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Old 2nd May 2024, 10:55 pm   #1
electroanorak
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Default Panasonic CF-28 Toughbook restore. (Actually a C-27).

Hello all.

This may be a long shot.

Has anyone got the restore CD's or files for the Panasonic Toughbook CF-28 Mk3?

Any help would be great.

Thank you.

Daniel.
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Old 4th May 2024, 12:42 am   #2
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Default Re: Panasonic CF-28 Toughbook restore

If any of you ever think of getting one of these CF-28 Thoghbooks... DO NOT. This is the most nasty, horrid machine I have ever worked on. Windows 2000 will not even format the drive and I have tried a couple of HDD's. Windows XP 32 will get to the installing Windows and hang at 34 minutes whether I try SP1, SP2 or SP3. The only thing that will run on it is Hirens mini XP.

And I paid 58 flippin quid for it.

I have been trying to load it for a week now. If it is not playing ball by Sunday night, it will be destined for the skip.

Daniel.
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Old 4th May 2024, 1:59 am   #3
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Default Re: Panasonic CF-28 Toughbook restore

Well according to: https://panasonic.fandom.com/wiki/CF-28
It seems the CF-28 (Not sure about Mk3 etc. but that seems to be the best / leter / faster CPU version) would run Windows 98 / NT / 2k or XP.
So not sure if there's something odd with your one (maybe a memory fault? - might be worth running a full-ram test program from a boot cd like MemTest86+?)
I also wonder if there was any password protection on the HDD etc, if these were more for military use - I do recall them being useful for protection against bullets at least: https://www.techradar.com/news/softw...soldier-133972


There are a few on eBay, with untested ones at over £68 Buy It Now price.
So maybe what you paid isn't that bad / may be able to get most of it back if sold as needing attention.
- If the battery pack is still OK, then replacements are rather more than that
And IIRC these were v.expensive (> £2k?) when new.

I do recall seeing these, many years ago at work, but I don't think I ever used one. And I've just found out that there was a lot of different versions: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toughbook
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Old 4th May 2024, 8:45 pm   #4
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Default Re: Panasonic CF-28 Toughbook restore

Indeed, you are correct.

I have done all the usual stuff. RAM checks out fine, tried two good HDD's. I have disabled all hardware (ports, wireles GPRS, floppy drive and network). Another strange thing is that the laptop will not boot further than the Panasomic logo if it is plugged in. It will only boot to OS when on battery. I have tried 3 different windows CD's that I know work on other machines.

I will have one last go.

Daniel.
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Old 5th May 2024, 8:26 pm   #5
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Default Re: Panasonic CF-28 Toughbook restore

Update.

I have just tried to install Windows ME. It does the same thing, but hangs after the enter name and password during setup.

Daniel.
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Old 5th May 2024, 9:31 pm   #6
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Default Re: Panasonic CF-28 Toughbook restore

I realise of course that you are trying to install a version of Windows on the machine, but you could consider booting from a Linux bootable USB stick or CD/DVD boot disc and if it runs, use the various tools available in the 'Live' Linux distro to check out the hardware of the machine - just don't click 'install' from within the booted Linux environment unless you actually mean to install Linux on the machine's HDD.

On the other hand it sounds as though whatever remained of the original Windows installation is well and truly wiped so it would do no harm to install a version of Linux on the HDD just to see if it works - whether it works or not, you can always over-install Windows again afterwards.
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Old 6th May 2024, 8:39 am   #7
Joe_Lorenz
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Default Re: Panasonic CF-28 Toughbook restore

Hello,

this drama does sound pretty familiar to me! One of my sons loves Panasonic Tough Books, though I frequently hear him sorting out something. To a point where I honestly assume he might throw it through the closed window next moment!

I remember a CF 28 that had a bent contact at the HDD connector, causing erratic behaviour! So I'd suggest to inspect all contacts, plugs and such as most of these units did not have a smooth office life. Some users do not have light hands as we say when it comes to horseback riding.

Regards, Joe
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Old 6th May 2024, 11:36 pm   #8
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Default Re: Panasonic CF-28 Toughbook restore

I think it may be a video problem. As default (when turned on), the image is small and in the centre of the screen. It is the same in CMOS setup. When I run Hirens Mini XP, it also starts in small screen mode, but I can change the resolution to 1024x768 in Mini XP. Linux Puppy will not run past the video setup. I have no idea if this is normal for the CF-28.

Dan.
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Old 7th May 2024, 12:21 am   #9
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Default Re: Panasonic CF-28 Toughbook restore

My Toughbook (I cannot remember the model at the moment) displayed a small window when in a low resolution mode, it did not seem to upscale this to fill the screen. I tried everything to install a generic OS disc only to find it halted at various points along the way. The only way that I resolved the problem was to get hold of a copy of the original Panasonic Restore discs.
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Old 7th May 2024, 12:24 am   #10
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Default Re: Panasonic CF-28 Toughbook restore

Indeed.

I cannot find them anywhere for the CF-28 Mk3.

Dan.
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Old 7th May 2024, 8:09 am   #11
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Default Re: Panasonic CF-28 Toughbook restore

Is it possible to create the recovery disks from a working machine, I have been gifted a working Panasonic Toughbook with a official Windows installation. If it's possible to create recovery disks I would be happy to do so. I will not be able to access it until the weekend so do not know what flavour of Windows it has.
Peter
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Old 8th May 2024, 12:12 am   #12
electroanorak
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Default Re: Panasonic CF-28 Toughbook restore

Hi Peter.

I would so much appreciate this. I have once again been trying for 5 hours this evening and may have to throw it out of the window before the wife throws me out of the window for ignoring her in favour of this nasty and horrid CF-28 for most of the week.

I only got it to stick XP, Visual Basic 6 and PicBasic on to program serial stuff around the theatre. I thought it would be quick and simple and I could get my programming and updating done last week. Instead, I have wasted the whole week on it.

Very frustrating, so I will put it away for the time being then.

Regards.

Daniel.
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Old 8th May 2024, 6:14 am   #13
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Default Re: Panasonic CF-28 Toughbook restore

I'll check it out over the weekend and let you know.
Peter
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Old 8th May 2024, 7:49 pm   #14
electroanorak
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Default Re: Panasonic CF-28 Toughbook restore

Thank you.

Dan.
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Old 10th May 2024, 8:12 pm   #15
Electronpusher0
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Default Re: Panasonic CF-28 Toughbook restore

Hello Dan,
I have had a chance to take a look.
It is actually a CF-27 Toughbook.
It appears to have dual boot, windows XP and Windows 98,
The XP option reports it is missing a file.
The Windows 98 will boot successfully if I log in as Administrator as it has no password in that option.
All user data has been cleaned out.

Checking on the web it seems that a boot disk cannot be created from win 98 or XP.

Best I can do is to give you the whole computer if it will help you, just pay the postage costs.

Regards
Peter
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Old 11th May 2024, 3:32 am   #16
ortek_service
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Default Re: Panasonic CF-28 Toughbook restore

Quote:
Originally Posted by Electronpusher0 View Post
>>
It is actually a CF-27 Toughbook.
It appears to have dual boot, windows XP and Windows 98,
The XP option reports it is missing a file.
>>
>>
Regards
Peter
You may be able to restore the Win XP file if you have a search on the web etc for what it says is missing. Or run setup from an XP Installation CD-ROM and choose repair option.
Or maybe try instructions / downloads, here: https://neosmart.net/wiki/boot-disk/


Quote:
Originally Posted by Electronpusher0 View Post
>>
>>
Checking on the web it seems that a boot disk cannot be created from win 98 or XP.
>>
Regards
Peter
Win98 is essentially DOS-based, so you should be able to create a Boot disk from it by just going to a command prompt (Unlike XP), and type format a: /s to put the basic system files on it
- or Right-click A: drive in explorer and chose format, then tick box to 'copy System files' (or 'make System Disk'?).

However this only puts the bare minimum 'DOS System' files on this 'DOS System Boot' disk. So creating a proper 'Start-up' Disk is preferably (Win98 used to come with one, for use with non-bootable versions of the Win98 Installation CD-ROM's / for PC's that wouldn't boot directly from CD-ROM's). And these webpages may give some useful instructions on creating a better 'Bootdisk':

https://www.terabyteunlimited.com/kb...-startup-disk/

https://www.allbootdisks.com/98.html

https://thestarman.pcministry.com/DO.../Bootdisk.html


For XP, it does also actually seem you can create an 'Emergency Boot Disk' for it: http://xphelpandsupport.mvps.org/how...rgency_sta.htm

Or create an Automated System Recovery (ASR) Disk - Searching for this in Window-Help on my WinXP PC gives:

To create an Automated System Recovery set using Backup
Open Backup (The Backup Utility Wizard starts by default, unless it is disabled).

Click the Advanced Mode button in the Backup Utility Wizard.
On the Tools menu, click ASR Wizard.
Follow the instructions that appear on your screen.
Important: You will need a blank 1.44 megabyte (MB) floppy disk to save your system settings and media to contain the backup files.

Notes:
------
To start Backup, click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Backup.
Only those system files necessary for starting up your system will be backed up by this procedure. To backup your data, see Backing up files and folders.

Last edited by ortek_service; 11th May 2024 at 3:43 am.
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Old 11th May 2024, 7:13 am   #17
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Default Re: Panasonic CF-28 Toughbook restore

Thanks for that, looks like Dan may be able to do something with my Toughbook. I really don't have the time to pursue this but Dan is welcome to the whole thing and can then try your suggestions.

Peter
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Old 11th May 2024, 12:39 pm   #18
electroanorak
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Default Re: Panasonic CF-28 Toughbook restore. (Actually a C-27).

What can I say. That is a very kind offer. I would be greatfull of that, however, if I could just borrow it and try a HDD disk clone, that may work. I can then return it if you wish.
Just let me know of any costs and I will send it over.

Regards.

Daniel.
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Old 12th May 2024, 5:59 pm   #19
Electronpusher0
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Default Re: Panasonic CF-28 Toughbook restore. (Actually a C-27).

Hello Dan, I have no use for it, you are welcome to it, I just could not bear to see it going in the skip.
I will get a price for shipping and PM you.
Peter
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Old 12th May 2024, 11:35 pm   #20
electroanorak
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Default Re: Panasonic CF-28 Toughbook restore. (Actually a C-27).

Thank you Peter.

Is there anything you need? Components, test equipment and so on.

Dan.
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