I recently had my Transnote hard disk fail. It was an IBM 10g Travelstar. Here is how I reinstalled Windows 2000 (W2K) without access to a bootable CD.

I first put a new hard disk into the Transnote and booted into MSDOS from a floppy disk formatted as a system disk under Windows 98se. I had to use the fdisk and format utilities to set up and format the new hard disk. All the DOS utilities you need are located on the 3.5 inch IBM

(official) Thinkpad Recovery CDROM Boot Diskette that came with my Transnote. Directions on using fdisk and format are widely available on the internet.

Now that I could boot my Transnote, into MSDOS, I had to find a way to put Windows 2000 on the hard disk. To do this, I used my desktop PC that runs (I blush) Windows 98SE. I found that Newegg sold, for just $2.99, an adapter that would permit me to connect my Transnote hard disk to the slave IDE channel on my desktop. It is part 12-203-012 called the Kinamax ADP-IDE23 Laptop 2.5 to desktop 3.5 ide hard drive adapter. I just checked the price again and they increased it to $6.99. Guess they know how to make a buck off of a hot seller.

This connector comes with a connector to a 12v power socket in a desktop. There are usually lots of unused sockets popping from the usual power supply in a desktop. The hard disk will have to be mounted in the slave position of the IDE drive cable. That is the last of the two drive connectors. Also, the drive will need a small circle of wire around the first two vertical pins in the drive since the drive has to be electrically a slave. I cut a short piece of silver wire, copper would work fine, made it into a little loop, and put it over the first set of pins. The pins you want to connect are up and down (not side by side).

There is a diagram on the drive.

Now I turned off the desktop. I have a slave hard disk in there that I disconnected. Then I connected the new hard drive to the connector and the connector to the last connector on the IDE cable. There is a number

1 on one end of the Kanamax adapter. It needs to connect to the 1 pin of the hard disk and the 1 edge of the IDE cable. There is a red line running down the IDE cable that identifies the 1 side. 1 to 1 to 1. The red and black wires of the power connector are connected to the R and B pins of the Kanamax. Also the red and black wires of the 12v power plug you found in the desktop.

Once everything is connected, you can reboot and see the new drive in windows. If not, check the BIOS setup screen to be sure it recognizes the new drive. You might have to do this manually. Now you can copy the

i386 folder from any Windows 2000 install disk, but the restore disks that IBM furnished do not work. I had to find one elsewhere. Also, the Windows 2000 license number on the back of the Transnote (flip the plastic of the notepad assembly) did not work.

While you are at it, you will need to put files from the IBM Transnote floppy into the root folder of the new drive. These are emm386.exe, smartdrv.exe, edit.com, and himem.sys. You can use the DOS text editor on the floppy, edit.com, to create two necessary text files: config.sys and autoexec.bat (remember these?) Put them into the root directory folder of the hard disk you wish to install in the Transnote.

CONFIG.SYS should contain these lines with spaces where there is a ^


AUTOEXEC.BAT needs just this line


Here the files are with the spaces in place.


device=c:\himem.sys /testmem:off
device=c:\emm386.exe noems x=D000-D7FF
SHELL=c:\command.com /p /e:512

AUTOEXEC.BAT needs just this line

smartdrv.exe 2048 c+ /u

Now all you have to do is remove the drive from the adapter, remove the slave jumper from the drive pins (!!!), mount the drive in the Transnote, boot the notebook into MSDOS and run the install with this line:

c:\i386\winnt.ext /s:c:\i386

Note that the first part before the space after ext is the location of the DOS program that installs W2K. After the /s: is, again, the location of the folder that holds all the installation files. Don’t know why this is needed, but it is.

Now you can sit back ready to answer the nag screens that Windows includes free with all installations.

So there you have the secret of how to install W2K, or XP for that matter, on a new hard disk. I tried the 4 disk bootable W2K install disks and they did not work. I tried putting the non-boot IBM recovery file folder onto the hard disk and it failed to recognize the Transnote as an IBM product. I was left with installing by copying the install folder from a W2K disk to the hard drive and performing a HD/Network installation. The critical parts were the 2.5 to 3.5 hard disk adapter and that little circle of wire needed to make the drive into a slave.

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