[ Think Pad R40 ][ Previous ]
When first delivered, the R40 had a very annoying problem. With AC power plugged in and the battery fully charged, it made a very annoying "tick" noise every 10 seconds. This happened even when the laptop was turned off.
IBM tech support said it might be a battery problem and arranged to ship a new battery. After one month, the battery had still not arrived. That's the bad news. The good news is that it wasn't a battery problem. Downloading and installing the "TP R40 - Embedded Controller Program (Non-Diskette)" from the IBM software and driver matrix solved the problem.
Boot from USB jump drive
I finally figured out how to boot from my 128MB USB 1.1 Lexar Jump Drive. First, I formatted the jump drive using a utility emailed to me by Lexar tech support: usb_memory_boot_setup.exe. This sets up the jump drive to emulate a hard disk, NOT a floppy. Actually, the "HD-ness" seems to come from the device itself, not the formatting utility. It formats it as a FAT drive with a DOS-like kernel installed. I don't know what it would take to put a bootable Linux on this thing, but it ought to be possible.
Since it looks like a HD, it does not show up in the laptop's boot device menu (F12 during boot), but it does show up as a hard drive deep in the BIOS config. It would be much nicer if the BIOS would present the jump drive as an option in the "Removable Devices" portion of the boot device menu.
To boot from the formatted jump drive, first install it in a USB slot, then start the ThinkPad and go to the BIOS configuration screen:
BIOS SETUP>STARTUP>BOOT>HARD DRIVE>LEXAR...
Use F5/F6 to move the jump drive up to the hard disk default position (the first). Save the configuration, and reboot to the jump drive, either by letting it default to HD, or by selecting Hard Drive via F12. Once the jump drive has been removed (and/or the machine rebooted?) the jump drive will no longer be the default. It is necessary to go to BIOS each time the jump drive is booted.
Why boot from a USB jump drive? Good question. It might be handy if you don't have a USB floppy available.
There is another windows utility available for making USB flash fobs bootable:
It will install DOS boot files (not included with utility) and MBR and boot sector stuff that allows booting DOS from a USB stick. It is also handy when putting a bootable Linux "live" installation on flash. See my Knoppix on USB Flash writeup.
Hard Drive and Burner Upgrade
I purchased a Seagate 100GB 5400RPM hard drive to use in the new T43 - which came with a 60GB drive standard. Unfortunately, the T43 only supports drives that have had their firmware modified by IBM/Lenovo. Anythng else will cause a boot/BIOS error 2010. See "Problems with non-thinkpad option drives on T43 thinkpads" and "POST warning message 2010 after BIOS upgrade or hard drive installation" for further information. Since I couldn't use the 100GB drive in the T43, it went into the R40 where it works quite well.
I also bought an NEC ND6500A dual-layer DVD burner for the R40. I had the impression from a fair bit of Googling that it would fit if I swapped the stock CD burner's bezel onto the new burner. WRONG. The button and LED aren't quite in the same place even if it was easy to remove the bezel. The eject feature of the ThinkPad optical drives requires a notch in the bezel. Out came the dremel tool, and after some nervous grinding I had an appropriate notch. The only other hitch was the set of rails and the connector adapter that needed to be swapped from the old drive to the new. NO WAY. This should have been possible but the loc-tite they had applied to the rail screws during assembly couldn't be defeated without breaking something. I ended up finding a set of rails on eBay for $7US that solved the problem.
[ Think Pad R40 ][ Previous ]