Compaq TC1000 Restoration


Received the tablet from eBay purchase. Came complete with keyboard, case, and a power supply. Boots into Windows XP Tablet Edition. Internet Explorer won't load most web sites and it would be a bad idea to use it anyhow. The battery does not seem to be charging.


Got the machine taken apart. There is one easily-accessible RAM (204 pin SO-DIMM), module through a panel in the back. There is another 256MB module (200-pin SO-DIMM) buried under the motherboard and it is a chore to access it. Obtained three different replacements (512MB, 1GB) for the 256MB module, but the computer would not boot with them. It's possible that the maximum RAM size for this machine is 768MB.

I managed to short the board while testing different memory modules. Fortunately, it only took out a small cable connecting the power switch assembly to the motherboard, and I was able to obtain a replacement.


After a time, the power supply burned out. I pulled a Targus Universal Charger out of storage and attached a tip that supplied the same voltage (15V) as the power supply. A week later I realized that the TC1000 wants the more common 19V and switched to the correct tip. That explains why the battery hadn't been charging!

Ordered a 128 mSATA SSD card and an IDE to mSATA adapter, and used old versions of gparted live (0.24.0-2-i586) to set up partitions and clonezilla (clonezilla-live-2.4.2-61-i586) to copy the old version of Windows to a partition on the SSD. Newer versions of these utilities required either an i686 CPU or an i586 with PAE. While the Transmeta Crusoe is roughly equivalent to an early Pentium, the the Transmeta Crusoe does not support that extension. This would foreshadow the hassles that were to come with my Linux experiments.


I had been going through a lot of trial and error to find a Linux that would install well on this machine. It is a challenge to find a Linux that will run on a 586-compatible without PAE. I was able to get a few distributions to install, but many programs (including Firefox) would fail with an "illegal instruction" error. In order to expedite testing, I started using QEMU with these flags to approximate the limitations of this computer: -cpu pentium,+cmov