View Full Version : ThinkPad 310ED upgrading

October 17th, 2006, 05:10 AM
Hi to all :p

I am new member and I would gladly start my posts with some questions dealing with my vintage IBM Thinkpad.

I am refurbishing a vintage TP 310ED (OS is Win 95) and doing that I try to slightly upgrade the original HW.
I opened the DIMM bay and I noticed that both slots are occuped by memory cards: the left one sports the label FRU 05K3143 while the other FRU 11J8602.
Looking through IBM parts catalogues I realised that 05K3143 refers to System Board, thus actually the label on the left memory card is not referred to RAM itself but to system specification. Probably the 16MB RAM on the left is the basic card factory fitted while the other RAM card (16MB too) is an optional added by previous owner.
Now my question: is it worth to substitute both RAMs to get the maximum allowed capacity of 64MB (presently the total RAM is 16MB+16MB)?
Once replaced do I have to reconfigure something or the system automatically recognises the two upgraded new RAMs?
Actually I would upgrade to Win 98 but I hesitate just considering the limited capacity of original Hard Disk which is a ridiculous 1.6GB!
The IBM TP Manual said about an original Hard Disk upgrade of 3.0GB but I guess that something more may be allowed as here advertised:


What do you think?

By the way: is it possible to add USB ports via PCMCIA card to 310ED? I know that Win 95 can't support USBs and thus...

I appreciate your skilled help! ;)


October 17th, 2006, 06:44 AM
Discussion of machines capable running Win95 is probably off topic, so I've moved the post to the off topic area.

Win95 is old, but not anywhere near Vintage.

October 17th, 2006, 07:33 AM
Apologise mbbrutman :(

I am new here and thus not yet familar with Forum areas!

Thanks :D


October 17th, 2006, 12:46 PM
I don't know how ThinkPad works - possibly you need to go into Setup and acknowledge the change if you replace one or two of the memory modules. As far as I know, Windows 95/98 will swallow all available memory without further configuration.

A pure installation of Windows 98 doesn't have to take more than ~250-300 MB, but you want some swap space and of course room for all the programs you want to install. A total disk capacity of 1.6 GB would be enough if you don't need a lot of applications, but it tends to fill out as you go.

When it comes to maximum hard disk size, perhaps there is a BIOS limitation or so, that can be overcome by an upgrade or driver software in Windows that bypass BIOS. If you ask me, $109 for a 6 GB disk sounds like someone is cashing in on desperate users in need of older items. I'm currently in the process of buying a small (100 MB - 4 GB) 2.5" hard disk, but won't be willing to pay much. Fortunately there is a guy who just posted over a dozen auctions of working disks simultaneously, and I'm hoping to catch at least one of those for a decent (max $10) price.

October 17th, 2006, 03:48 PM
I'm with Carlsson, I wouldn't go for that drive, I'd keep shopping cause smaller drives are getting very cheap. That outer casing is most likely removable so any drive that the bios would allow and will fit in the case should work. And for $100 you can get bigger, certainly. That website is really expensive. ouch. try trademoon.com


October 17th, 2006, 06:11 PM
From what I can find, hard disks > 8 GB need special software: Ontrack Disk Manager. It used to be available from IBM/Hitachi, but since no sane person (my exaggeration) uses such old systems as Windows 95/98 anymore, it is removed from their page. It means newer Windows has built-in functionality to bypass BIOS limitations on its own? By the way, I found some Dutch (?) reseller who had listed up to 20 GB disks for ThinkPad 310ED.

Here is a discussion from another forum you might find interesting:

October 18th, 2006, 08:48 AM
Thanks carlsson, thanks NathanAllan for your useful replies :D

So you confirm my guess that those HDs from Kahlon are not convenient for my ThinkPad or in other words a money waste :(

The BIOS limitation was my doubt then I would stick on 3.0GB as mentioned in IBM Maintenance Manual whose "upgrading items list" shows an HD of such capacity and no more. Taking into account that I wouldn't modify existing SW that will be the choice indeed.

Unfortunately Trademoon doesn't have Hard Disks for my TP 310 in stock.
What is the name of that Dutch reseller?

Thanks for help ;)


October 18th, 2006, 02:17 PM
"Unfortunately Trademoon doesn't have Hard Disks for my TP 310 in stock.
What is the name of that Dutch reseller?"

You shouldn't need a specific harddrive, just one that will fit in that case (or caddy) and be within the bios' limitations, but then you could use a program to still use a larger drive. It doesn't have to be a specific make, model, etc. Just so you know.


October 20th, 2006, 06:12 AM
Thanks NathanAllan for clarification :)

Actually I've to look for an HD with same physical dimensions of original one.

Here there is plenty of these from 1.6GB up to 30GB :confused: claimed suitable for TP 310ED:


The problem is to find the max capacity not requiring heavy SW upgrading.
By the way, which type of SW do you suggest saying "use a program to still use a larger drive"

Another problem: how may I copy the whole HD content to new one? Consider that my old TP doesn't have USB ports :(

Thanks for help!


October 20th, 2006, 10:34 AM
Software to use larger disks than BIOS can handle: I don't know. Earlier the Ontrack Disk Manager software was mentioned, but it doesn't seem to be available anymore (maybe from some warez site, I didn't look closely). Perhaps there is some other extention to the Windows 9X series that does the same job.

If you are able to connect two hard disks simultaneously, it is rather simple using the freeware copying program xxcopy (improved upon old xcopy). I've used it to successfully duplicate Windows partitions.

Here is yet another forum you might want to browse:
Or rather.. you seem to already have found it. :-D

October 23rd, 2006, 08:30 AM
Thank you Carlsson :D

I've just downloaded xxcopy and I'm familiarizing with it.
Presently I'm also investigating the Hard Disk threshold capacity yet recognised by "stock" HW and SW. Following that I will get an upgraded HD to run even Win 98 SE. Next days I will improve RAM up to 64MB and I will report improvements (hopefully :sigh: )

Thanks for another Forum link dealing (also) with vintage stuff... Actually you're right and I'd already found it :p