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Author Topic: IBM Thinkpad 600x Tiny Core Project Pentium III  (Read 3675 times)

Offline Cometphoton

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IBM Thinkpad 600x Tiny Core Project Pentium III
« on: February 24, 2019, 10:59:34 AM »
Hardware: IBM 600x Pentium 3 / 400Meg Tiny Core Project
I had a Scssi IBM floppy

1. Build a floppy to boot USB. (PLOP Boot manager worked )
2. build a USB/SD thumdrive with Tinycore ( Core Plus ) x86 release Core-10.0 works fine )
3. boot from PLOP floppy
4. pick usb
5. at the booting prompts pick x
6. Use Chomium not Firefox.

Thanks tinycore team...now I have a Good little PC again
Not very fast but usable but its 20 years old... and I am using it now


Thanks for the support

Offline linic

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Re: IBM Thinkpad 600x Tiny Core Project Pentium III
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2023, 03:40:39 AM »
Here are the steps I took to install the Core 14.0 version on my Thinkpad 600X:
1. Make yourself a bootable CD following the instructions here http://tinycorelinux.net/install.html
2. Connect a cheap USB 2.0 to Ethernet 10/100 to the single USB port of the 600X. I found one on eBay in July 2023. On some machines it shows up as a Realtek FE (Fast Ethernet). Core 14.0 picks it up automatically.
3. Boot the 600X from the CD. After boot-up, you can check you have an IP address with
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ifconfig4. Create an ext4 partition of 1 GB at the beginning of the IDE drive by connecting the drive to another debian computer and using gparted.
5.
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sudo mount /mnt/sr06. Download the install script
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tce-load -wi tc-install.tcz7.
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sudo tc-install.sh8. I chose to install from network, but it should be alright to install from the CD too:
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N9. Choose
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F for a Frugal install.
10. Choose option
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2 to use a partition and not an entire drive (unless your drive is small/under 7GB and maybe the whole drive would work...).
11. Choose to install the bootloader
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y12. Choose ext4
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4 (The partition was already formatted, but the installer asks for a format type to continue. That's alright.)
13. The installer may ask for a path to load extensions. I put
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/mnt/sr0. If I didn't put any path, the installer would not proceed.
14. Enter your boot options:
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vga=normal syslog showapps waitusb=5 tce=sda1 (I plan to experiment later with the
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vga=normal for my terminal to use the whole resolution.)
15. The installer asks one last time if it is ok to destroy all data on sda. You should have already backed up the drive before creating the 1GB partition at the beginning so go on.
16. Let the installer run. Once the prompt is available again, continue.
17. Then, eject and reboot
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sudo umount /mnt/sr0
sudo eject /dev/sr0
sudo reboot

You'll need an IDE 44-pins to USB adapter to do the formatting on another computer. In my tests, the partition to boot from can be of up to 7GB when I tried other operating systems. 7GB should work with Core, but I wanted a smaller easier to backup partition. You need a small partition as old laptops have limitations on the partition size they can read at boot time. I had to replace the IDE of this 600X and the total size is way bigger than what the 600X can handle at boot time. I wasn't able to format a 1 GB partition with
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tc-install.sh There may be a way, but I haven't found it yet. This adapter is useful later on if you want to backup the drive with dd from another computer. If you install Core on a partition larger than 7GB, you may get the same error as me.
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Boot Error will be the only thing displayed on the screen after the 600X will have tried to boot and it will stay there until you force it to shutdown using the power button.

This 2016 post was very useful to get me all the way to end https://mivilisnet.wordpress.com/2016/05/18/how-to-install-a-microcore-version-of-the-tiny-core-linux/

If your installation boots, you may want to make a backup by connecting it through an IDE to USB adapter to another computer and using
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sudo dd if=/dev/sd<replace> of=core14.dd conv=sync,noerror bs=512M count=3 status=progress. You'll find your drive letter using
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sudo fdisk -l. Note the
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count=3 means that
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dd will stop reading from the drive after 3 times the block size. Since we have
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bs=512M, we get around 1.5 GB of data copied from the drive, which is enough to cover the 1 GB partition on which we installed Core. This image is going to be useful if you mess up your Core later on and you want to go back to a fresh state.

If you have another Thinkpad without CD-rom drive, like the Thinkpad 560Z, you can take the IDE drive out of the 600X and insert it in the 560Z and it will boot. The same cheap USB2.0 to Ethernet I used works on the 560Z as I was able to see it got an IP address using
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ifconfig. I didn't have the time to test further yet. The 560Z was made in 1998. It's a PII with 64MB of RAM. Core is the first OS that worked for me to get the ethernet working.

Big thanks to the Core team!!!


Offline Rich

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Re: IBM Thinkpad 600x Tiny Core Project Pentium III
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2023, 06:40:49 AM »
Hi linic
Welcome to the forum.

... You need a small partition as old laptops have limitations on the partition size they can read at boot time. ...
This might be of interest to you:
https://forum.tinycorelinux.net/index.php/topic,8930.msg48574.html#msg48574
Read replies 15 through 27.

Offline linic

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Re: IBM Thinkpad 600x Tiny Core Project Pentium III
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2023, 03:54:08 PM »
Thanks Rich! That's a very interesting conversation! I don't remember seeing a setting in the Thinkpad BIOS to tell it the disk size, but I'll look again. The 560Z and 600X have the graphical BIOS menu with the "flying duck" as the mouse cursor. The options there are more limited than other BIOSes I'm used to.

Offline Rich

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Re: IBM Thinkpad 600x Tiny Core Project Pentium III
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2023, 05:17:20 PM »
Hi linic
It's been a long time since I've dealt with one of those old
BIOS machines, but I seem to recall having to disable the
disk auto-detect option in order to do manual selection.

Offline gadget42

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Re: IBM Thinkpad 600x Tiny Core Project Pentium III
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2023, 02:07:04 AM »
re: 600x laptop

enjoyed this dated commentary enough to share:

https://thinkpads.com/146/thinkpad-600x-retrospective-review

another link with a pic:

https://www.reddit.com/r/thinkpad/comments/5tjy7y/who_says_bios_has_to_be_boring_thinkpad_600/?rdt=57365

20230811-0410am-cdt-usa-modified-added additional link
« Last Edit: August 11, 2023, 02:10:28 AM by gadget42 »
The fluctuation theorem has long been known for a sudden switch of the Hamiltonian of a classical system Z54 . For a quantum system with a Hamiltonian changing from... https://forum.tinycorelinux.net/index.php/topic,25972.msg166580.html#msg166580

Offline linic

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Re: IBM Thinkpad 600x Tiny Core Project Pentium III
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2023, 04:31:52 PM »
Thanks gadget42! That was fun to read! I understand the feeling of the author :D Those thinkpads are so impressive when they still boot up after so many years.