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SD Card to IDE Adapter in 380XD

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Paul Pennington
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SD Card to IDE Adapter in 380XD

#1 Post by Paul Pennington » Tue Nov 25, 2008 6:29 pm

I picked up the subject device on eBay (item number 180299831698). This one is designed for notebooks and fits nicely in the space where the hard drive was. I put a 8GB SDHD card in it.

It works, I can read and write files to it, but won't boot.
This 380XD is a 2635-FAU, and I updated it to the latest BIOS.

I tried these three so far: MSDOS 6.22, Windows 98SE, and Partition Magic. In each case, the unit booted from floppy, and the FDISK and format operations did not show any errors (the MSDOS disk made and formatted a 2GB partition). When booted from a floppy, I can transfer files to the SD card and read them. Boot order in the BIOS is set to floppy, CD, hard drive.

I just wondered if anyone had any suggestions before I pull it out and try it in a newer ThinkPad.
Last edited by Paul Pennington on Thu Nov 27, 2008 5:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
My ThinkPads: 700C(2+), 701C(2), 380XD, 385XD, 390X, T23, A31(2), T42(3)

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#2 Post by rkawakami » Tue Nov 25, 2008 6:40 pm

fdisk /mbr command perhaps?
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Paul Pennington
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#3 Post by Paul Pennington » Tue Nov 25, 2008 8:03 pm

Well I'll be... That worked (in MSDOS 6.22) !

Thanks, Ray :bow:
My ThinkPads: 700C(2+), 701C(2), 380XD, 385XD, 390X, T23, A31(2), T42(3)

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#4 Post by ieee488 » Tue Nov 25, 2008 8:32 pm

@Paul

It seems that brand new 2.5" IDE drives are increasingly hard to find, and I am thinking this would be a good solution.

Will you be trying a Windows install?

I'd really be interested in finding out the exact steps to go about making the SD bootable.

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#5 Post by Paul Pennington » Thu Nov 27, 2008 5:17 pm

I just tried loading Windows 98 (not SE) on the SD card "hard drive". I used an IBM recovery CD for a 385XD. It loaded fine and runs Windows, but the CDROM drive is not showing up, even though Windows loaded from it (!) Device Manager in Control Panel shows a bang in front of the IDE controller. Don't know if this is related to the SD drive or the difference between the ThinkPad models. The 385XD has a 440TX chipset, and this particular 380XD has a 440BX (and a Pentium-II 266).

I have not downloaded any drivers from the Lenovo site yet -- not sure if there are any drivers for the IDE controller.

I'll pursue this and report back what I find, but it will take a while -- very busy right now.
My ThinkPads: 700C(2+), 701C(2), 380XD, 385XD, 390X, T23, A31(2), T42(3)

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#6 Post by ieee488 » Fri Nov 28, 2008 10:23 am

Please do report back, but from the sound of it, this has a lot of potential.

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Re: SD Card to IDE Adapter in 380XD

#7 Post by Joe Bass » Fri Apr 09, 2010 12:36 am

Hate to go diggin' up old threads, but I had already embarked on this same path when I came across it. I got the same idea with my old 380ed. I used the Hitachi Microdrive Drivers to make the SD card a fixed disk(attached to PCMCIA/IDE adapter) then thru several rounds of attempting to clone the HDD I finally broke down and used XXCLONE and it seemed to do the job fine. But I have the same trouble with the CD disappearing when I mount the SD card adapter in place of the HDD. I'm wondering if it's attached in series with the 4 unused pins on the HDD connector somehow. I have yet to get a good boot out of it though, and I don't know why. It's an 8GB card. I know this thing only ever had an option for as big as 5.1GB HDD's, but I would think it should boot up to at least a 10GB. Got the last BIOS listed, I1ET49WW. Perhaps it is a limitation there. Well, if you're still checking in, how'd you make out in the end? Give up on it? Or anyone else that's been down this road who has 2 cents to chip in, feel free. Being unemployed gives me lot's of time to screw with these foolish ventures. Hey, what the heck. It's runnin' XP pro and a wireless card (albeit rather slow! Never could get WINFLP to load properly.) A little streamlining and some faster access times(SD) and I can just keep it in the kitchen or the bathroom for those odd querys that pop up at strange times and just need to be answered.

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Re: SD Card to IDE Adapter in 380XD

#8 Post by eyestrain » Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:16 pm

Joe Bass wrote:or the bathroom for those odd querys that pop up at strange times and just need to be answered.
No "TP" jokes! :)

I had no luck getting my 770e to boot from a CF-IDE adapter in place of the 2.5" IDE drive. Didn't try for more than an hour tho.

I've got an sd-ide adapter. It seems to cut the speed of sequential reads down to about 9 or 10 mb/sec, which is slower than some cards, even some cheaper cards IIRC. (If yours doesn't slow the speed, such as when used with a new computer, please post which adapter you have.)

UDMA compliant CF-ide adapters with a little work can hit 45 mb/sec or better, with a card, os, and computer that can handle the speed. USB 2 maxes around 20 I think.

I have booted from my sd-ide the same way as if it were a cf-ide, using a T23's ultrabay 2000. But, it was not seen at all in the ultrabay slim on another TP, forget which model.

Similar for the thin cf-ide adapter with the rounded end where the cf card is, like item 280422595151 on ebay. Nice cheap adapter, but it only works in some ultrabays, and maybe only in some drive bays too?

Long story short: maybe try another adapter type. I've found high compatibility from the Monoprice CF-ide adapter, worked everywhere I put it (tho haven't tried in an old TP), and Addonics CF-ide and especially Addonics CF-Sata adapter, which can even accommodate a card not in fixed mode. Of course, sata not for the oldest Thinkpads, unless maybe you can fit a sata-pata bridge in there.
Moved to Chrome OS, so... SK-8855 USB Keyboard

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Re: SD Card to IDE Adapter in 380XD

#9 Post by Joe Bass » Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:50 pm

I'm thinking this bios just can't understand this hardware at boot time. It's weird cuz I can run a HDD test from the setup screen and it says it's fine. No trouble playing with it in diskpart on the PCMCIA adapter after I boot from a CD. But since the CD gets kicked offline when the cards in the IDE slot I can't mess with it there. And it won't boot from floppy when it's there either. Just for grins I put it in an old Toshiba 225cds after I cloned the 98 install off it. Booting from a 98 floppy I can read the card, but it just gives me an invalid disk error when I try to boot from the card. I don't know what the HDD size limits are on these things, but just for the heck of it I think I'll try a 4GB card and see if that does'nt change anything.

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Re: SD Card to IDE Adapter in 380XD

#10 Post by Naguissa » Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:57 am

I know it's an old topic, but I just faced this problem with an 380XD I'm preparing for retrogaming.

Just as op, 32Gb, 16Gb and 8Gb SD cards don't boot. BIOS says HDD is correct, but any access hangs computer (that means any DOS bootdisk).

The solution is use a 4Gb SD card. And can be SDHC, no problem with that.

I suspect it has something to do with LBA arrangement and/or cylinders/sectors, maybe IDE->SD adaptor is arranging them in a way it overflows that computer capacity.

Ah! BTW, I updated the BIOS to lates one some years ago to support a 60GB hard disk, so it may be needed too.



I'm currently using 3 cards: Windows 98 SE, Windows 2000 and Linux, and all seems to work perfectly well.

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Re: SD Card to IDE Adapter in 380XD

#11 Post by beko1987 » Thu Dec 21, 2017 6:42 am

I run one of these in my 240, it works really well!

But possibly, and reading about the MBR issues, because I used another laptop to install windows on it. Because my 240 didn't come with a CD-Rom drive, I have an old toshiba sattelite which I fitted the IDE adapter and SD card too, installed windows 98 on the laptop, letting it format the 'drive' and start the install. First reboot I pulled the power cable out the back (dead batteries can be a help...) and fitted it into the 240 and carried the install on. (then removed it, popped the SD card into my modern laptop and popped the USB drivers on so I can use a flash drive on my 240.

Works with Linux too, got Puppy Linux on there at the moment for fun, although I have an actual need for Windows 98 now so i'll grab another SD card and put 98 on that! Could have almost hot swappable drives with a bit of screwdriver twirling to get the HD cover off!

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Re: SD Card to IDE Adapter in 380XD

#12 Post by rimmer » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:31 pm

From my experience of using CF cards and adapters, you will have much more success using an industrial type cf card. These types of CF cards have a firmware flag set that determines if the operating system will recognize them as a fixed disk or removable disk. Most BIOS's require a fixed disk in order to boot and Windows will usually
spit it's dummy out if it see's a removable disk being used to load the operating system.

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Re: SD Card to IDE Adapter in 380XD

#13 Post by Icewobs » Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:38 pm

I'd like to ask a question - I have a 20MB 1999 SanDisk CF Card in my PC110, and I'm thinking of updating it so I can free the VIPER PCMCIA hard disk that's taking up all the PCMCIA slots. Thing is, I'm young and I've never touched a CF card before in my life - my first cards were later-era SD cards in cameras :D

I really appreciate the advice for looking for an industrial card, I'll try to figure out what the equivalent Japanese translation is.

Do you have any other advice for looking for an upgrade to your CF card for old Thinkpad hardware?

Thanks!

P.S. I like 'Red Dwarf' too and Rimmer's a real likeable guy. But 'Cat' is still my favorite character.
Greetings from Tokyo,
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Re: SD Card to IDE Adapter in 380XD

#14 Post by MustardOrMayo » Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:22 pm

Well, even though your issue may be resolved, what I do know is that higher-capacity hard drives can cause the BIOS on a 760 series to lock up, but a 2GB SD card works fine (as it's close to the official 2.1GB option, but theoretically, 4GB cards should work, and I do have Windows ME installed on that 2GB SD card.

Before anyone asks, I have an SD card in an SD to IDE adapter, then I installed that adapter inside the shell of one of those IBM proprietary hard drive cartridge things (the black and red ones), stuffed the rest of the cartridge with cardboard, and sealed it all back together. I really should do a tutorial on how to do just that once I can find another 760 series keyboard and/or "keyboard card" (to repair one of my two broken 760EDs, in order to get an excuse to do the tutorial)
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Re: SD Card to IDE Adapter in 380XD

#15 Post by axur-delmeria » Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:00 pm

It's possible that the old way of overcoming the large HDD issue might still work: install Ontrack Disk Manager's DDO (dynamic drive overlay) on the drive. However, if the laptop refuses to boot with the large HDD install (old models like the 760 series won't even show the BIOS screen), you might need to plug it to another laptop or desktop PC and install Disk Manager from there.

I remember using it in order to use a 20GB HDD on an old Pentium MMX 233 laptop. I didn't need another computer though, as the laptop can boot from CD just fine, the OS installer simply can't find the hard drive.
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