[ltp] Old Thinkpad 380E won't boot from cdrom if harddrive connected!

linux-thinkpad@linux-thinkpad.org linux-thinkpad@linux-thinkpad.org
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 12:52:40 -0700

Hi guys-

A friend gave me an old Thinkpad 380E, and for fun I thought I'd load
Linux onto it.

It has no ethernet, no wireless, no usb.

It has two pcmcia slots, harddrive, floppy, and cdrom. I don't currently
have any pcmcia cards for it, but plan to buy a pcmcia/usb and pcmcia
wireless card if I can get Linux loaded.

Turns out that it won't boot from a cdrom unless the harddrive is
disconnected. I wonder if anyone can give me some clues as to how to fix

If I remove the harddrive it will boot from the cdrom.

The hard drive interface is the old ATA/100 44-pin style. The harddrive i=
a 2GB loaded currently with DOS. It shouldn't be too difficult to get an
larger harddrive for it.

The only bios setting I can see that is relevant is the bootup sequence.
It passes all the bios tests except for pcmcia-2 (I doubt that's

It can boot from a floppy, though I'm not sure now if the current Debian
distributions can be installed via floppy- all the floppy disc
instructions I see on the web refer to much older versions. It would be
_so_ much easier if I can get it to boot and install from a cdrom!

Thanks if you can suggest anything helpful.,

Keith Ostertag