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January 2003

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The Thinkpad T30

By Timothy Sipples© January 2003

Thinkpad T30
ThinkPad T30, model number 2366-MU1.

This model is a "special build" (for a corporate client) but closely parallels the models generally available. Mine has 512 MB of RAM, and it is expandable to 1 GB of RAM, with a mobile Pentium 4 processor. (Many P4M speeds are available, depending on model.)

Operating system tested:

OS/2 Warp Version 4, FixPack 16, Device Driver Pack 3, kernel update 14.093a (October 28, 2002). (This is roughly equivalent to OS/2 Warp 4.51 or the first release of eComStation.) Also running with TCP/IP Version 4.31, including WR08706 (MPTS service update) and UN02206 (TCP/IP 4.31 service update). Note that to apply WR08706 and UN02206 you MUST specify backup directories in the Corrective Service Utility (Fixtool). Otherwise, the service updates are not applied! For Warp 4, updated boot diskettes (listed as Version 1.06 on the IBM ThinkPad Device Driver Matrix web site) are essential, and you must have some means to load the contents of the CD-ROM when you boot from diskettes. This model has one Ultrabay, so you'll need to use old familiar tricks, like copying the contents of the Warp 4 CD to a FAT16 partition on your hard disk in advance. Updated boot diskettes are available from the IBM ThinkPad Device Driver File Matrix web site for this model. Since OS/2 Warp 4.5x and eComStation have bootable CDs for installation, this is not a problem in those cases.

Warp 4's boot partition must be completely below the 1024 cylinder boundary, which on this ThinkPad results in a roughly 7 GB HPFS partition (if you want to take the whole space below cylinder 1024). OS/2 Warp releases with Logical Volume Manager (4.5x), and all eComStation releases, do not have this problem.

Get the updated kernel on right away after installation. The 1996-era kernel and loader included with original OS/2 Warp 4 is too old to boot this machine. I believe the updated Warp 4 boot diskettes include a new enough kernel and loader, but I just put 14.093a on straight away. Warp 4.5x and eComStation users probably don't have this problem.

Following are the supported versions of OS/2 for the Thinkpad T30:


ATI RADEON Mobility 7500 type chipset, with 1024x768 active matrix 14.1 inch LCD in my machine. (Other T30 models have different screen resolutions but the same RADEON chipset as far as I know.) Works perfectly with SciTech Display Doctor Version 7.11/IBM Special Edition driver. This model came with 16MB of VRAM and is capable of driving an external monitor at up to a resolution of 2048x1536, with the LCD in "pan and scan" or shutoff. The external monitor/projector switching works fine. Like all other ThinkPads that I've seen, just hit [Fn]-[F7] to turn on or off the external monitor plug. No problem doing your Lotus Freelance (or StarOffice) presentations.

By the way there's an S-Video out port which is cool for recording presentations to video tape, for example. Downside is that you lose the PS/2 keyboard/mouse port, so you have to go with USB or get the docking station or port replicator to hook up a PS/2-style keyboard or mouse.


Analog Devices (ADI) SoundMax. Works perfectly with Version 3.1.1 Analog Devices driver, available from the IBM Web Site or Hobbes. (Version 3.07a is listed as a driver for this model ThinkPad, but the 3.1.1 driver, which is about a year newer, seems to work fine, so I'm running that.) I'm very pleased, at least so far, since the T23 had some audio oddities unless you used a backlevel Crystal Audio driver, as noted in my T23 report. There's even a little mixer utility that Analog Devices thoughtfully included to adjust volume of the various audio inputs and outputs -- simple and effective. Win-OS/2 audio is supported. Haven't tried turning on audio from Innotek's Virtual PC yet.

Hard Disk:

On this model the drive is 40 GB IDE. Works perfectly with any recent IBM1S506.ADD driver version (such as the version on the updated boot diskettes) as well as DANIS506.ADD (which I'm using). The hard disk is not particularly easy to hot swap, but you don't have to take the whole system apart either. Not something to do daily, but every month or so isn't out of the question if you need to. (If you do need a daily swapable hard disk, get the Ultrabay hard disk adapter.) Any standard notebook IDE hard disk (in the appropriate form factor) should be compatible, so there's future upgrade potential. All the standard hard disks support SMART, and there are SMART utilities for OS/2 Warp to monitor the health of the hard disk and to get advance warning of potential, pending failure. (The DANIS506.ADD package includes a SMART utility, for example.) The T30 is capable of using a BIOS-protected system recovery partition, but I haven't done anything with this feature.

Parallel Port:

No difficulties. I even used an old Micro-Solutions Backpack 4X parallel port CD-ROM with its OS/2 Warp driver (Version 3.00), and it worked flawlessly. The parallel port configuration is controlled in the BIOS or with PS2.EXE, and EPP and ECP modes are available.

PCMCIA (CardBus):

PCMCIA/Cardbus slots work perfectly with the currently available PC Card driver (Version 5, I believe) available on the OS/2 Device Driver Pak On-Line web site. Tested a standard PCMCIA modem (no problem) and the IBM Auto 16/4 Token-Ring Credit Card Adapter so far. The Token-Ring adapter was tough to get working, but it does work with Version 3.46 of the IBMTOKCS.OS2 driver. That version of the driver is included in MPTS WR08706 (and possibly other MPTS releases, but not the stock MPTS release included with the TCP/IP 4.31 download). Also, you must specify the following parameters in the
section of \IBMCOM\PROTOCOL.INI (or the equivalent in the MPTS graphical interface):
There may be other settings in that section of PROTOCOL.INI. Leave those other settings in, unless they conflict with the settings provided above. Substitute a 12 digit hexadecimal string in place of xxxxyyyyzzzz above, such as 5123ABCD8943. This address must be unique on your network! If you do not set up a NETADDRESS, you cannot hot swap the Token-Ring adapter. (Under some circumstances you can with the NETADDRESS.)

You'll probably need to use these PROTOCOL.INI settings for any IBM Token-Ring adapter that predates the IBM Turbo Token-Ring Credit Card Adapter. If your adapter has the word "Turbo" or "CardBus" in its name, it'll probably work just fine with the default MPTS settings. (The Turbo adapter will also work with the same driver, same extra settings, if you wish to swap adapters like I do sometimes. The CardBus Token-Ring adapter uses a different driver, the same one as the PCI Token-Ring adapters.) I briefly tested the Turbo adapter with the default MPTS settings, and that did work.

I'm delighted with the network performance, by the way. Fastest transfer rates I've ever seen with any notebook, rivalling my desktop with a PCI Token-Ring adapter, and this older PCMCIA Token-Ring adapter is not supposed to be particularly fast.

Probably best to set up multiple CONFIG.SYS files and use the OS/2 Warp boot menu to choose between them. I have three: dial-up, Token-Ring, and ethernet. Very easy to do, although you do have to make sure to keep your CONFIG.SYS files (and PROTOCOL.INI files) in sync as you install software. Best to do the multiple CONFIG.SYS files last.

System Configuration:

Works perfectly from the BIOS setup program (hit [F1] at bootup), and controls all power management features. (IBM was wise to put all the system settings in the BIOS program, so Linux users are happy, too.) Also, get the ThinkPad T30 DOS Configuration Program Diskette, and follow the OS/2 Warp installation instructions. That installs a program that runs in a DOS window called PS2.EXE. PS2.EXE is a command line program that lets you control nearly all BIOS settings, such as power management features, without rebooting to access the BIOS setup program. (Some configuration changes do require a reboot anyway, though, such as enabling or disabling a built-in device like infrared.) You should also install the ThinkPad System Management Driver (for OS/2) from this same diskette. You might not have any clue it's there, since the diskette is labeled "ThinkPad Configuration Utility Diskette for DOS" on the web site, but, sure enough, it's there. Read the README on the diskette.


Not tested, but should work just fine. Nothing special here as far as I know. (The ThinkPad infrared driver on Hobbes supports infrared printing, for example.)

Volume controls:

No problem.

Special keys:

This system has a "ThinkPad" key, plus some other page navigation keys. I haven't bothered to try to turn them on, but it might be possible to map them to something useful with stuff from Hobbes. The keyboard otherwise works fine with the standard built-in driver, although by default it starts repeating a bit too fast for my tastes, and then it doesn't repeat fast enough when it starts. (OK, I had to find something! :-))


Works perfectly with the standard driver, at least with Device Driver Pack 3. You should explicitly turn off the Ultranav in the BIOS during installation. This is one of the scroll-type new style TrackPoints (with the third button in the middle), and I'm told that feature works fine, too, if you bother to install the driver. I haven't. If your mouse pointer starts to drift without explanation, as if a ghost was driving, just let go of the TrackPoint and it'll recalibrate all by itself and stop drifting, just like any other ThinkPad.


This is a touchpad-type pointing device built into the unit, with two mouse buttons. (T30 models with Ultranav have VERY large wrist rest areas as a consequence.) It supposedly works just fine (after installation of Device Driver Pack 2 or 3) with the standard MOUSE.SYS driver if you turn it on in the BIOS. I haven't bothered -- I've always liked the TrackPoint.

Power Management:

With the standard, reasonably recent APM.SYS, suspend/resume works, although, depending on whether you have a card in a slot, it may not suspend fully. (Some cards have to be powered down in the PC Card Director or removed.) Unlike my T23, where I was having problems suspending if any card was ever inserted into either slot, even if the card was removed, this T30 does not have that problem. Also, hibernation works if you set up a FAT16 partition and use the special boot diskette (in the IBM ThinkPad Device Driver Matrix web site for this model) to set up the hibernation file. I haven't bothered, since suspend keeps the system in a "hold" state for up to around a week.

If you boot to another operating system that handles power management differently, such as Windows 2000 or Windows XP, I recommend powering down before booting into OS/2 Warp (or vice versa). I haven't confirmed any problems on the T30, but, on the T23, that was a problem with power management. I can't seem to find any impact (positive or negative) with APMDAEMN.EXE running or not. (APMDAEMN.EXE is included in recent OS/2 Warp 4 fixpacks, including FixPack 16, all releases of eComStation, and all OS/2 Warp 4.5x releases.) I have it running from a RUN line in my CONFIG.SYS, as directed by the fixpack.

All power management indicator lights (battery indicator, suspend indicator) work just fine, as do the hard disk activity light and the rest. Screen blanking (if enabled in the BIOS or with PS2.EXE) works, so remember to turn it off if you're doing a presentation and will want to leave the system on the same screen for a long time, at the risk of burn-in. (LCDs can suffer from burn-in over time.) Even stuff like resume (wakeup from suspend) works if the modem line rings (if you have that feature turned on). Intel SpeedStep support (a.k.a. Geyserville, included in OS/2 Warp FixPack 10 and higher) works just fine, too -- the processor will speed up when needed and slow down when not to save power. (You can control SpeedStep behavior in the BIOS setup program or with PS2.EXE.) Hard drive power down/resume works, too.

Note that the T30 gets pretty uncomfortable on your lap, since the newer processors generate an awful lot of heat. IBM does a great job getting rid of that heat, but it has to go somewhere. Leave the ThinkPad on a table instead of your lap. Your lap will thank you.


I've tested both the diskette drive and the DVD/CD-RW combo drive. Both work fine. I haven't tested hot swapping, but it might work with DANIS506.ADD (and after suspending). Note that the diskette drive won't allow booting unless you have "Legacy Boot" (or something like that) turned on in the BIOS. I turned it off inadvertently, and my system wouldn't boot from diskette until I turned it back on. (It's easy to figure out.) If you have a USB diskette drive, the T30 will support booting from that, even for non-USB-aware operating systems such as DOS. The DVD/CD-RW drive is a standard ATAPI-type drive and compatible with OS/2 Warp recording software such as RSJ CD Writer. DVD playback is a bit of a problem due to the RIAA copy protections, but there are some folks working on that problem. (You'll need the Software Choice UDF file system to even attempt to play DVDs. UDF is included in OS/2 Warp 4.5x and eComStation already.) I've got a blank "filler" that goes into the Ultrabay when I want to travel without the diskette drive or DVD/CD-RW drive, to save weight, and that works great. It's an extra accessory you can order.


Not tested, but nothing unusual apparently. USB is listed as version 1.1. Works with the OS/2 Warp USB drivers.


Mine has onboard Intel PRO/100 VE circuitry. This works fine with MPTS's Intel Pro/100 driver (or the downloadable one). The IBM ThinkPad web site has the downloadable one in a Windows-extractable package, so that wasn't too thoughtful, was it?

Wireless (802.11b):

My T30 has Cisco Aironet MP1350 for 802.11b wireless networking. I haven't set up this feature -- I'm not particularly fond of wireless networking given the security complexity. However, there's apparently a test driver floating around, so perhaps it will be supported before too long. I should have more to report on this in the future, and I think OS/2 VOICE has done some good reporting on wireless lately. Worst case you can use one of the relatively cheap 802.11b access point hardware devices to get your wireless fix, same as the Playstation and XBox geeks do.


My model doesn't have this, so not tested.

IBM Security Subsystem:

This is a special security chip embedded in the system. "The IBM Embedded Security Subsystem (TCPA compliant) provides for authentication and encryption of data communications." I've disabled it in the BIOS, but that doesn't matter. This is not supported under OS/2 Warp as far as I know, but I don't think this feature is going to be of interest to most OS/2 Warp users anyhow. And you can get T30 models without this chip if you are concerned about the potential abuses. For more on this you can see the previous article in this issue, Eric Baerwaldt's "»TCPA« and »Palladium«
- another step towards immaturity or a step towards emancipation?"
as well as the following links:
The official TCPA web site is:

Here's an independent TCPA Frequently Asked Questions List:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is at:


Works fine -- activates/deactivates under OS/2 Warp. (This is a keyboard light activated by hitting [Fn]-[PgUp]. It shines a small light on the keyboard, so, if you aren't a touch typist, and you're on an overnight flight, you can still type. Now if someone could make a little filter to make the light shine a blue OS/2 Warp logo on the keyboard... :-))

Serial port:

Nothing special, works fine with COM.SYS or SIO.SYS, as you prefer. Typically you'll disable the infrared to enable the serial port, or vice versa.


Built-in modem is an evil Lucent AMR modem, and apparently not even IBM can get technical information to write a driver. There's no driver for Linux, either. Use a standard non-WinModem in a PC Card slot. (My trusty Megahertz XJ5560 works just fine.) The PCMCIA modems generally provide better (faster) connections anyhow.


Yes, this ThinkPad comes with an Intel Pentium 4 sticker, a Windows sticker, and a Windows license number sticker (on the underside of the unit). All three are easily removed. Take a warm damp cloth to eliminate any residue. eComStation stickers can then be applied. :-)


Expandable to 1 GB of RAM, as I mentioned. Unfortunately parity memory is a thing of the past, so none of those wonderful TRAP 0002 messages if you have bad memory. You'll just get "weird" behavior I guess. But you can turn on a full bootup memory check in the BIOS setup program. There's also PC Doctor (on bootable DOS diskette) available for free download from IBM, and that'll probe your system for hardware problems.

BIOS Updates:

Available for download on bootable diskettes, making them operating system agnostic. (All downloadable diskette images, in fact, are as EXEs with "family mode" wrappers, meaning you can cut the diskettes natively under OS/2 Warp. Except the ethernet driver, strangely, although the MPTS one is fine.)

WorkSpace On-Demand compatibility:

Yes. The system supports network boot, at least for ethernet, which is required for WorkSpace On-Demand. Also supports Wake On LAN and BIOS flash updates via LAN for you corporate types.

Declared Support for OS/2 Warp:

Yes. The IBM ThinkPad T30 is the officially blessed OS/2 Warp system.

Verdict? This is a GORGEOUS eComStation or OS/2 Warp system, with very solid device support. Seems to be rock solid.

IBM Thinkpad T30
Developer: IBM, Inc
Price: $1,749 - $2,699US

Other links referenced:
  Thinkpad T30 - Software and Device Drivers -
  TP General - OS/2 Warp 4 updated installation diskettes -
  Analog Devices ADI7 (SoundMax) Integrated Digital Audio Driver ver.3.1.1 (05/13/2002) -
  DANIS506.ADD IDE replacement driver -

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