at 133x), SD card to IDE (4GB, 16GB micro adapter, 128GB at 80MB/s), and mSATA to IDE (32GB and 64GB).
My test PCs were as follows: 365XD (with 40MB RAM), A30p (with 512MB RAM), and R51 (15" with 1GB RAM).
As sated in update 2, my SD card adapters could not recognize the 100MB/s cards, but could see the 80MB/s cards.
For the 365xd, I tried all of the options. The only items I had success with were the Compact Flash at 4GB and 2GB. I have a feeling the 8GB failed due to the high speed, which I will be testing soon with a slower 8GB card. While a number of the devices would detect in BIOS, at post it did not seem to know how to handle them. Most of the larger-capacity options would not even detect at post, requesting to load a system disk and restart. An interesting item of note is that the Windows 98 FDisk could see the 4GB SD card, but it would not detect as a valid drive on post.
For the A30p, I tried all but the IDE SSD. The SD cards would not detect at all. However, the Compact Flash and mSATA options worked fine. I am presently using a 64GB mSATA for this PC.
And, although I know it is far-removed from the thread's timeframe of comparable devices, for completeness I include the R51. I did not test the IDE SSD or Compact Flash as I recall. The mSATA and SD cards worked just fine. I am presently using a 128GB 80MB/s SD card for this PC.
My only concerns about the CF and SD options are the form factor of the adapters that I used. The SD adapters do not fit a drive caddy, and I ended up using a long piece of tape to lower it into and remove it from the A30p and R51 (using a retractable pen to firmly insert the adapter into the drive bay socket). One of the CF adapters fits a caddy (it's a dual CF adapter) while the other was similar to the SD adapters. Seeing as I had initially gone through all this trouble for the 365xd, I ended up using this smaller CF adapter on that PC. Of note, using the dual-CF adapter in the 365xd would kick the CD drive from the configuration if the slave drive slot was filled. I do not recall having a similar issue with the A30p, and theorize that it would be similar with the 600, since they both use the modular drive bays.
Novice collector (retro-gaming / past workplace nostalgia)
Working: 365xd, A30p, R51 (charges, does not run on battery), R51 (15"), R61i
T4X0: 0, 1, 2 (i7), 2 (i5), 3
T4X0s: 1, 3, 5
Repair: 600 (no drive power), T30 (Crit Batt error), R51e (unresponsive at boot), T420s (screen replace)

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