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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 10:23 am 
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I bought a TP 355c at a junk sale for $1 to add to my collection :) It was manufactured in 1994.

Its in near mint condition. There is no wear to the keyboard etc so I don't think its had any real use.

At boot up I get error codes 161 and 163 followed by a "cylinder" and locked padlock.

I will download a copy of the Hardware Mantainance manual but I think:
- 161 and 163 means the CMOS battery is dead
- the "cylinder" and padlock means the hard drive is password locked BUT it might means that the BIOS is password locked. There might also be a chance that all I actually need to do is replace the CMOS battery.

Any thoughts?

Thanks


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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 11:32 am 
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I've now downloaded the HMM. Looks like there is a "standard" CMOS backup battery as well as a rechargeable standby battery.

I need to lift the keyboard to get to the CMOS battery BUT I cannot figure out how to do this - I've looked in the HMM but there is no mention of what you need to do :(

On some of my other older Thinkpads, you push the lid release slider in the opposite direction - but that does not appear to be a feature of the 355c.

Anybody know how to open the keyboard - you need to do this for getting to the battery , disk drive etc , so it should be simple!!!!

Thanks


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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 3:13 pm 
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I don't know those machines, but they may be similar to a 701c.
Check at the front, just under the keyboard ridge, if you see some small screws there.
On the 701c there are 4 of them, for which you need a special Torx T1 screwdriver. Nothing else works.

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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 10:42 am 
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Thanks RBS - unfortunately the 355c is not like the 701c - the keyboard is "hinged" and opens from the front and lifts up (I think). Maybe you just need to force it open but I'm reluctant to try!! Maybe the info is in a 355c User Guide rather than the HMM as lifting the keyboard is a basic requirement in order to swap batteries.

Anybody any other ideas? Also any thoughts on the "cylinder" and "padlock" at boot up?

Thanks


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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 12:03 pm 
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I have a Thinkpad 360, and the user's guide says the cylinder and pad-lock indicate that the hard drive is password protected. Don't know if it has the same meaning on your 355c, but I suspect it does. I don't know how to get around this. You may need to re-format the drive (which would erase everything, unfortunately).

My manual doesn't have any similar error codes so I'm afraid I can't help you there.

My 360 has latches on both sides which you need to push simultaneously to lift up the front of the keyboard (requiring 3 hands :lol: ). Again, I don't know if your 355c has the same set-up or not.

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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 12:35 pm 
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Thanks Leoblob - its worked!!! I pushed the latches towards me and then applied a small amount of upwards force and the keyboard lifted up :)

I did a bit more searching and the 355 does have the same physical shape as the 360/750/755.

Interestingly the price of a 355 in July 1994 was $3,749!!!! So I saved $3,748 :)

Error codes 161/163 are a dead CMOS battery so I will replace it and see what happens.

Hopefully there is an easy fix to the HDD password lock for such an old model.

Thanks


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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 9:18 am 
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UPDATE : I removed the password locked hard drive from the TP355c and thankfully it booted into the BIOS EasyStart screen for reseting the time and date.

I then found out that the floppy drive was dead - I could hear a constant whine so maybe its a faulty drive motor??? Anyway, I was given an identical floppy drive years ago so I fitted that - I'm glad I save all my junk :)

Using a DOS bootdisk I was able to run some old DOS programs from the floppy :)

Two questions:

- is it possible to remove the password lock on the hard drive? I think it not as simple as just reformating , but maybe a reformat will work on old stuff - any ideas?

- the hard drive is totally encased in a caddy so I can't actually see what it looks like. Is the 355c hard drive the same size as used in , say , a 600E or 380XD , or is it an older type? The hard drive capacity is 250MB. I have a spare 2GB IDE drive (which fits a 600E). Assuming the 355c drive is the same physical size as a 600E hard drive , will the 355c support a 2GB drive??

Thanks


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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 9:49 am 
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Forget about removing a password from a hard disk. Unless you have a forensic laboratory, it's practically impossible.
I have tried everything legal (and illegal) to remove such a password, no way!
Try that 2GB HD, even if it doesn't work, it won't damage your laptop either.

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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 12:38 pm 
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Thanks RBS - I guess I don't need to be careful with the HDD now!!!! But I'm still trying to figure out how to open the caddy :)

Do you know if the actual physical size of the 355 HDD is the same as a 600E type HDD?

The IDE type seems to fit all Thinkpads from the 600 to T series etc - although earlier versions were deeper but the later thinner type still fit older laptops.

Thanks


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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 8:11 pm 
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Open caddy: this is all I found on the web:
Open the door, then push down on the center of the door to remove it.
picture here: http://cgi.ebay.com/IBM-Thinkpad-355-36 ... 0099877411
What happens if you pull on the blue tabs?

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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 2:22 pm 
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Thanks RBS.

The blue tabs are attached to a metal locking clip - you pull these to remove the caddy from the 355c.

There are 2 screws on either side of the connector strip on the caddy - I think maybe you need to remove these screws and then the top of the caddy might open up. There looks to be a "plastic" hinge on the opposite side of the caddy.


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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 5:12 pm 
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So what are you waiting for? Get adventurous and open the darn thing!

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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 7:01 pm 
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I was in no hurry :)

Anyway, I've now partly opened the "caddy".

Looks like its NOT a caddy in the traditional sense but actually part of the HDD. Opening the plastic case revealed a PCB the full length of the case as well as a metal encased HDD. The HDD was not a traditional IDE plug-in type but hardwired to a flex cable and the PCB. So I can't just replace it with an old "600E" type :(

I'm sure I'll eventually find a replacement in a junk box. In the meantime, I can just run old DOS stuff direct from a bootdisk :)


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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 6:35 am 
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There's a whole 355Cs here for $19.99 on eBay
In view of that value, is it worth it to try and get another HD?
Put a WTB: (want to buy) ad in our Marketforum.

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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 11:12 am 
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Yes , its definately not worth buying a replacement HDD via Ebay etc - I'll just look out for one at junk sales and hamfests.

I'm having second thoughts about dismissing using an old TP600E HDD.

When you open the 355 "caddy" , you see the "top side" of a PCB ie. all IC's and other components are visble - and below the PCB is the HDD. BUT I looked at some pictures on the internet and there appears to be a flex cable with an "IDE" socket at one end and the system board plug at the other end. So maybe you can use an 600E HDD although you would have to pad out the HDD so it fits the caddy OK???

I might do a new posting just refering to the 355 HDD and compatibility with 600E HDD's.


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PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 6:46 am 
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Yes, you can use a regular IDE HDD in there. I believe that these are either 17mm or 19mm drives. I believe that if you used a newer thinner drive, you could put something in there to fill the space, underneath, since the drives are in upside down.

I have used a few larger hard drives in these older machines, for testing purposes. You might have to be aware of the hard drive's capacity, though I believe that I got around that in some cases with partitioning the drive in a 600E first, leaving a 1-2GB partition in the front.

I have a 2.1GB hard drive, from a 760ED I believe, that I was going to test and offer to send to you, but I just saw that you are in the UK...might not be worth it...

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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2009 3:51 pm 
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tfflivemb2 - thanks for the info and offer of an old 760ED HDD. As you say, the postage cost does not make that realistic :( I also have an old 2GB HDD which fits a 600E so hopefully that will be OK.

Interestingly, I did infact come across a 760 at a junk sale last weekend - it felt light so I lifted the keyboard - inside it was completely empty :) The seller thought that all it needed was a power supply!!!!!


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