Problems with non-thinkpad option drives on T43 thinkpads

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Photios
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Problems with non-thinkpad option drives on T43 thinkpads

#1 Post by Photios » Sun May 08, 2005 11:55 pm

I recently purchased a T43 2668-92U, and had a 100g Seagate drive that was being used in an Apple PowerBook that I was upgrading from. When I got my T43, I first cloned the internal 80g drive onto the 100g Seagate using Casper. The cloning went perfectly (Casper is a great program, and cloned both partitions). I then went ahead and replaced the 80g drive with the 100g drive.

Everything seemed to be just fine for a couple of days, until I upgraded my BIOS to version 1.04. After that, Every time that I boot up the machine or recover from stand-by or hibernation, I get an error message that my drive may not be compatible, and that I need to upgrade the firmware... I can hit the escape key and continue booting.

The problem is just plain annoying, however. I have since put the original 80g drive into the computer, but would love to get my extra 20g's back. Does anyone have a work around for this? I can't believe that the computer wants to look at the firmware on the drive. I've never had an issue with this with several Apple powerbooks.

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#2 Post by pae77 » Mon May 09, 2005 12:12 pm

Why not try upgrading the drive firmware?
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Re: Problems with Seagate 100g Drive on T43

#3 Post by NJ_IT » Mon May 09, 2005 12:41 pm

I heard IBM(renovo??) has changed Hard Drive maintenante policy for security purpose.See below,

http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site. ... MIGR-41008

New bios expects the HDD in the list of that web.And Seagate 100GB HDD is not currently included in this list(any type of 100GB HDD?).
So I do not try to update with new bios avoid annoying message until IBM support this new type HDD.
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#4 Post by Photios » Mon May 09, 2005 2:33 pm

Yeah, I saw that firmware updater file, and noticed that Seagate was not supported, and in fact, no 100g drives are supported. Too bad! :(
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#5 Post by Marc_G » Mon May 09, 2005 3:08 pm

Why the HECK would they include a list of supported drives in the firmware???

I can ALMOST see the list of supported wireless cards, or batteries, for FCC compliance or safety issues. But to lock out hard drives is ridiculous!

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#6 Post by egibbs » Mon May 09, 2005 5:23 pm

Welcome to TCPA. It's not really your computer, you're just renting it. Well, actually you own the hardware, but the firmware/software required to make it work is all just licensed to you.

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Re: Problems with Seagate 100g Drive on T43

#7 Post by NaT » Mon May 09, 2005 7:05 pm

NJ_IT wrote:I heard IBM(renovo??) has changed Hard Drive maintenante policy for security purpose.See below,

http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site. ... MIGR-41008
I don't think this is the reason. THIS is a firmware upgdater. THIS document shows that this program will update the firmware of the 'harddrive' --not BIOS. So, if the new BIOS has problem with 100gb HDD, it might be the problem with the new BIOS itself. By the way, this is not the list of the HDDs that are supported by Thinkpad but the list of HDDs that are supported by the harddrive firmware upgrader.

I think we should report this problem to IBM/Lenovo and has the fixed the bios soon. At least I think for the interim solution, you can roll back the BIOS to the previous version for now, correct? IBM (and most other vendors) usually say, if you don't have a problem, DO NOT UPDATE the BIOS !!!

I don't think Lenovo will go back to the IBM jurassic proprietary world where every piece you (I mean the customers) used must be from me (Lenovo)

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#8 Post by Photios » Tue May 10, 2005 3:50 am

I've looked, and cannot locate the previous bios online. Hmmm, anyone have any ideas where I might find it, including the IBM/Lenovo thinkpad site?
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#9 Post by msilano » Tue May 10, 2005 10:07 am

Guys, please RE-READ the original document.

The link provided is a link to UPGRADE HARD DRIVE FIRMWARES of drives that IBM/Lenovo has sourced and shipped with Thinkpad configurations.

It is *NOT* an exhaustive list of drives that will work in the Thinkpad.

.....nothing to see here, move along.

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#10 Post by NJ_IT » Tue May 10, 2005 10:38 am

You can access and get a previous BIOS version as follows,

http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site. ... MIGR-59096

And you can download BIOS [1.00a 1YET39WW (1.02) 1yuj03us ]
which is linked to download site from NO. IV. BIOS information field.

Another link [1.00a 1YET41WW (1.03a) 1yuj04us] did not work correctly at this time.
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#11 Post by crippy59 » Thu Jun 16, 2005 2:57 am

Nice!!! Somehow I can't download the 1.03a. The 1.02 version works very well. Now I'm using the WD 80gb and no error message.

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hdd bios problems t43

#12 Post by texomobile » Thu Jun 16, 2005 4:38 am

I Have 2 60 gig 7200 rpm drives that I purchased after my laptop and I a little [censored] that until i upgraded the bios everything was fine. Now I have to back track the bios so I can boot the laptop without having to read the error message. I think this is just plain wrong. I wish more people made stink about this, because its the wrong thing to do. Imagine them telling the customer that a retail 7200 HGST drive is not compatible when they sell the exact same drive that "works fine" I guess I'll have to stay with an older bios.

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#13 Post by rssb » Thu Jun 16, 2005 8:20 am

The question is how long can one stay with the old bios. In 1.03a there is support for newer video memory, from there on upto 1.08 there have been some changes such as resume / startup time reduced by 1 sec, remote bios update etc.. which might not be of significance to everyone.

In future there might be a critical update, which might be related to the temperature control, or the embedded controller update might need a minumum level of bios. We cannot always stay downgraded.

Even when you buy the exact same drive model, but with different firmware version ( OEM, APPLE, DELL etc..) it doesnot work. Now it would be foolish on part of the manufacturer to sell inferior hard drives or have a different manufacturing process, just because they are being sold in the OEM channel when compared to a specific vendor like IBM. The costs involved in running two different manufacturing process is huge when compared to the profits by such a decision.

If the firmware version from IBM / Lenevo consists of "significant" improvements over the stock / generic manufacturer firmware, may be they should patent it , and charge royalty for it from the manufacturer if they decide to use it.

The keyword being "siginificant" , which i guess most of the users are not noticing when they use other drives. Or they should give out details and explain the logic and advantages of using thier high priced drives. If they have good reason, i am sure sensible people will stick to it.

Most of the people here are loyal to IBM brand because of the quality, if they let people use other disks and if the firmware makes such a difference, i am sure many people here would not mind paying a higher price for the quality. Since that is not happening, someone decided to resort to cheap tricks like having a whitelist even for hard disks.

It is an entirely different thing to protect intellectual property ( TCPA, product activation, licensing etc..) and limiting customer choice.

As seen in many comments, the T43's are running hotter. The quality of the NMB/Thai keyboards is not same as earlier ( I have 2 keyboards with same FRU , but entirely different finish / quality ).

The quality is still not as bad or lower when compared to others, but i have seen 2 people whom i know, recently switched to dell because of the following

a) the heat seemed to be comparable to them between a T43 and D610
b) the ability to upgrade the cd drive to a much better dvd writers ( 9.5 vs 12.7 ) , regular connector vs a special connector
c) huge discount coupons, screens are comparable, similar wireless options, identical hard drive capacities and graphics options.

If the intention of this firmware check was just to keep the customer informed then this is implemented in a bad way, unless they cover all possible firmware levels in the database and have a genuine need to be above a certain level.

The whole idea of free societies, IBM advertising its linux initiative,open markets, promoting democracy, spending billions of dollars on wars, seems like against this hard disk whitelisting to contol the freedom.

Who knows may be the chinese government with its stake in Lenevo wants to control world hard disk market ( == controlling free speech / democracy in china ? ) :) , just kidding !

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#14 Post by keku » Thu Jun 16, 2005 5:56 pm

if you look at the list of enhancement in BIOS 1.04 you will see IBM introduced warning message 2010 about outdated HDD firmware.

Me and my friend figured if we move to BIOS 1.03 it doesn't complain. so I did moved to 1.03.

So far this is the only solution to this problem.

well I tried to update firmware on my hitachi HDD (it's same model as IBM sells with t43 ... I bought from Hitachi) with IBM firmware but IBM has restricted something so you can't upgrade firmware if HDD is not sold by IBM.

other option .. wait till some techie .. find a solution.

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#15 Post by keku » Thu Jun 16, 2005 6:03 pm

I agree, quality is very poor ... I had to call IBM for replacement keyboard in 2 days of receiving t43 ... 2 keys just broke. never seen such thing with any of my previous laptop i used for years.

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#16 Post by sugo » Thu Jun 16, 2005 6:12 pm

Firmware upgrade did not work because Hitachi drives are made slightly differently from IBM Hitachi drives. The firmwares may not always be compatibile.
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#17 Post by egibbs » Thu Jun 16, 2005 6:24 pm

There is a move afoot in the computer industry to lock down the HDD as part of TCPA.

After all, you can rip off a song or movie if your drive won't let you write unauthorized content to it.

The firmware improvements ARE significant - they are another step in that direction. They just don't offer any value to the end user, so the exact nature of the improvements is left unsaid.

By only having the machine accept trusted drives with current firmware the user is prevented from installing a drive that would let unauthorized content be written. The drive firmware doesn't yet limit writing to only trusted content, but that is coming within a year or two.

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#18 Post by sugo » Thu Jun 16, 2005 6:44 pm

Hopefully someone is working on a no-2010.com 8)
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#19 Post by keku » Thu Jun 16, 2005 9:35 pm

sugo wrote:Firmware upgrade did not work because Hitachi drives are made slightly differently from IBM Hitachi drives. The firmwares may not always be compatibile.
that's not true if you look at manufaturer's part number it's same as those IBM hitachi. only difference in OEM and IBM version is IBM change firmware and put a FRU ASM sticker on top.

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#20 Post by rssb » Thu Jun 16, 2005 10:24 pm

If what Ed says is the direction we are headed with the firmware, are there going to be any other alternatives ?

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#21 Post by Francis » Thu Jun 16, 2005 11:27 pm

I notice that there is a new bios version 1.08 available for update at the ibm website, I wonder if it has fixed all these HD firmware problem.

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#22 Post by rssb » Fri Jun 17, 2005 1:19 pm

the version 1.08 mentions nothing about new HD support etc... so i doubt if the changes were made.

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#23 Post by Scorpiontico » Fri Jun 17, 2005 2:08 pm

rssb wrote:the version 1.08 mentions nothing about new HD support etc... so i doubt if the changes were made.
how could i check if my hard drive needs or can have a firmware update?

i have the 80gb 5400rpm on 266872u. fru # 39T2525

and just in case if im to update the firmware, what steps should i take?

thanks alot.

ps:has any new firmware update been realeased for my dvd writer (matshita uj-822s/39T2507)?
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#24 Post by sugo » Fri Jun 17, 2005 10:16 pm

Scorpiontico, we have the same drive. There is no new firmware for it yet. You can check this page once a while to see if any new HDD firmware is available for your Hitachi drive:

http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site. ... MIGR-51493

As for whether you need an update, unless you experience issue or the update is rated as critical, there will probably be no need to update it.
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#25 Post by Scorpiontico » Fri Jun 17, 2005 10:55 pm

sugo wrote:Scorpiontico, we have the same drive. There is no new firmware for it yet. You can check this page once a while to see if any new HDD firmware is available for your Hitachi drive:

http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site. ... MIGR-51493

As for whether you need an update, unless you experience issue or the update is rated as critical, there will probably be no need to update it.
dude how can you tell we dont need an update, i mean can you tell me how to?

thanks.
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#26 Post by rssb » Sat Jun 18, 2005 10:23 am

scorpion,
They list A5HA as the latest release for 80GB for 5480XX drives. If you have anything other like A50A,A53A,A55A,A5DA etc.. you drive can be upgraded.

Since the T43's now have a way of warning you if you have a lower version, they would tell you during the bios post.

If you dont see anything you are probably ok and dont need anything. You can always try the disk and see if it shows there are any updates, if there is nothing if will say so clearly.

hope this helps

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#27 Post by Photios » Sat Jun 18, 2005 2:00 pm

My T43p came with a 60g drive. I have since replaced it with the 100g seagate. I really need the extra space, and in addition to that, the slim hard disk adapter for the expansion bay is on back order.

I wish there was a way to disable the BIOS in checking the hard disk. What I have decided to do, and am doing, is just bear with the inconvenience of hitting the escape key when the 2010 warning comes up at boot. I can say this, at least I'm not getting the warning after closing the screen and going standby. My T43p just came off the assembly line too, so my BIOS is totally up to date. I don't want to take a risk and try and flash it back to 1.03 (or should I?????). If someone has some comments on this, I'm all ears! :)

I'm going to call IBM/Lenovo and complain about this and see what kind of response I can get. I don't know if you have seen this yet, but we are in store for much bigger portable hard drives in the not too distant future. I'm not going to be confined to a small, and might I add, heavily overpriced drive, from IBM/Lenovo.
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#28 Post by BillMorrow » Sun Jun 19, 2005 3:00 am

Apparently, this is the case..
the firmware updater refuses to update anything BUT an IBM ThinkPad option drive..

if you waste your time and call the support line, all you get is circular illogic..
with the end result being "we can't support it if it is not (ibm) lenovo"..

i DID a firmware update on an 80gig thinkpad option drive and it worked just fine..
but can't do it on a non-thinkpad option drive..

all as has been previously mentioned here..

this might have something to do with the newer security features for the HDD/TCPA chip combination..

otherwise, why piss off so many thinkpad owners..?

making this thread a sticky because i think it is important..
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#29 Post by Scorpiontico » Sun Jun 19, 2005 3:37 pm

BillMorrow wrote:
i DID a firmware update on an 80gig thinkpad option drive and it worked just fine..
but can't do it on a non-thinkpad option drive..

making this thread a sticky because i think it is important..
Bill are you refering to the 80gb 5400rpm 39T2525?

thanks.
Last edited by Scorpiontico on Sun Jun 19, 2005 11:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#30 Post by bhtooefr » Sun Jun 19, 2005 5:54 pm

If I knew x86 Assembly, I'd willingly patch the BIOS to allow other hard drives (maybe a JMP past the HDD check?)

http://www.paul.sladen.org/thinkpad-r31 ... i-ids.html is a page about stripping the PCI ID thing, which is the first ThinkPad BIOS hack I can think of.

I gotta say, if IBM/Lenovo keeps up this crap, they're gonna lose a customer. I'm looking at them for my next laptop purchase, after I graduate high school. However, I do not buy from companies that don't understand that it's MY hardware to do with as I please.
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