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Thread: IBM Thinkpad 380ED upgrade suggestions

  1. #1

    Default IBM Thinkpad 380ED upgrade suggestions

    Hello, Me again, with another project I'll probably never have time for.

    So I bought two vintage IBM Thinkpad 380ED laptops as is. They ran about 40.00 each shipped. I think I did OK, but that's besides the point.

    This laptop (or rather the 380D has a soft spot in my heart because it was the model I used in my teenage years. So here I am, with two of them I bought to make one working one.

    Problem is, they both work.....

    The first one powered up and booted to errors 161 and 163. Replaced the CMOS battery and set the time, and although the hard drive sounded terrible, it booted into windows 98.

    The second one, booted to error 161 and hung up as the hard drive made a terrible sound. So I took them both apart (Mainly for cleaning). Swapped the hard drives between the two, problem followed the bad hard drive. (First one froze at 161 error, and second one booted into win 98 ).

    Onto my questions.....

    I want to mainly use these machines as DOS/Windows gaming machines. I think I'll put compact flash IDE adapters in both. What is the maximum size CF card this unit can support? Anyone know? The hard drives in there are only 3 Gigs each. Also, does anyone have experience with certain brand CF cards? Some work, some don't from what I understand.

    Ram, EDO type is all I know. each machine has 4MB on board and a single card slot that's already populated with size I don't know.

    Lastly the LCD's both are rather dim compared to the one I remember as a kid. They seem to have failing backlight bulbs. Are there any sources that make new ones specifically for the 380 series Thinkpads? I see some sites sell them for about 20.00 each but they are made to order based off measurements. I am sort of iffy about using a sort-of-fit one. What are your thoughts?

    Thanks!

    ~Tim
    Last edited by tblake05; December 30th, 2019 at 02:47 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default

    The 380ED comes with either a TFT display or a FRSTN display, the latter is probably a little darker. Dying backlights tend to show a red screen for a while on power up.

    I use laptop IDE drives in my old Thinkpads, you can replace them with something larger in capacity if needed.
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  3. #3
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    Default Added EPRM URL

    The ALET for the TP380E(D) from IBM is here:
    http://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/Sho...uest_locale=en
    that should get you started.

    The HMM in PDF form is here:
    http://greyghost.mooo.com/pccbbs/mobiles/tpvol3.pdf
    there are other mirrors of IBM's PCCBBS files.

    A very useful Windows-based configuration utility is the uttp1.....exe package, where "...." represents your OS of choice.
    http://greyghost.mooo.com/pccbbs/mobiles/

    An HTML version of the EPRM (Electronic Pocket Reference Manual) is here (for P/Ns and FRUs):
    http://ps-2.kev009.com/eprmhtml/

  4. #4
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    Thanks for those links!

    BTW, I have a 380ED for parts if anyone needs anything.

  5. #5

    Default

    Thanks guys for the great info!

    Quote Originally Posted by Unknown_K View Post
    The 380ED comes with either a TFT display or a FRSTN display, the latter is probably a little darker. Dying backlights tend to show a red screen for a while on power up.

    I use laptop IDE drives in my old Thinkpads, you can replace them with something larger in capacity if needed.
    Which one is better, TFT? and how do I know which one to focus on to or repair/restore?

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