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Current Projects: Americana Engine (Game Engine Development)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Disassembling a Toshiba Portege Z385

I'm in this situation: Got an assignment to turn in later in the afternoon, fire up the monitor (connected via HDMI)... and there's no signal. Try the laptop, it won't power on. No lights, nothing. Check the power source. Hm... no problems here. So now what? Disassemble it and figure out what's going on.

My hope was to remove the hard drive that might be inside and use it as an external HDD, but it was a mSATA, something I don't have. I eventually fixed the issue (there was a break somewhere between the outlet and the laptop charger connector), but at least I learned something about it.

I know it voids warranties (and it's near the three month exchange period for Costco) but hey, it was time critical and I was very unwilling to return anything for repairs that has any kind of sensitive information on it.

Notes on it:

  • The middle screw to open it is a Torx Security screw, and I didn't have a Torx Tx6 with me, so I used a screwdriver to pry it open. It didn't work, but it broke the center of the screw, which meant my normal Torx screwdrivers could get it loose.
  • The laptop won't turn on if the (flat) battery is removed, even if it's provided with AC power.
  • The RAM is only 4GB one slot, which means that 2GB is onboard, you can expand up to 10GB, not 16GB as originally expected.
  • Even if I had access to the SSD, I don't currently have the equipment to get data off of it. Might consider getting a mSATA adapter if I needed to get data out in the future.