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Factory restore 235 without parallel floppy?

Older ThinkPads from the 300, 500, 600, 700 Series, iSeries, Transnote etc.
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solidpro
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Posts: 136
Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2020 11:46 am
Location: Milton Keynes, GB

Factory restore 235 without parallel floppy?

#1 Post by solidpro » Fri May 27, 2022 3:48 am

Hi everyone

I have a decent 235 with a dead hard drive. I have the original restore floppy and CD-ROM.

Problem is how to apply this restore. I have a multitude of USB floppy and CD-ROM. This tiny, 3rd party manufactured thinkpad doesn't have a 'normal' thinkpad BIOS or seemingly any kind of dock or external drive connector, besides USB.

Usually when I am stuck for reinstalling an OS, I'll format the drive with a Win98 boot disk in the intended machine, and copy basic sys files to allow it to boot and then switch the drive to another machine and copy over the OS files into a subfolder and then switch back and run the OS installer. However in this case, I wish to ensure the original recovery media is used and I don't know if it'll allow me to copy the files from the CD-ROM over....

Also I have no idea if I can use a USB floppy drive to even get that far...

Has anyone attempted this? What was their tactics?

Thanks

Alex

solidpro
Sophomore Member
Posts: 136
Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2020 11:46 am
Location: Milton Keynes, GB

Re: Factory restore 235 without parallel floppy?

#2 Post by solidpro » Fri May 27, 2022 7:33 am

Does anyone know if this adaptor would allow me to use a standard IBM external floppy through the 235's parallel port?

IBM 08K6359 Fdd-to-Parallel Converter Adapter 08K6360 Floppy Drive to Parallel IBM
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/372285968367
Manufacturer IBM
Part Number 08K6360
Description Floppy Drive to Parallel
Condition REFURBISHED
Availability 21 In Stock (Bin Location: 9-P22-E)
Warranty 30 Days
UPC 788490597810

Shipping to the UK is crazy but interested to know if it would work...

Enig
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu May 20, 2021 10:53 am
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Re: Factory restore 235 without parallel floppy?

#3 Post by Enig » Fri May 27, 2022 7:41 am

Hi solidpro

A bit of a conundrum you have there ;)

First - I would think this is far too old to have any kind of USB boot capability.

As far as I can tell this machine originally came with a parallel port FDD, and an optional PCMCIA CD-ROM drive.
..so to boot with any floppy I think you'd need procure that type of drive. (I didn't see the any IBM floppy connector on the 235 in any images I managed to google).

I sadly don't have any restore media for TPs that old* - but I'm wondering how much it checks you have the correct type and model Thinkpad?
Maybe you could try it out in another laptop with floppy and cd-rom then transfer the drive back to the 235 once the load was complete (if it even works).

Or you could take backups of the restore media**, and ask if anyone else who has this machine and the accessories would be willing to do a fresh restore, then image the drive and send the image file to you?


*I'm on the lookout for restore media for the original 560 if anyone has seen those somewhere.
** You should definatly back these up and share them with theterminator93 here: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=128170
Thinkpads: 560 | 600 | T23 | T40 | X41 | R51 | X60s (Fubar) | X61s | T61 | X201 | W510 | X220 | T430 | T530 (x2) | X240 | T440s | X250 | T450 | P50s | T470s

Enig
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu May 20, 2021 10:53 am
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Re: Factory restore 235 without parallel floppy?

#4 Post by Enig » Fri May 27, 2022 7:48 am

solidpro wrote:
Fri May 27, 2022 7:33 am
Does anyone know if this adaptor would allow me to use a standard IBM external floppy through the 235's parallel port?

IBM 08K6359 Fdd-to-Parallel Converter Adapter 08K6360 Floppy Drive to Parallel IBM
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/372285968367
Manufacturer IBM
Part Number 08K6360
Description Floppy Drive to Parallel
Condition REFURBISHED
Availability 21 In Stock (Bin Location: 9-P22-E)
Warranty 30 Days
UPC 788490597810

Shipping to the UK is crazy but interested to know if it would work...
Good question .. I did note that 08K6360 seems to have been made specifically for the T2x line :/
https://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Floppy_C ... allel_port
Thinkpads: 560 | 600 | T23 | T40 | X41 | R51 | X60s (Fubar) | X61s | T61 | X201 | W510 | X220 | T430 | T530 (x2) | X240 | T440s | X250 | T450 | P50s | T470s

solidpro
Sophomore Member
Posts: 136
Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2020 11:46 am
Location: Milton Keynes, GB

Re: Factory restore 235 without parallel floppy?

#5 Post by solidpro » Fri May 27, 2022 9:02 am

Hi

Well, the plot thickens because on the 235 you have the additional issue that the BIOS and the restore OS (I think it ends up with W98) is all in Japanese!

Sounds like the parallel adaptor is no good but if I can get one for less than $30 i might give it a punt.

Weirdly I do actually have another 235 in storage and I think the OS is fully installed and working. So maybe I'll have to dig that out and image it. Or just install a plain old Win98 via a FDISK, FORMAT and SYS: in another machine... and cut my losses! I might be able to restore anything additional from the restore disk or from the driver's matrix...

Thanks for the comments so far!

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