Forum Rules and Etiquette

Our mission ...

This forum is part of our mission to promote the preservation of vintage computers through education and outreach. (In real life we also run events and have a museum.) We encourage you to join us, participate, share your knowledge, and enjoy.

This forum has been around in this format for over 15 years. These rules and guidelines help us maintain a healthy and active community, and we moderate the forum to keep things on track. Please familiarize yourself with these rules and guidelines.

Rule 1: Remain civil and respectful

There are several hundred people who actively participate here. People come from all different backgrounds and will have different ways of seeing things. You will not agree with everything you read here. Back-and-forth discussions are fine but do not cross the line into rude or disrespectful behavior.

Conduct yourself as you would at any other place where people come together in person to discuss their hobby. If you wouldn't say something to somebody in person, then you probably should not be writing it here.

This should be obvious but, just in case: profanity, threats, slurs against any group (sexual, racial, gender, etc.) will not be tolerated.

Rule 2: Stay close to the original topic being discussed
  • If you are starting a new thread choose a reasonable sub-forum to start your thread. (If you choose incorrectly don't worry, we can fix that.)
  • If you are responding to a thread, stay on topic - the original poster was trying to achieve something. You can always start a new thread instead of potentially "hijacking" an existing thread.

Rule 3: Contribute something meaningful

To put things in engineering terms, we value a high signal to noise ratio. Coming here should not be a waste of time.
  • This is not a chat room. If you are taking less than 30 seconds to make a post then you are probably doing something wrong. A post should be on topic, clear, and contribute something meaningful to the discussion. If people read your posts and feel that their time as been wasted, they will stop reading your posts. Worse yet, they will stop visiting and we'll lose their experience and contributions.
  • Do not bump threads.
  • Do not "necro-post" unless you are following up to a specific person on a specific thread. And even then, that person may have moved on. Just start a new thread for your related topic.
  • Use the Private Message system for posts that are targeted at a specific person.

Rule 4: "PM Sent!" messages (or, how to use the Private Message system)

This forum has a private message feature that we want people to use for messages that are not of general interest to other members.

In short, if you are going to reply to a thread and that reply is targeted to a specific individual and not of interest to anybody else (either now or in the future) then send a private message instead.

Here are some obvious examples of when you should not reply to a thread and use the PM system instead:
  • "PM Sent!": Do not tell the rest of us that you sent a PM ... the forum software will tell the other person that they have a PM waiting.
  • "How much is shipping to ....": This is a very specific and directed question that is not of interest to anybody else.

Why do we have this policy? Sending a "PM Sent!" type message basically wastes everybody else's time by making them having to scroll past a post in a thread that looks to be updated, when the update is not meaningful. And the person you are sending the PM to will be notified by the forum software that they have a message waiting for them. Look up at the top near the right edge where it says 'Notifications' ... if you have a PM waiting, it will tell you there.

Rule 5: Copyright and other legal issues

We are here to discuss vintage computing, so discussing software, books, and other intellectual property that is on-topic is fine. We don't want people using these forums to discuss or enable copyright violations or other things that are against the law; whether you agree with the law or not is irrelevant. Do not use our resources for something that is legally or morally questionable.

Our discussions here generally fall under "fair use." Telling people how to pirate a software title is an example of something that is not allowable here.

Reporting problematic posts

If you see spam, a wildly off-topic post, or something abusive or illegal please report the thread by clicking on the "Report Post" icon. (It looks like an exclamation point in a triangle and it is available under every post.) This send a notification to all of the moderators, so somebody will see it and deal with it.

If you are unsure you may consider sending a private message to a moderator instead.

New user moderation

New users are directly moderated so that we can weed spammers out early. This means that for your first 10 posts you will have some delay before they are seen. We understand this can be disruptive to the flow of conversation and we try to keep up with our new user moderation duties to avoid undue inconvenience. Please do not make duplicate posts, extra posts to bump your post count, or ask the moderators to expedite this process; 10 moderated posts will go by quickly.

New users also have a smaller personal message inbox limit and are rate limited when sending PMs to other users.

Other suggestions
  • Use Google, books, or other definitive sources. There is a lot of information out there.
  • Don't make people guess at what you are trying to say; we are not mind readers. Be clear and concise.
  • Spelling and grammar are not rated, but they do make a post easier to read.
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Hello and first question - T5200

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    Hello and first question - T5200

    Hello everyone,

    I was reading quite a bit in the forum before posting and I think if there is a place where someone can help me it's here

    I'm living in Germany and was always a bit fascinated with "older" Hard- and Software. I have quite a few old (mechanical) keyboards, but until a few month ago no more complete hardware.

    Browsing the classical computer section on the well known auction site I saw an old laptop and remembered the one my father had when I was a child and which I remembered for the incredible price tag. My first own PC was a 286, so I thought I can buy the laptop and play some games from the past bringing back some memories.

    I bought it just to realize that it was a near miss - it was a Toshiba T5100 and after I got it and did some reading I realized I really wanted a T5200 (mainly for the lock mechanism and the extra"power" and because it's the one my father had).
    While waiting for one to appear I "accidentally" bought a T3200 and a T1200 because they looked so good... All of them need some care (bad CMOS Battery on all, bad HDD in the T5100, bad Floppy in the T3200 and probably a bad capacitor in the T1200...) and while I wondered which to fix first a T5200/100 showed up.

    It arrived a few days ago - and unfortunately the display got cracked in the transport. Its not only the Glass cover, but also the display itself, so I didn't dare to put power on it. After removing the display (really great feature) it boots really good. The least noise of all newly bought Toshibas and the HDD light is flickering after pressing F1 (so another bad CMOS battery?). It also starts reading a floppy if I enter one before F1.
    Here it stops. I am not getting a picture via the external VGA connector.

    Reading the maintenance manual, It might be possible that I have to enable the external signal in the setup section of diagnostics disk. There are quite a few files I can find via google, but not the one which I'm supposed to start from the disk ("testce52") and also there are some files to switch other models (e.g. The T3100) to CRT mode, there is none for the T5200.

    Is it possible to enable the external signal with a different method? Does one of the "Test.exe"s work? Can I do it without seeing anything, or are there too many steps to dare it?

    I would be glad if someone can help me, otherwise I have to wait some time more and buy yet another T5200 (even if my wife thinks about 100kg of old laptops piling up in my room is more than enough).

    Greetings, Simon

    Welcome to these forums Simon.

    Originally posted by Mon View Post
    Reading the maintenance manual, It might be possible that I have to enable the external signal in the setup section of diagnostics disk.
    I think I can see what you are referring to on page 3-49

    Originally posted by Mon View Post
    There are quite a few files I can find via google, but not the one which I'm supposed to start from the disk ("testce52")
    For TESTCE52.EXE:

    1. Goto
    2. Navigate to the 'Diagnostics' section.

    Within that section are two links for downloading a ZIP file containing collection of Toshiba diagnostic programs.

    3. Of those two links, click on the top link to download file
    4. Within that file, TESTCE52.EXE is in the /DIAGS/HIGH folder.


      Thank you very much, I can't wait to try it out

      I overlooked the diagnostics section, even if I found before and already got the maintenance manual from there.

      There is a typo in the link description, so it reads: Click here to download the collection of diagnostic programs that is found on the 1985 dated Toshiba Atlas CD-ROM." when the zip is dated to 1995. --> without your help I would never have found this, thanks again!

      The Manual is really specific and offers step by step instructions, so I will give it a try and hopefully get my external screen to work. Still don't know if the HDD is really working and how much RAM there is installed.


        Originally posted by Mon View Post
        There is a typo in the link description, so it reads: Click here to download the collection of diagnostic programs that is found on the 1985 dated Toshiba Atlas CD-ROM." when the zip is dated to 1995. -->
        Thanks. I have fixed it.


          Thank You for the great collection.

          Of course it wasn't that easy an I didn't manage to get it working. I think I get MS-Dos started from the HDD (HDD-LED flickering) and when I siwtch to a: even the FDD-LED starts to flicker but there is no sound from the FDD at all. There is a really high noise coming from the back of the laptop which sounds a bit like the capacitor charging in a real flash for a camera....

          I have another floppy bought at ebay which has the correct Model name on it, so maybe I will give this a try. At the moment I always are limited to half an hour before my wife/children ask for the time I'm spending here...Maybe I wait for a Screen, because anyway what I wanted was the orange Plasma look and not only a 386 connected to my normal monitor


            Mon, i own a T5200 and the external VGA output is always enabled. You just plug the vga cable to the monitor and you should get the picture. It works same way with the internal display detached or atached. Btw my floppy drive was not working until i removed it and performed some cleaning inside. Now it works.


              Originally posted by Mon View Post
              ...While waiting for one to appear I "accidentally" bought a T3200 and a T1200 because they looked so good...
              Yup! I have "accidentally" bought quite a few items!! So the boxes of old computer parts are taking more and more space. I think my wife wants me to sell some stuff but I find it difficult to "accidentally" sell this stuff! Anyway, welcome to the forums!!