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Toshiba J-3100GT/T3100 Laptop - Hard Drive Solution?

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    #16
    DOS can only use 640K (with a few minor exceptions) no matter how much memory your system has. Unless you can find another way to load that 200K driver elsewhere it's going to eat 200K of ram of the top of your 640K DOS ram. There are methods to get ~708K or so for DOS to use but is that even enough for your purpose?
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

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      #17
      Odd, I remember the Backpack Hard Drive having lower memory consumption than this. Maybe the documentation lists a way of cutting buffers in conventional memory or shoving some of it into EMS if the Toshiba can take an EMS card.

      Comment


        #18
        Sorry I didnt mention this in my last post, it was getting a bit long.

        If you have the ISA connector, you could use an XT-IDE card. It may even be possible to use the original internal drive bay, by running the cable back into the laptop, YMMV with this.

        Alternatively use one of the CF type cards with the XT-IDE cards if it will all fit inside the space. Alternatively, put the XT-IDE card in the machine and run the cable out to a standard IDE drive. I have not used the XT-IDE card myself but it is very well supported.

        Another (period correct) solution would be an 8-bit ISA SCSI card + HDD, but these are difficult to find.

        You will have a much more straightforward environment, in that there is no need to load a 200K driver to access the HDD. You could still put the external drive to use to ease file transfer, just don't load the 200k driver when you need to run programs.

        Hope this helps.
        EISA .cfg Archive | Chip set Encyclopedia

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          #19
          Originally posted by krebizfan View Post
          Odd, I remember the Backpack Hard Drive having lower memory consumption than this. Maybe the documentation lists a way of cutting buffers in conventional memory or shoving some of it into EMS if the Toshiba can take an EMS card.
          Maybe, I'll take a look.

          Originally posted by mR_Slug View Post
          Sorry I didnt mention this in my last post, it was getting a bit long.

          If you have the ISA connector, you could use an XT-IDE card. It may even be possible to use the original internal drive bay, by running the cable back into the laptop, YMMV with this.

          Alternatively use one of the CF type cards with the XT-IDE cards if it will all fit inside the space. Alternatively, put the XT-IDE card in the machine and run the cable out to a standard IDE drive. I have not used the XT-IDE card myself but it is very well supported.

          Another (period correct) solution would be an 8-bit ISA SCSI card + HDD, but these are difficult to find.

          You will have a much more straightforward environment, in that there is no need to load a 200K driver to access the HDD. You could still put the external drive to use to ease file transfer, just don't load the 200k driver when you need to run programs.

          Hope this helps.
          Both of those sound like fantastic ideas, I'll see if I can find an affordable XT-IDE card or a compact flash solution. Thanks!

          Comment


            #20
            Hello everybody

            I've found in an old box a Toshiba T3100/40 and I'm trying to restaurate it....but the HD is missing!
            I've read this post and got worried about custom plugs, but I've looked inside and I think/hope mine should be a standard IDE.... right?
            conn_ide.jpg
            That should mean that I could use a normal IDE HD found on ebay, but, another question....how can I know which is che maximum size? The smallest I'v found is 120b.... will it work?

            Thanks in advance

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              #21
              Hey there, that looks like standard IDE to me.

              When you turn on the computer you should be able to access the setup page by hitting one of the function keys - it will probably be F1. On that screen, you will see an option that says something like "hard disk type". Navigate to that using the arrow keys and see what options you are able to select. That should tell you which hard drive sizes and parameters the BIOS supports, then you can try to find a model that matches that.

              Completely unrelated to your question, but:

              This Toshiba J3100 was one of my first vintage IBM PC compatible machines, and I've learned a hell of a lot about them since making this thread - thanks for bumping it! I'm not sure what I was doing wrong, but I did manage to get the MicroSolutions BackPack HD working without running out of RAM on the J3100 GT041, and eventually went one step further by repairing the original internal hard drive. I think I might have been using a DOS 3.30 image that was loaded with extra drivers and TSRs that took up too much memory, and I didn't know anything about config.sys and such back then.

              When I got the machine I simply didn't have the skill or knowledge to even know where to start, let alone successfully repair, a hard drive. But when I moved back to Australia in early 2017, the Toshiba GT041 developed some vertical lines in the screen and I decided to finally crack it open and see what I could do. I replaced the 5 or so capacitors on the motherboard which got rid of the screen lines, re-capped and cleaned the floppy drive, and finally re-capped the hard drive. It was only about an hour of work and it booted up first try, with the original installation of Toshiba J-DOS 3.10 still functional! Scandisk revealed 0 bad sectors, I was over the moon. I also managed to pick up a TSR called Magic Run which allows you to run regular MS-DOS programs under Toshiba J-DOS, since they aren't directly compatible. I've made a disk image of it if anybody wants it.

              It's been working ever since and continues to be my favourite 286 DOS gaming machine. If I didn't have to break out a 240V to 100V step-down transformer to use it I would fire it up a whole lot more often... maybe I should look into replacing the PSU with a modern 240V equivalent.
              Last edited by DeChief; April 9, 2020, 07:25 AM.

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                #22
                Hi and thanks for the reply
                I did what you suggested and the bios under "hard disk setting" gives me only 3 choices:
                - no drive
                - type 11 - cyl:615 h:4 sec:17 cap:20
                - type 12 - cyl:980 h:5 sec:17 cap:40
                does it means (I fear the answer....) that I need to find an HD with exactly that parameters?

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                  #23
                  Are there definitely no other options? I'm assuming you highlighted the "hard disk setting" line and tried to change the type with the arrow keys or page up/page down? Some BIOS allow you to set your own parameters, does it not let you do that?

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                    #24
                    Originally posted by DeChief View Post
                    Are there definitely no other options? I'm assuming you highlighted the "hard disk setting" line and tried to change the type with the arrow keys or page up/page down? Some BIOS allow you to set your own parameters, does it not let you do that?
                    I can confirm it is locked down to only support the two hard disk types that Toshiba sold the machines with. Same thing on later 3x00 machines too.

                    Comment


                      #25
                      Originally posted by AlexM View Post
                      I did what you suggested and the bios under "hard disk setting" gives me only 3 choices:
                      - no drive
                      - type 11 - cyl:615 h:4 sec:17 cap:20
                      - type 12 - cyl:980 h:5 sec:17 cap:40
                      does it means (I fear the answer....) that I need to find an HD with exactly that parameters?
                      Within reason, a drive with the same or larger cylinder count, and, the same or larger head count could work. (At reduced capacity.)
                      Examples:
                      Drive of [cyl:1000 h:5] - With computer set to [cyl:980 h:5], only 980 of the drive's 1000 cylinders will get used.
                      Drive of [cyl:980 h:6] - With computer set to [cyl:980 h:5], only 5 of the drive's 6 heads will get used.
                      Drive of [cyl:1000 h:6] - With computer set to [cyl:980 h:5], only 980 of the drive's 1000 cylinders will get used, and only 5 of the drive's 6 heads will get used.

                      However, sometimes there can be other restrictions. For example, the BIOS in the T5200 is required to have a drive where the model number reported from the drive starts with 'CP' (see [here]).

                      Comment


                        #26
                        Originally posted by modem7 View Post
                        Within reason, a drive with the same or larger cylinder count, and, the same or larger head count could work. (At reduced capacity.)
                        Examples:
                        Drive of [cyl:1000 h:5] - With computer set to [cyl:980 h:5], only 980 of the drive's 1000 cylinders will get used.
                        Drive of [cyl:980 h:6] - With computer set to [cyl:980 h:5], only 5 of the drive's 6 heads will get used.
                        Drive of [cyl:1000 h:6] - With computer set to [cyl:980 h:5], only 980 of the drive's 1000 cylinders will get used, and only 5 of the drive's 6 heads will get used.

                        However, sometimes there can be other restrictions. For example, the BIOS in the T5200 is required to have a drive where the model number reported from the drive starts with 'CP' (see [here]).
                        I was going to suggest that but wasn't sure if the T3100 had restrictions like you mentioned for the T5200.

                        Alex: if you can find a drive cheap enough, maybe it's worth a try.

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                          #27
                          Thanks to everyone for the support.
                          I've found on ebay some HD with exactly same parameters not so expensive: https://www.ebay.it/itm/293544619166...m=293544619166

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                            #28
                            Originally posted by onre View Post
                            I can confirm it is locked down to only support the two hard disk types that Toshiba sold the machines with. Same thing on later 3x00 machines too.
                            Correct. Three ways around it: use a larger compatible drive (you'll still only have the same capacity), patch the drive table in the BIOS ROM, or use a drive overlay.

                            I hope that drive on eBay works for you. I could be totally wrong but I seem to recall that the 3100/40 did not use a standard PATA IDE drive, although it used the same connector (the 3100e definitely did use a standard drive); maybe see whether you can return it if it doesn't work.

                            There is an old thread on here somewhere about increasing the memory but again, I'm not sure whether it works on a non-'e' version.

                            Comment


                              #29
                              I've just realized that there's something strange in the notebook connector.... standard ide connector has the "notch" and the missing pin on the opposite side.... on the toshiba cable they're on the same side!!

                              Comment


                                #30
                                Hi guys

                                this is the connector:
                                toshiba_conn.jpg
                                does anybody knows what is it?

                                Thankyou very much

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