Recently, I got a 380E from ebay. Seller says that it has boot error and not working, but the error was typical 161/163. I've replaced nee BIOS battery, and error was gone.

After that, I formatted HDD, and then realised that there was no way to install Windows because 380E doesn't have CD-ROM.

So, I disassembled laptop, take out HDD, copy Windows 95 install files, and reassemble everything.

Problem starts right after that. When it booted up with clean Windows, I used floppy disk to install PCMCIA driver. In the middle of installation, my 380E just shuts off! I was little frustrated, and trying to power back on, but it didn't.

I was running laptop with AC charger(not a original one, but has same rating and plug). So I popped in battery, and it still doesn't want to turn on. Even worse, when I tried to power up, floppy drive makes loud seeking noise during power switch is pushed. After some plug in/out AC adapter and battery, finally it booted, and finished installing PCMCIA and LAN card.

But it still keeps shutting down randomly. Sometimes, it lasts about half an hour. Another times, it just refuses to powering on. After some fiddling with AC adapter and battery, it finally comes up, and still suffering random power off(min 30sec, max about 30 minutes).

Does anybody experienced such symptoms with old IBM Thinkpad? What can be gone wrong?

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    Comment not answer as tbh partly helpful info not answer. Does this model have a cpu fan, I suspect given you say W95 it may be passive cool, if heatsink is removeable easily maybe worth fresh thermal paste. Possible power issue dry joint around main board battery connection but I do not recall much opportunity for "flexing" on old ThinkPads, last time I had one "in hand" was a good 15 years or so ago, a mid P2 running W2K. Sure it's not heat related ? Final point: Duff ancient batteries could send all manner of condition signal to the mainboard too which could have some unpredictable effects. – AndyF Feb 15 '20 at 17:52

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