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Re: Thinkpad 390E

> > Hello,
> > 
> > This might be a little off-topic but I guess you can help me with this.
> > Yesterday I installed Debian on my system and everything was fine, later
> > that day, the harddisk acted weird.
> > 
> > I got ide0: interrupt lost messages and several timeouts.
> > The harddisk made a real weird noise.
> > 
> > I didn't touch hdparm of made a custom kernel until that point.
> > So I thought: it might be 'overheated' by a day of use (which would not be
> > good thing, but hey). So now in the morning the damn thing doesn't boot at
> > all. I tried to reinstall both Debian or Windows98 but the harddisk cannot
> > be detected any longer.
> > 
> > I guess the harddisk is no more so I have to get myself a new one. I
> > wondered if I could just slam in another 2.5" drive, or that is has to be
> > an IBM drive or, even worse (because I think they aren't made any
> > longer) a thinkpad390E specific drive.
> > 
> > Does anybody have ideas on this or is the harddisk not damaged at all?
> > 
> Sounds to me like you have a hardware problem.  It could be
> the disk or the interface but since the disk made noise, it's
> probably the disk.  Try going into the bios and see if you
> can get it to detect the disk in any way.

I have actually encountered people who got harddisk problems (like you 
describe) which were a side effect of a faulty memory chip (in the case I
encountered, the memory had thermal problems).  Once the faulty memory
was removed the hard disk returned to correct behavior, although the bits
that had gotten mangled were still mangled.

Enough bad instructions sent to a hard disk can actually ruin it; whether
it's really the controller, or something else lying maliciously to it, you
want to solve it before it does real damage. um, if it's not too late...

If the MBR is scragged it certainly wouldn't boot.  Harddisk detection 
problem might be CMOS.  If the machine is old enough maybe its CMOS battery
is dry?  Been getting any time flakiness lately?

> As far as what kind of replacement disk...  I have a micron
> laptop and it uses standard disks.  You can't take one from
> a different kind of laptop and just slam it in.  You have to
> take the drive out of the carrier and install it in the carrier
> for your laptop.  I have used old toshiba disks in my micron
> with no problem... ymmv...

Most laptops really use the same drives (pinout) but height clearance is
a factor, and inside your machine (presently, mounted on the end of your
HD's real pins) is some sort of converter to the Proprietary Pins on the
motherboard.  Usually said converter is a bit of plastic crammed so tightly
on the drive's pins that it does not look like it's removable.

Most toshiba laptops need really short drives. (8.5 mm)  Many laptops have
a clearance more like 9, 9.5 mm.  Larger machines might take 12 mm.  IBM 
makes drives so your chances of finding a drive that will fit in a thinkpad 
of that vintage are still pretty good.

Best of luck

* Heather Stern * star@ many places...

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