toshiba teardown

December 31st, 2005 Leave a comment Go to comments

Click any image to see the full-sized version. Most images have neato text on them to explain things - to see this you gotta zoom in, so click the pictures!

So, I had a problem with my Satellite 4100XDVD: sometimes when I plugged the power-cord in from the adapter, it would charge for a little while, and then just stop -- the cord would lose contact. I could wiggle it around some, and that would fix it. Over time, this got worse and worse, until no matter what I did, it wouldn't make contact anymore! This meant I couldn't use the laptop at all, because I had no way to recharge the battery. So, I decided to take apart my laptop to try and fix this.

First, I knew that there was no way I'd be able to take it apart, without having some documentation on how to do so. I found a guy on EBay who was selling the tear-down documents for pretty much all of the Toshiba laptops available. I thought... this could be a complete scam, but then again it was only 5GBP, roughly $12CAD. I bought it, and was happily surprised: they were the official tear-down (field-replacement) documents from Toshiba! Great pictures, and everything was cool. I've got the documents available for download, here:

I have no information whether these files are internal to toshiba only, and therefore illegal for me to host (if anyone knows this to be the case please contact me immediately so that I can delete the files! my email address can be found on the left navigation column). Since I bought these over Ebay, I presume they are ok to distribute. Download any of these at your own risk!

If you find these documents useful, please consider using PayPal (safe and secure) to donate some cash towards my next term's textbooks or whatever :) I didn't get these manuals free, I paid for them so you wouldn't have to :) Any size donation is really appreciated!

7/23/08: files now hosted on zendfile.com. PLEASE CHECK THE TABLE TO DETERMINE WHICH (IF ANY) OF THE FILES YOU NEED Download only what you need: if I don't have it, don't ask over email and don't download all of the files "just in case" !

A further note about these files: if a whole bunch of models are listed on one line (ie. Portege 3010CT/3020CT), they have a common manual. Sometimes the letters are omitted, ie. Satellite 4100 was the doc I used, although I had a Satellite 4100XDVD. Lastly, any Toshiba laptop manufactured in 2003 or newer will not be here, as these manuals are all from before then!

Models covered Link to download
Portege 2000
Portege 3010CT/3020CT
Portege 3110CT
Portege 3400 series
Portege 3480CT/3440CT
Portege 4000
Portege 7010CT
Portege 7020CT
Portege 7200
Portege series - 17MB
Satellite 2500CDS
Satellite 2510CDS
Satellite 2520 and 2540
Satellite 2590CDT
Satellite 220CDS
Satellite 480CDT/470CDT/460CDT/460CDX/440CDT/440CDX
Satellite 310/320/330
Satellite 1710CDS
Satellite 1730/1750
Satellite 1800
Satellite 1900
Satellite 2140CDS/2180CDT/2100CDS/2100CDT/2060CDS
Satellite 2230CDS/2250CDT
Satellite and Satellite Pro, 220CDS to 2590CDT inclusive - 25MB
Satellite 2610/2750DVD
Satellite 2800
Satellite 3000
Satellite 4000/4010/4020
Satellite 4030/4060/4070/4080/4090/4100
Satellite 4200/4300
Satellite 4600
Satellite 5000
Satellite 6000
Satellite and Satellite Pro, 2610 to 6000 inclusive - 24MB
TE 2000
Tecra 520/530/550
Tecra 750DVD
Tecra 780DVD
Tecra 8000
Tecra 8100
Tecra 8200
Tecra 9000
Tecra and TE series - 20MB



So with the trusty document beside me, my dad overseeing everything (having an excellent electronics hobby in his younger years), and the laptop quivering in terror, we began. I grabbed (on my dad's most excellent advice) a bunch of bowls to put the extracted bits in, multiple bowls because I changed to a different bowl each time "something significant happened" (ie. removed a major piece, got to a new step in the documentation).

The first thing to come off was the keyboard. On this laptop, you have to go from the top down, you can't start at the bottom. So, the keyboard is the first logical thing to come off...

After gently resting the keyboard on top of the mouse buttons, there was a really annoying plate thingy to remove. This is the thing that sits between the speakers, and has Toshiba sunken into the plastic. It was only clipped it, but it was very tight, and removing it came close to snapping the plastic. Thankfully, it didn't snap. Then, the keyboard/mouse wire-cables were removed (I kinda broke the plastic clip that holds them in, but it didn't seem to matter on assembly, phew), and the two multi-wire sockets were removed. These were finicky, take your time...

Oh yeah, before any of this, we removed the hard-drive so that it wouldn't be damaged from all the messing around :)

Next came removing the modem, which is shown in the picture, and the speaker wires (fiddly little sockets again, careful). The blue wire-thing that's in the same style as the keyboard/mouse wires is connected to the mouse button assembly.

To do this next part without having the PDF tear-down spec (see link above) would have been next to impossible. But, after some messing around, we managed to get the top part (screen) seperated from the bottom part (rest of computer). Note that when removing the top part, watch the volume control knob (right side of laptop) very carefully - it would be VERY easy to snap off and break the circuit board that has this on it. Follow directions carefully on this step!

Now we are down to the bit we want to get at, the power socket. Notice the huge crack! No wonder it wasn't making good contact! After further investigation, you can see that the metal bar near the back of the laptop is quite warped/bent -- I wonder if the guy who owned this laptop before my friend (who gave it me) didn't drop it or mash the thing with the socket plugged in. Anyways, i've provided a zoom-in off the crack.

We decided the best thing to do would be to solder wires onto the socket, drill a hole thru the side of the laptop's casing, and run wires outside of the laptop. The alternative to this is to try and fix the socket: you can't buy new ones from Toshiba, they only sell full mainboards, and even if you had a new one, you'd have to take the WHOLE systemboard out, which we didn't have to do thankfully - why make things harder than they need to be !?! In hindsight, we totally made the right choice - I much prefer having the socket that plugs into the wire (see later pictures) hang down away from the laptop, because if it's sitting on your lap or anything where it sinks down a bit, there is no pressure on the socket inside the laptop. Perfect. In this next picture you can see the hole we drilled in the side of the laptop. If you do something like this, pay careful attention that the whole you drill doesn't interfere with the bezel of the top part, or whatever (try fitting the "other" piece back together and see if your proposed hole is ok). We didn't run into any problems with RF.

Next we ran a standard wire through the hole, and put a knot in it, inside the laptop. This prevents cable-wiggling from damaging the solder joints. Here's a couple of angles of it...

Then we soldered the wires onto the socket. We goofed, and made silver positive (makes much more sense to have copper positive). Oh well. Remember, the middle of the socket is what's positive - you can see this from the front of the adapter box, it says right on it.

The next day, we soldered the ends onto the wires (yes, this involved chopping off the AC adapter's existing plug)

... and voila, it's finished! And it WORKS! You can tell it works from the lights that are on, which basically say "battery is charging, and not finished charging. Note how we used RCA plugs because at no point in the plugging-in process will anything short-circuit, plus you get a good solid fit without wear, and they are univseral.

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