Ultrabay

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UltraBay drives

IBM/Lenovo Ultrabay

Ultrabay was IBM's, now Lenovo's name for the swappable drive slot. With IBM's definition:
"The ThinkPad UltraBay1, also standard with the system, is an intelligent bay that switches its pinout signals to allow the installation of standard and optional features in what would normally be just the FDD bay."
Introduced back in the times of the ThinkPad 750, this technology has gone through several redesigns with almost every new generation of ThinkPad 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 drives are available for them.

Over the course of time, a number of different form factors have been used for the Ultrabay. These are usually not cross-compatible, but see below for more details. Current ThinkPads use either the Serial Ultrabay Slim (accommodates drives up to 9.5 mm high) or the Serial Ultrabay Enhanced (accommodates drives up to 12.7 mm high). See Ultrabay Devices for a list of all Ultrabay devices.

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 ThinkPad (e.g. the T30 supports hot, warm, and cold swapping, but the R32 only supports 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.

Compatibility

Overview over Ultrabay types and available devices
Ultrabay 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 Harddisk Drive Adapter Battery, 2.88 MB diskette, PCMCIA Cartridge, IBM Wireless Modem ARDIS, IBM Wireless Modem
Icon20 ultrabay.png UltraBay Thick 755CD, 755CDV, 760CD, 760E, 760ED, 760EL, 760ELD, 760LD, 760XD, 760XL, 765D, 765L, SelectaDock I, SelectaDock II Floppy Drive CD-ROM Drive Harddisk Drive Adapter Battery, 2.88 MB diskette, PCMCIA Cartridge, IBM Wireless Modem ARDIS, IBM Wireless Modem
Icon20 ultrabayii.png UltraBay II 770, 770E, 770ED, 770X, 770Z, SelectaDock III Floppy Drive 100MB Zip Drive 250MB Zip Drive CD-ROM Drive DVD-ROM Drive Harddisk Drive Adapter Battery
Icon20 ultrabayfx.png UltraBay FX 390, 390E, 390X, i Series 1720, i Series 1721 Floppy Drive CD-ROM Drive DVD-ROM Drive Harddisk Drive Adapter Battery
Icon20 ultraslimbay.png UltraslimBay 600, 600D, 600E, 600X, UltraBase, Portable Drive Bay Floppy Drive SuperDisk LS-120 Drive 100MB Zip Drive CD-ROM Drive DVD-ROM Drive Harddisk Drive Adapter Battery
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 SuperDisk LS-120 Drive SuperDisk LS-240 Drive 100MB Zip Drive 250MB Zip Drive CD-ROM Drive DVD-ROM Drive CD-RW Drive CD-RW/DVD-ROM Combo Drive DVD Multi-Burner Drive Harddisk Drive Adapter Battery
Icon20 ultrabayplus.png Ultrabay Plus A30, A30p, A31, A31p, R30, R31, R32, R40, T23, T30, X3 UltraBase Floppy Drive SuperDisk LS-120 Drive SuperDisk LS-240 Drive 100MB Zip Drive 250MB Zip Drive CD-ROM Drive DVD-ROM Drive CD-RW Drive CD-RW/DVD-ROM Combo Drive DVD Multi-Burner Drive Harddisk Drive Adapter Battery, WorkPad Cradle, Numpad
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 DVD-ROM Drive CD-RW/DVD-ROM Combo Drive DVD Multi-Burner Drive Harddisk Drive Adapter Battery, Serial/Parallel Port Adapter (T60/T60p)
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 DVD-ROM Drive CD-RW/DVD-ROM Combo Drive DVD Multi-Burner Drive Harddisk Drive Adapter Battery
Icon20 s ultrabayslim.png Serial Ultrabay Slim T400, T400s, T410, T410i, T410s, T410si, T420s, T420si, T430s, T430si, T500, W500, X200 UltraBase, UltraBase Series 3 DVD-ROM Drive CD-RW/DVD-ROM Combo Drive DVD Multi-Burner Drive Harddisk Drive Adapter (Ultrabay Slim battery, see Characteristics), Blu-ray drive
Icon20 s ultrabayenh.png Serial Ultrabay Enhanced Template:P70, Template:P71, W510, W520, W530, W540, Template:W541, W700, W700ds, W701, W701ds, T420, T420i, T430, T430i, T440p, T510, T510i, T520, T520i, T530, T530i, T540p, R400, R500 DVD-ROM Drive CD-RW/DVD-ROM Combo Drive DVD Multi-Burner Drive Harddisk Drive Adapter (see Characteristics), Blu-ray drive


Compatibility Matrix (read columns as slots with rows as devices that are compatible)
Bay
Device
Icon20 ultrabay.png
UltraBay
 
Icon20 ultrabay.png
UltraBay
Thick
Icon20 ultrabayii.png
UltraBay
II
Icon20 ultrabayfx.png
UltraBay
FX
Icon20 ultraslimbay.png
UltraslimBay
 
Icon20 ultrabay2000.png
Ultrabay
2000
Icon20 ultrabayplus.png
Ultrabay
Plus
Icon20 ultrabayslim.png
Ultrabay
Slim
Icon20 ultrabayenh.png
Ultrabay
Enhanced
Icon20 s ultrabayslim.png
Serial
Ultrabay Slim
Icon20 s ultrabayenh.png
Serial Ultrabay
Enhanced
UltraBay yes yes Adapter - - - - - - - -
UltraBay Thick - yes Adapter - - - - - - - -
UltraBay II - - yes - - - - - - - -
UltraBay FX - - - yes - - - - - - -
UltraslimBay - - - - yes - - - - - -
Ultrabay 2000 - - - - - yes yes - - - -
Ultrabay Plus - - - - - - yes - - - -
Ultrabay Slim - - - - - Adapter Adapter yes yes - -
Ultrabay Enhanced - - - - - Adapter Adapter - yes - -
Serial Ultrabay Slim - - - - - - - - - yes yes
Serial Ultrabay Enhanced - - - - - - - - - - yes


Characteristics

  • UltraBay
    • no support for hot or warm swapping, only cold swapping
    • the drive bezel is a flat rectangle with no cut-outs; no bevels
    • this is the original UltraBay that started it all (15 mm height)
  • UltraBay Thick
    • no support for hot or warm swapping, only cold swapping
    • the drive bezel is a flat rectangle with a cut-out on the bottom right corner; no bevels
    • a thicker version of the original UltraBay, exclusively supports an optical drive (19 mm height)
  • UltraBay II
    • supports hot, warm, and cold swapping
    • the drive bezel is a flat rectangle with a cut-out on the bottom right corner; no bevels
    • an updated bay, has more device options (19 mm height)
  • UltraBay FX
    • no support for hot swapping, only warm and cold swapping
    • the drive bezel is a wedge with a cut-out on the top right corner; no bevels
    • an unusual bay with the the capability of accepting a FDD+ODD combo (19 mm height)
  • UltraslimBay
    • supports hot, warm, and cold swapping
    • the drive bezel is a flat rectangle with no cut-outs; has a beveled bottom
    • a slim bay (12.7 mm height)
  • Ultrabay 2000
    • supports hot, warm, and cold swapping
    • the drive bezel is a flat rectangle with a cut-out on the bottom right corner; has a beveled-to-flat bottom
    • a slim bay made mainstream for most models (12.7 mm height)
  • Ultrabay Plus
    • supports hot, warm, and cold swapping
    • the drive bezel is a flat rectangle with a cut-out on the bottom right corner; has a beveled-to-flat bottom
    • an Ultrabay 2000 with USB 1.1 capabilities, exclusively supports the Device Carrier which can either hold a Numeric Keypad or a Cradle for the WorkPad C500 (12.7 mm height)
  • Ultrabay Slim
    • supports hot, warm, and cold swapping
    • the drive bezel is a flat rectangle with a cut-out on the bottom right corner; has a beveled bottom for blue-button drives, no bevels for grey-button drives
    • has a proprietary 50-pin connector, also has a different battery connector which makes it unable to use any 'Advanced' Ultrabay batteries meant for the T6x/R6x/X6x/Z6x and the newer models (9.5 mm height)
  • Ultrabay Enhanced
    • supports hot, warm, and cold swapping
    • the drive bezel is a flat rectangle with a cut-out on the bottom right corner; has a beveled bottom for blue-button drives, no bevels for grey-button drives
    • a thicker version of the Ultrabay Slim (12.7 mm height)
  • Serial Ultrabay Slim
    • supports hot, warm, and cold swapping
    • the drive bezel is a flat rectangle with a cut-out on the bottom right corner; has a beveled bottom (some odd drive bezels from the same era may not have a beveled bottom)
    • an Ultrabay Slim that has a standard MicroSATA connector, has the capability to accept newer 'Advanced' Ultrabay batteries as the battery connector matches3 (9.5 mm height)
  • Serial Ultrabay Enhanced
    • supports hot, warm, and cold swapping
    • the drive bezel is a flat rectangle with a cut-out on the bottom right corner; has a beveled bottom (some odd drive bezels from the same era don't, they're just wedges with no bevels)
    • a thicker version of the Serial Ultrabay Slim, it's supposed to accept Serial Ultrabay Slim batteries without an issue, but has problems with it fitting and may disconnect upon movement3 (12.7 mm height)

See also

Linux support

The pinout switching is done by the BIOS and hardware, 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.

External sources


FOOTNOTES [Δ]
  1. IBM originally used the spelling "UltraBay" with a capital letter 'B' but later switched to "Ultrabay" with a lower-case 'b'.
  2. According to IBM, warm swapping is basically hot swapping but instead, it has to be done in Suspend mode under Windows 95 or 98.
  3. Most or some models that are able to use slice batteries, may have problems that causes it to not fully slide in, see this discussion here for more information.