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ThinkPad 240 serial port woes & PS2 DOS Utility

Older ThinkPads from the 300, 500, 600, 700 Series, iSeries, Transnote etc.
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Lomax
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Posts: 122
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2005 1:16 pm
Location: London, UK

ThinkPad 240 serial port woes & PS2 DOS Utility

#1 Post by Lomax » Sun Feb 20, 2022 8:55 am

Hi all,

I've recently become the owner of a delightful little TP 240 which I'd like to use to talk to some old equipment that doesn't like USB serial adapters and modern operating systems. But despite much fiddling I haven't been able to get the serial port to work in DOS 6.22 - programs that try to access COM1 either hang the machine or fail. I thought I'd take a look at the PS2 DOS utility (uttpfdos.exe, which is v4.43) which I've managed to extract with the help of a VirtualBox DOS machine and a virtual floppy (VFD) file. This should let me control the serial and IR ports. But when I try any of the PS2 commands, including a basic "ps2 ?", on the TP 240 I get this entirely unhelpful error message:
Command not completed for some reason.
Try again later.
If the problem persists, have the system serviced.
Any ideas?
240 - 600E - 600X - 770X - X31 - X32 - T43p (SATA) - T60p - X200t - X60s - X61s - X200s - X201s (PVA) - X220 - X230 (X220 kbd)

SMA
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Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 3:48 pm
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Re: ThinkPad 240 serial port woes & PS2 DOS Utility

#2 Post by SMA » Sun Feb 20, 2022 10:04 am

Hi

You cannot run the configuration tool in a virtual machine, if that is what you have been trying.

Else, I believe you are on the right track. Usually the COM1 port is disabled by default. (I don't know about 240 though)

SMA
Junior Member
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Posts: 317
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 3:48 pm
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Re: ThinkPad 240 serial port woes & PS2 DOS Utility

#3 Post by SMA » Sun Feb 20, 2022 10:17 am

Did you copy all the files to the 240 ?
Have you read the readme file ?
Have you executed the install procedure ?

I think that you are using the wrong configuration utility - you can download the correct one by clicking on 'Drivers' at the top of this page.
You will need uttpirds.exe

Lomax
Freshman Member
Posts: 122
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2005 1:16 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: ThinkPad 240 serial port woes & PS2 DOS Utility

#4 Post by Lomax » Sun Feb 20, 2022 11:51 am

Thanks guys! I tried uttpirds.exe as well and got the same error, then I spotted something in the BIOS revision history:

Code: Select all

<1.08 - IRET62WW>
 - (New) Support for Command Prompt Utility (PS2.EXE).
My TP 240 was on IRET17WW, which is the second oldest BIOS version, so I proceeded to update to IRET77WW (the last BIOS, from 2003). However, I then ran into the old battery requirement issue, and since my TP 240 did not come with a battery I was unable to get any further. I tried the usual suggestions, such as running UPDTFLSH.EXE with various switches, hex-editing UPDTFLSH.EXE to bypass the battery check (instructions did not match my version), and running PHLASH.EXE directly (failed with missing PLATFORM.BIN error). After a lot of digging I found a comment by "cbiedl" on the ThinkWiki BIOS Upgrade "talk" page that suggested renaming $NNN.FL1 file to BIOS.ROM and the $NNN.FL3 file to PLATFORM.BIN before running PHLASH.EXE - this worked, and upgraded the BIOS, though it scared me by immediately beginning the upgrade after launching it, with no confirmation dialogs. I'm happy to report that my serial port is now working correctly, though the PS2 utility still fails with the same error message.
240 - 600E - 600X - 770X - X31 - X32 - T43p (SATA) - T60p - X200t - X60s - X61s - X200s - X201s (PVA) - X220 - X230 (X220 kbd)

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