Friday, March 18, 2016

The TOSHIBA T3100/20

Five versions ever existed:

  • The T3100 had a 8 MHZ Intel 80286 CPU, 640Kb RAM, 9.6'' gas-plasma display.
  • The T3100/20 was essentially the same as the base T3100 but with a larger hard drive (20 Mb instead of 10 Mb).
  • The T3100e had a 12 MHz 80286 CPU, 1 Mb RAM and a 20 Mb hard drive.
  • The T3100e/40 was the same as the T3100e, but with a larger 40 Mb hard drive.
  • The T3100SX had a 16 MHz i386SX CPU, 1MB RAM and a 40 Mb or 80 Mb hard drive, and also included an internal rechargeable battery for true portability.

Toshiba T3100 was not a true portable, because it needed an external power source in all except the last version.


CPU: Intel 80286, 12 MHz

RAM: 640 kb, upgradable to 2.6 Mb

Keyboard: 83 keys, QWERTY

Drives: 20 Mb hard drive; internal 3,5" floppy drive, 720 kb; connector for external 5,25" floppy drive, 360 kb

Operating System: MS-DOS 3.2

Screen Resolution Graphic mode: 640×400; 640×200; Textmode: 80×25

Weight: 7.5 kg

     I had found this particular unit for $40 on an local sales site. I contacted the person so I can obtain a better price and while cheap chatting I told him I want to restore it for my private collection not for resale, maybe in the future opening a museum or exhibition. He was impressed I guess, he gave me the unit for free!

So many thanks to this guy named Iulian that helped me get my dream machine! 

The machine was unused for maybe 2 decades and it was stored in a very dusty place as when i plugged it in dust balls came out from the vent :)

Picture with the original state:

Opening the lid I could see that there`s an unwanted wobble and there was a sound of breaking plastic. i decided to take apart the machine and check what could be the problem and also clean it a little bit.

Removing the mask:

Removing the display:

The hinges are very solid on the outside

Removing the top cover

Notice the full sized 3.5'' HDD? :) It weights a ton!

It looks like the original CMOS Battery was replaced at some point somewhere in 1994 with 2 X AA 1.5 V batteries, very poorly fitted in.

Why 1994?

The VARTA PHOTO had an expiry date of September 1999. These batteries had an expiration date of 5 years. So the batteries must have been replaced in 1994 :)

I had replaced the batteries with 2 X AAA 1.5 V batteries, Duracell Industrial, that will last up to 2021. I soldered the batteries with a soldering gun, and nicely packed them in a textile\adhesive type of material.

BOTH HINGES WERE BROKEN.... and fixed with a some liquid plastic and a lot of work as I had to reconstruct the plastic walls against the metal bolts...

After doing all this small but necessary repairs I assembled the unit and cleaned it a bit. I will do some detail cleaning in the near future. But at this point I just want to jump start this computer with a system disk and see whats on its DRIVE. 

Now it can hang out with its brother, the T1200EX, until I will get these 2 units to the rest of the collection. 


  1. Great article. I also have a Toshiba T3100/40, T3200,T3200SX and a T5200. Nice and sturdy machines. I bought them because I like oldschool and of course the bloodred plasma screen.

    Greetings from Richard Vermeulen (The Netherlands).

    1. Hi Richard,

      I am glad you still have The T models, keep them running! I will get my hands on a T5200 this week :) It has some blown capacitors, I will have an article with the restoration soon.

      Best regards,
      Bogdan Tirziu