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Thread: Toshiba T3100e/40 Issues

  1. #1

    Default Toshiba T3100e/40 Issues

    Hi All!

    I recently picked up a Toshiba T3100e/40 -- (along with about 10 other laptops ranging from 80C86 to Pentium MMX).

    I've started restoring them all, but I'm having some issues with the T3100.

    To preface: Until recently, I'd never actually *worked* on anything older than a 386sx -- I've used older, but never tried to repair/restore.

    So there may well be stuff that I'm missing.

    So far:

    When I got the T3100e -- it would power up, complain about the CMOS battery, and the hard drive would seek-click on a loop (obviously bad). I was able to put a floppy disk in it, and with some fiddling, got it to boot, everything looked like it was working.

    I searched around and managed to source a Conner CP-3044 drive, replacement CMOS battery, and an Intel 80287 FPU.

    I opened it up to install these three things and thankfully -- the FPU and CMOS battery seem to work fine.

    However, the hard drive throws a "HARD DRIVE CONTROLLER INITIALIZATION FAILURE", no matter what C/D,ACT,DSP jumper settings I use (I've tried single and master). The drive I purchased was SUPPOSED to be working, but with stuff this old, for all I know it could have failed on the trip to me.

    And now, the floppy drive seems to have given out, when it tries to read a disk it spins it a little but it seems... off, to me.

    I found a replacement for the FDD as well, and ordered it, but it has not arrived yet.

    So I have a few questions:

    1). Am I doing something wrong? I know these older 286 portables sometimes have weird/quirky things you have to do to make them work.
    2). How likely is it that the system board is bad as opposed to the drives? It boots fine, can get into cmos fine, etc.
    3). This laptop appears to have some kind of proprietary expansion -- but it also looks like it has a single 8-bit ISA slot. Could I possibly put an 8 bit disk controller card in there and get it to boot from that? What about a ISA->CF card?

  2. #2

    Default

    I can't say about most of those issues... A variety of things could be wrong to cause FDD errors. As for the HDD issue, yes! I don't know about the e, but the T3100 installing a SCSI card is a great way to fix HDD issues! I don't know anyone who's tried an XTIDE, but it might work great too.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Toronto ON Canada
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    6,994

    Default

    Those old Conner drives were not the most reliable after all these years; do you have another system that you could test it in?

    The 3100e uses 'normal' PATA IDE drives but unfortunately there are only two entries in the BIOS drive table, for the 20 and 40MB drives. You can use a drive with different specs by using a DDO (Disk Drive Overlay) or modifying the drive table in the BIOS; I have an 80MB drive in mine using the Ontrack DDO.

    Floppy drives can be a little temperamental; have you tried different diskettes?

    Good luck; one of my favourite vintage 'laptops'

    m

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