Question about Toshiba Satellite A35-S159 Notebook

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Overheated & "fried"

Folks,

I have a 5-year old Toshiba Satelite A35 which has had overheating problems from the start. Toshiba was very good about maintaining it, even after the warrant expired and even went so far as to once replace the damaged motherboard gratis.

A few days ago I took in into my local repair guy because it started shutting down on it's own. He did a hard drive test and found some corrupted parts of the hard drive. He planned to replace the hard drive which he said would fix the problem. Unfortunatley the second phone call from him was not so great. The new analysis is that the heat sink was so clogged that in his words, "it fried my computer". Does the "fried" part mean that my CPU is ruined and it's time to throw the laptop away? Can the CPU be replaced? If not, is it worth replacing the motherboard?

If it is replaceable, what am I looking at regarding cost?

Thanks so much.

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  • socality Sep 16, 2008

    Tekguru,



    Thanks for the advice.



    The laptop was not booting up properly and it was shutting down on it's own the evening prior to my taking it in to the repair guy, so I wouldn't say it was in "working condition" Does that change your advice?



    I had also taken it to him a month prior for a similar problem and at that time he told me that he'd cleaned it. Doesn't it seem unlikely that he cleaned it if a month later the heat sink was clogged?



    By the way, can you give me an idea of what a motherboard will cost?



    Thanks again.

  • socality Sep 17, 2008

    Thanks for all the advice, folks. If I can ever get my laptop back form the repair man, I will definitely follow the cleaning advice from Alexod.



    I was in the shop yesterday checking up on it. It still does not boot-up successfully on a regular basis. The repair guy is back to thinking that it's a hard drive issue. He tried to install a new amped up hard drive but couldn't get Windows XP to install to it. Now he's thinking that he needs to replace the hard drive with one identical to the original. He also said that he can't yet rule out a motherboard problem. Jeez!



    Like Ash kept repeating to Ripley in "Alien"...he's "still collating". Very frustrating.



    I would send it to Toshiba, but they would charge me an arm and a leg.

  • GaryB927 Mar 05, 2009

    I cleaned the heat sink as Axelrod suggested, and now I'm getting flickering LEDs and it won't stay on or even start to boot. I'm fairly sure I reseated the chip (removed and seated it 2x).



    My original problem was that the power supply would charge the battery fine, but once the unit was turned on, it ran strictly on battery power (even when plugged in) and died when the battery ran out. I changed power cords and the battery...same issue.



    Axelrod...are you there?

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Probably to late, but the overheating it those laptops are a frequent problem, and the only thing that is happening is that your cooler has to much dust in it that the air can go through. I have a similar laptop and on 6 months or so I have to make a cleanup. The problem is not the motherboard or anything else. It's just the cooler that is very bad designed. I usually when clean mine make sure that the thermal paste is in good condition and replace it if not. The whole operation takes about 10min for someone that has little knowledge about computing and normally don't require any material at all. I hope that this helps anybody that finds the same problem, since I figure that this one should have been taken care of by now.

Posted on Jan 25, 2009

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2 things:
Heat sinks cant "go" as that guy says. There just metal masses with coooling fins. A fan could break but they dont usually.

Laptop motherboards are specific proprietary to the exact model of laptop, so you cant change it for a different model, only the same one only less broken.

Id try booting to bios and see if it stays on for a while with everthing running or maybe boot off the windows cd and leave it on waiting and running without installing it. that way some crazy software isnt shutting it off and if it shuts off then its a different problem. you can put a different hard drive size in. Some of the newer really big ones are harder for old laptops so there is a limit but doesnt have to be the exact one.


Posted on Jan 18, 2009

  • bboyl Jan 18, 2009

    PS that other guy is right about regular cleaning of the fan/sink on these. Looked like a sock full of fuzz was in this one when I got it.

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Okay, I have a A35 Satellite (using it right now). After 12 months critical overheat and black screen. It went in for warrenty repair, came back fixed with no report.

10 months later same failure, this time I'd noticed the overheats.

Turns out the air is sucked through the twin fans on the bottom, blown through the heat sink and out the rear. The leading edge of the heat sink, like in your dryer, fill with lint.

Get some torx drivers, and with the power off, open the cover to the CPU ( bottom, on the hinge edge to the right.
Now, use small philips driver (jewellers) to remove the 4 corner screws on the silver clips- don't drop em, though they shake out easy enough. Pull the heatsink out. See the lint? Blow clean, replace. Repeat every 3-6 months now (how dusty is your house?)

You will want some more thermal grease (Radio Shack has it), though I performed this surgery 3 times before I added more grease.

Pain in the, but it's better than having tech support telling you to format your hard drive and re-install the base OS, then still sending it out for repair.

Satellite A35-s159. One careful owner, about 5 years old.

Posted on Sep 17, 2008

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SINCE THE LAPTOP WAS STILL IN WORKING CONDITION BEFORE YOU GAVE IT TO THE REPAIR GUY .. THAT MEANS THE MOTHERBOARD AND THE PROCESSOR ARE STILL ALIVE .. ONLY THE HEAT SINK IS GONE ..  BUT THAT NEEDS TO REPLACE THE WHOLE MOTHERBOARD .. STILL THE COST FACTOR IS NOT THAT MUCH HIGH AS COMPARED TO THROWING AWAY THE LAPTOP.. I THINK YOU MUST GIVE IT A TRY

Posted on Sep 15, 2008

  • KINSHUK ACHARYA
    KINSHUK ACHARYA Sep 16, 2008

    THE PROBLEM YOU HAVE DESCRIBED SURELY SHOWS THAT THE PROBLEM IS OF HEATING ONLY AND NOTHING ELSE. IF YOU WANT TO CHANGE THE MOTHERBOARD THE COST FACTOR WOULD DEPEND ON WHETHER YOU WANT TO KEEP THE SAME PROCESSOR OR WANT TO CHANGE IT TOO. IF YOU WANT TO KEEP THE SAME PROCESSOR THEN YOU HAVE TO GET A COMPATIBLE MOTHERBOARD ELSE YOU CAN GET A LATEST ONE AND THE COST WILL DIFFER OBVIOUSLY.. DECIDE AND TELL ME 

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