Laptop "Good news" story

Discussion in 'Portable & Small Form Factor' started by Kommandant33, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. Kommandant33

    Kommandant33 Member

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    About a year an a half ago I bought an ex-demo Toshiba Satellite A660 - the model with a 120Hz Nvida 3D display.

    I was kind of happy with the performance, but of course it was nothing compared to the desktop PC's that I have built over the year, and I also have always referenced them as "Craptops", assuming they would always be underpowered paper weights.

    The main use of the machine was to plug into the TV as a media player, that was until we got a new TV with a USB input that could play most media files.
    The "Craptop" was banished to the computer graveyard (cupboard)

    Recently I pulled the laptop out to load the consumer preview of windows 8.
    I found a couple of cheap after market batteries on ebay (the original one lasted about 15 minutes)
    After getting fed up with Windows 8 (it just seems that they are good innovators, but they suck at following trends) I decided to try my hand at fitting an SSD and more RAM into it. So off to PCCASEGEAR, picked up a 120gb OCZ Agility 3 and 2X4g Corsair 1333 DDR3 sticks of RAM. First off I powered down, battery out, fitted the new RAM, power in, boot up, gets to Windows splash screen and crash. DAMN! Power chord out, flip over, RAM cover open, and I hadn't put one of the sticks in all the way :o DOH!, so put it in properly, cover on, flip over, boot up... GREAT SUCCESS!
    Of course I was rushing it all, because my better half was in for a doctors for a check up, and I didn't want her to know about my purchase :leet:
    So, next step, old hard drive out, new SSD in, flip over, and copy of Win 7 x64 in the DVD drive, load up - time to select drive, format the SSD and then Windows tells me I can't use the drive because of a format issue. So a multitude of f@#ing around, trawling forums, and then miraculously it decides the format is good to go. Go figure.
    Standard procedure - load windows, get just the bare essential Toshiba drivers/programs installed...
    And now from pressing the power button to being in windows, there is a minuscule wait of 23 seconds - shaving off about half of the boot time!

    So short story long, I now have a super fast paper weight!
     
  2. glenpinn

    glenpinn Member

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    dammit, i thought you were going to tell us that after all that effort, you ended up dropping the laptop from a great height and saw it smash into small pieces all over the ground :)

    are you now going to use it, or has your curiosity been killed again and your going to toss it back in the cupboard.

    as you can see, i dont have many laptops, so another one might come in handy :)
     
  3. andyroo54

    andyroo54 Member

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    It's not surprising that an "old" laptop will run like new with an SSD. When you look at the specs of an "old" laptop, let's say a 3 yr old laptop, they have processors that are still very similar to todays low end specs. Of course RAM will make a difference with win 7, you really want 2gb min, but it will run on 512.

    As you found the SSD makes all the difference in the world. I stuck one in an old Dell latitude, that was in good nick because the person using it at work basically used it as a desktop on a dock. We now use it as our IT spare laptop, it's super fast, still good battery life, great screen (better than my newer latitude) and plus it's got serial.

    If I were you I would put win 8 back on your laptop. Sounds like you didn't give it enough time, believe me most people's reactions are like yours (including mine), but I stuck with it and after a day or so was sold. You think 25 second boot is fast? Try 10. That's what I get with any machine I've tried it on. SSD or not. Win 8 is amazing, big leap forward, and hopefully that start menu is optional, but that still won't stop me when it's released.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Kommandant33

    Kommandant33 Member

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    I have been using the laptop now! It is a bit more social surfing the net/forums in the lounge room with the better half!

    One issue I do have with the system is that when waking from hibernation I will be able to get 30ish seconds of use and then it will just turn off.. I don't know whats going on there.

    Glenpinn - It looks like you are the laptop KING! I am normally just a PC man, I love building them up, changing things out - and I am a bit scarred of Laptops. Mind you, after my few "Mods" I felt like and engineer :D
    I don't know if you are interested - I have put up the old ram in the buy/swap area of the forums.

    Andyroo - I am pretty happy with a 23 second boot, mind you I have low standards :lol: Also without all the Toshiba crap that comes loaded on their PCs.
    I know my post was pretty DUH - but I just felt like putting it out there :cool:
    I might have to give Win8 another go - but I didn't really see any benefits over windows 7 - and when it comes to mobile devices, I use IOS (iPad2 $ iPhone4) so I am not used to windows devices... if you know what I mean... it's been a long day...
     
  5. th3_hawk

    th3_hawk Member

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    I had upgraded my old MacBook Pro with an SSD and there was a know issue of it not coming out of sleep mode properly, it sounds like it was doing much the same as yours currently is. In the case of Apple it was if the machine went to sleep by itself it failed, but if you forced a sleep it worked fine. Strange but true.

    Also you might want to disable the spin down of the HDD's since it doesn't need it anymore and has been known to cause issues.
     
  6. bennyg

    bennyg Member

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    same sleep problems with a Corsair Force. Really fast drive got cheap and great for the HTPC it's in, but it's ability to resume from Sleep modes is stuffed on a firmware level and corsair are wholly uninterested in fixing it (admins on their forums insist on telling every individual user that their problem doesn't matter because only a tiny number have it), doubt I'll ever buy a corsair ssd if that's their attitude.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Kommandant33

    Kommandant33 Member

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    Too right. I am about to offload 3 SSD's and go for something a bit more expensive and reliable methinks!
     
  8. FuzzyKaos

    FuzzyKaos Member

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    First rule of buying laptops NEVER buy a Toshiba Satellite, any other series is fine.

    You can bunch e-machines, compaq and probably a few more into that pile.

    Do a bios upgrade too, see if that smooths things out.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  9. glenpinn

    glenpinn Member

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    satellites are no worse than most other laptops, and, it all depends on the particular satellite model you buy m8, not all of them are bad.

    i have 2x A350 and 1x M300 (all satellites) and they are awesome laptops (the glossy black ones with silver pinstripes thru the top cover and on the console area)

    but, they are 3 year old generation, not from the current bunch of models.

    the current satellites still shit on the low end HP (compaq) Acer, eMachine and even some of the shitty asus laptops they are producing now.
     
  10. FuzzyKaos

    FuzzyKaos Member

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    LOL you have not swayed me from my decision, they are a cheap build.

    I repair computers for a living, I have had to fix more Satellites than any other computer, their driver support is strange yet different, if you want to reinstall vanilla windows that is and not using their recovery program you have to install the drivers in some sort of bizarre order just so everything works. Plus their website is a nightmare for drivers, especially new models, they don't seem to appear on the website for quite some time.

    They are large, thick and flex easily. A way I test a strong chassis on a laptop is to hold it by a corner and see if it bends much. When a laptop is flexible the parts tend to break inside quicker.

    The keys tend to be the flat glossy kind that children love to peel off, glossy also means they are a fingerprint trap.

    While you might be getting a good deal on the components inside the laptop, the screen tends to be where they try to save a bit of money.

    Being their base series, and to make it cheaper, they also bundle a lot more crap onto them than they do with some of their other series.

    True that they shit over other brands budget line, but they are not for me :)
     
  11. glenpinn

    glenpinn Member

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    m8, its not my intention to sway you about your opinion, i just look at things with a bit more perspective, and a very open mind about laptops, which is why i reckon most of the sub $900 laptops are all pretty much budget builds m8, and most are just as bad as each other.

    its the same when i openly say that in my experience, Dell makes the best laptops out of all of the major brand names, but others will disagree for various reasons.

    just as other members in this forum say they repair laptops, some claiming that Dell is the most repaired brand, others say HP (which i think are the worst) others say Asus, others say other brands are etc etc etc

    all i can say is that i have never had any issues with any satellite laptop, new or older ones, and i dont accept that satellites are any worse than any other brand, nor are their drivers, nor is the toshiba website any worse than any of the others (have you tried asus or HP, they suck big time)

    i also have to disagree with you about doing a custom install on a newer satellite laptop and having to install drivers in some particular order, thats just not correct, and many manufacturers have been stating in their driver support pages for years that you must install drivers in some strange order or the laptop wont function, and its rubbish, and i say that from vast experience myself.

    also, in many cases, win 7 will install most drivers during setup, and those not installed during setup, get installed during the first round of updates, and i can tell you that windows update doesnt install drivers in some particular order, they just get install and thats it.

    if windows does not install a driver straight up, or during an update session, you grab it from the driver disc if one was provided, or grab it from the toshiba website.

    as time goes by, windows will gradually update any drivers made available by toshiba, or you can run the toshiba update utility, which keeps the laptop up to date all the time.

    i agree that toshiba installs a lot of crap on their laptops, i know because i specialized in toshiba, but let me tell you that it doesnt get close to Asus for crapware.

    also, if you do a custom install of win 7 on any newer model laptop, you have a better chance of more drivers being installed if you use an install disc containing sp1, which is what i use, then i just activate it with the key on the COA sticker under the laptop.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
  12. FuzzyKaos

    FuzzyKaos Member

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    OK smarty pants :p

    Brand new toshiba pro.

    Where are the bluetooth drivers listed on this webpage for this particular laptop.

    Windows suggested the driver for me, so I downloaded it, this is the result for the past hour.

    [​IMG]

    Happens every time, oh but wait, I have to install configfree too.
     
  13. Phosphor94

    Phosphor94 Member

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    Is it a WiFi+BT card? There is a specific order you need to istall the WiFi and BT drivers in and you need to install some 'filter' driver between the two installations...
     
  14. dr_deathy

    dr_deathy Member

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    I run a computer repair shop and toshiba have no real issues, not like HP and acer.

    I see a lot of toshiba as they have a big market share here, most are for HDD replacements which isnt brand dependent issue.

    I havnt had any back, however i ONLY sell computers with SSDs now, desktop and laptop, premium store tho.
     
  15. FuzzyKaos

    FuzzyKaos Member

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    THANK YOU!!!


    Some validation finally.
     
  16. glenpinn

    glenpinn Member

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    jesus, what a joke, remind me never to bring any of my laptops or computers to you for a repair, sounds to me like you dont have much of an idea what your saying, let alone what your doing ???

    you have a problem with a BT driver, and you couldnt work it out until someone posted a solution to it, and you say you repair computers, well i hope your better at repairing computers than you are at installing windows and installing drivers on laptops, because it is very clear you dont know much about that at all.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2012
  17. FuzzyKaos

    FuzzyKaos Member

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    lol fine, everything you have said is wrong so far, let me point it out for you.

    The website does not have good driver support (as pointed out by the url ie no bluetooth drivers) But wait, the bluetooth drivers are part of the config free, that has no mention of bluetooth, how is the average joe supposed to know that.

    And suddenly now you accept that you have to install in a certain way.

    Funny that.

    When you work fixing computers for a living, sometimes you get thrown a curve ball and you do need to look on the net to see how to solve it, this issue with Toshibas was one of those for me, I now know how to install the drivers properly. Ill know this for the next time it happens too.

    The second laptop I am currently working on at the moment, is another Toshiba Satellite, this one the hard drive had failed, seagate this time.

    Once upon a time, I didn't know what hard drive sounds meant, I had to go onto the web to find out, shame on me for learning.

    I still believe that Toshiba Satellites are a cheap build. I still suggest other brands.

    Don't come crying to me when you cant install windows on your brand new toshiba satelite that you bought just cos you have had no issue with the 2 previously owned.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2012
  18. power

    power Member

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    I would concur with this, Toshiba are totaly over rated and their support is average at best.
     
  19. glenpinn

    glenpinn Member

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    no im not wrong in everything i have said, but i disagree with most of what you have been saying, based on my vast experience dealing with all brands of laptops, not just my dealings with toshiba.

    also, i do not agree that their driver support is crap, it may not be perfect, but they are certainly no different to any other manufacturer, and most of them fail in one way or another in their support sites.

    also, i do not accept that their drivers must be installed in some particular order, i already mentioned that, on any machine where win 7 doesnt install drivers, i do the chipset, graphics, audio, lan, wifi in that order, but it is not critical, however some chipset drivers actually contain graphics and possibly audio and Lan, so i do the chipset drivers first in every single case, regardless, followed by the other 3 or 4 main drivers.

    the satellite you mentioned in your post is obviously a newer model, with blueray, and as Phosphor94 told you, if the card in that laptop was a single Wifi+BT card, then you may need to install both those drivers in a given order, but if they are separate cards, then there is no defined order of installation, and i can tell you that because most of the toshiba laptops i owned that had bluetooth, it was a dedicated BT card, same with the wireless card, and it didnt matter which was installed first.

    also, i dont know how you deal with toshiba m8, but in every single case where i needed to know something about a given laptop model, i always got given the correct tech support for my problem from them, and i will never come into this forum asking questions about laptop support because i know im going to be bombarded with stupid replies from members who have no idea what they are talking about.

    if your not sure about something, go to the very people who do know, and that is the manufacturers tech support and ask to talk to a senior technical officer not some random person sitting at their desk reading from notes.

    why would i come crying to you, i have vast experience in doing factory resets and custom installs on old, and brand new laptops (all brands) and i have done hundreds of them, and thats why i know there is no set order to install laptop drivers in on custom installs, especially with windows 7, except in this case where you have a single card for both wifi and BT where you may have to install those 2 drivers in some particular order, but the other drivers, its not important.

    also, i currently own 3 toshiba laptops (in my sig) and i recently sold my big qosmio x500, and i just bought another T130 the other day, which should arrive very soon, and over the past 3 years, i have owned at least 12 toshiba laptops, so i do know toshiba laptops pretty well.

    EDIT: i should point out that most laptop makers dont like anyone doing custom installations on their laptops, they prefer that the factory setup be retained, which may be one reason their support sites may be somewhat lacking, however, if you are doing a custom install, then where possible, can i strongly suggest that if you have the driver/utility disc for that laptop, that you actually use that to do an automated driver install from, this way you get them done right, and you get all the drivers required for that laptop, if you choose not to install the factory utilities, thats up to you, however some of those utilities are actually very helpful in maintaining the laptop properly, especially the update utility, which will update any of the drivers when they become available.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2012
  20. FuzzyKaos

    FuzzyKaos Member

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    So we are all stupid now.

    For arguments sake, I am going to ring up Toshiba now and ask to speak to a senior technical officer, using your words, I will play dumb, saying I just reinstalled windows and I cant get the bluetooth driver working and Ill report back with how easy or hard it was.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2012

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