Finally back online. The most wanted page about the Tecra 9000 series. I’ll upload the files in the coming time. For now (and indexing purposes) the text:
Yeah we got the Bulletin No: TCR-0312!!!
DISCLAIMER: any work on your tecra is on behalf of yourself. I just assembled the info I was looking for myself. Toshiba suggests replacing the systemboard but neither my wallet nor my DIY-mentality did agree on that . Take it to a professional repairshop in case you hesitate or use the warranty if possible!. I’m not responsible for your Tecra! A lot of thanx to the Ars Technica readers! – Jasper
Recently a friend of me and myself got our hands on a second hand Toshiba Tecra 9100. A nice P4 1.8Ghz laptop with all the bells and whistles. The former owner stated “on AC power it runs flawless but on sole accu it will crash almost immediately”.
Interesting case huh?! So we did some research…
- read, read, read, read more on this problem!
- the motherboard seems to shortcut
- puzzling with the screws will probably fix it, as described on this page
- more resources on the end of this page
on battery power the laptop fails stating the following error code:
*** Hardware Malfunction
Call your hardware vendor for support
*** The system has halted ***
NMI: Channel Check / IOCHK
Allright… no vendor is gonna suppor our second hand laptop so we have to fix it ourselves.
Some research on the internet (mainly forums) gave us more insights. It has something to do with screws which seem to shortcut. They call it the ‘floating screws’. Now, I don’t know who invented that term but it isn’t standard jargon. Google for it and you will be raising more questions than answers. Here a quote from the ArsTechnica forum (i will link credits in the end of the article):
“…some of the internal screws have to be replaced with floating screws, and bits of plastic mounts have to be cut out, its basically a design flaw on this series, but the fix does sort the fault out once and for all. There’s a toshiba bulletin for it, Bulletin No: TCR-0312″
Ok, sounds simple! We need this bulletin. Some more desk research showed a lot of people were looking for it. Some mailing to emailadresses i found in those forums finally gave me the needed documents. And now we share them with you! Toshiba themself suggest replacing of the full systemboard, but that is not what we intent of course
some interesting quotes from the forums about succes stories!
tecraboy: “Hi, the floating screws don’t seem to exist anymore. I fixed my tecra 9000 5 weeks ago and its fine. The fix requires removal of 5 screws. 2 are put back as normal, the other 3 are replaced. I just put the 3 old ones back but didn’t tighten them fully. This allows the system board to flex a bit. It worked for me but perhaps if your system board is cracked it may not. maybe use some thread glue to stop them unscrewing. The actual repair is very straightforward if you can follow instructions it is easy. I am no engineer and had no problems..”
spinjamin: “I did as tecraboy said and just loosened the 3 screwsthat were supposed to be replaced and I got my computer to at least run now. It does freeze from time to time if it is resting awkwardly, but at least the computer works. So I this is definately a viable option to the floating screws…”
waqar: “its a screw with small thread, unthreaded shaft and a spring from what I can recall…”
hogwatt: “The tip is that we should push the system board forwardas far as possible. (I can’t find floating screws…or bind screws..So I used original one.) First, cut the two pin. The only thing I did to set the motherboard forward is inserting the “jump pin which we use when setting the HDD or Mother board” in between the system board and docking hole guide so that the system board can located much more forward than before. And fasthen all the screws(original one) and re assemble.I didn’t change anything else. ”
PICCHIATELLO from Napels suggest another method concerning sound, modem and wireless
“I have fixed the problem of no sound , modem and wireless for my tecra 9100.
Even the yellow led of wireless antenna is on!!”
- Read the rest of this quote!!! It was not flawless (-jasper)
- First of all I did the modify of TCR-0312 Tosbiba bullettin, were I leaved the screw not completely closed putting somenail polish in order to avoid the unscrewing.
- Then I took the I/O card apart and re-make the weldings of the two connectors of sound card. To do this I used a little welder : a 12V 6w made by the japanese GOOT with a little terminal (0,25mm2).
- Then I re-assemble everything and finaly got the MODEM, SOUND CARD, WIRELESS CARD functioning. I have to test the SD and IR device too.
The fix of last week was ok only for 5 days, infacts I got another time de out of order of wireless card, modem, sd, audio. Then to look fine a bought a jeweler loup (30X) for 3 euros. With this magnifier I look well the contacts of connector and I noticed that using a needle a lot of the pins moved. Than I decide to “cut the head of bull” and solder the two connectors with new soldering wire an using the normal iron solder.
The method to do this is well described on Sparkfun here were you can find intersting tips.Anyway I used
1- iron solder 25w
2- flux liquid
3- soldering wire o,5mm
4- solder wick
5- jeweler monocle 30x
6- “trielina” –> tricloroetilene to clean the flux
7- A LOT OF PATIENCE
Now all seem to work fine, this time also the SD reader.”
So thats a lot of awesome tips! Hope they will help you!
I got my info here: Ars Technica forum topic
Na Stevenson mailed me:
- Security Torx (Size 7)
- Nippers (to cut off luggs)
I used this guide to disassemble and reassemble the laptop
Warning!!! The luggs are magnesium when you cut them they fly fast!!! SHUT YOUR EYES or wear glasses!
I could not get the floating screws here in New Zealand or from overseas. Toshiba no longer cares due to the laptop model being over 5 years old. I used the 3 old screws but didn’t tighten them fully. The other 2 I tightened according to the service manual. It took me approx 1.5hrs to do the job. I have no experience at disassembly if you have done this before it will be a lot quicker.
This is from the person I got the service manual from:
The problem is caused by the system boards flexing inside the chassis, this causes the connectors to break off from the systemboards. The fix does require a new/repaired set of system boards and a floating screw set. The system boards inside may well be repairable, however the floating screw set is something you have to order from toshiba directly. Have a look at the technical document and who knows? you may be able to improvise a fix…”
The bulletin TCR-0312
“TECRA 9000 / 9100 – Modification for System and IO PCBs
Bulletin No: TCR-0312
In July 2003 we reported that on some Tecra 9000 / 9100 notebook PCs, a blue screen error message may appear saying “”NMI: Channel Check / IOCHK – Hardware malfunction” causing the system to crash or reboot. There have also been instances including no-boot errors or failure to operate under battery power.
After investigation it was found that stress was being caused to the System PCB and IO PCB. A procedure has now been written to eliminate this stress. This requires the cutting of 2 of the positioning pins and the removal of 3 out of 5 bind screws which must be replaced with 3 floating screws (P000384063).“
Na Stevenson send me the bulletin in MDI format. I made some other file formats of it too and as a bonus I discovered it shows the link to the original website. So here they are. PLEASE DO NOT HOTLINK ON FORUMS ETC! I don’t have much bandwith.
- TCR 312 PDF
- TCR 312 MDI (mirror)
- TCR 312 MS Word
- TCR 312 HTML
- The Toshiba site link to the bulletin (resellers only?)
- All the images zipped.
BONUS: 87Mb rar file with drivers/utils/software meaned for the Toshiba laptops and the tecra in special. Download here!
- Ars Technica forum topic
- Howto disassemble the 9100 (3 pages!!!) on the excellent irisvista site
- Howto disassemble the 9000 (meant for something else but still useful)
- disassembly of all models of Toshiba’s
- replacing harddrives in laptops
- Toshiba’s have very weak power on wires. Read about the problem and solutions.
- Original irisvista topic with a lot of links about Toshiba disassembly