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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:11 pm 
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Trying to give new life to ThinkPad 560E - very cute laptop without even scratches. However nowadays 2GB hdd is definitely too small.
To accomodate 4-6GB bios update is required but the battery is dead of course. Whatever I found on the Internet was not for my model.
My own "creative" efforts also couldn't break a spine of that *****Expletives removed by Moderator***** feature of bios flash utility. However I still have hope to fix that updtflsh.exe.
Does somebody here know a trick?
Many thanks in advance.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:30 pm 
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There are instructions here for the 560X, which I happen to own and I can confirm that worked as a charm (my battery is long dead too).

Image

The 560E is a bit older than the 560X according to this. Good luck in case you try it out :??:

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:26 pm 
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Thanks for the info and links. Yes, I found that trick but it doesn't work for me 'cause there is no updtrom.exe in the bios set: only updtflsh.exe.
I also found an article with /forceit switch for that executable but it also doesn't work. :(
In meantime I installed 64Mb dimm and got noticable improvement in win98 behavior: looks like even W2K could run fine but it supported by latest bios v.1.13 ...
Actually I would be happy with W2K but IE5.5 and 6.0 - are obsolete and serfing with them is rather pain... Neither FF nor Opera could be installed on this machine.
The only light in a tunnel could be a small linux distro so I'm trying Puppy now. So far I cannot get display working - garbage with Xorg and even worse (!) with Xvesa...
I' m thinking now about UPS to substitute "fully charged battery". Is that actually possible?
Thanks again.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 2:15 pm 
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zeiz wrote:
To accomodate 4-6GB bios update is required but the battery is dead of course.


According to the README:
Quote:
<1.00 - HRET16WW>
- (New) IBM 4GB and 5GB hard disk drives are supported.

you don't need the latest bios for larger than 2GB HDDs. But regarding the Win2K you are right, you need the updated BIOS.

One last recommendation regarding a linux distro: try AntiX. It is working perfectly on my 560X, I couldn't get any other flavour of Linux succesfully into it. It comes with a stripped version as well (core), which doesn't need much space (if you are comfortable with using the console, it is fine then.)

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:01 am 
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Have you tried the update without the battery? I think it is a warning, because if power fails during the update (and you have no battery or a dead battery), the BIOS is FUBAR'd.

'm not recommending it, but you might want to try.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:45 am 
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I tried everything but the flash utility doesn't even start without battery (same as with dead battery).
I got an idea to substitute updtflsh.exe with another flash utility and I'm trying to figure out what actually bios (Award, Phoenix...) is installed on my 560e but no info so far. I'm afraid it's native IBM bios...
I took apart the dead battery and found a circuit board there (not only cells). So I realized that ups won't work: it should be more complicated setup 'cause the board is connected to intermediate points in the groups of cells and also it has connected to 2 termochips. So I don't have an idea how to imitate "fully charged battery" under such circumstances...
There are 9 cylindrical cells in the battery: 3 groups of 3 cells. I almost threw them away but then I measured them and found that 3 cells are still alive (3.5-3.6v each) another 2 cells give 2v each and another 3 cells give 1.4v. Only 1 cell is completely dead.
So there is a hope to make a setup with a few regular batteries to imitate expected circuit (just to update the bios). But practically it's too complicated for me: the circuit board has very gentle plastic wiring (I broke already one connector).
So it's probably easier to find another flash utility capable to flash the ibm bios.
Of course the easiest way is to borrow a battery somewhere ... but it's very unlikely that somebody still has charged enough one.
So I'm continuing to search for ibm bios roots: who know if it's award or ami bios?

PS> forgot to mention that I got 30GB hdd (smaller just doesn't exist at scrapyards anymore) and I tried partitioning etc but it's not recognized by bios anyway. On the other hand I found a post where somebody has 20GB hdd on his 560e and it's working fine but with latest bios (1.13).


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 1:53 pm 
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zeiz wrote:
PS> forgot to mention that I got 30GB hdd (smaller just doesn't exist at scrapyards anymore) and I tried partitioning etc but it's not recognized by bios anyway. On the other hand I found a post where somebody has 20GB hdd on his 560e and it's working fine but with latest bios (1.13).


On my 560X with the latest bios, I am using a 20GB hard drive and bios only sees 8GB, no matter what.

Regarding the bios update: can you post the list of files contained in the floppy? Is there a .bin file?

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:51 am 
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...sorry for being out for a while.
Thanks you very much guys.
There is no .bin file on the bios diskette but .FL1 instead, here is full list of files:
Code:
$0024000.FL1
UPDTFLSH.EXE
command.com
config.sys
flshbios.sys
ibmbio.com
ibmdos.com
userint.exe
utilinfo.exe

Content of config.sys:
Code:
stacks=0,0
buffers=48
device=flshbios.sys

Only updtflsh.exe works.
I booted from hdd formated with /s switch and updtflsh.exe works in such dos environment but detects dead battery and says: press any key to reboot :evil: It also works in win98 dos with the same result.
I installed w2k finally, install takes about 2 hours with 40% of fragmentation, system files are spread throughout the disk, defrag gives very good results (except system files) and finally w2k runs almost fine, I even got 54 updates from MS (unbelivable). I substitute IE with K-Meleon browser and it works great. But anyway it now takes more than a half of my hdd (250Mb of the updates) and no way to insall office2000 on that 2Gb hdd. At scrap yard they said that recycle all hdds less than 20Gb and found the smallest at 30Gb, bios doesn't see it at all (I would be quite happy to get at least 4Gb out of 30.)
BTW I used to own ThinkPad i1450 with 4Gb hdd. I bought it in 1999 with still win98SE then upgraded to w2K and worked with it up to 2008! It had 64Mb of ram and Celeron 300MHz. I had full Office 2000 (then 2003) + Adobe suite with Photoshop, Illustrator etc, I had even QuarkXpress on just 4Gb hdd. In 2008 I added another 64Mb of ram and managed to upgrade to XP!...cannot believe now.
From those times I remember using of DM (disk manager) which allowed to work with large disks. I downloaded Ontrack's DM and tried to treat the hdd in my P4 machine. Have no idea what's wrong but it analyses the disk then gives a few options and exists in few seconds (cannot even read what it offers) with "thanks for using DM. Your ramdisk is D: Press any key to reboot" :P Nothing works from the ramdisk...
Anyway that old bios sucks... I always have latest one on my machines...
Maybe indeed rename it to .bin and try another flash utility or even try linux environment? ... seems over my head at the moment.
BTW AntiX is great I used to try it. But its iso is about 700MB so I think about DSL 4.4.10 or SlitaZ or Puppy 2.34. Tried already install with unetbootin with no luck: grub4dos cannot find its menu.lst on hdd and doesn't even see the hdd itself (device doesn't exist). That's again about the bios I think.
Thanks.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:02 pm 
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I came up with the following from a google search:
Quote:
- A final hurdle in my case was that the program on the new disk refused to flash the BIOS because the battery was not good enough in its humble opinion. In which case you'll have to run the due program from within DOS again with "/forceit" as a commandline option; that did in my case.


http://www.bärwolff.de/tech-notes/thinkpad-560e-bios-update.txt

I guess you have nothing to lose, if you haven't tried it already...

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:08 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:48 pm
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Location: Montreal, Canada
Thank you. I even wrote to Matthias about details. Perhaps my problem also is that I don't have a floppy drive and trying to flash from hdd. Matthias used floppy instead so he used ibm dos environment while I used ms dos. Maybe this is the reason.
Yesterday I tried another trick: I picked 833 bios (for 560X) and substituted its rom file with my rom file. I also edited prod.dat to match my rom file. 833's rom is $0026000.FL1 and mine is $0024000.FL1 so it looked so promissing! But no luck again: the sequence with UPDTROM.exe just does nothing. Regular procedure with updtflash.exe even doesn't complain about the battery but only endlessly asks to "turn system off and then on and select the utility again"
I also tried PHLASH16.exe. It fires its interface, progress bar moves but then it stops with message something like: Platform signature not found in the interface.
No more news so far :|


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