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Thinkpad 560x refuses to detect hard drives but it powers them - error I9990305 *PICS*

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abeglw
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Thinkpad 560x refuses to detect hard drives but it powers them - error I9990305 *PICS*

#1 Post by abeglw » Fri May 07, 2021 6:25 pm

Hi, I bought a Thinkpad 560x 4GB, 96MB ram with the error I9990305 (No bootable device) and in the easy setup appears as there is no hard drive connected even when I hear the loud spinning. I checked this drive in another pc using an USB adapter and it has several bad sectors and half of the time it refuses to work on windows and also in linux.

So I installed a 40GB drive Fujitsu MHT2040AT which coincidentally is known to work with this machine, at least with the I8ET33WW bios (12/17/99) (I also have the same bios). Still the easy setup not recognizing the drive even when it's clearly on judging by the spinning.

I also tried with a compact flash Sandisk extreme 16GB + adapter to ide and I got the same result. I tried and tried and not once I saw a drive being detected. (I also double check this by CTRL+A in tests).

I cleaned the connector where the ribbon is attached to the mainboard. Still getting the same error. I checked the ribbon with a magnifying glass and the solder joints seems ok. I also checked the connection to the mainboard using a multimeter and I cannot find anything strange. I also reset the bios and run all the tests ok just in case and everything is ok.

I'm thinking if the issue is perhaps a little fuse blown by the last owner but I cannot distinguish them without the schematics in order to check them with the multimeter.

I have no idea what to do more. ¿Any thoughts? Thank you so much and I'm sorry if the writing is a little confusing, English is not my 1st language.

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Re: Thinkpad 560x refuses to detect hard drives but it powers them - error I9990305

#2 Post by RealBlackStuff » Fri May 07, 2021 11:38 pm

That early on, many drives had a jumper for Master or Slave.
Maybe that jumper is missing or set to Slave?
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Re: Thinkpad 560x refuses to detect hard drives but it powers them - error I9990305

#3 Post by abeglw » Sat May 08, 2021 1:09 pm

Thank you for trying to help me :), I'm sorry for not specifying that. The drive is set to master because there is no jumper installed. I also tried to put a jumper for cable select mode. Do you think is problematic that the ribbon uses 40 lanes instead 80? I understand in that case the drive would perform worse but at least should be detected.

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Re: Thinkpad 560x refuses to detect hard drives but it powers them - error I9990305

#4 Post by abeglw » Mon May 10, 2021 9:26 am

I would like to add that the pcmcia optical drive only can be opened in other computer, in this one it's barely spinning or responding. I'm starting to think that there is a serious issue in the motherboard. Recently I also cleaned every bit of the laptop, lots of cat fur.

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Re: Thinkpad 560x refuses to detect hard drives but it powers them - error I9990305

#5 Post by rkawakami » Mon May 10, 2021 7:26 pm

Fuses on the motherboard should be identified by the letter "F", followed by a number. It will be printed on the board very close to the actual part. Some of them look like this:

Image

Image

With all power removed from the motherboard, a fuse can be checked using a multimeter, best if you can set it to the "low ohms" range. If all you have is an autoranging meter, that should work but it may take a few seconds for the reading to settle.

With the leads of the multimeter placed at either (metal) end of the fuse, a good fuse will read 0 ohms. A bad fuse will read more than 0 ohms. Getting a bad one replaced is another story.
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Re: Thinkpad 560x refuses to detect hard drives but it powers them - error I9990305

#6 Post by abeglw » Wed May 12, 2021 9:52 am

I see! The second one is much different than I expected, thank you so much for the invaluable info, I will check all the things matching with that description.

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Re: Thinkpad 560x refuses to detect hard drives but it powers them - error I9990305 *PICS*

#7 Post by abeglw » Sun May 16, 2021 6:32 am

Update: I checked everything resembling a fuse and I found no issue, I also double check the IDE connector again and nothing. IDK, perhaps the fuse is in the other side of the board.
I booted the machine with an Ontrack disk manager floppy and it allowed me to partition and format (with an overlay too) a 16GB compact flash Sandisk extreme connected by a PCMCIA adapter but I cannot boot from it even when I select it in easy setup. It was not capable to detect the 40GB hard drive in bus ide though.
I also tried on DOS the utility atcfwchg.com with a CF connected to ide and It gave the error 20 and left me with the adaptor IDE to CF hanging with a constant blue light shining until I power off or restart the machine.

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Re: Thinkpad 560x refuses to detect hard drives but it powers them - error I9990305 *PICS*

#8 Post by olex126 » Mon May 17, 2021 8:26 am

Perhaps your Fujitsu drive needs to be re-partitioned to have a boot partition that the BIOS can see.

Try to re-partition your 40 Gb Fujitsu drive with a small (<4 Gb) FAT partition. (FAT32 only with Win95 OSR2, the original Win 95 is 16-bit FAT).

These units came originally with only either a 2.1 Gb or 4.0 Gb hard drive with Win 95 installed.

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Re: Thinkpad 560x refuses to detect hard drives but it powers them - error I9990305 *PICS*

#9 Post by abeglw » Mon May 17, 2021 7:10 pm

olex126 wrote:
Mon May 17, 2021 8:26 am
Perhaps your Fujitsu drive needs to be re-partitioned to have a boot partition that the BIOS can see.

Try to re-partition your 40 Gb Fujitsu drive with a small (<4 Gb) FAT partition. (FAT32 only with Win95 OSR2, the original Win 95 is 16-bit FAT).

These units came originally with only either a 2.1 Gb or 4.0 Gb hard drive with Win 95 installed.

Regards.

Dave
Thank you for your suggestion, I tried that again with a 450mb primary partition formatted to FAT and the easy setup still undetected.
BTW I successfully changed a 4GB CF to fixed but it was connected to PCMCIA instead the IDE adapter. Everything I connect there is not being recognized, even the original drive of 4090MB which is damaged but it's recognized in modern pcs.
I know it's controversial but I'm seriously thinking to boot the pc from pcmcia cf. I tried to partition the CF with 512mb and syslinux 4 and the laptop hangs trying to do something, that is the furthest thing I got.
I also noticed there is an editor (System Configuration Edit Utility) on the easy-setup (CTRL + D while in config section). Is anything in there that can be changed in order to enable the apparently disabled bus? I suspect this question might not have any sense but I'm running out of ideas.

I also try to boot using pcmcia cf in which I installed windows 2000 using a thinkpad R51. Nothing

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Re: Thinkpad 560x refuses to detect hard drives but it powers them - error I9990305 *PICS*

#10 Post by abeglw » Tue May 25, 2021 9:56 am

If anyone knows Thinkpad models with a motherboard very similar to 560X, please let me know. Perhaps Thinkpad 380? I'm trying to get more info with searches that contains other similar laptops.
Thank you so much

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Re: Thinkpad 560x refuses to detect hard drives but it powers them - error I9990305 *PICS*

#11 Post by Dustin82 » Tue Jul 27, 2021 6:29 am

Hi,

I ran into the same problem with a TP 560 (model 2640-200). I narrowed it down to the hard drive size and in case of the IDE to SD, specifically the block size of the SD card you are using.

When I use a 2GB SD card I have a success rate of about 80%. Newer cards have no chance to work. Especially micro SD's in an adapter are an absolute nightmare. I'm yet to discover one that it will accept.

About the hard disk size, my device has a BIOS limit of around 5GB. This number corresponds with the bios limits mentioned in the description of bios update 1.20 for the 560. I'm not sure whether this is the same for the 560x/z, i would think not. Although 40GB is very large for a system this age. There is a BIOS limit of 8GB and an OS/hardware limit of 32GB on most of these older systems, there is more general info about that online and there are also ways around these limits. In case of the TP560 these solutions are not usable, since HDD detection seems to be the problem. When it detects a drive that is too large/not working it hangs the system or produces an error in the lines of I9990301/I9990302 or I9990305. Faulty hard drives usually produce an error that starts with "17xx"

*From manual page 25: I9990301 Hard disk error. I9990302 Invalid hard disk boot record. I9990305 No bootable device.
*From manual page 24 : 1701 Hard disk controller failure. 1780, 1790 Hard disk 0 error. 1781, 1791 Hard disk 1 error

What works or does not work in my TP560 :

IDE TO SD MODEL "FC-1307 SD to CF Adapter"-->
4GB SD --> FAT16 usually NOT - depending on the card (older cards have better success rate - due to block size i reckon)
4GB SD --> FAT32 sometimes works (older cards have better success rate - due to block size i reckon)
4GB MicroSD --> Does not work
2GB SD --> FAT16/FAT32/Linux/NTFS --> WORKS (a few of my cards do not work with FAT16, other formats mostly just work) (This would be my best bet to get things going in your case)
2GB MicroSD --> not tested

note, some cards will cause the I9990305 error, but only after installing an OS / setting up MBR, other cards like for example a card that is too large, will cause hanging at the BIOS screen or produce the I9990302 error. I'm not really sure, but in the case of using the IDE to SD card adapter : I think I9990305 means SD card properly detected, but OS unreadable. I9990302 i think it also means SD card detected, but bad block size of SD card and hanging usually means, SD card to large (detection fails). When the block size is too large, i usually can't use these cards in other systems with the SD to CF either. The size limit is only important on the TP560, other systems usually don't have issues with this, unless they are very old.

Physical disks -->
8,5GB HITACHI --> Does not work (system hangs on Bios screen)
4,1GB IBM --> Works
30GB Toshiba --> Does not work (system hangs on Bios screen)

Booting from PCMCIA --> Side Note
I have been testing several of my PCMCIA cards in this system as well. I read here and there that these systems can boot from PCMCIA. I have found this to be true, but I had to dig deep to get it going :

2GB TRANSCEND CF in CF ATA FLASH ADAPTER --> BOOTS, DOES WORK IN DOS WITH PCMCIA DRIVERS
4GB SANDISK in OTHER CF ATA FLASH ADAPTER --> DOES NOT BOOT FROM IT (non system disk error), DOES WORK IN DOS WITH PCMCIA DRIVERS (NOT RECOGNIZED BY IBM EZPLAY SOFTWARE)
256MB SANDISK ATA FLASH CARD --> BOOTS and ALSO WORKS IN DOS WITH PCMCIA DRIVERS
64MB CISCO ATA FLASH CARD --> BOOTS AND ALSO WORKS IN DOS WITH PCMCIA DRIVERS
16MB SANDISK ATA FLASH CARD --> BOOTS. MUST BE FORMATTED IN FAT12 FOR SOME REASON OTHERWISE IT PRODUCES I9990302. *

This was an important step in my troubleshooting process, because then I could boot from PCMCIA and start testing formatting the HDD from the machine itself. The IDE 0 device is mounted as drive D:, which is a lot easier and less prone to bios/CHS/LBA and drive detection issues. The end result was the same tough, SD cards larger than 4GB do not work and smaller cards not always depending on their age. (older is better :D )

My previous issues with booting from PCMCIA were resolved by using a few of the PC CARD drivers from the TP310 on the TP560 and then using the tools from the PCCARD Tools from the TP310 "PCMFDISK.EXE". This is further explained in the topic "PCMCIA/CF BOOT" by SMA.

Hope this helps someone. The reason I ended up trying all this, was because I could not load software on the computer. The diskette drive is faulty and I have no CD-ROM for it. So I had to get creative, hence all the testing.

Other information I gathered that may be useful. --> some websites list that the 560 is known for having issues with the harddrive controller. It burns out due to lack of cooling. Maybe this is also true for the 560x? The disabled secondary IDE channel is done to give the system the ability to boot from PCMCIA. This is mentioned in the manual. You can change this with the utilities diskette using "SP2.EXE". In the TP560 (2640-200) this channel does not exist, so disabling it is not possible. The SP2 tool does not list the option either.

Grtz Dustin82

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Re: Thinkpad 560x refuses to detect hard drives but it powers them - error I9990305 *PICS*

#12 Post by abeglw » Fri Aug 13, 2021 8:22 pm

Thank you so much for the time you took to explain all. I will buy a smaller CF card (2GB) and try again. Regarding to the controller, I contacted to the seller and he said that he left the laptop in a working state in a shelf inside a bag and several years later when he tried to use it, it simply don't recognize the installed hard drive. So perhaps the controller still working.
Thanks again for all the info, it gave me lots of ideas that I could try. I truly appreciate all the feedback provided.
As soon as I try the new smaller CF I will report the results.

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Re: Thinkpad 560x refuses to detect hard drives but it powers them - error I9990305 *PICS*

#13 Post by Dustin82 » Sun Aug 15, 2021 9:11 am

Hi Abeglw,

No problem, it would be a shame if my research into this issue would not help someone else. :)

I hope the smaller CF card works in the 560x. Then my conclusions are probably correct and applicable to most TP 560's (and maybe other simular models) with either a CF to IDE or an SD to IDE adapter.

Grtz Dustin82

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Re: Thinkpad 560x refuses to detect hard drives but it powers them - error I9990305 *PICS*

#14 Post by abeglw » Thu Aug 19, 2021 1:24 pm

Dustin82 wrote:
Sun Aug 15, 2021 9:11 am
Hi Abeglw,

No problem, it would be a shame if my research into this issue would not help someone else. :)

I hope the smaller CF card works in the 560x. Then my conclusions are probably correct and applicable to most TP560's (and maybe other simular models) with either a CF to IDE or an SD to IDE adapter.

Grtz Dustin82
I bought 2 CF cards WD SiliconDrive II, one of 1GB and another of 2GB. They are not getting detected by the laptop but they working fine with that adapter connected to USB to IDE in a Windows 10 machine. I also tried to boot using PCMCIA Adapter to CF with a DOS image from IBM with pc card support but no luck.
I'm starting to think the disk controller is fried somehow. The adapter CF to IDE is set to master the whole time but at the end I noticed the only way to light up any led in the adapter while is in the laptop is by changing the jumper to slave.
I tried also to partition the 1GB to 2 smaller partitions with the same result. The formats tried were FAT16 and FAT 32 with the default allocation size.

Thank you for your suggestions, I will keep thinking about it in order to try new ideas.

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Re: Thinkpad 560x refuses to detect hard drives but it powers them - error I9990305 *PICS*

#15 Post by Dustin82 » Fri Aug 20, 2021 1:02 am

Hi,

I think you are on the right track, but you should read the topic boot from pcmcia on this forum. It explains how to properly format a bootable pcmcia/ cf card. It is not easy. Just formatting to fat16 in a modern pc does not work in the 560. I had to use a specific tool from the pcmcia drivers kit for a tp310. You can find that information in the topic "sma" started.

When using it instead of a hard disk I would try to fdisk it from a bootable diskette an then format it that way. I could also provide you with an image of the pcmcia bootable cf from my system. If you like that idea, Dm me an email so i can wetransfer it.

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Re: Thinkpad 560x refuses to detect hard drives but it powers them - error I9990305 *PICS*

#16 Post by abeglw » Fri Aug 20, 2021 6:17 pm

Dustin82 wrote:
Fri Aug 20, 2021 1:02 am
Hi,

I think you are on the right track, but you should read the topic boot from pcmcia on this forum. It explains how to properly format a bootable pcmcia/ cf card. It is not easy. Just formatting to fat16 in a modern pc does not work in the 560. I had to use a specific tool from the pcmcia drivers kit for a tp310. You can find that information in the topic "sma" started.

When using it instead of a hard disk I would try to fdisk it from a bootable diskette an then format it that way. I could also provide you with an image of the pcmcia bootable cf from my system. If you like that idea, Dm me an email so i can wetransfer it.
Thank you Dustin :) Is the tool pcmfdisk? Today I was trying to make a bootable MSDOS disk with that tool for use it in another computer with the target CF but I couldn't find it. I'm going to pm you right now, thank you so much for always trying to help ^_^

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Re: Thinkpad 560x refuses to detect hard drives but it powers them - error I9990305 *PICS*

#17 Post by abeglw » Thu Aug 26, 2021 7:49 am

Dustin82 wrote:
Fri Aug 20, 2021 1:02 am
Hi,

I think you are on the right track, but you should read the topic boot from pcmcia on this forum. It explains how to properly format a bootable pcmcia/ cf card. It is not easy. Just formatting to fat16 in a modern pc does not work in the 560. I had to use a specific tool from the pcmcia drivers kit for a tp310. You can find that information in the topic "sma" started.

When using it instead of a hard disk I would try to fdisk it from a bootable diskette an then format it that way. I could also provide you with an image of the pcmcia bootable cf from my system. If you like that idea, Dm me an email so i can wetransfer it.
I thought it was a standard image you made for your 560 but I saw you included lots of more things just for helping me. That's unreal, thank you so much for deliver something far more complete than I was expecting.

I flashed 2 cards of 2GB (one of them sandisk changed to fixed) and another one of 1GB. The laptop still not booting from them. It's crazy.

I made a floppy disk using ontrack 9.57 (in that tool the CF drive appear always as secondary, IDK if that is an issue) and with that diskette I can get to DOS with the card mounted as C:
I installed Windows 98 and 95 but I encounter lots of issues that I'm still resolving. For example, I had a VFAT error that I solved by editing config.sys from the floppy disk adding this new line

Code: Select all

DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\IFSHLP.SYS
That way I can go to windows but without registry and no XMS cache. I still working on that, until then I cannot install any driver without crashing the system with more errors.
If I solve all the issues I will post the results here.

Thanks again Dustin!

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Re: Thinkpad 560x refuses to detect hard drives but it powers them - error I9990305 *PICS*

#18 Post by Dustin82 » Thu Aug 26, 2021 8:17 am

No problem, I'm glad I could help.

Weird that your TP still won't boot from PCMCIA with a CF image that does work on my system. What error are you getting? Did you try to PS2.EXE it to disable secondary channel (This does not work on a normal 560 but it may work on a 560x?)

When you boot from a PCMCIA card the BIOS moves the drives around and drive C is available in DOS as drive D. Maybe the controller is not able to do that anymore due to damage? Something else I read was that PCMCIA boot does not work in some systems when there is no other HDD in the system?

Good to hear you found a way around the problem!

Grtz Dustin
Last edited by Dustin82 on Thu Aug 26, 2021 9:40 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Thinkpad 560x refuses to detect hard drives but it powers them - error I9990305 *PICS*

#19 Post by Dustin82 » Thu Aug 26, 2021 8:23 am

I'm not sure, but the drive appearing as secondary could mean there is something not quite right with your adapter or as we assumed earlier, that the controller is somehow not functioning as it should... My SD to IDE is detected as primary.

I have seen here and there, that some CF adapters can conflict with some HDD controllers about the "FIXED DISK" flag. Some adapter don't set this properly and can cause problems.

Primary/Slave problems usually appear when trying to combine a CF adapter with a CDROM for example. I'm not sure what is going on exactly, but this primary/secondary business needs investigation. :wink:

Side note, i'm not sure if it is possible, but if the primary master channel is indeed fried, maybe you could load a different bootloader onto your diskette and then set that up to boot from the slave drive/Drive D. I think there is a tool on the image I sent you that can install a simple bootloader. I'm just not sure if it can be put on a diskette. If that tool doesn't work, I think there is a GRUB Boot Floppy that maybe works differently from Ontrack disk manager? I'm just guessing at this point.

The only way to be really sure would be to install a real IDE hard disk that is simular or smaller in size to the dead one you removed. If that works, then all issues are related to your CF adapter. If it doesn't. Well, then your controller is fried.

Grtz Dustin

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Re: Thinkpad 560x refuses to detect hard drives but it powers them - error I9990305 *PICS*

#20 Post by abeglw » Thu Aug 26, 2021 10:54 pm

- One of your tools reported that CF card is installed as secondary master
- I burnt your image to 4GB CF fixed and it's not booting (no errors on screen, it's like there is no CF there)
- I installed W98 booting first with ontrack boot diskette. Same errors as W95, it cannot build a registry. I tried create system.dat but it failed and I had to reinstall W98
- As you suggested, I think I'll try a grub boot floppy or something similar.
- The PCMCIA to CF adapter is a dumb 16 bits one - no cardbus 32 bits. I think is passive and works great in other laptop
- The primary controller still not detecting anything, even the 4GB hdd original which just spins without being recognized. I don't think the issue is a blown fuse because the hdd powers up.
- The fixed Sandisk CF 4GB cannot be mounted on windows 10 as the other CFs. It mount ok if I use it in other laptop (With WXP) installed in PCMCIA slot type II

I will report again in case I progress further. Thank you again for all the suggestions.

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Re: Thinkpad 560x refuses to detect hard drives but it powers them - error I9990305 *PICS*

#21 Post by blue lander » Sun Aug 29, 2021 6:37 pm

Hi,

I just bought a 560x from a thrift store and I'm having the EXACT SAME problem you are. The hard disk spins but it won't boot and the BIOS doesn't see it. I put the disk in another Thinkpad and it boots fine. I tried a PCMCIA to CF card adapter with a 1gb SANDisk CF card and it doesn't work. CF to IDE adapter wouldn't work either.

I don't have a floppy drive or CD rom drive for the thing. Were you ever able to get yours to boot of PCMCIA? I'd be happy with just DOS at this point.

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Re: Thinkpad 560x refuses to detect hard drives but it powers them - error I9990305 *PICS*

#22 Post by abeglw » Sun Aug 29, 2021 10:11 pm

blue lander wrote:
Sun Aug 29, 2021 6:37 pm
Hi,

I just bought a 560x from a thrift store and I'm having the EXACT SAME problem you are. The hard disk spins but it won't boot and the BIOS doesn't see it. I put the disk in another Thinkpad and it boots fine. I tried a PCMCIA to CF card adapter with a 1gb SANDisk CF card and it doesn't work. CF to IDE adapter wouldn't work either.

I don't have a floppy drive or CD rom drive for the thing. Were you ever able to get yours to boot of PCMCIA? I'd be happy with just DOS at this point.
I'm so sorry to hear that, my laptop it seems that only boots from a floppy drive. If I managed to go to windows 95 / 98 (with lots of errors) is thanks to pcmcia adapter to cf.

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