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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:11 pm 
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Helllo, all. I usually hang out in the T20, T30, T40 and T60 boards. But have a HDD problem that is getting annoying. :x

ThinkPad is a T30 2366-83U or LU0.
OS is winXP-P with SP3 and all latest MS security and other patches applied
HDD is a WDC 320GB PATA drive. I have other HDDs including backup drives but these two 320s are my main drives and are the ones self-destructing on me.

Twice a week now the computer runs ok (no obvious errors) but when i shut it down or restart it, it will greet me with a blinking cursor at the top left corner of the screen after the POST and password entry. Rewriting the MBR with a W98 boot floppy or a Thinkpad recovery partition access boot diskette does not correct the situation. Booting from an XP floppy usually yields the "corrupt or missing HAL.DLL file" error from windows. Putting the drive in as a 2nd HDD (after booting a working drive) lets me see all the files on the disk.

I'd like to know what is causing this and how to correct it without resorting to making a clone of my original 100GB backup HDD. It gets old after awhile and then i have to restore recent files and re-do settings, etc... In other words, a real PITA! :evil: so all help will be greatly appreciated.

I do make extensive use of hot swapping drives, particularly a WDC 500GB SATA drive in the ultrabay with an aftermarket tray discussed in the T3x/3x board (mainly for backups which save me from data loss!). The link is below, but i do not think it is the tray's fault since this happenned before i ever got that UB 2000 SATA tray. The last time it did the blinking cursor routine was yesterday, and right before i re-started it i tried to swap in the WDC 500GB SATA drive and it didn't want to see the 500GB.

Time before that- i can't remember the cause. One time earlier (before i even got the 500GB SATA), it was also after i swapped in a WDC320GB PATA in the ultrabay - on a different T30 unit (i have several). I'm going to attempt to chronicle what i was doing before the problem (when it recurrs) to aid in figuring this out. This has happenned at least 5 times since the end of June, on 2 different T30s (one 2366-83U and now a 2366-LU0) with the same drive.

I'm about ready to relegate the blasted WDC 320GBs to backup duty and try using my WDC 250GBs as primary drives.

This is the link were we were discussing the SATA HDD Ultrabay 2000 tray:

viewtopic.php?f=28&t=96648

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760LD 9547 FUBARd; i1411 2611
T21 2647; T22 2647 4@ 900MHz, 1@ 1GHz SXGA+; T23 2647 2@ 1.13GHz, 1@ 1.2GHz SXGA+, WiFi
T30 2366-83U 1.8GHz; 5@ 2366-LU0/66U 1.9GHz; 2367-KU6 2GHz FUBARd
T61 8897-03U, 1.8GHz, SXGA+; 8898-AGM, 2.4GHz; 6463-Y64, 2.4GHz, WSXGA+; 6463-WTL, 2.1GHz, WSXGA+


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:28 pm 
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I bet it's the Southbridge becoming 'unstuck'.
When the chip is cold, it may work but when it gets warm it stops.
OR
When the chip is warm, it may work but when it gets cold it stops.
Either way, cooling/heating cycles are the cause of many problems such as yours.
Don't forget that the T30 is about 8-10 years 'young' by now!

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Check out The Board Room for:
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:38 am 
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Is this the same issue (Southbridge chip failing) that a lot of T40 series have? Is it an internal failure inside the Southbridge chip or the chip's connection to the MB? I read thatin addition to heat cycling, excessive flexing can also ruin a SB or GPU. That's another reason why i like t30s over T40s; they don't flex as much.

But I'm not convinced that it's the Southbridge, because this has now occurred across a couple different machines. But i won't rule it out. This is also the first i see where a failing Southbridge is rendering HDDs unbootable without damaging any files on the HDD.

I'm going to not do any hot swapping of D drives, and see if that has any positive effect.

I'd still like to know what whatever is being done to the HDD to make it unbootable, because i can install the original 100GB in less than 1 minute and that drive boots up without issues. I doubt a significant amount of cooling will occur in minute.

And:

Still looking for a recovery of the HDD that does not require re-cloning.

_________________
760LD 9547 FUBARd; i1411 2611
T21 2647; T22 2647 4@ 900MHz, 1@ 1GHz SXGA+; T23 2647 2@ 1.13GHz, 1@ 1.2GHz SXGA+, WiFi
T30 2366-83U 1.8GHz; 5@ 2366-LU0/66U 1.9GHz; 2367-KU6 2GHz FUBARd
T61 8897-03U, 1.8GHz, SXGA+; 8898-AGM, 2.4GHz; 6463-Y64, 2.4GHz, WSXGA+; 6463-WTL, 2.1GHz, WSXGA+


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:07 am 
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Yes, same problem as T4x.

Using Acronis TrueImage, take an image of a working T30 HD and store it on a PC.
Restoring that image on any other HD takes only a few minutes.
You'll need a USB enclosure, Apricorn adapter (such as http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apricorn-Mass-S ... 0594226317 ) or 3.5"-to-2.5" adapter to do this.

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Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)

Check out The Board Room for:
- LED-mods for the 15" T60/R60/R61
- SATA-mods for any T43/R52 with ATI GPU
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:36 am 
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I prefer a straight clone for OS backup, of which i have about 6. I just put the backup drive in and boot. for date file restore i copy off to other HDDs of which i use 3 pluse some USB sticks.

Getting the system restored is not the problem, although i'd like to get the unbootable HDD booting again without resorting to cloning over it.

To me, the real issue is what is causing this?? I will continue to note what i am doing before the problem resurfaces (if it does which i hope it doesn't!), and maybe there is a pattern or action i was / am taking that i can stop or change to no longer have this happen.

When southbridges fail is it an internal chip failure or just a solder line microfracture like with the RAM slots?

_________________
760LD 9547 FUBARd; i1411 2611
T21 2647; T22 2647 4@ 900MHz, 1@ 1GHz SXGA+; T23 2647 2@ 1.13GHz, 1@ 1.2GHz SXGA+, WiFi
T30 2366-83U 1.8GHz; 5@ 2366-LU0/66U 1.9GHz; 2367-KU6 2GHz FUBARd
T61 8897-03U, 1.8GHz, SXGA+; 8898-AGM, 2.4GHz; 6463-Y64, 2.4GHz, WSXGA+; 6463-WTL, 2.1GHz, WSXGA+


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 3:27 pm 
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Southbridge chips become 'unsoldered'.
You need a professional reballer to fix that.
I haven't had any T30s now for over 2 years, so I don't know how far the T30 model has deteriorated in that time.
2 Years ago I found them already flaky, and thus got rid of them all.
Concentrate some more on the T23s that you have. They are much more reliable, but are of course slightly lower specced (only 1GB RAM), and don't have a touchpad (but who wants that...).
A T23 with built-in wifi and SXGA+ is still a great machine for email, surfing and Office.
IMHO it beats the T30 hands down.

There's a wifi T23 (but only XGA) cheap here: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=98553

_________________
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)

Check out The Board Room for:
- LED-mods for the 15" T60/R60/R61
- SATA-mods for any T43/R52 with ATI GPU
- other Services


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 3:46 pm 
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I have 1 T23 with XSGA+ and WiFi with the original Actiontec WiFi card. I also have extra intel 2200BGs to use. The other 2 are regular screens with no antenna wires. I'll work on getting that one set up. and see how it does.

I have no use for the trackpads either. I always have an external mouse (the little ThinkPad travel mouse red wheel that lights up).

In the meantime I'll swap out this T30 for another one in my stash and see if the problem stops occuring. :bow:

There are some shops that claim to be able to do re-balling, but i'm quite leery since one shop KIAd my 2GZ T30 and fried 3 memory modules including an OEM 512Mb module last june. :twisted:

_________________
760LD 9547 FUBARd; i1411 2611
T21 2647; T22 2647 4@ 900MHz, 1@ 1GHz SXGA+; T23 2647 2@ 1.13GHz, 1@ 1.2GHz SXGA+, WiFi
T30 2366-83U 1.8GHz; 5@ 2366-LU0/66U 1.9GHz; 2367-KU6 2GHz FUBARd
T61 8897-03U, 1.8GHz, SXGA+; 8898-AGM, 2.4GHz; 6463-Y64, 2.4GHz, WSXGA+; 6463-WTL, 2.1GHz, WSXGA+


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:08 am 
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As i elaborated in the T2x T3x board, my only nice T23 (with 1.2GHz, SXGA+ & internal WIFI) seems to be more finicky than morris the cat when it comes to recognizing HDDs. so I'm concentrating on the T30s. I have stopped hot swapping this week, and the problem child T30 has not eaten the boot records of the WDC 320GB this week.

I'll continue to refrain from hot swapping the drives (don't even need to swap out HDD D: for a DVD either because the DVD/ CDRW is in the dock.

When i get to 2+ weeks of no issues, then i'll start hot swapping ONLY the PATA HDDs. and see what happens.

Is there any type of definitive test for a failed or failing southbridge chip solder??

I'll look for a decent repair facility here in the Orlando or Tampa FL area to fix this one if it does turn out to be the southbridge and fix the ram slots on my two others (still don't know what to do about the FUBAR'd 2GHz machine).

_________________
760LD 9547 FUBARd; i1411 2611
T21 2647; T22 2647 4@ 900MHz, 1@ 1GHz SXGA+; T23 2647 2@ 1.13GHz, 1@ 1.2GHz SXGA+, WiFi
T30 2366-83U 1.8GHz; 5@ 2366-LU0/66U 1.9GHz; 2367-KU6 2GHz FUBARd
T61 8897-03U, 1.8GHz, SXGA+; 8898-AGM, 2.4GHz; 6463-Y64, 2.4GHz, WSXGA+; 6463-WTL, 2.1GHz, WSXGA+


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:27 pm 
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Well, I finally figured this out. It is the 128GB limit that I had never heard of.

Apparently none of you all heard of it either because no one suggested it. Either that or everyone assumed that it's not an issue (ends up that it IS) or that i already knew that the HDD boot partition can't be larger than 128GB.

Does the T30 BIOS include 48-bit LBA support.

It must in some way shape or form, because i wouldn't be able to use the 320s or 250s or the 500GB drives for the past 2-3 years. Maybe only the boot partition is so limited... ??? aaarrrgghhh!!!

In any event, re-sizing the HDD primary boot to 128GB makes the unbootable partion bootable! It also seems to make it immume to the issue from recurring.

I'm trying to do some more digging on the T30 and its BIOS and whether or not it supports 48bit LBA (ATAPI-6) but can't seem to find anything definitive. Since the standard was first introduced in 2003. It's a certaintity that the original T30 BIOS did not support it. I do have IBM's ast available T30 BIOS installed, but can't determine if it ever was updated for 48bit LBA.

So, I'm using the two WDC 320 billion byte HDDs with 128GB boot partitions and the remainder as a logical partition. That seems to work fine. One site (48bitlba.com) wanns that if you use a large HDD on a non 48bit BIOS machine that even if you make the boot partition 128GB, then you will encounter problems on an extended partition, but I think they are wrong, because I have encountered NO problems with my 500GB SATA HDD (it's a non-bootable 2nd HDD) for months.

Supposedly windows XP SP1 and later supports 48bitLBA. I do need to check the registry settings in my computer to be sure that i don't have it shut off by accident. Of course i need to figure out what to look for first...

_________________
760LD 9547 FUBARd; i1411 2611
T21 2647; T22 2647 4@ 900MHz, 1@ 1GHz SXGA+; T23 2647 2@ 1.13GHz, 1@ 1.2GHz SXGA+, WiFi
T30 2366-83U 1.8GHz; 5@ 2366-LU0/66U 1.9GHz; 2367-KU6 2GHz FUBARd
T61 8897-03U, 1.8GHz, SXGA+; 8898-AGM, 2.4GHz; 6463-Y64, 2.4GHz, WSXGA+; 6463-WTL, 2.1GHz, WSXGA+


Last edited by cadillacmike68 on Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:42 pm 
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We all heard of 48-bit LBA. I thought all ThinkPads integrating the Intel 82830M + ICH3-M chipset have a 48-bit LBA firmware. So I assumed that T30 supports 48-bit LBA. I thought all T-series since T23 support it.

I know X22 support it. My desktop computer, with 815 + ICH2 chipset, supports it.

edit: changed my wording to sound less confident


Last edited by automobus on Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:06 pm 
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The majority of us never had a HD much larger than 40 or 60GB when we had a T23/T30 or other machine of that generation.
So most of us are/were probably aware of it, but have sheer forgotten about it.
Last time I had a problem with that was probably in the last century! 8)

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Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)

Check out The Board Room for:
- LED-mods for the 15" T60/R60/R61
- SATA-mods for any T43/R52 with ATI GPU
- other Services


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:42 am 
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I understand these machines are old. Back when they were made 20, 30 & 40GBs were the standard, 60 or 80 was the ultimate.

Strangest thing is the machine (windoze) can partiton & format the whole drive, even the 500GB SATA, but apparently formatting and using the boot partition over 128GB(137,xxx,xxx,xxx bytes) will eventually cause problems.

That's the wierd thing. that i can't figure out or find any definitive answer on. Lenovo sure isn't going to help.

Well at least I know it won't be an issue when i upgrade wifey's T61 with that Hitachi 750GB drive.

_________________
760LD 9547 FUBARd; i1411 2611
T21 2647; T22 2647 4@ 900MHz, 1@ 1GHz SXGA+; T23 2647 2@ 1.13GHz, 1@ 1.2GHz SXGA+, WiFi
T30 2366-83U 1.8GHz; 5@ 2366-LU0/66U 1.9GHz; 2367-KU6 2GHz FUBARd
T61 8897-03U, 1.8GHz, SXGA+; 8898-AGM, 2.4GHz; 6463-Y64, 2.4GHz, WSXGA+; 6463-WTL, 2.1GHz, WSXGA+


Last edited by cadillacmike68 on Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:20 am 
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just for infos sake, I had a similar issue after cloning a drive either with Acronis Easy Migrate or EaseUs Todo Backup Free. In either case the new drive only got as far as a blinking cursor in the top left. I burnt a CD for Boot-IT so I could take a look at the partitions on it, but it cleverly found an issue with the pMBR(? I think, it wasn't MBR there was a suffix to it...). However it did its thing, and drive worked fine following that :) In an unpartitioned state the drive would 160Gb (- formatting so around 150Gb available?), but I cloned the complete drive so all partitions were moved over, now there was some unallocated space after that as it was a slightly bigger drive than the original so I wonder if that may have been what upset things initially?

This was on my T42 by the way :) oops need to update sig!

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T42-2373-M3G: 1.8Ghz 2Gb 160Gb 14" SXGA+ - XP Pro
T42p-2373-HTG: 1.8Ghz 2Gb 120Gb 15" UXGA - XP Pro
Compaq n600c: 1.13 PIII 512Mb 30Gb 14" SXGA+ - Win2k
X31-2672-CBG: 1.4Ghz 1Gb 40Gb 12" XGA - XP Pro (partners)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:47 pm 
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Similar but different issues Danny,

T40 series (I'm pretty sure) can all handle booting from a drive large than 128GB (137xxx,,xxx,xxx bytes), but any glitch on cloning or backup / recovery, including accidently letting windows restart with both drives in the machine will trash the MBR and or boot record of the new drive.

Your boot-it program fixed what window likely did to the boot record / MBR. I've run into this before as well.

There's some good reading on this subject here:

http://www.goodells.net/multiboot/partsigs.shtml

Interestingly, using a w98SE boot diskette can do a quick fix on the MBR! But it won't help if your drive strayed over the 128GB limit!!!

_________________
760LD 9547 FUBARd; i1411 2611
T21 2647; T22 2647 4@ 900MHz, 1@ 1GHz SXGA+; T23 2647 2@ 1.13GHz, 1@ 1.2GHz SXGA+, WiFi
T30 2366-83U 1.8GHz; 5@ 2366-LU0/66U 1.9GHz; 2367-KU6 2GHz FUBARd
T61 8897-03U, 1.8GHz, SXGA+; 8898-AGM, 2.4GHz; 6463-Y64, 2.4GHz, WSXGA+; 6463-WTL, 2.1GHz, WSXGA+


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