<< Back

Two Thinkpads

So I did it again. I bought some hardware. This time I went in and bought a whole two IBM Thinkpads. Gotta admit, I do have a weak spot for those.

Actually I bought them a week ago, when I was browsing the classies site again. Saw a guy listing an i-Series type 2611 Thinkpad. The description said that it can run Doom and is "perfect for geeks".

I can't resist a weird ad, so I ordered the thing through the site, although, after getting no reply I decided to phone up the seller. Turns out he's a pretty cool guy! According to him, during the time the laptop was up for sale his kid was playing with it and somehow broke the backlight. I was going to buy it anyway but he offered another Thinkpad, so I took both! He even threw in a 4$ discount and the chargers.

The guy even sent them out a day early and they came in mail on a Sunday, so I had some time to mess around and explore the situation. The bigger Thinkpad (the 2611 one) seemed to have a broken inverter, since the other display I connected wouldn't light up either. But the smaller Thinkpad (the 600x one) worked fine. The guy said it seems to have a BIOS password, but the issue as it turns out was the missing CMOS battery.

Upon getting the new battery from the mail I realized that it didn't fit. The battery itself was fine, but the little cable that it connects with had to be resoldered (the + and - on this Thinkpad seem to be flipped) and filed down to fit in the connector on the motherboard.

After taking a while to destroy my fingers with the file, the last issue to tackle was a dead HDD. It was cliking louder than an FDD and threw an error on boot. Luckily, I had a spare drive from my T30 escapade. Alas, that wasn't the end of it still.

The optical drive could only open and close and wouldn't read anything or even initialize. I decided to skip trying to fix it, and used another laptop to install Windows 98 onto a hard drive, copy the install folder and swap the disk back into the Thinkpad. It worked pretty well, and shortly after I was all set up. Luckily, thinkpads.com had all the drivers I needed so it wasn't much effort to figure that part out. It also had one working USB port so everything went smooth.

I haven't done much with it yet, as I'm not sure if I want to keep Windows 98 on it, since I already have 3 or so laptops that run it. I want to try installing OS/2 sometime. But the laptop is in fairly good shape right now, aside from the optical drive and I do have some spares so I could try swapping in a working one later. I'll take the bigger one to the flea market on Saturday and try to find the part it needs.

I also ordered an actual proper battery from China, but who knows when that will be delivered. Anyway, thank you for reading! I hope this article was interesting.