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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 5:01 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 02, 2012 4:15 pm
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Location: milwaukee, wisconsin
My T23 (that I've had for many years) won't boot - I get the plain black screen with the "operating system not found" message, and nothing else. It has Windows 2000. I found, oddly, that it will boot up just fine if I have the Win2k cd in the drive when I start it up. It will say "press any key to boot from cd...", and if I press no keys and let it just time out, or if I immediately eject the cd, it starts up and works beautifully, just like old times. But the next startup, if the cd isn't in there, I get the same "operating system not found" message.

I ran the recovery console from the Win2k cd, ran fixmbr and fixboot, but nothing changed.

I used winXP's msconfig application to check the boot.ini file from within Win2k, and it looks fine.

I installed an extended mbr boot manager (BootItNG) that I like to use to manage multi-boot/multi-partition systems, that puts itself on a separate embr partition at the back end of the hard drive. From this program, I can see the HD partitions, and see the MBR, which looks normal. BootItNG creates a startup disk (I use it via a USB-floppy drive) that installs the program and points the system to boot first to its EMBR partition, from which you can select what OS you want. But even this program won't "take" on startup. Unless I actively have the BootItNG floppy connected (which will boot up to BootItNG), I still get the "operating system not found" message. From within BootItNG, if I start with the floppy attached, I can select the Win2K installation and boot to it with no problem at all.

I tested the hard drive all sorts of ways, and it seems fine: I put it in an external caddy and plugged it into another computer - all data is there; I ran Linux (BackTrack) via cd in the T23, and it could read the drive just fine, and see all the files and read/write to the HD. Maybe just the very first sector of the HD (with the MBR) is bad or corrupted? The T23 has 2 original partitions: the IBM Preload(27GB), and IBM Recovery (700MB); plus now also the 7mb EMBR partition.

I am stumped. Obviously, one solution is to just keep the Win2k cd inside at all times, but that will be annoying. Anyone have any ideas how to fix it? I need the serial & parallel ports on this computer, and I need it to be reliable, so I really want to get this working normally again. I made clone backups of the 2 HD partitions, so I can always recover the data - maybe I'll try to install a fresh WinXP over it all and see if anything happens - but I'll wait for your suggestions first.

Thanks for your help.


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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 11:52 pm 
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Welcome to thinkpads.com!

I haven't had this problem but if it were me, I'd clone the drive onto another one and see if the cloned drive boots normally. If not, then at least you have a copy of your data in case the original drive finally decides to never work again (with or without booting assistance from a CD).

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Ray Kawakami
[DONOR] X22;X24;X31;X41;X41T;X60;X60s;X61;X61s;X200s;X300;X301;Z60m;Z61t;Z61p;560;560Z;600;600E;600X;T21;T22;T23;T41,T410;R50;A21p;A22p;A31;A31p
NOTE: All links to PC-Doctor software hosted by me are dead. Files removed 8/28/12 by manufacturer's demand.


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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 12:56 am 
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Joined: Wed May 02, 2012 4:15 pm
Posts: 2
Location: milwaukee, wisconsin
Thanks for the welcome :)

I cloned the original partitions already, onto my large desktop 'complilation of clones' drive - which I can't boot the laptop from of course - but the data is saved at least. Hmm.. I'll have to see if I can locate a spare 2.5" IDE drive to play with.

I didn't image the drive entirely, from sector 0 to the end (if that's even possible?), but rather cloned the 2 original drive partitions just as partitions.

One question though, if I copy the cloned partition with the OS onto a new drive, what will happen to the bootsector or MBR? Does it go along for the ride onto the new drive, or is it considered separate from the cloned partition. Like, if I just paste the main OS partition onto a blank new drive and plug it in the T23, will it boot by itself? Do I have to do anything to point to its location?

Also, is there anything useful in the IBM-Services 700MB partition that came with the computer? I can't seem to run anything from it even if I wanted to - there's no .exe anywhere. Is it recommended to keep it?

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 2:23 am 
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Regarding the bootability of cloned partitions, I would say it depends upon the disk utility you are using. Personally, I use an older version of Norton Ghost and don't deal with drives that have multiple partitions. The cloned system boots XP fine. The only problem I've had is when Windows 7 systems are cloned. Then I have to run a Windows 7 "repair" disk on the cloned drive to make it bootable.

I don't bother with the IBM restore partition on systems as old as the T23. If you wipe a drive and use the IBM restore CD disks to re-create the OS and the restore partition, the resulting Windows XP install needs a couple of Service Packs before it's up to date. What I have done is to create a clean XP install for my T23s, upgraded it to SP3 and then imaged the system onto a couple of DVDs. That's what I use for a starting point when needing to re-build a drive.

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Ray Kawakami
[DONOR] X22;X24;X31;X41;X41T;X60;X60s;X61;X61s;X200s;X300;X301;Z60m;Z61t;Z61p;560;560Z;600;600E;600X;T21;T22;T23;T41,T410;R50;A21p;A22p;A31;A31p
NOTE: All links to PC-Doctor software hosted by me are dead. Files removed 8/28/12 by manufacturer's demand.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:26 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:01 am
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Location: Harbin, China
rkawakami wrote:
Regarding the bootability of cloned partitions, I would say it depends upon the disk utility you are using. Personally, I use an older version of Norton Ghost and don't deal with drives that have multiple partitions. The cloned system boots XP fine. The only problem I've had is when Windows 7 systems are cloned. Then I have to run a Windows 7 "repair" disk on the cloned drive to make it bootable.

I don't bother with the IBM restore partition on systems as old as the T23. If you wipe a drive and use the IBM restore CD disks to re-create the OS and the restore partition, the resulting Windows XP install needs a couple of Service Packs before it's up to date. What I have done is to create a clean XP install for my T23s, upgraded it to SP3 and then imaged the system onto a couple of DVDs. That's what I use for a starting point when needing to re-build a drive.


Could you send a copy of the restore file to me? I am trying to save the oldest laptop in my home.... Thanks a lot..


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:18 pm 
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You didn't mention what you "did" during the last session when the T23 booted normally. That's ok, most users never "did" anything, it just "happened". Do you have an FDD with a W98SE Startup disk, that can re-write thhe MBR, but it will overwrite any boot manager you have.

Alternatively you can get a restore CD, but you'll have to re-do ALL the security updates, etc. and re-install all your apps. But since it boots with help, that should be a last resort.

What is the purpose of your boot manager, just to see partitions, or do you have another OS you boot to? If not, get rid of that partition, set the W2000 partition to ACTIVE in FDISK, and try to get a W98 startup diskette and run FDISK /MBR to re-write the MBR.

If you need an FDD there are many on here who'll sell you one inexpensively. I would but i left all my internal FDDs at home. I Think i have a w98 startup disk here, but no blanks to copy it on to. But I could have my wife copy and mail one.

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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 Sep 05, 2012 6:54 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2006 6:49 am
Posts: 192
Location: new york (duhh)
Slide out the drive and take a look at the pins to make sure they are all OK. If one is bent, that could be your problem... this has happened to me.

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T61: 6460-08U
T30: 2366-96U
T30: 2367-RU7
T30: 2366-JCU
T30: 2366-QU5
T23: 2647-8U8


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