I picked up the IBM T43 Thinkpad on 5Jan2012 which was listed below:
ThinkPad T43 laptop 1.73ghz 1gb ram with battery and docking station. I have 2 80gb fujitsu ide hard drive that comes with it... tried loading windows but won't work not sure why. If you know how to fix that take them all.
I met the seller in Lansdowne mall. He introduced himself and talked about this T43 which requires special hard drive and he had two. At least one of them works. He showed me the XP loading stopped at the boot up that he could not fix. I inspected that Thinkpad and observed that the palm rest right top corner was broken.
At home, I checked it further. The PrtSc key was loose. The LCD screen has little grinding on the surface which do not affect the display. One hard drive was not recognized and has clicking noice. The other hard drive has a lot of bad sectors which the Hard Disk Utility stopped checking at 5.3%. Both hard drives were bad. The good is that the screen has high resolution, supporting maximum 1400 x 1050. The docking station is very new. I cleaned up the dust inside the T43 and installed a "like new" keyboard and new palm rest with fingerprint scanner.
For the hard drive, I tried one from another T42. At boot up, the BIOS checked and displayed an error 2010. I found from Lenovo website that T43 supports a list of hard drives. Most of the hard drives are small or too old. I picked the last one on the IBM Hitachi list which is IC25N0xxATMR04. I found a 60GB IC25N060ATMR04-0 with an extra "-0" in the model number. When the hard drive came on 27Jan2012, I ran the IBM hard drive firmware update which is successful. I also updated the T43 BIOS. However, the error 2010 still comes up. The extra "-0" on the model is not accepted. On 18Mar2012, I found another 80GB Hitachi HTS541080G9AT00 hard drive which is on the IBM white list. After installing it, the 2010 error is still there. I ran the firmware FWHD56 but it did not update. I found and tested the procedures below which force the update:
- hfui1404 OA6CA -pm MB4IA6CA.bdr /s /f mpbA6CAb.tbl and after fail
- hfui1404 IA6CA -pm MB4IA6CA.bdr /s /f mpbA6CAb.tbl
For the 1st command, it displayed an error saying MB4OA6CA.BDF is missing. I continued the 2nd command. The 2010 error is still there. I tried again. Before entering the first command, I entered "COPY MB4IA6CA.BDF MB4OA6CA.BDF" to create the missing file. I ran both commands again. This time the annoying 2010 is gone.
I did a research on the T43 recovery. The recovery for T43 is not the same as T41/T42. It is same as R52 which I fixed before and have the full set of recovery disks. I ran the recovery disks which have no errors. I updated the video driver, fingerprint scan driver and the Windows XP to SP3. The system is stable. When I tried to update the Rescue and Recovery™ to 4.21. It failed with a message below:
Rescue and Recovery 2.02.0178 is installed and is incompatible with this version of Rescue and Recovery. This application cannot be installed. To install Rescue and Recovery, uninstall Rescue and Recovery 2.02.0178 and then restart this setup.
When I tried to uninstall, it gives "Fatal error during installation". I got stuck until I upgraded the version to v2.04.0182 which does not have the uninstall fatal error. I installed version 4.2.1. At boot up, the system allows me to go to the Recovery screen. I saved a backup after all this updates so that when it has virus or system failure, it can be restored to this point quickly.
For the fingerprint scanner, it requires a driver which is under the Security section (see photo). I tested audio, video, WiFi, fingerprint scanner, touch pad, USB and DVD/CD drive. They are all working. After registering my fingerprint, I scanned my finger and could log in without entering password. I tested again using an unregistered finger, this time it displayed failed.
This T43 took more time to rebuild but it is running faster than the T41 and T42. To fit the docking station, I replaced the battery to a 9 cell extended battery.which reports 90% of the original and 3:54 hrs when 100% charged.
It went to Michigan on 8April2012 and was returned after a month. The battery has a crack because it was not removed from the T43 when it was shipped back. I glued the crack and messaged the buyer several times whether he had any shipping insurance to claim. Without any replies, I refunded full amount to him before the 60 day limit that I can refund.
I restored the backup image and tested it before it was picked up by a young person on 14 Sep 2012.
Notes: setup_ibmrr1182.exe was downloaded from IBM Japan http://www-06.ibm.com/jp/domino05/pc/download/download.nsf/jtechinfo/MIGR-57264
laptop.shelter on July 13, 2014:
It looks like gpu soldered to motherboard is failing. You may check the price of used motherboard which should be around $30. It will be easier to buy and replace it.
William on July 13, 2014:
My laptop won't boot up. It would get to the load up bit then it will go back to the boot up bit again. HELP???!!!
laptop.shelter (author) from Vancouver on April 13, 2012:
Hi Mike, Nice to see you. I considered testing the modification of BIOS but buyer will have difficulty to update the BIOS later. Instead, I tested the commands to correct the firmware on hard drive which is in IBM list but in unknown reason to have the 2010 error. I have shipped out this T43 and don't have any T43 on hand. If I have another T43 later, I will contact you.
Mike Yang on April 13, 2012:
Hi Wing, this is Mike the UBC student, I never realized that you had fixed a T43; I have a T43 myself and I have done many things to it over the past few years, one of which was finding a custom BIOS mod based on the latest 1.29 version that removed the 2010 / 1802 whitelist errors. Get in touch with me via e-mail and I will send you this bios file.