toshiba laptop power troubles

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Ive also posted this in the hardware forum, but I figured I might as
well also post it in the correct forum. I own a Toshiba satellite P10
which has developed some very wierd power issues in the past few
months. It only seems to charge the battery when hibernating or when
it is turned off. Also the computer switches from AC power mode to
battery power all the time, usually shortly after being turned on, or
awaking from hibernating.

All this means is that I can only run the computer on battery power
until the battery runs out, then I have to hibernate it and wait for
the battery to charge. You can imagine what an inconvenience this is.
I have tried buying a new power supply thinking this was the problem.
After realizing this solved nothing I tried replacing the power jack.
Still the same problems persist. I'm running out of ideas here.

Re: toshiba laptop power troubles

this is only a guess but something is wrong on the ac side, it charges so
the connection is ok,
won't run on ac power so it could be the motherboard circuit. I had one that
would not charge the battery but would run on the ac converter.
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Re: toshiba laptop power troubles

Sounds like the laptop draws too much power when charging and running
the laptop at the same time and it can't handle it. And yes it does
sound like the power regulators inside the laptop shuts down.

You didn't mention this BigJim, but will it run on AC if you remove the
battery? It might run fine this way. And just charge the battery when it
is off and remove it after it is charged up.

Also when a battery gets old and weak, they draw more to charge. And it
could be that your battery is shot. And I would suspect this if the
battery only runs the laptop for say 20 minutes or less.


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Re: toshiba laptop power troubles

try taking the battery out and see if it will run on the ac power supply
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Re: toshiba laptop power troubles

 Because meter measurements were not taken, then swap everything until
most of the computer is replaced.  It is called shotgunning - fixing
things without first defining a problem.

  For example, as load increases, then ripple voltage increases.
Higher ripple means computer thinks AC voltage is lost - and switches
over to battery power.  Excessive ripple occurs for a number of reasons
including a failing electrolytic capacitor.  This is only one of a long
list of possible reasons for your symptoms.  We can speculate forever
which is why shotgunning more common with scam artists.

  Meanwhile, power control circuitry would be inside the laptop -
probably on motherboard.

  With but a meter, we could have eliminated the power brick and power
jack as reasons for failure.  But since you have apparently replaced
everything except power supply controller, then that is what you must
replace.  That may mean replacing the entire motherboard.  IOW a meter
would have reduced a list of suspects to one before replacing anything.
 Now replace that last suspect.

  Inspect the system for a separate power supply controller board.  But
it is probably on motherboard.

  With better knowledge, you might identify which voltage is defective
(voltage exists but number is wrong) using the meter.  Then for a few
dollars, replace the maybe defective electrolytic capacitor. But again,
that means a meter. And that means battery control circuit is not
charging battery due to a voltage variation.

Gman233 wrote:
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Re: toshiba laptop power troubles

thanks for the detailed response w_tom. I took another step in trying
to fix this (I wish I had read your reply first) and ordered a new
battery for my laptop. This may or may not be the solution for this
as I had been running on AC power alone w/o the battery in for a
couple days. Then, out of the blue the computer shut down w/o warning
even with no battery inside. So it appears a new battery may not be
the solution, but I did have problems with the battery just after the
warranty expired so I figured I may need a new one anyways.

Replacing the capacitor may be an interesting solution as I am not
scared to take this laptop apart and do some soldering as I have
already done once. Can a part like this be picked up at an
electronics store or is it an expensive specialized thing? Would I
just be better off taking this thing in to a laptop repair shop?

Re: toshiba laptop power troubles

  Identifying a defective part on a motherboard is beyond the abilities
of computer repair people - most do not even know how electricity
works.  Repairs are performed only by replacing entire assemblies until
computer works.

  To know which capacitor to replace typically requires electronics
knowledge.  Rarely, but sometimes, a bad capacitor is bulging.  Then it
can be replaced from any electronic supply house (Allied, Newark,
Digikey, Mouser, etc) for only a few dollars.  But 1) most failed
capacitors don't fail with a visual indication and 2) the failed
capacitor was an example of just one of maybe 100 possible defects.

  Power supply controller is more likely part of motherboard - not a
separate component.  Therefore any shop would replace the entire
motherboard - that being the only part of a power supply 'system' not
already replaced.

Gman233 wrote:
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Re: toshiba laptop power troubles

Hi Gman233, I've got the same problem with my Toshiba P10: it only
charges the battery when hibernating or when turned off, switches from
AC power to battery with no reason and so I am also working with the
battery until it runs out, charge it again with the laptop turned off
and then again working only with the battery.

I also thought that it might be a battery problem and I almost bought
one, however, knowing that it didn't make any difference to you, I
will go to a computer shop for help (unfortunately, I am not capable
of following w_tom's suggestions).

In the case that I find something regarding this problem, I will let
you know using this forum. If you have any other useful information,
please let me know.

Re: toshiba laptop power troubles

How old are these units? May be as simple as needing the DC jacks
reworked.. Very common on the newer Toshibas utilizing the garbage
Singatron hardwire jacks.. (Look in the HP section as well)..

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