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 Post subject: A20M BIOS information
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:27 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:52 pm
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Location: Lady Lake, FL
I have a few A20m and A21m laptops (XP Pro) for use by my kids when they visit. One of them reports the model as "TP_A20m_" in BIOS and in "System Information" and not the usual "2628-XYZ" designation. The bottom of the case says "2628-G1U" but that would be an A21m. The BIOS version IWET59WW(1.13) indicates A20m (KXET36WW would be the A21m). The units were retired by my office some years ago and I didn't notice this until I installed Lenovo System Update and it runs fine until a box pops up saying "No Packages available" and stops. Any ideas what is going on here.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:05 pm 
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RBS10000
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Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 am
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Location: Mt. Cobb, PA USA
Looks like someone cobbled those laptops together from various spare parts from different machines.
If they run OK otherwise, don't bother to do anything.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:12 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:52 pm
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Only one laptop has the problem - the others report as expected and match the 2628-??? on the case. They all run fine. However, my kids now use mobile devices and if I wanted to sell or give them away, I don't how to describe the one problem unit. Also, the weird reporting of "TP_A20m_" comes from somewhere. I did flash the BIOS to an earlier version (1.10) and no reporting difference - then back to (1.13) - again no difference. I'd be surprised if this hasn't happened to someone else. There is no mention of "TP_A20m_" in the hardware manual.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:33 am 
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RBS10000
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Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 am
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Location: Mt. Cobb, PA USA
Someone changed the MTM in the BIOS, using the HMD.
See also this thread: viewtopic.php?f=30&t=101989

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:16 pm 
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Thanks for the info. I've spent hours reading. I tried IBM Maintenace Disc v1.76 but it was a RAR file and when trying to open it said "not a valid 32 bit..." I tried v1.72 but it was a ZIP file and when extracted to drive A:\, I got "Remove disks or other media. Press any key to restart."
I thought that I might have to make it a bootable disc first, but then not enough room for v1.72 files. I tried v.1.69, it was an EXE file, and it worked. When I choose option 2 to read info, only the 40 field came up. I can choose option 1 to write new info to field 20, but I don't have that info. As stated before, I can't rely on the model type and 7 char serial # on case bottom. I could take it apart and look at MOBO for ID but I think it is on the underside and fear I could trash the laptop if I screw up putting it back together. Any other thoughts?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:37 pm 
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RBS10000
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I would suggest to put in the same info as on the working A20m
Option 20 looking like: 1S2628XYZL312345 where:
1S = fix
2628XYZ = Type/Model from other A20m without the hyphen (-)
...IBM/Lenovo needs this to install the proper drivers.
L312345 = the serial number of the laptop you are working on without a hyphen.
...The S/N is irrelevant otherwise, you can put in what you like.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:26 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:52 pm
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When is your next magic act? I want to be there. It worked fine. However, I went into the Hardware Maintenance Manual for A20 series (23p0896.pdf) and under "Parts List" looked at the model matrix to more closely identify my unit. CD or DVD? Modem? Ethernet Adapter? Combo Modem/Ethernet (Xircom? Intel? 3-Com?)? Screen size? etc. I settled on 2628-4Wx. But, that lower case "x" meant a number of different units. I had to go to 2 parts suppliers to see what the possibilities were - Found "4WU" - then I added the S/N 78DA308 from a different A20m.

I used the IBM Maintenance Disc v1.69 (maint169.exe) to enter the info in field 20. I then used "System Information" and "Lenovo System Update" and both show "2628-4WU" and I was able to add a couple downloads from "Update." I tried to be specfic with the "4WU" because I didn't know if "Update" actually could detect what was on my system or if it strictly relied on the BIOS information, i.e. "2628-4WU."

Again, thanks!!


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 8:44 am 
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RBS10000
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Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 am
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Location: Mt. Cobb, PA USA
During Windows bootup, it gets it somehow from the BIOS and stores it fresh in the registry each time.
System Update picks it up from the the Registry (which you can manipulate).
It will ask you first time if it can use the found entry (like 2628-4WX) and if it can always send this info to the server when looking for updates.
If affirmed, you're all good to go.

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