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Donated IBM Laptops Unable to Reinstall XP/Won't start

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March 5, 2012 7:34:08 AM

Hi all,

I'm a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sub-Saharan Africa and have been having a few issues with some donated computers recently in my secondary school's computer lab. The computers are older IBM Thinkpad laptops and I'm hoping you can help.

Problem 1: I'm trying to reinstall Windows XP on one of the computers but when I enter the boot list the CD drive isn't an option. I've tried to change the boot order and setup the defaults but still the CD option isn't shown. Currently all that shows is: "2: Legacy Floppy Drives, 5: IDE HDDO: HITACHI_DK23EB-40B-(PM) and 6: PCI LAN: IBA GE Slot 0200 v1217" The list in Setup shows more options but they don't appear on the boot list.

Problem 2: I've had an issue a few times with multiple laptops in which they simply stop starting. They will turn on and the battery light will be lit but nothing appears on the screen. If something does appear on the screen it only gets so far before it stalls. In the past when this has happened I've set the computers aside for a few days and then tried to start them again, which has worked, but recently I've had less luck. So really, I have no idea what the problem is. I thought it could be something with the power, but the batteries are fully charged and plugged in when I try to start them. Any ideas?

Problem 3: I've lost one computer completely to a "Fan Error" and a black screen. Are there any options besides replacing the fan to get it back up and running?

I really appreciate any insight or help you may be able to give. I have a lot of students and not enough computers so losing even a single computer is a big setback.

Thanks!
a b D Laptop
March 5, 2012 9:39:13 AM

tyjump said:
Hi all,

I'm a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sub-Saharan Africa and have been having a few issues with some donated computers recently in my secondary school's computer lab. The computers are older IBM Thinkpad laptops and I'm hoping you can help.

Problem 1: I'm trying to reinstall Windows XP on one of the computers but when I enter the boot list the CD drive isn't an option. I've tried to change the boot order and setup the defaults but still the CD option isn't shown. Currently all that shows is: "2: Legacy Floppy Drives, 5: IDE HDDO: HITACHI_DK23EB-40B-(PM) and 6: PCI LAN: IBA GE Slot 0200 v1217" The list in Setup shows more options but they don't appear on the boot list.

Problem 2: I've had an issue a few times with multiple laptops in which they simply stop starting. They will turn on and the battery light will be lit but nothing appears on the screen. If something does appear on the screen it only gets so far before it stalls. In the past when this has happened I've set the computers aside for a few days and then tried to start them again, which has worked, but recently I've had less luck. So really, I have no idea what the problem is. I thought it could be something with the power, but the batteries are fully charged and plugged in when I try to start them. Any ideas?

Problem 3: I've lost one computer completely to a "Fan Error" and a black screen. Are there any options besides replacing the fan to get it back up and running?

I really appreciate any insight or help you may be able to give. I have a lot of students and not enough computers so losing even a single computer is a big setback.

Thanks!

Problem 1: Have an external enclosure to put that hard drive in, to a bootable computer to wipe it clean ? Can you download Lenovo BIOS update utility (Thinkpads) for your model on another computer, to be able to flash the BIOS ? Have any old Win98 floppy to winstall 98, then try install XP ?

Problem 2: Try booting without CMOS battery ?
Problem 3: Some units just won't run without fan. Then again, I have an old dell desktop that has been running for a year without one. Can it boot in safe mode, or same result ?
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