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Toshiba T3200SX

The Toshiba T3200SX

A durable workhorse of it's time, the T3200SX and T3200SXC portable computers were manufactured and targeted primarily as desktop computer replacements for businesses. Of course, at the time of the release, there existed smaller laptop computers, but none of these even came close to the power, durability and expandability of this Toshiba computer.

The T3200SX and T3200SXC computers are siblings. The only differences are that the SXC has a color flat panel screen and a faster central processing unit (20 MHz as opposed to 16 MHz). The graphics adapters are the same, both systems are VGA capable, and support resolutions up to 640×480 with 16 colors.

Technical Specifications
Year Announced 1989
Processor 16MHz Intel 80386SX-16 (optional 80387SX-16 math co-processor)
RAM Standard 1 MB of RAM, expandable up to 13 MB.
Hard disk Comes standard with a Conner CP-model IDE hard disk, either 40 MB or 80 MB (BIOS selectable)
Floppy disk 3,5“ 1.44 MB High Density (HD) diskette drive
Video VGA compatible WD 90C21 chip with 256 KB video RAM. Black/orange plasma display panel with 640 by 480 native resolution and 16-level gray scale.
I/O Ports 1x VGA, 1x Parallel, 2x RS232C Serial, 1x DIN keyboard connector.
Internal expansion slots 1x full size 16/8-bit ISA slot
1x half-size 8-bit ISA slot
Power Supply Universal. Works with 110V/220V and 50/60 Hz power.
Dimensions 370 x 395 x 99 mm (W x D x H)
Weight 7.9 kg (17.4 lbs)
Other features
Operating System Toshiba MS-DOS 4.01
Toshiba MS-DOS 3.3
OS/2 1.1
T/PIX 2.1 (AT&T UNIX System V/386 R3.0 (option)

System Expansion

Hard disk

Toshiba T3200SX comes with either a 40 MB hard drive, or an 80 MB hard drive. The system has a standard IDE interface to connect to the supplied Conner CP hard disk. Most Toshiba T3200SX(C) computers certain newer BIOS versions are locked to specific hard disk part numbers, so you cannot upgrade it easily. If you try using a different hard disk, the computer will refuse to detect and use the hard disk, unless it has a certain part number starting with the letters “CP” which stands for Conner Peripherals. Older BIOSes will allow you to use any hard drive, but will still use the disk settings for the hard drives that were originally supplied with the system. In this case, you can override the settings programmatically, with Anydrive, found under Files and Resources.

These are the drive configurations supported by all BIOSes:

Model Native C/H/S1) Translated C/H/S2) Capacity Seek time
C H S C H S Unformatted Formatted
Conner CP-30003) 1045 2 40 980 5 17 40 MB 42 MB 28 ms
Conner CP-3000 :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: 80 MB :?: Unknown
Conner CP-30444) 1047 2 40 980 5 17 40 MB 42.8 MB 25 ms

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If you're lucky, your computer has the older BIOS, and will ignore the part number and will let you boot from any IDE drive as long as you manually override the BIOS settings in software using ANYDRIVE or any other BIOS overlay software, like OnTrack. However, if you have a newer BIOS, the computer will not detect the drive unless it's made by Conner (it's IDE identifier string must start with the letters “CP”).

If you're technically skilled, HighTreason has made a tutorial how to flash the BIOS onto an EEPROM. Flashing a compatible BIOS will allow you to boot with any hard disk. Please see Files and Resources for more information.

RAM memory upgrade

The computer uses 30 pin SIMMs to add more system memory, but it's not completely standard. The computer was shipped with 1 Mb (megabit) or 2Mb memory chips that were 80ns (or faster) with parity. There are six slots in total and the banks are used in pairs, so at least two are needed.6)

ISA Expansion Slots

If you remove the rear panel, you will be able to access the ISA expansion slots. The computer has one 16-bit full-length ISA slot and one 8-bit half-length ISA slot. The system also has a proprietary 16-bit Toshiba expansion slot. I have my computer set up with an 16-bit Sound Blaster 16 and an 8-bit 3Com Etherlink III (3C509) for networking. However, at least this site 7) points out, that some later 3Com Etherlink III cards do not support 8-bit ISA.

Math coprocessor (FPU)

The computer can be upgraded with an math coprocessor (FPU). The FPU doesn't come as standard, but the computer has a provision for an added Intel 387 FPU.

Questions and Answers

Q: What is the PRN-A-B Switch on the side?
A: Toshiba offered an external 360Kb disk drive as an option. This plugs in to the parallel port connector but is not a parallel device. Setting the switch to PRN enables the printer port, setting it to A tells the machine there is an external disk drive and you want it to be A drive. Setting it to B tells the machine there is an external disk drive and you want it to be B drive. Setting it to A would allow you to boot 360Kb boot disks.

Unless you have the Toshiba external floppy – always set this to PRN. 8)

Q: My computer gives me a configuration error when I turn it on
A: If the CMOS battery is empty, you will be prompted with the following error when you power on the machine.

Invalid configuration information - please run SETUP program
 Strike the F1 key to continue. F2 to run the setup utility

Please refer to instructions here:
How do I boot my T3200SX with an empty CMOS battery

Q: How can I access the built-in BIOS ?
A: Press CTRL + SHIFT + F10 when the computer powers on. If this does not work, you may use the TEST3.EXE utility, a little program by Toshiba which will open up the BIOS settings from a DOS environment. You might want to include this utility in your computer recovery disk. See below for files that apply to this type of machine, or view all files at the files and resources section.

Q: I am still unable to access the BIOS.
A: When the computer BIOS battery runs empty, it will clear all BIOS settings and will prompt you to review the system settings on power-up. This may be used to your advantage to get into BIOS. To force this behavior, disconnect the clock battery entirely. Wait for a few minutes and power up the computer again. The computer will ask the user to review the default settings. Please refer to How do I boot my T3200SX with an empty CMOS battery

Q: My computer does not hold settings or time
A: You probably have an empty BIOS battery. The battery holds volatile information in a CMOS chip like information about your BIOS settings and system time. When the battery runs out, the information will be lost. You can still use your computer by going into BIOS settings and accepting the defaults (see above).

Q: How do I replace the computer BIOS battery?
A: The BIOS battery is located on the system board. The correct voltage for the battery is 3.6V. You can replace it with either an original part, or alternatively, you can replace it with a 3.0V CR2032 coin cell battery. In this case you should buy a CR2032 holder, a CR2032 lithium battery and a diode. The diode is required to avoid charging the battery. Take the old battery connector and its wires, solder the coin cell holder to the wires and solder the diode in series as such:
[PC] - - - - [|<] - - - - [+ BATT -] - - - - [PC]

You may search for CR2032 battery holders including leads using this eBay affiliate link

Q: I can't get a larger/custom hard drive working on my T3200SX(C). My computer won't boot, or it will refuse to detect the drive.
A: Unfortunately newer Toshiba T3200SX BIOSes are restricted to specific CONNER hard-drives of either 40 or 80 megabytes (the T3200SXC accepts 40 or 120 MB). On bootup, the BIOS queries the IDE controller for hard-drives, and will prevent the system from booting when it detects a hard drive with a part number that doesn't start with the matching letters 'CP' (Conner Peripherals).

There are three options:

  1. Buy a working CONNER Hard-disk with the part number starting with 'CP', and use ANYDRIVE to circumvent the BIOS hardcoded drive size limitations.
  2. Get an older BIOS chip, or hunt down a spares -computer with an older BIOS version and replace the chip.
  3. Re-flash your BIOS chip with the 3CH BIOS found in the files-section, and again use ANYDRIVE to circumvent any size limitations. There is a well written BIOS re-flashing guide in the files page in the section labeled Documentation.

On older Toshiba T3200SX machines (BIOS 003C) the computer will boot with any peripheral IDE drive, but you may still need to use ANYDRIVE to circumvent the BIOS hard-disk size limitations, because older BIOSes assume the hard disk is 40 MB. It may boot, but using the computer could cause hard drive corruption. With ANYDRIVE enabled, the program will manually reprogram the BIOS to use whatever size hard disk you want and utilize up to 512 megabytes on the hard drive. The program installs inside the Master Boot Record (MBR), so that it will run every time the computer starts.



File Size Description
Toshiba T3200SX - Flyer.pdf 8.0 MB Toshiba T3200SX flyer with system specifications.
Toshiba T3200SX - Maintenance Manual.pdf 3.7 MB Toshiba T3200SX maintenance/service manual.
Toshiba - Accessory part list.pdf 26 KB Toshiba Accessory part list

Community Guides

File Size Description
Dumping and Copying Toshiba BIOS ROM 1.9 MB How to dump and copy your BIOS from a T3200SX
This guide will walk you through the steps needed to dump and/or copy a BIOS ROM chip. This manual is especially helpful if you have a BIOS that doesn't accept custom hard drives, and you want to replace it with a version that does work with custom hard disks. Using the steps in this manual you can replace your BIOS with a BIOS version that allows you to use any hard drive in conjunction with the BIOS version found on this site (see download for An excellent guide written by High Treason.

Note: This guide may apply to other models as well. Use guide at your discretion. You will need a TL866 EEPROM programmer. Highly recommended that you buy a second HN27C1024HG-85 ROM chip and keep your original unmodified and in a safe place.

Operating System

File Size Description 524 KB Toshiba MS-DOS 3.30/R3C60SC bootable disk image


File Size Description 278 KB Toshiba Diagnostics and Supplemental Diskette (R3CE0) for MS-DOS 3.30 278 KB Toshiba Diagnostics and Supplemental Diskette for MS-DOS 5.0 21.1 KB TEST3.EXE - Setup program for T3100, T3200, T5100 and T5200 series 5.3 KB XCHAD.COM - Set Screen Attributes for T3200, T5100 series
HDDID.EXE 1.6 KB Identifies parameters of your IDE HDD
REBOOT.ZIP 243 B Performs cold boot with CTRL+ALT+DEL.
ANYDRIVE.ZIP 13 KB This program will install inside the primary hard-drive's master boot record (MBR) and while booting, modifies BIOS parameters to accept custom hard-drives (assuming your BIOS version will allow this, see FAQ).
To install, make a bootable floppy and copy AnyDrive to it. Boot off the floppy, install AnyDrive on your HDD, then boot from the HDD per usual. The Anydrive documentation describes how to have Anydrive modify BIOS hard-drive settings and still boot from a floppy disk. Assuming you have a custom hard-drive that is larger than 512MB, you can install AnyDrive by running the command “ANYDRIVE 0 2048 16 63”. This will allow you to utilize the first 512 megabytes on the hard-disk. Once installed, just restart the computer. Please note that viruses may overwrite Anydrive from the MBR, so keep your favorite DOS virus scanner and Anydrive handy on a bootable read-only floppy. The reason you can only utilize 512 MB is because of the limitations in the BIOS addressing scheme. For more information, see the included text file.
View more files on this support site

ROM dumps

File Size System Description 36 KB T3200SX 003I BIOS ROM. The newest (known) BIOS version for the T3200SX. This BIOS version will refuse to boot when it detects a non-oem and/or incompatible hard disk. Has a faster VGA BIOS than 003C. Courtesy of High Treason. Confirmed working. 401 KB T3200SX 003E BIOS ROM. Curiously this BIOS has the text “T3200SX V3.10 TOSHIBA [..] Copyright (C) 1985-1989 Phoenix Technologies Ltd.[..] FOR EVALUATION ONLY”. Courtesy of RemyV. 47 KB T3200SX 003C/003I HYBRID BIOS ROM. This ROM copy has the 3C BIOS so you can use any hard drive, but also includes the faster 3I VGA BIOS. This reverse-engineered BIOS dump will detect an incompatible hard disk. You will also need Anydrive to set the HDD parameters (see ANYDRIVE.ZIP). Courtesy of High Treason. Confirmed working.

Front with original manuals and driver diskettes.

Left hand side

A look at the System/BIOS setup.

003C BIOS ROM chip in socket (detail).

003C BIOS ROM chip (detail).

Rear. I/O ports from left to right: COM1, COM2, LPT1, VGA, ISA.

Right hand side

Dead CMOS battery error on power on.

003C BIOS ROM chip in socket.

T3100 | T3100e | T3100SX | T3200 | T3200SX | T3200SXC

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Cylinders/Heads/Sectors per track
Cylinders/Heads/Sectors as reported by BIOS
More information on Conner CP-3000 here
More information on Conner CP-3044 here
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toshiba_t-series_support/toshiba_t3200sx.txt · Last modified: 2018-12-13 20:38 by omolini