Ultrabay

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UltraBay drives

Ultrabay

Ultrabay was IBM's, now Lenovo's name for the swappable bay. With IBM's definition2:
"The ThinkPad UltraBay1, also standard with the system, is an intelligent bay that switches its pin-out signals to allow the installation of standard and optional features in what would normally be just the floppy disk drive bay."
First introduced in the 355 and the 750, this technology has gone through several redesigns with almost every new generation of models, possibly leading to some confusion that is hopefully cleared up here. The following table gives an overview of the different Ultrabay types, in which models they came from and what devices are available for them.

FOOTNOTES [Δ]
  1. IBM originally used the formatting 'UltraBay' with a capital letter 'B' but later switched to 'Ultrabay' with a lower-case 'b'. The reason behind this change is unknown.
  2. This definition is no longer valid as of the Ultrabay Slim and newer Ultrabay types, as it is nothing more than a IDE/SATA connector.

Overview

Over the course of time, a number of different form factors have been used for the Ultrabay. They are generally not cross-compatible, but there are some exceptions to that (see below for more details). Current ThinkPads no longer use the Ultrabay, due to severe space constraints. Only a few models do feature the Ultrabay nowadays, but they are unfortunately crippled in such a way that they no longer support Ultrabay batteries and hot-swapping.

Keep in mind that not all Ultrabays are made equal, as some lack an eject mechanism or pins that are needed to charge and discharge an Ultrabay battery. Some Ultrabays might also not support hot and/or warm swapping, even if they are capable of doing so in a different model (e.g. a high-end model supports hot, warm, and cold swapping, but the other lower-end model supports only cold swapping despite having the same Ultrabay type). These crippled Ultrabay variants are generally found on the low-end models, although they can also be rarely found on high-end models.

Linux support

The pinout switching is performed by the BIOS and embedded controller, so that it is completely transparent to the operating system.

  • Floppy drives are supported by the standard floppy driver.
  • ZIP drive support is possible through the ide-disk driver.
  • IDE hard disks and optical drives are supported by the ata_piix or older ide-disk driver in the linux kernel.
  • Batteries are automatically handled by the hardware, but can be controlled further by using tp_smapi.
  • Ultrabay Plus devices should be handled by the USB subsystem, but if the actual devices are is not known.

Compatibility

type featured in available devices
Icon20 ultrabay.png UltraBay 355, 355C, 355Cs, 360, 360C, 360Cs, 360P, 360CE, 360CSE, 360PE, 370C, 750, 750C, 750Cs, 750P, 755C, 755CE, 755Cs, 755CSE, 755CV, 755CX, 760C, 760L, 760E Floppy Drive Floppy Drive Adapter Adapter Battery Adapter Adapter Adapter
Icon20 ultrabaythick.png UltraBay Thick 755CD, 755CDV, 760CD, 760E, 760ED, 760EL, 760ELD, 760LD, 760XD, 760XL, 765D, 765L, SelectaDock I, SelectaDock II Optical Drive
Icon20 ultrabayii.png UltraBay II 770, 770E, 770ED, 770X, 770Z, SelectaDock III Floppy Drive Optical Drive Optical Drive Adapter
Icon20 ultrabayfx.png UltraBay FX 390, 390E, 390X, i Series 1720, i Series 1721 Floppy Drive+Optical Drive Floppy Drive+Optical Drive Adapter Battery
Icon20 ultraslimbay.png UltraslimBay 600, 600E, 600X, UltraBase, Portable Drive Bay Floppy Drive Floptical Drive Floptical Drive Optical Drive Optical Drive Adapter Battery Travel Bezel
Icon20 ultrabay2000.png Ultrabay 2000 A20m, A20p, A21e, A21m, A21p, A22e, A22m, A22p, A30, A30p, A31, A31p, T20, T21, T22, Dock, Dock II, X2 UltraBase, Portable Drive Bay 2000 Floppy Drive Floptical Drive Floptical Drive Floptical Drive Optical Drive Optical Drive Optical Drive Optical Drive Optical Drive Adapter Battery Travel Bezel
Icon20 ultrabayplus.png Ultrabay Plus A30, A30p, A31, A31p, R30, R31, R32, R40, T23, T30, X3 UltraBase Adapter Adapter Adapter
Icon20 ultrabayslim.png Ultrabay Slim T40, T40p, T41, T41p, T42, T42p, T43, T43p, T60, T60p, T61, T61p, Z60t, Z61t, X4 UltraBase, X4 Dock, X6 UltraBase, X6 Tablet UltraBase Optical Drive Optical Drive Optical Drive Adapter Battery Adapter Travel Bezel
Icon20 ultrabayenh.png Ultrabay Enhanced R50, R50e, R50p, R51, R51e, R52, R60, R60i, R60e, R61, R61i, R61e, G41, G50, Z60m, Z61e, Z61m, Z61p, Advanced Dock Optical Drive Optical Drive Optical Drive Optical Drive Travel Bezel
Icon20 ultrabaythin.png Ultrabay Thin X300, X301 Optical Drive Battery Travel Bezel
Icon20 s ultrabayslim.png Serial Ultrabay Slim Template:P70, Template:P71, W500, W540, W541, T400, T400s, T410, T410i, T410s, T410si, T420s, T420si, T430s, T430si, T440p, T500, T540p, L440, L540, Template:L560, Template:L570, X200 UltraBase, UltraBase Series 3 Optical Drive Optical Drive Optical Drive Adapter Battery Travel Bezel
Icon20 s ultrabayenh.png Serial Ultrabay Enhanced W510, W520, W530, W700, W700ds, W701, W701ds, T420, T420i, T430, T430i, T510, T510i, T520, T520i, T530, T530i, L410, L412, L420, L421, L430, L510, L512, L520, L530, R400, R500 Optical Drive Optical Drive Optical Drive Adapter Travel Bezel

Compatibility Table
type Icon20 ultrabay.png slot Icon20 ultrabaythick.png slot Icon20 ultrabayii.png slot Icon20 ultrabayfx.png slot Icon20 ultraslimbay.png slot Icon20 ultrabay2000.png slot Icon20 ultrabayplus.png slot Icon20 ultrabayslim.png slot Icon20 ultrabayenh.png slot Icon20 ultrabaythin.png slot Icon20 s ultrabayslim.png slot Icon20 s ultrabayenh.png slot
Icon20 ultrabay.png device yes yes Adapter no no no no no no no no no
Icon20 ultrabaythick.png device no yes Adapter no no no no no no no no no
Icon20 ultrabayii.png device no no yes no no no no no no no no no
Icon20 ultrabayfx.png device no no no yes no no no no no no no no
Icon20 ultraslimbay.png device no no no no yes no no no no no no no
Icon20 ultrabay2000.png device no no no no no yes yes no no no no no
Icon20 ultrabayplus.png device no no no no no no yes no no no no no
Icon20 ultrabayslim.png device no no no no no Adapter Adapter yes yes no no no
Icon20 ultrabayenh.png device no no no no no Adapter Adapter no yes no no no
Icon20 ultrabaythin.png device no no no no no no no no no yes no no
Icon20 s ultrabayslim.png device no no no no no no no no no no yes yes
Icon20 s ultrabayenh.png device no no no no no no no no no no no yes

Characteristics Table
type cold-swapping warm-swapping hot-swapping bay bezel shape bay connector bay height
Icon20 ultrabay.png yes no no flat rectangle, no cut-outs or bevels unknown 15 mm
Icon20 ultrabaythick.png yes no no flat rectangle, cut-out on the bottom right corner; no bevels unknown 19 mm
Icon20 ultrabayii.png yes yes yes flat rectangle, cut-out on the bottom right corner; no bevels unknown 17 mm
Icon20 ultrabayfx.png yes yes no wedge, cut out on the top right corner; no bevels unknown 19 mm
Icon20 ultraslimbay.png yes yes yes flat rectangle, no cut-outs; has a beveled bottom unknown 12.7 mm
Icon20 ultrabay2000.png yes yes yes flat rectangle, cut-out on the bottom right corner; has a beveled-to-flat bottom proprietary 80-pin Molex 12.7 mm
Icon20 ultrabayplus.png yes yes yes flat rectangle, cut-out on the bottom right corner; has a beveled-to-flat bottom proprietary 80-pin Molex 12.7 mm
Icon20 ultrabayslim.png yes yes yes flat rectangle, cut-out on the bottom right corner; bevels varies on model proprietary JAE PM1F050N1AE 9.5 mm
Icon20 ultrabayenh.png yes yes yes flat rectangle, cut-out on the bottom right corner; bevels varies on model proprietary JAE PM1F050N1AE 12.7 mm
Icon20 ultrabaythin.png yes no no flat rectangle, no cut-outs; has a beveled bottom standard slimline IDE 7 mm
Icon20 s ultrabayslim.png yes yes yes flat rectangle, cut-out on the bottom right corner; bevels varies on model standard MicroSATA 9.5 mm
Icon20 s ultrabayenh.png yes yes yes flat rectangle, cut-out on the bottom right corner; bevels varies on model standard MicroSATA 12.7 mm

Notes

The Ultrabay 2000 was the first Ultrabay type to include crippled variants. Cold-swap-only (with no Ultrabay battery support) Ultrabay 2000 bays were notably installed in the A21e and the A22e, both models being MT 2655. This is not to be confused with the MT 2628 A21e, as it has a fully-featured Ultrabay 2000 bay. Eject mechanisms were still available on these crippled variants.

Cold-swap-only Ultrabay Plus bays were installed in the R30, R31, and the R32. The only redeeming fact about these crippled bays, is that the R32 had the ability to support Ultrabay batteries (as it has the pins needed to interface with one). All of them still featured eject mechanisms.

Cold-swap-only Ultrabay Enhanced bays (with no Ultrabay battery support) were installed in the R50e, R51e, R60e, R61i (some), R61e, G41, and the G50. With the exception of the R50e and the R51e, all of Ultrabay Enhanced implementations in the other models had no eject mechanisms.

Cold-swap-only Serial Ultrabay Slim bays (with no Ultrabay battery support) were installed in the P70, P71, W541, W540, T440p, T540p, L440, L540, L560, and the L570. All implementations of this specific Ultrabay type in said models did not have an eject mechanism.

Cold-swap-only Serial Ultrabay Enhanced bays (with no Ultrabay battery support) were installed in the L410, L412, L420, L421, L430, L510, L512, L520, and the L530. All implementations of this specific Ultrabay type in said models did not have an eject mechanism.

Fully featured Ultrabay types, but lacking Ultrabay battery support were installed in the W510, W520, W530, W700, W700ds, W701, W701ds, T410, T410i, T420, T420i, T430, T430i, T510, T510i, T520, T520i, T530, and the T530i. Some of these models could still utilize a second battery via the docking connector, but not all of them could or even had the functionality to do that.

See also