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Old IBM T23 won't detect Hard Drive... Please help

By who2ookmyshu ·
So I found a old IBM T23 Thinkpad at a local yard sale for a bargin, and I bought it. When I got home, I saw that it was installing windows xp, but can not install properly, so it would just shut off. The laptop only had a floppy drive, so I gave it to a friend to format the harddrive for me, while I bought a dvd rom from ebay to install OS.

So I get the laptop back with a blank HD, and get the dvd rom in mail, but when I try to install windows xp, it says that windows can not detect a harddrive. No matter what I try, I can not install anything because most things because it either says "No OS installed in system", or if I manage to run DOS from a floppy, it gives me "program can not be run from DOS".

I'm pretty desperate to fix this problem. Anyone have any sort of solution? Are there any programs that maybe can try to detect the harddrive and boot without an OS? Please help me solve this problem. I really wanna try to save this harddrive before considering on ordering another one.

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Let's Clarify

by Dedlbug In reply to Old IBM T23 won't detect ...

Are you getting "No Operating System installed errors" at boot? IF SO, make sure you are booting off of the cd-rom.

See if you can give us a play by play (so to speak) of what is exactly going on. IE: Turn on the laptop, insert cd in tray, boot off of cd, try to install Windows, then error. Or whatever it may be.

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step by step

by who2ookmyshu In reply to Let's Clarify

Here is what happens step by step trying to install windows:

1. press power on, IBM BIOS screen comes up and tries to load like any computer would. 2 options here, F1 for BIOS setup, or F12 to choose temporary boot device.

2. Autoload starts windows xp from cd drive.

3. Loads all the proper drives

4. At the part where it usually lets you choose the drive to install it in/ partition/ format drive, it says the following message:

"Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer.

Make sure any hard disk drives are powered on and properly connected to your computer, and that any disk-related hardware configuration is correct. This may involve running a manufacturer-supplied diagnostic or setup program.

Setup cannot continue. To quit setup, press F3."

5. That's pretty much it, don't know what to do after that.


Now I've noticed that the BIOS isn't detecting the harddrive either. I've taken out the harddrive, inspected it, and placed it back in... still doesn't detect it. There are NO plastic bits attached that would make it a slave, so I know it's set as the master HD. As I said, when I first got the laptop, windows was pretty much installed on it, so I think it can load it. I just don't know what's wrong with this stupid harddrive.

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Check Oh smeg's post below

by Dedlbug In reply to step by step

I think he nailed it with the hard drive connector piece. =]

Either that, OR check the BIOS (press F1 at boot) and see if the Hard drive is being detected. Probably not.

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no luck

by who2ookmyshu In reply to Check Oh smeg's post belo ...

I actually took the entire laptop apart, and checked the plastic connector that connects the HD to motherboard. It seems to be connected to the board pretty securely, and I didn't see it loose. I even put the HD in without the case to see if it connected properly. It seems to connect just fine, and the plastic piece is not loose. I'm just not understanding why the BIOS won't detect the HD at all.

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I ran across this problem a long time ago

by OH Smeg In reply to Old IBM T23 won't detect ...

With an IBM Think Pad of some description which sounds very similar to this one. It was originally loaded with 98 and this cam eon Floppies as it had no optical Drive in it. You needed to install DOS so you could load the drivers for the external CD Drive as you couldn't fit the necessary drivers onto a Floppy then use an Upgrade Disc to install XP though I honestly think that this unit will fail to run XP in any form of Reasonable manner.

But more importantly when you look in BIOS can you see the HDD?

If not was there a bit of Plastic that goes between the HDD and the M'Board to connect the HDD to the M'Board?

If not a bit of plastic what about the Ribbon Cable is that fitted correctly?

99% of the problems will be that the Plastic Connector between the HDD and M'Board isn't refitted after the drive has been removed.

Col

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yeah...

by who2ookmyshu In reply to I ran across this problem ...

That's one of the initial problems... the BIOS is NOT detecting the HD. I've took it out and inspected it. There are no plastic bits that are there, or that would make it a slave drive. It fits directly into the slot, and there aren't anything to block it. I will unscrew the whole bottom part, to check if the connector is not truly connecting to the MB.

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OK in that case you have 2 options

by OH Smeg In reply to yeah...

Either the HDD isn't properly plugged in or it's faulty.

There should be a joiner between the M'Board and HDD this is the plastic piece that I'm referring to not a jumper that generally speaking isn't required in a NB.

The other thing to look at is, is the HDD the right size for the Hardware?

Col

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HDD

by who2ookmyshu In reply to OK in that case you have ...

Yes, I took apart the entire laptop, and the plastic joiner seems to be intact. I will take apart the whole thing again just to double check. The HD is a Hitachi Travelstar N79 drive, so it is IBM Thinkpad T23 compatible.

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Most likely not as IBM owned the HDD manufacturing plant

by OH Smeg In reply to HDD

When the T23 was new not Hitachi.

But the real thing here is the size of the HDD as the newer drives can be too big for BIOS to recognize them fully.

Col

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Possible Alternatives

by alsbig1 In reply to Old IBM T23 won't detect ...

First of all when the writer got it home and he first booted the PC, there was an indication that someone was trying to install XP. This indication can only come from the HDD and therefore at that point in time the HDD was at least partially usable.
If windows was 'being' installed then the source for that install must have been a CD/DVD Drive which was apparently removed before the writer bought the PC.
Then the writer gave it to someone who 'formated' the HDD. Question is, what did he format it to?? Windows does not recognize EVERY File System. If it was formatted to anything other than FAT or NTFS, windows can't see the HDD.
But since WINDOWS can't see the HDD that does not mean that BIOS cannot. So, we have a CD/DVD which was removed and a FDD substituted in it's place. On top of this, the Laptop is getting a bit old. Would suggest that you do the following:
1. Replace 'button' keepalive battery.
2. Install CD/DVD you purchased.
3. Go into SETUP. Reset BIOS to DEFAULTs.
4. Reboot and check BIOS for the presence of CD/DVD and HDD.
5. If HDD IS present now then proceed with Windows Install
6. If Windows still does not see the HDD then you have to format the HDD correctly.
7. If HDD IS NOT present, the best explanation is that the HDD has crashed.
8. Do you hear it spin up, are there any noises as it spins, etc??
9. Try downloading a new BIOS update from the Lenovo website and installing it. You will need the FDD installed since it's a downloadable diskette image. When it asks you to change Serial/Model number say no and follow the instructions.
10.Try again to boot and see if HDD is present. If not replace HDD.
11.If this still doesn't fix it, then you have a bad MOB.

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