Question about IBM ThinkPad T20 Notebook

3 Answers

Changed hard drive and now nothing works

I have an IBM T20 Notebook with a 20Gig hard drive that was getting full. I ran Acronis TrueImage to create a backup image file then after connecting this drive to one of my desktop computers restored the image file. (I have a special connector that lets me read/write notebook hard drives.)

The drive is a Seagate Momentus, 120Gig, 5400 rpm. In the T20 it starts to boot then says NTLDR not found and quits. The drive is formatted as FAT32.

Then I formatted the drive on my desktop, changed it to NTFS then put back in the notebook and tried to boot with a true Windows XP Pro CD. This starts loading setup software but when it gets to the point that it is supposed to start installing Windows it restarts the PC and starts the boot sequence all over again.

Next I tried the original IBM Recovery Disk (Win98). It starts to run but hangs after about 10 lines appear then hangs at "Driver was installed successfully". I would have thought that it would keep running so I could fdisk the notebook.

Posted by Nicholas on

  • 2 more comments 
  • Nicholas Nov 18, 2007

    Please reread my problem description. I did exactly what you are recommending.

  • Nicholas Nov 18, 2007

    I suspected that the T20 has a limit on size of hard drives. I am curious though why some people are offering 80GB drives or larger that they claim will work on the T20.

    I will order a 30GB drive and let you know if it works.

  • Nicholas Nov 29, 2007

    I have fixed this problem. Here is my solution:

    1. Discovered that the hard drive was badly corrupted. How it got there is unknown. But here is what I did to find out what was wrong with it:


  • Nicholas Nov 29, 2007

    Oops. I accidently hit the tab key. To continue:

    a. Installed the 2.5 drive on my desktop and ran Partition Magic. It said the drive was corrupted and would not format the drive at all.

    b. Installed the drive back to the notebook and tried to boot with a Win98 floppy disk. This worked. But next tried fdisk. Found an NTFS partition and a FAT32 partition. Fdisk would not delete either of them. Nor could I create a new one.

    2. Drive fixed

    a. Rebooted with a DIY Diskpatch floppy disk. (Search Google for particulars on this product). This program allows low-level patching of hard drives. Its sector write tool rewrote 48GB of data then quit. Then the program would hang and I could not repair the boot sectors.

    b. Rebooted with the Win98 floppy. This time fdisk was able to remove all partitions and create a new one. Then I was able to run the format tool.

    c. Rebooted with the Acronis floppy disk set and restored the backup. (Note: that the original back up was on a FAT32 drive.) This time Acronis asked how much of the drive to use for the restored image. I wasn't asked this the first time I tried it. I accepted the full drive and Acronis took the entire 120GB.

    3. Comments: The IBM T20 notebook obviously can take a 120GB hard drive. I am almost afraid to use Partition Magic to change the format to NTFS since that is where I had trouble the first time. I have since discovered that one of my RAM sticks is intermitently bad. It could have gone bad during the Acronis backup or the restore and caused the corruption on the hard drive.



3 Answers

Eugene Merritt

  • Level 2:

    An expert who has achieved level 2 by getting 100 points


    An expert that got 5 achievements.


    An expert that has over 500 points.


    An expert who has answered 200 questions.

  • Expert
  • 298 Answers

Was your notebook an OEM In that case you should have used a win 98 boot disk to boot the notebook insteadof the XP PRO disk and then
you could have used fdisk & checked verified that
you could read the C: drive

If it is formatted as win 32 it shouldnt have asked
for ntldr,are you sure you didn;t have a XP floppy
or cd on the system. that it was trying to boot from

Posted on Nov 17, 2007

  • Eugene Merritt Nov 30, 2007

    You could convert to NTFS after you install
    your OS system



Trinity Sabre

  • Level 2:

    An expert who has achieved level 2 by getting 100 points


    An expert that got 5 achievements.


    An expert who has written 50 answers of more than 400 characters.


    An expert whose answer got voted for 20 times.

  • Expert
  • 111 Answers

Instead of using an image file, i would try using drvclonerxp, it is freeware. I have used acronis trueimage in the past, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesnt.. these days i use the cloner listed above, or norton ghost.

i did some research, and the hard drive should be compatible with that laptop, so the main issue seems to be a failed image, if you have a computer laying around with similar specs, you can try using it to image the new drive, a lot of times subtle differences in the lba or access mode may cause the image to write but not read properly when installed in the old system.

the original ibm recovery disk (at least in my experience) seldom works on older laptops when you make a hardware change, it is trying to install custom drivers for a hard drive that no longer exists.

hope this helps, if not post a followup and i will see what i can come up with.

Posted on Nov 17, 2007

  • Trinity Sabre
    Trinity Sabre Nov 18, 2007

    before doing this, please go into your bios and check to make sure it recognized the harddrive. I can confirm that you can use up to a 100gig harddrive on a t20, i am using one right now... ibm only supported up to a 30gig before they ended support on the model, this laptop was upgraded from a working 60 gig.

    if it is detected, try using a different drive cloner as this usually clears up the problem.




  • Level 2:

    An expert who has achieved level 2 by getting 100 points


    An expert that got 5 achievements.


    An expert who has written 50 answers of more than 400 characters.


    An expert who has answered 200 questions.

  • Expert
  • 244 Answers

This is issue is came your IDE cable for your laptop hard drive. I hope you can provide me instant messaging assistance to assist you in troubleshooting your hard drive problem.

I am online now, please chat me at session hall to have further verification of your problem before we do to fix it right now.


Posted on Nov 17, 2007

  • Anonymous Nov 17, 2007

    I was recently, reviewed your IBM T20 specification it sound compatibility issue. Since, IBM T20 can only support up to 30GB hard drive. It means you cannot installer more that 30GB capacity. Sorry for that information but that was the hard findings I learned with your problem.

    The only way to avail that new 120GB inorder it us usable, you need to buy an enclosure that will convert the IDE to USB connectivity. Your old one 20GB will be set as your primary where you are going to installed the operating system while your 120GB is your external saving files or backup data only thru USB port.

    Try to check this website for enclosure pricelist

    Hope you will approved my solution as SOLVED if you think this is an enough information you need or please let me know otherwise.

    Best regards,



Add Your Answer

Uploading: 0%


Complete. Click "Add" to insert your video. Add



Related Questions:

1 Answer

How to change the hard drive that contains the operational system in an Acer EasyStore H341 server?

Transfer an Operating System to a New Hard Drive

When replacing an old hard drive, a process known as cloning is the easiest and most thorough method for transferring data between the old and new hard drives.

A cloning utility takes a snapshot of your current hard drive and then re-creates that snapshot on your new hard drive.

The process clones everything, including the operating system, installed applications, settings and personal files.

Create a system restore disk so that you can return your system to its previous condition if an error occurs.

You can use a backup and restore utility provided with your operating system, or find one for free or for purchase on the Internet.

Many cloning utilities can also create system restore disks.

Shut down the computer and remove power.

Physically install the new hard drive.

Restore power and boot up the computer.

Ensure that your operating system recognizes that the new hard drive has been installed.

Pick the cloning utility that works best for you. (See Below for some options.)

All freeware


Base your decision on your operating system and the cost and complexity of the utility.

Install and launch the cloning utility on your old hard drive.

Follow the instructions included with the cloning utility.

Keep the old hard drive as a backup, or reformat it for additional storage space.

Cloning a Notebook Hard Drive

Create a system restore disk so that you can return your system to its previous condition if an error occurs.

You can use a backup and restore utility provided with your operating system, or find one for free or for purchase on the Internet.

Many cloning utilities can also create system restore disks.

Pick the cloning utility that best fits your needs. (See Above for some options.)

Base your decision on your operating system, the cost and complexity of the utility, and whether the utility can clone notebook hard drives using bootable media, such as CD-ROMs, DVD-ROMs or flash drives.

Install and launch the cloning utility on your old hard drive.

Follow the instructions included with the cloning utility.

Keep the old drive as a backup in case the new hard drive fails.

Copy an OS to Another Hard Drive

Copying an OS or operating system to another hard drive can serve several functions.

Some simply want to move their current operating environment to a new PC, while others are replacing an old system hard drive with a newer one and want to avoid the hassle of updating and reinstalling.

The process of copying your operating system to another hard drive is a very easy one, in fact, and can be accomplished by anyone with nothing more than some software and some time.

Install Acronis True Image and launch it from its installation icon.

A link is provided below for the Acronis free 15-day trial.

Support free software or g4u WILL die!

Macrium has a free also pay options

Click the "Utilities" button from the left menu bar.

Click the "Clone Disk" button from the right pane of the main program window.

This will cause a dialog box to appear.

Click the "Next" button on the bottom-right corner of the dialog box.

Select the disk with the operating system you wish to copy from the drive list and click the "Next" button.

This will begin an examination of your hard disk that will finish in a few minutes.

Select the destination disk from the hard drive list and click the "Next" button.

Choose the "As-is" option for how you would like to handle your partitions.

This option merely lets you decide whether to keep all partitions on the drive or copy just the data onto one blank partition on the new drive.

Click the "Finish" button, and Acronis will prompt you that your system needs to be restarted to begin the cloning process.

The restart will happen automatically when you click the "Finish" button.

Allow the computer to restart, and Acronis will launch prior to the operating system and begin the cloning procedure.

This process may take several minutes to several hours, depending on the size of the operating system and whether there are any installed applications.

Restart you computer once again after Acronis has completed the cloning procedure.

The software will notify you when the cloning has finished.

Boot into your operating system and use your new operating system installation as normal. You may now remove your old operating system drive or format it as you desire.

Hope this helps.

Nov 24, 2012 | Computers & Internet

1 Answer

Hi, I want a program to create recovery disks for my laptop, ie if my hard drive fails I can then use the disks to reinstall my operating system on a new hard drive without using windows install disks with...

Take a look at Acronis True Image

I use this and a device called Blac X at:

along with an extra drive to make an exact duplicate of my lap top drive. I then am able to swap the drives out if any thing happens.

You can also make Cds or DVDs of the image and use that to restore your drive.

I find the extra drive method, much more advantageous as I am only down for a few minutes. I make the extra drive about once every two weeks and swap drives each time so as to ensure that they both were working.

Feb 02, 2011 | Computers & Internet

1 Answer

No factory restore program will not system restore after i brought it in to get virus our at powersource computers it never worked the same again

sounds like the repair place you took it to removed the repair partition. not to confuse you but this means that you no longer have the restore partition on your hard drive. i had the similar problem on purpose. i freed up the extra space on my hard drive after upgrading to windows 7. thus i got Acronis home and made a backup and enabled the boot option with that program which brings up a message at boot/startup giving me the option to restore my computer.....for more information on how to do this you can buy the program and call them after your purchase and ask them to guide you through the process. the website is

Jan 28, 2011 | Everex StepNote NC1500 Notebook

1 Answer

Cloning hard drive / limit

Here are two options for you


Norton Ghost - Here's a nice tutorial

Here's Ghost


Mar 16, 2010 | Acer Aspire M1100-U1402A Refurbished AMD...

1 Answer

IBM T20 start up problem - CPU fail

update or reflash youre bios(eeprom)
you can download the program off the net.
search for bios the software ...write it to cd..reboot with cd in drive , software will flash bios ...remove disk ..reboot.

Jan 07, 2009 | IBM ThinkPad T21 Notebook

2 Answers

I have an IBM thinkpad, an old one from work, nad it has another user name and password that I do not know. Id like to format the hard drive and install Vista on this, currently it is W2000 pro. Would you...

You don't need to get a command prompt to format the hard drive.
Just boot up with the CD as the first boot device. Press F12 just after you switch on the laptop, then select the CD as the temporary boot device, insert the Windows XP install CD in the drive.
When the install process starts and displays the partitions, delete the existing partitions, then create a new partition, and then do a full NTFS format, not a quick format.
Now ou are on your way for a new Windows install.

Jan 01, 2009 | IBM ThinkPad T20 2647 Notebook

1 Answer

I am unable to copy hard drive c onto simpletech

Unfortunately you can not perform a straight drag and drop from a boot drive. The best option for the preservation of all your data, as well as being much faster, would be to utilize backup software such as Acronis TrueImage Home:

Using the link above you can download a 15 day full feature trial which will allow you to create a backup image (with many options available) of your current C: drive to the media of your choice.

Dec 14, 2008 | SimpleTech Signature Mini 160GB External...

1 Answer

I need to format the hard drive on a IBM t20

it seems that u are booting using windows and than trying to format it
u need to boot from a bootable cd and than format it

Nov 14, 2008 | IBM ThinkPad T20 2647 Notebook

2 Answers

Quantum fireball LCT 15

please refer to the following link

Sep 02, 2008 | Quantum Fireball Lct20 (QML30000LD-A) 30...

1 Answer

Ibm thinkpad t20 notebook

Could be a problem with the MBR or Master Boot Record.
It could be damaged. It's only a file system type problem not a hardware fault.
Have a look here.

Mar 09, 2008 | IBM ThinkPad T20 Notebook

Not finding what you are looking for?
IBM ThinkPad T20 Notebook Logo

118 people viewed this question

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top IBM Computers & Internet Experts

Lee Hodgson
Lee Hodgson

Level 3 Expert

4810 Answers


Level 3 Expert

13434 Answers

Muntejaya Ginting
Muntejaya Ginting

Level 3 Expert

10422 Answers

Are you an IBM Computer and Internet Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Manuals & User Guides