IBM Thinkpad 600E bios mod for processor update

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First, I'd like to say thank you to all who have contributed, especially sharedoc.

I know this thread is mainly about Thinkpad 600e. I have a Compaq armada 1750 that I picked up in a yard sale. It had a Pentium II 366mhz, MMC-2 cpu. From doing some web searches, I found thais site. I also found one other site where the admin had got the idea to upgrade his armada 1750 from reading here. He confirmed that a Pentium III, MMC-2 CPU would run in the armada 1750, but had not done any other mods, like speedstep.

Here is where I am with modding this unit,

I have installed a Pentium III, MMC-2. 650MHZ CPU. I did the speedstep mod with the 2.2 k resistor and cutting the foil. The unit booted right up with no bios errors. I can initialize the L2 Cache with the powerleap utility. Cpuz does confirm the CPU running at approx 500mhz.

When I try to run Deepsleep, the laptop freezes. I have to do a complete hard reboot to get it to run. If I run the dos vers of deepsleep off of a dos startdisc it will work and activate the CPU at 650mhz. Still, I cannot get it to run at 650 in windows. I have booted it dozens of times, holding my hand over cpu vent, I have never got it to run at 650, only 500mhz.

I see another user, redscorpion, a few posts back had this same issue. I wish he would have posted back if he ever got it activated at fill speed.

I am not complaining, even at 500mhz, this is a significant upgrade, and makes this laptop worth keeping around for a little longer. Maybe I will do the FSB upgrade later today.

Anyway, thanks again to all,

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Oh well, I have tried to read this thread a couple times, it is allot to absorb. One of the things that was not sinking in until now, is that the FSB Mod is for the TP motherboard, not for the CPU. So there will be no FSB Mod for this Armada 1750. As I said in my first post, a 500MHZ Pentium III is still a nice upgrade from a Pentium II 366MHZ. I picked this laptop up at a yard sale for 10 dollars. It needed a hard drive. I put in a used 30GB Toshiba HD that I had from my Dell. I also put in a 128MB RAM stick I had laying around. I got the 650MHZ Pentium III for $18.69 on Ebay, (that included delivery fees). To my surprise, this laptop had 2 good batteries. So, I have like 30 dollars invested in this laptop, and now that it is a 500mhz Pentium III, it is worth keeping around for a little longer, or maybe giving to someone who could use a modest laptop.

It would be nice if I could figure ot why the Deep Sleep utility causes this laptop to freeze, but will work good in DoS, but I am not counting on finding the answer to that.

I'm thinking that maybe for another little project, I will keep my eyes open, and maybe shop Ebay for a Thinkpad 600E.

Thanks again everyone,

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Just a quick follow up. I can start the laptop from a dos bootdisc, and then start the dos version of speedstep. I can then check the CPU with another dos utility, "CHKCPU". It does identify the CPU and shows it to be running at 650mhz. At this point, I can also run other dos programs from a dos disc, but the moment I try to do a control-alt-delete to reboot, the laptop freezes.
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Which Windows OS are you running? XP?

In older Win98/SE/ME, I think you can use dos version of deepsleep if you put it in autoexec.bat
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I just want to thank Sharedoc and others for this fabulous thread.

I notice that views are over a quarter of a million for this topic. I'm up to page 33 out of the current 58 I keep wanting to know what happens, but I'm going bit by bit -- for me it reads a little like a detective novel. :)

My wife and I each have a Thinkpad 600E, and yesterday I replaced the 400Mhz P2 in my own laptop with a 700 mhz P3. I have one 256 100mhz mem stick and one 128Meg 66 mhz stick onboard. Haven't disabled onboard RAM yet, but did do the Bios poke for cutting out the L2 on boot.

I am running Ubuntu Linux Gutsy Gibbon ver 710 on the laptop, and dual booting Win 98SE. For enabling L2 I used the 2.6 kernal mod here:

The only difference for Ubuntu 7.10 is that the location mentioned here:
It is wise to add “pIIIcache” in your /etc/modules.preload file (or equivalent), so that the module is loaded automatically when booting.
should be changed to /etc/modules in Ubuntu 7.10.

Just run sudo gedit /etc/modules and append the pIIIcache command to the end.

By the way, for newbies, in the website instructions for installing the new kernal mod, where it says to make and then make install, you need to be issuing that from the terminal, after navigating to the unpacked pIIIcache2.6 folder. Be sure to preface the make and make install commands with "sudo" as you need root priveleges to install it.

I haven't done any of the hardware mods yet, but plan to -- possibly today. If I get through reading this whole thread!

I wonder if the onboard 66 mhz and 128 stick 66 will run at the speedstep and 8% overclock mods.. Unfortunately, I already ordered a replacement 128M 100mhz stick before I realized I could have made it a 256meg if I was going to disable the onboard memory -- I assumed you could have only 384 Megs of added memory total in sticks because of possible conflict with onboard -- I gues you can actually make it 512?

Thanks again for this great thread. Many of us want to continue using our wonderful TP600E's and Ubuntu/Kubuntu along with your processor mods make it a very viable laptop, still. Well built, great keyboard and nice form factor.

As a side note, with the present simple processor swap and no hardware mods, running at 550 mhz on Ubuntu 7.10, my laptop will play a commercial dvd movie well at about 2/3 screen image size and no jerkiness. At full screen, very slight hesitation. I have high hopes all will be smooth at fullscreen with the speedstep and overclock mods. I am also able to run a free very sophisticated 3D Cad rendering program in Linux (Google CollabCAD if interested) What more speed could you ask of a laptop at this point, unless you are a serious gamer.

Viva the TP 600E, It does real work!

It works for me.

ps to get running specs,
sudo apt-get install x86info
to install, and
x86info -c -mhz
to get cache and speed info

Family: 6 Model: 8 Stepping: 6 Type: 0 Brand: 2
CPU Model: Pentium III-M (Coppermine) [cC0] Original OEM
Feature flags:
fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 mmx fxsr sse

Cache info
L1 Instruction cache: 16KB, 4-way associative. 32 byte line size.
L1 Data cache: 16KB, 4-way associative. 32 byte line size.
L2 unified cache: 256KB, 8-way associative. 32 byte line size.
TLB info
Instruction TLB: 4KB pages, 4-way associative, 32 entries
Instruction TLB: 4MB pages, fully associative, 2 entries
Data TLB: 4KB pages, 4-way associative, 64 entries
Data TLB: 4MB pages, 4-way associative, 8 entries
550MHz processor (estimate).
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Okay, I've finished reading the entire thread, phew.

I've been thinking about the hardware mods, and at this point I don't want to add a different heat sink. I don't mind adding heat sink compound, or even some shims to the existing sink, but I don;t want to swap out the fan/sink etc.

Reading the charts a few pages back (can't remember exactly how far back) I saw that the 700 Mhz PIII that I have will draw about 12 watts at 550Mhz, but something like 24 watts at the 700 Mhz speed.

I think the original PentII 400 processor was drawing 13 watts (is this correct?) so I'm a little concerned that the heat sink/fan won't properly cool my proc if I go with the hardware speedstep mod -- is this correct?

Any tweaking suggestions for allowing the 700 Mhz speed with the current sink/fan?

If not, I'm wondering if I can still do the FSB mod and keep temps reasonable. This should allow about 600 Mhz and 108 on the bus, correct?
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Thank you for the reply. I gave the laptop to a friend, so I don't have it anymore. Keeping my eyes open for a Thinkpad to play with.

Thanks again
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Well I completd both the FSB mod and the speedstep mod today. The soldering was tricky, and I definitely needed a magnifying glass besides my normal reading glasses! I wrapped a piece of copper wire around my 1/8" soldering tip, and left a tail to do the actual soldering with. This made for a very small tip, and less wattage when trying to do those tiny joints.

I only had some carbon 1/8 watt resistors, which look gigantic compared to the surface mount resistors, I snipped off the leads to 1/8" and added new ones of kynar coated wire wrap wire. Everything was insulated with some snips of vinyl tape. By the way, people seem to use the term "folio" in the instructions -- I believe they mean "foil." Where it says, cut the folio, I think it means cut the pc trace or foil. Anyway, I completed the cuts and resistor additions in about 20 minutes and reassembled the boards and case.

Then for the smoke test. I was a little nervous, but checked everything carefully under the magnifying glass. In a few seconds, everything booted up. It was great to see the IBM logo, and memory count. After Win98 came up all went well and when enabling deepsleep and the 256 l2 cache the 600E didn't skip a beat.

I am still running with the onboard 66Mhz speed memory and also one of the memory sticks is rated at 66. Nevertheless they are running fine at 108 mhz. I'll try a memory test tonight, but I'm writing this without any problems right now at 750 mhz and 108 FSB. The proc is a P3 700 mmc-2.

I've run both Win98SE and Ubuntu 7.10 today.

One interesting surprise, was, after first booting into Win98 and running deepsleep, then verifying with Pleap that I did have 108 and 750 Mhz, I decided to reboot into Ubuntu. I did a reboot, not a full shutdown. When Ubuntu came up, I did a check of the speed and it remained at 750 instead of dropping to 600. I had not installed the Linux deepsleep program yet. Apparently the proc will stay fast across a reboot.

I then shut down and cold booted to Ubuntu again, and this time, as expected, the initial proc speed was 600 mhz with 108 FSB.

I'm naturally happy with the result! Thanks again to sharedoc and the others for making this possible. :D
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Oh, also, for those who might still consider doing the speedstep hardware mod, there is an error in the instructions on page 3 of this thread where it says:
On the top level of the board this pass through meets a resistor, south from text C9. Solder to the west end of this resistor a 2.2kohm resistor, and solder the other end of the resistor to north end of condenser C13.
C13 is to west-north from text C9.
The last sentence (bolded portion) is incorrect, and caused me a fair amount of confusion, since there are caps in that general area, but the silkscreened cap legend is hidden by a plate -- one almost looks like C13 but the last digit is partially obscured.

In fact C13 is located above and far to the right (East Northeast) of a horizontal bank of caps. It has a legend (C13) if you know where to look. It is convenient to bring a resistor to this point because the leads are reasonable length.

There are drawings 2 posts later by Pkiff. Drawing 1B shows the C13 mod correctly with the resistor leads long and the cap above and a long way to the right of the first resistor solder point.
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I decided to use the Grub bootloader deepsleep program instead of wmarcus version for the following reasons:

The Grub bootloader allows transitioning to hi speed BEFORE booting Windows or Linux (I dual boot Ubuntu 7.10 and Win98SE) and maintains timings in Linux. It also doesn't rewrite the kernel.

Here is the webpage for the Grub bootloader program:

Since I had an existing dual boot system with Grub already installed, and with customized boot options in place, I followed a different procedure for installing than outlined on that page.

I did the following:

1.) I downloaded the binaries ( and unzipped them. They contain the folder boot/grub containing the deepsleep modified files.
2.) I navigated to my own /boot folder and renamed the /boot/grub folder to /boot/grub-old (this saves the old contents in case we need to revert to them)
3.) I copied the new grub folder to the /boot folder. I did this as super-user (root) and made sure the permissions for all the files matched the old permisions.
4.) I deleted the new /boot/grub/menu.lst document and replaced it with a copy of the one in my /boot/grub-old folder.
5.) I edited this menu.lst by adding the line tpad here:

Code: Select all

## timeout sec
# Set a timeout, in SEC seconds, before automatically booting the default entry
# (normally the first entry defined).
timeout      10

## hiddenmenu
# Hides the menu by default (press ESC to see the menu)


# Pretty colours
#color cyan/blue white/blue
Your menu.lst may look different but the location for the tpad command should be somewhere above the automagic section -- generally near the hiddenmenu section.
6.) I saved the new menu.lst
7.) I copied and added the files and default from my /boot/grub-old folder to the new grub folder -- since the new one lacked these -- different Linux systems will vary, but you should probably copy over to the new folder any files that exist in the old grub folder that are not present in the new one.
8.) I rebooted. Speed reporting programs in both Win98 and Ubuntu both showed that the startup speed was indeed 750 Mhz and the L2 cache was enabled with 256K.

I removed the Pleap software from my win98 startup menu, as L2 was already enabled by the new grub bootloader. I use it now just to check the specs of the running processor.
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Just a followup on what can be done with the 600E using the cpu upgrade.

I've succeeded in installing VMWare Player into the Ubuntu 7.10 Installation.

Using VMWare tools and the EasyVMX website to create a virtual machine, I set up a Windows 98SE Installation from CDrom into the VM.

With a little work, the Windows 98SE virtual machine is now running as a guest operating system under Ubuntu -- both run at the same time on the hopped up 600e.

The amazing thing is that the Win98 feels like it is running as fast as it did natively under the old 400 Mhz PII.

I just set up Net Transport on Win98, and was doing some long program downloads though it (I have a dialup connection), while working in the Ubuntu host machine, and web surfing. The Thinkpad is running 2 OSes independently, and with perfectly good speed on each.

This could not have happened on this same computer a couple weeks ago.

Thanks for this great thread!
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Great work with Ubuntu L2 and Deepsleep! How is the performance with DVD player in Ubuntu?
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I haven't spent a lot of time trying to DVD with the new rig. Ubuntu has a wealth of available players, and most are trmrndously sophisitcated in terms of settings -- I don't know how to optimize them yet.

Anyway, I have got Kaffeine working with the xine plugins and libdvdcss, etc.. The setting I tried in Kaffeine that seemed ot work with the TP600E was Xshm.

I no longer have PowerDVD for windows to compare it with (hard drive failure on the used machine it was on -- and no original media to restore it). But as I remember it, with the original 400mhz TP600e (celeron was it?). The playback was noticeably jerky. Now it is much cleaner, though not perfect.

I do think it may also be a result of the old DVDrom -- I'd really like to try it with a faster drive -- I'll have to figure out what would work with the UltraSlimBay holder and TP for a DVDwriter.

Certainly the huge number of settings that can be changed on programs like VLC and gxine will have to be learned by me to get the most out of it.

Right now, I run Ubuntu at 1024x768x16bit resolution and I have removed unnecessary services.

Ubuntu now runs as fast as I could wish on the 600e other than encrypted DVD video, and as I said before, Win 98SE runs so well UNDER Ubuntu as a virtual machine, that I see no reason (so far) to dual boot to Windows, even though I can on this machine.

I recently upgraded to 544 Mb ram (2 x 256 + 32 onboard) and the 32 meg onboard is holding its own at 108Mhz FSB -- haven't had to disable it. The 256 Meg ram sticks are both Kingston TP390X256 and running fine.

I'd like to get a larger HD and try out virtual machines for Win2000 and WinXP under Ubuntu.

I really like the VMs -- one great feature is, your entire windows installation resides in a single file -- system backups are as simple as copying that file. If you make that file 4.6 Gigs it will fit on a DVD. Plus, the amazing thing is, you can transfer that single file to another machine (totally different machine -- say a desktop running a different OS) and as long as it can run VMPlayer, your windows installation will run there and the desktop and everything will look exactly the same as it did on your first computer. Not only that, if you had shut down the player in the middle of windows program operations, starting it up on the new computer will bring it to exactly the same point you were in on the first one when you shut down.

I realize I'm getting somewhat off-topic (in an already off topic thread) so I'll stop -- but I do love this black box's ability to continue as a well built viable computer today, now nearly ten years old, capable of some remarkable things if set up right.

If you want to read more about copying your old windows installation to a virtual machine, I wrote a howto on the Ubuntu forum here:

If I get a faster dvd drive, I'll let you know if it improves the DVD playback in Ubuntu.

PS I just did another speedstep mod to a newer style 750 PIII MMC-2. It worked fine, so now I'm up to 810 Mhz. The 700 Mhz proc went into my wife's TP 600E. Again, sharedoc, thanks for this thread.
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If you want to run Ubuntu 7.10 on your "turbo" TP 600E you'll find these web pages extremely helpful in further speeding up Ubuntu's performance on your machine:

General Speedups:

Firefox Speedups: ... owser.html

TP600e Speedups:

Open Office Speedups: ... _in_Ubuntu

TP600 & Ubuntu (esp. sound enabling):

Old and outdated but still some useful info:

Synaptic/Apt speedup: ... r-upgrade/

Put all this stuff together on a PIII TP 600e and you'll be zipping along with the best of them with a free cutting edge OS, free apps -- for the total cost of about a $30 processor.
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gilf excelent job!

In fact i am still searching a way to do the fsb mod to my 600X. :wink:
T43p/1600x1200 w/flexview/2.13GHZ/2GB/ENGENIUS EMP-8602+S 600mw mini pci
600X/850MHZ/576MB/Atheros W/External antenna ALL with 100GB 7K100
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