Fujitsu Lifebook C325

So we're diving in a specific range of notebooks, and this one is a typical example of it (similar is a Tecra 550CDT). In 1998 Pentium II was upcoming to desktops and was still expensive for notebooks - the first notebook Pentium II has been released in April, with samples a bit earlier, but was very expensive. So there were two types of a notebook: A highly-priced, high-performance Pentium II notebooks, or cheaper, maxed-out Pentium I MMX notebooks usually with the best 233MHz or even 266MHz processor. Some units (e.g. made by Ilision) even ran desktop versions of CPU and could be upgraded. These Pentium I notebooks had a nice-quality, usually active, LCD, a decent video chip, sound and multimedia capabilities were good too. PCMCIA gave expansion capabilities, a new USB connector was usually in and in many units drives could be replaced by user in a special bay.
This notebook has been made by Fujitsu and sold with on-board 32MB of RAM, as well as with 64 or 96MB upgrade, and with 3.2GB hard disk. There was a 3.5" floppy drive and CD-ROM drive built-in. Windows 98 was pre-installed (but according to some sources Windows NT 4 also could be chosen for some corporate versions) as well as general documentation.
The computer is equipped with ordinary brightness slider, set of speakers and a larger trackpoint-like joystick as mouse, quite comfortable and easier to find than IBM/Toshiba's point.

Manufacturer Fujitsu

Origin Japan
Year of unit 1998
Year of introduction 1998
Type Laptop, PC
CPU Intel Pentium MMX 233MHz
(mobile on-board version)
(upgradeable by 66/100MHz SODIMM, up to 96MB)
Floppy Disk Built-in 3.5"
Hard Disk 4GB IDE, PATA, 2.5"
Other media CD-ROM drive built-in
Graphics and display: 800x600 TFT, active
Sound: Stereo
Line in, Speaker, Mic connectors.
Keyboard and pointing device: Small PC keyboard without numeric part.

Trackpoint (larger)

OS: Windows 98 / NT 4

Power supply:

1 - Ground
2 - +16V DC, 2.8A

Socket is inverted - required pin in plug for positive!

DO NOT connect the power reversely. There is NO PROTECTION against it and all current will go through a tantalum capacitor. This ends with a smoke.

I/O:  - Serial port
 - Parallel port
 - VGA video out
 - PCMCIA x2
 - USB
 - PS/2
 - Sound Line in/out/mic
Possible upgrades: Memory, hard disk
Additional peripherals:   

To enter BIOS Setup program, press F2, to cancel the title screen and go to BIOS text press Esc. IT sometimes offers you a boot menu.

To make this unit hibernate you need PHDISK tool to make hibernation partition as the suspend-to-disk is handled entirely by the BIOS. The hibernation partition should be located on the end of disk, but BIOS expectes end of disk around 8GB. It's not that it can't run with larger disks - I tried 40GB and works very well, but the hibernation partition must be on this 8GB boundary.
Contrary to program for e.g. HP Omnibook 2000, this program calculates itself how large partition should be (just don't add RAM later) and even allocates 5MB more as a pool for potential drive damages (read: bad sectors). The steps to make the partition are following:
- Backup, clean disk of all partitions.
- Boot DOS disk
- It'll create partition.
Now use something like bootable Partition Magic floppy because FDisk may not work with this configuration and may even destroy the hibernation partition's structure. PHDISK makes partition by the end of 8th gigabyte, so if a disk is larger, you have to make around 8GB C: drive before hibernation partition, and the rest of your partitions (D: and following) after it.
The hibernation works by Fn key combination as well as, when configured in BIOS, as a replacement for suspend. An interesting feature is automatic decision about sleep and suspend-to-disk, in which if the computer "Sleeps" for more than some time it'll wake itself up and instantly hibernate to disk. This is in machine from 1998, so don't be cheated that "smart hibernation" is a novelty in latest Windows.

Installation of Windows 98 is straightforward. When going with Win98SE, you should end with an audio support enabled. Install Trident video driver, then switch it to 800x600 24-bit to get a full experience from LCD. Although not especially necessary, Intel 430TX chipset drivers can be loaded too, for example get 3.20.1008 package from here.
You may install ALPS Mouse driver too, it was present in some places as driver for this computer - it's more for touchpad, not offering many options for trackpoint... and bloats memory with tray icon.

What can be run on such machine? Most software from around 1998, Win98, Office up to XP (especially if RAM is boosted to 96MB, can't be more), some games. Trident 9388 chip is one of the first chips with Windows-friendly and user-friendly 2D acceleration (read: does not go crazy with monitor settings when any incompatible accelerations are tried as in previous PCI chips) but has no 3D acceleration - expect good experience with DOS games, even quite complex, but anything running with 3D will not work well.

There are drivers in Fujitsu website.

Disassembly (partial):

1. Remove battery cover and battery. Remove PCMCIA cards.
2. Remove 2 covers under keyboard. Remove screws. Lift the keyboard towards LCD, shift towards you.
- CHECKPOINT: RAM Upgrade (under the keyboard).
3. Remove ribbons of keyboard from their connectors, remove keyboard. Close the notebook, flip.
4. Remove 4 screws under battery, remove 2 additional bottom screws. Flip the notebook and open it.
5. Open the palmrest and remove it.
6. If needed, remove two leftmost screws, open HDD containment towards LCD, remove 2 screws on each side, disconnect and remove hard disk
7. Open LCD, remove single screw under keyboard, slightly open top cover (around keyboard), on the bottom-left is a yellow BIOS battery

Links: - announcement from Fujitsu - How to install a hard drive. There's a mistake, it's not Pentium II but Pentium I. - Spec sheets of various Fujitsu notebooks, also C325