Question about Toshiba (K000002020) Motherboard

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Satellite M40X won't boot

I have a Model M40X, that only turns on power light after switching on, then starts the fan for 4 seconds, HD and DVD lights just flash once, then nothing, no boot screen, just the power light. 1 out of 25 attempts will initiate a boot start, but when the laptop is moved, the screen turns black again and no apparent action is visible, except the power indicator.
I had this problem 2 years ago, 3 days after purchasing. When it was returned 2 weeks later, I phone the Toshiba service centre to ask what had happened. They said they replaced the motherboard. Quite a strange thing to do with a brand new laptop. Anyway it worked OK for about 2 years.
After it failed a couple of days ago, I spent a few hours to disassemble it completely. I found some helfull notes about the power socket and noticed on my MB that apparently it already was modified in a similar way. It had big shiny solder balls with some brown flux on all connections, apparently not lead-free. In addition, the socket was surrounded with some yellowish potting stuff, perhaps epoxy.
I guess that this can't be the problem, since it has the same problem with battery w/o adapter, battery with adapter, and adapter only.
Perhaps the board is cracked near the power socket since I frequently use an adapter at home that I purchased extra from Toshiba. It came with an extra adapter (to adapt from one size smaller to the proper size), making it very long, which causes more strain on the MB. Are there any more tips and tricks that might help me to solve it? I read something about a 40 pin chip near the socket that might have bad joints as well, but I can't find one very close to it. The PL1 part near it seems to be soldered just fine.
I was also wondering why cracks near the power socket may cause my problem when I do not use the adapter and my battery is full? I tried booting with other memory, without DVD, HD, even without modem and WiFi, all with the same symptoms.
Does any of you guys know another cause, chips to be soldered?

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  • 3 more comments 
  • Richard Roberts Jan 10, 2008

    If they replaced the motherboard, it likely was a crack where the charger goes in. It doesn't matter whether you have the charger plugged in or not if it cracked near the plugin, as they are all electrically connected. I have heard that this is a major design problem in laptops. I lost my Sony Viaio when my 12 lb dog raced by, an pulled the charging laptop 12" to the floor--unfortunately landing right on the plugin. Over the next 3 months, it began to reboot all by itself until finally it rebooted so often that it became useless. The Sony people informed me that it had been cracked, and the motherboard was slowly cooking itself to death.

  • Willemp Jan 13, 2008

    Thanks for your tip regarding the chip near the power socket. It is a MAXIM 40p chip, type MAX1532A which takes care of converting the 20 Volt power in into all necessary voltages. I couldn't find any matching data on the site of Maxim, but I will try to resolder all the 40 pins tomorrow at my work where I have ESD safe workstation as well as a special hot air gun for this purpose. I hope this solves any cold joints as well as the problem. I'll keep you posted about the result.

  • Quipper Feb 09, 2008

    I have the exact same symptoms. However, I doubt that the my problem has originated from the power socket. After taking it apart I noticed that one of the wires from the connector coming from the LCD had pulled itself loose. I tried to put it back in but to no avail. Also tried to use the monitor from my M70 and it wouldn't even power on! Throughout the countless times I have turned it on and off, it sometimes boots up a total of exactly 3 times in a row. After that, it reverts back to it's bricked state...

    Could this be some odd BIOS problem? Why does the power button stop working once I plug in the m70 monitor? What is the deal with the fluke boots? This problem is as ridiculous as it is frustrating! Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  • Srini_Reddy Mar 29, 2008

    Hi, I have a Satellite M40X, It used to shutdown by itself once in a while when the base of the laptop becomes very hot,So I opened it and cleaned the fan and heatsink area. This fixed the issue and worked fine without any problems for 2 months.

    Now all of a sudden it died while playing a DVD and won't powerup. When I tried to turn it on nothing happens, after couple of attempts only the the fan is turning on.

    I did some basic checks Power and Battery is O.K. Hard drive is O.K. I suspect the problem with motherboard but don't know how and what to fix. I appreciate your valuable help and suggestions-- Thanks in adavance.

  • Willemp Apr 29, 2008

    It is 3 month ago now, bought a new HP (which is significantly cooler, even with lousy Vista), meanwhile a first attempt was made to solder the 40 pin Maxim power distribution IC near the power socket. It worked... for about 8 hours.
    2 weeks ago we got some new equipment in our workshop, including a 25x stereo microscope with a very efficient 140 LED light source. It now took just 10 minutes to inspect the board and to re-solder the Maxim chip with the hot air rework station and some noflux solder paste. The result was amazing. After 3 month the Tosh came back to live! The power socket was in excellent condition btw. It is running smoothly now, getting ever so hot, as usual. Thanks again for your help, Eblackadder.

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It is most likely a crack in the chip that sends power to the CPU. Fan is on different circuit and is getting power. Almost need a really strong maginifying glass to see a crack like that. Unfortunatly the best solution is a new motherboard. I have had some sucess with resoldering these chips but you need a hot air rework station to do a real repair. Hardest part is figuring out which chip it is. A lot of them are labeled MAXWIN ****. Should be fairly close to the CPU socket. Hope this helps, keep us posted. One other thing to try is pushing down on the laptop in the area of the cpu when you boot it and see if that helps. Opening and closing the laptop screen puts a lot of stress on the motherboard and over time will crack the cold solder joints.

Posted on Jan 11, 2008

  • Paul James Jan 23, 2008

    Just wondering how you made out with the laptop. Keep us posted

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