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Toshiba Satellite L355-S7902 REbuild


stormhawk31

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Ok, so. Here's the deal: I have a Toshiba Satellite L355-S7902 laptop from circa 2008. I'm still using it as my main computer, although, as you can imagine, it's getting a bit long in the tooth. It came with Vista; I upgraded to 7 ASAP, losing the functionality of my webcam in the process (and I have never been able to get it back). I also upgraded the hard drive from 350 gigs to 750 gigs (which caused Windows 7 to claim that my copy of Win 7 Ultimate was not genuine, and took me 5 very frustrating sessions on the phone with Microsoft tech support to get fixed). Now I'm at the point where it's either buy a new laptop or totally rebuild the one I have. Personally, I like the rebuild option, just because I like to do that sort of thing. Here's the catch: if this were a desktop, I could rebuild it no problem. I'm a little behind on the technology, since it's been a while since I've built a desktop, but hey, it's like riding a bike, right? I HAVE rebuilt a laptop in the past, but that pretty much amounted to replacing a blown motherboard and upgrading the memory. What I want to do with my Toshiba is to install a completely new motherboard and rebuild the system from the ground up, such that it really ceases to even be the same computer, except for the chassis. So, what I need from you guys is advice. Is what I want to do even possible, for one; and for two, suggestions on how to do it. Ok. Shoot!

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I wouldn't. Laptop mobo's only fit one case, so getting a new one to fit will be a fluke or highly difficult. Same with replacement laptop CPUs, they cost alot etc.

 

Another problem is powering the new mobo, as there its no standard for how laptop mobo's are connected to the battery, so a be mobo well need new plugs.

 

Tldr= but a new one

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Just buy a new one. Sell of your old one for whatever you can and get a new laptop.

 

There are very few thing in a laptop that can be easily changed. They are really just battery to a larger capacity one, hdd to larger capacity or ssd and RAM to larger capacity. You then can technically change the CPU but unless your CPU is bust 9x out of 10 it isn't worth it and in some laptops with a plug in GPU not one built into the board you can change that too but your chances of getting one comparable in size and one that won't overload the battery/power adapter that are useually specced for what the laptop came with, is slim to not possible.

 

 

New laptop is definitely the way to go or even a desktop which is easier to build than rebuilding a laptop even one as friendly as a toshiba satellite.

 

In regards to the webcam have you not been able to get the drivers for it from toshibas website? When I upgraded from vista to windows 7 on my sat pro also circa 2008 I had no issues getting drivers from the website and they all installed perfectly so that I retained use of my webcam, dedicated media keys and fingerprint reader ect.

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I agree with the two guys above.

 

If you really wanted to keep your current setup, you could always add an SSD and 8gb of ram. However, the reality of it is, you probably want to be thinking about what you budget would be for a whole new system.

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Yeah, I kind of figured that this would be the case. The system isn't done yet, but it is getting just a bit glitchy, and one of my USB ports is becoming increasingly uncooperative when I have something plugged into the port above it - specifically, my wireless mouse (bottom port) gets squirrely (no pun intended) when I have my external hd plugged in (top port). Also, the system runs a bit hotter than I'm happy with, necessitating that I CONSTANTLY have it on a cooler pad. Windows 7 also doesn't quite behave right on this system - can't run ANY self diagnostics, for example (keep getting an error code, which I looked up and attempted to fix to no avail).

 

As for the question about the webcam, no, I've never been able to find proper drivers for it, even on the Toshiba website. I looked around online, and have found that a lot of people have the same problem. It's something to do with the model of the webcam. I even went to the manufacturer's site (such as it is), and nada. So, no webcam fun for me which, honestly, isn't that big of a deal.

 

As for the RAM, I currently have 3 gigs installed. I know I can go up to 4, according to the manufacturer, and APPARENTLY, I can go up to 8 with a BIOS update, though I'm not too sure about that. It's just a rumor I've heard. So, I have been thinking about increasing the RAM. But, in the end, I think you guys may be right; I may need to start looking more toward what my budget would be for a new laptop (probably the Qosmio X775 - I like top of the line stuff). And, honestly, I am going to be building a desktop before too long as well. But I like the laptops because I end up using them as remote desktop extensions...

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Alright then what I think you should do then is pull apart the toshiba and hive everything a good clean including re seat the CPU cooler making sure also to blow all the dust you possibly can out of it with compressed air.

 

While you are in there check your ports ect for any loose connections you may be lucky and could possibly get your USB ports working properly.

 

Once it is all working properly at reasonable temps decide if you want to keep it either as a spare or to give to a family member ect or think about selling it.

 

Then let us know your budget and what you wish to do with your laptop. If you shop around high specced brand new laptops aren't too expensive. For example I just replaced my laptop with a new one, core i7, 8gb ram, 750gb hdd, 6770m and only $800 (in aus granted, so a similar lappy in the states could possibly be $50, maybe even more, cheaper).

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Take it apart, upgrade the CPU, apply new TIM, clear out any dust, and check all your connections before putting everything back together.

 

If you get a chance you might be able to replace the USB port that's giving you trouble but it might be attached to the mobo which wouldn't get you very far.

 

I upgraded the CPU on my Toshiba L455D and it was a pretty painless procedure, and for 8 dollars I upgraded from a single-core 2.0GHz to a dual-core 1.9GHz athlon 64 x2. The last thing I plan on doing is getting some RAM in the near-future so that I can keep this laptop maybe a year longer than I would have if I kept everything stock.

 

Make sure if you do upgrade the CPU that you're getting the same revision on your socket, some CPUs don't work with all Mobos. I had to do a bit of research to make sure this CPU would work in my laptop, and got it because some of the better CPUs were more expensive and had a likelihood of overheating on my current hardware (mostly the heatsink's fault though.)

 

At the very least, an upgrade should give you a bit more life out of your laptop. And when you go to re-sell it in the future it'll be worth a little more because of the better specs.

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