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GoodNews101 08-27-2008 10:51 PM

Toshiba Tecra S1: Upgrade?
So I am over at my sister's place Friday night and she asked me if I would like a laptop. I said sure, let me take a look. It is an old Toshiba Tecra S1 (from about 2003) that she got from work a year and a half ago and it is actually in decent shape (for a company work laptop that has been passed on to several employees) and solidly built. I fiddled around with it for 2 days and suprisingly it is very stable.

It has the latest and last BIOS offered (from 2005) and I was able to upgrade the Intel wireless driver that was dated from 2006. All USB ports are working (unfortunately no S-Video or Firewire). It has Windows XP Pro and I was able to install SP2 without a hitch. The cpu is a 1.4 GHz Pentium M. It also has a DVD/CD-RW drive.

The only thing that I see as a drawback (besides old tech) is that the harddrive is a mere 40 GBs. I know very little about laptop hardware except the basics so can anyone suggest what harddrive I should consider concerning laptop especially in older offerings? An 80 to 120 Gig offering would be fine for my needs.

I have researched and I do know it is an IDE drive ATA-5. Will an ATA-6 drive work in this machine and the BIOS?

Also, there is only 512 megs of PC2100 RAM in a 2x256 configuration. I can upgrade to two gigs of PC2700. Will the BIOS give me an issue?

Lastly, I would love to be able to purchase a new laptop but finances are a no go and this offering will do what I need. Do you think the upgrades are worth it? Like I said, I am a novice when it comes to laptops.


KSoD 08-27-2008 11:13 PM

Re: Toshiba Tecra S1: Upgrade?
First i would check:

Memory upgrades, flash media, and usb storage at

That will give you a accurate reading on the RAM setup and what you can do and a cost estimate.

The Hard Drive it should use any IDE hard drive that can fit into the laptop. Which would be a 2.5" hard drive not a 3.5" used on desktop PC's.

But with a new hard drive will mean a new install of Windows XP Pro. So you will need the media to install it. If you dont have one we have steps here on how to create your own as well.


GoodNews101 08-27-2008 11:31 PM

Re: Toshiba Tecra S1: Upgrade?
Hey, Mak, thanks for the speedy reply; much appreciated. I had already done the Crucial scan on my system and I can upgrade to 2 gigs of PC2700 which should make a difference from my current 2x256 PC2100. NewEgg has some nice deals.

And they also have some decent buys on 2.5" harddrives. For about $130 I can make these upgrades. I shouldn't have an issue with the BIOS, correct?

The XP Pro is the sticking point for me. That would be another $140 and I don't have the media to install it and I then start wondering about the wisdom of upgrading to a new harddrive.

Again, thanks for the quick reply and advice.

KSoD 08-27-2008 11:38 PM

Re: Toshiba Tecra S1: Upgrade?

No. the BIOS should be fine. It might give you a quick screen saying that the RAM specs have changed and hit F1 to repair it or something like that. I remember seeing that when i went from 512MB to 3GB on my system. But after hitting F1 everything was fine.

To get XP Pro first get Magical Jelly Beans. It will find your XP Pro serial for you. That will be needed. After that just use the guide EricB has created to create your own XP install Disc.


GoodNews101 08-28-2008 06:17 AM

Re: Toshiba Tecra S1: Upgrade?
Mak, just for a heads up, Erd Commander 2005 that EricB mentions is no longer avaliable. It took me a bit of searching but I did find a place to download it without having to join an upload site or going the route of terrents.

Here is the site: erd commander 2005 download | Computer Technology -Computer Education - Pc Blog

KurrentEweser 08-28-2008 09:01 AM

Re: Toshiba Tecra S1: Upgrade?

Originally Posted by GoodNews101 (Post 1448374)

The XP Pro is the sticking point for me. That would be another $140 and I don't have the media to install it and I then start wondering about the wisdom of upgrading to a new harddrive.

Cloning the old hard drive to the new hard drive is another alternative. If the computer boots with no problems and Windows is running well, going through the trouble of reinstalling Windows can be delayed for another time. For about $20(vs$140) you can get an external USB enclosure to clone the old drive to the new one. Then the old drive can be used for extra storage instead of sitting in a drawer.

Free Hard Disk Backup and Restore, Hard Disk Image and Cloning Utilities (

GoodNews101 08-31-2008 11:54 PM

Re: Toshiba Tecra S1: Upgrade?
Sorry for my delayed response but I was out of state. I was using this laptop over the last 4 days at a friend's house and one time I walked away and when I came back I had an 0x7E error. There has been no BSODs prior to this occurance. I wasn't able to read the minidump until I got home and it pointed to the ACPI.sys.

After researching it can be caused by:

1. Overheating (which was my first guess) as the driver attempts to throttle back the cpu because of heat.

2. Harddrive failing.

3. Driver controllers failing on the motherboard

* I have never had this error before and I was wondering what I can do to determine the exact cause. I have very little knowledge about laptops.

* Also, I have been wanting to diagnose the harddrive fitness since I have gotten it. Toshiba does not provide their own utility but suggests Hitachi's offering. So I burned an ISO disk with no errors but when I go to use the disk I keep getting a search error. The window closes so fast I can't read what else it says.

As you know I have seriously thought about upgrading both memory and the harddrive, but if the motherboard itself with controllers failing is the issue it certainly doesn't pay for me to lay out the $.

Thoughts? Thanks.

KurrentEweser 09-01-2008 12:59 AM

Re: Toshiba Tecra S1: Upgrade?
I would verify that the cooling fan works. Blow the dust out of vents with canned air or any other source. I wouldn't put any money into it until the problem is found.

While you have the chance extract the product key from it. XP has already been paid for. There's no need buy it again. There's no telling what the laptop was used for. There's no guarantee that the OS will be stable if any company data was wiped from the hard drive. I would reinstall XP before doing any upgrades.

Magical Jelly Bean Software - Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder v2.0.1

hickfarm 09-01-2008 05:50 AM

Re: Toshiba Tecra S1: Upgrade?
If he gets the serial number from his install can't he just download an XP pro install disk stock with no modifications? I mean why not it really isn't illegal since he has the serial code. Seems like it would be easier than creating your own.

GoodNews101 09-01-2008 10:35 AM

Re: Toshiba Tecra S1: Upgrade?
Yes, I did download Keyfinder 2.1 (Magical Jelly Beans). What a great, nifty utility. Right now I will attempt other HD diagnostic utilities because I need to determine if this is or is not HD related.

KurrentEweser, I'll go ahead and try the canned air.

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