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X220T Build [First time owner]

X200, X201, X220 (including equivalent tablet models) and X300, X301 series specific matters only.
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X220T Build [First time owner]

#1 Post by pazuko » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:35 pm


As a non-member I recently have been utilizing the information in these forums to conduct research for a ThinkPad build. I had just bought on ebay an X220T, MTM#42962XU, and I am waiting for it to be delivered. In doing so, I decided to become a member in the hope of getting some precise information to help my endeavor. The unit comes with a 9-cell battery, 4GB of RAM, and an ultrabase w/keys, but lacks a hard drive.

For my first steps I intend to:
  • purchase and install a 500GB mSATA SSD, specifically a Samsung EVO 860, and use it as a system drive.
  • swap the 4GB of RAM for (to be purchased) 16GB (to my understanding this quantity can be recognized and utilized by the system)
From what I have read, the mSATA will not be recognized if the BIOS version is older than v1.18. Based on the seller's photo of the BIOS screen, the BIOS version of the unit I purchased is v1.16. If the mSATA will not be recognized, then I understand that I will have to flash a newer BIOS version. I should be able to do this by either burning an ISO image to a CD or writing it to a USB and then booting from it, correct? After which the mSATA should be recognized and I can proceed with installing an OS.
Unless there's a better alternative process; if so, then I am all eyes.

Speaking of the BIOS, I plan on flashing v1.43 and then, upon installing an OS, "upgrading" it to the unlocked version. I understand that this unlocked version provides certain perks, such as whitelist removal and the potential to utilize 1866MHz RAM. As mentioned earlier, I would like to add 16GB of RAM to my build, hence if the system can utilize faster RAM clock speeds, then I would like to implement it.

As for the native SATA3 hard drive bay, I plan on using it for hotswaps. I also plan on buying a 12.7mm SATA HD caddy for the utrabase and dropping a 1-2TB HDD for storage.

I have my sights on the hardware, but I would like to be well informed first before pulling the trigger on their purchase only to come to an impass. Therefore, any wisdom on this matter would be greatly appreciated, I am here to learn. Thank you.

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Re: X220T Build [First time owner]

#2 Post by axur-delmeria » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:50 pm

My concern is that I don't know if the X220T's HDD bay can be safely used for hot-swapping.
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X601 Core 2 Duo T8100
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
On loan: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod

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Re: X220T Build [First time owner]

#3 Post by RealBlackStuff » Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:51 am

The HDD/SSD connectors in laptops are not made for hot-swapping, they'd wear out pretty soon.
Plus you run the risk of toasting your motherboard, doing that.
NOT recommended!
If you want to hot-swap, use a desktop or server.
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X220T Build [First time owner]

#4 Post by as.nielo » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:10 am

use the external interfaca. 1.16 might be an EC firmware version. If you wish to update all you have to do is burn the iso with bios update program onto some cd (rw recommended) and put it into your docking station. You may need to enter that menu in case your laptop is missing a disc from bootorder.

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