Weird Question - Japanese Laptop with English OS

Do you have a question? Post it now! No Registration Necessary.  Now with pictures!

Threaded View
I have recently bought a Dynabook A8/420CME, thats right you are
thinking what the hell is that? Its a japanese model name for what is
effectively a Toshiba Satelite similar to the A10, A20 etc.

The model I bought does not have wireless, although it has a mini pci
slot so i have purchased a toshiba wireless card to put in there (the
laptop is due to be delivered soon, so I dont know if it has an
antenna pre installed, I hope so.)

This unit comes with a 2 Ghz Celeron, that I am hoping to replace with
a pentium 4 mobile, I have looked at the A10 motherboard and it has an
interchangabe socket, so hopefully this Japanese model will too. Both
units have very similar specs, and look identical physically.

Q1. Can anyone give me information on this model?
Q2. How difficult will it be to change the CPU?

I bought this one as I live in Japan, However I soon will be returning
to Australia to go to school again, I will learn Japanese so having a
Japanese keyboard is useful, however I need to install windows XP
english but at the same time set it up to use the japanese keyboard
instead of the american default on.

Q3. Has anyone got any experience doing this?
Q4. If so can you offer any advise or tips?

Thanks for your help and comments, minnasan arigatoo gozimasu  :D

Re: Weird Question - Japanese Laptop with English OS

Quoted text here. Click to load it

I don't advise you try it unless you are very knowledgeable about the
core and I/O voltages of the CPUs in question and you know EXACTLY what
you are doing. In laptops these things are usually set by SMD shorting
blocks. Config information is not available, not even in the service
manual - so the only way to work out what the settings are is to trace
the PCB out (if you can) and compare to the CPU's datasheet.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

You can of course install a Japanese input method on US Windows. I
don't know any kanji so I'm not familiar with how to drive the IME.
However, hiragana and katakana can be entered phonetically (e.g. type
"no" in the IME window in hiragana mode and you'll see the character).

Your main annoyances might be:
1. BIOS-locked Windows registration not valid for non-JP versions of
the OS.
2. IME addon for US windows might not match the key mappings of native
JP OS, so the Japanese glyphs on the keyboard might be in the wrong

Re: Weird Question - Japanese Laptop with English OS

The voltage and clock speeds are set automatically by the standard lines
that Intel runs between the CPU and the chipset.  I've done a lot of
speed upgrades with no problems, as long as you are simply using a
faster chip in the same family and watch the overall power consumption
(which does limit what you can do).  But I've not been able to get a
Celeron to P4 upgrade to work, although it seemed like it should. wrote:

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Re: Weird Question - Japanese Laptop with English OS

My attempts to install P4 CPUs in units originally supplied with a
Celeron have not been successful, even when the exact same model was
offered with a P4.  For example, I tried to upgrade a 1410 from a
Celeron to a P4, and the unit would POST, even though it was offered
with a P4 as the 2410, and the 2410 and the 1410 use the same bios file
and the same service manual (which, however, lists the motherboards as
different parts).  Apparently there is something about the motherboard
that is Celeron/P4 specific.  This may not apply to your unit, I can't
say, but you may find the upgrade to be impossible.

I do believe that it's possible to install Windows such that the langage
can be changed "on the fly" (may require a reboot but will not require a
reinstallation), but you may need a version of Windows other than the US
retail version.  At one time (when I was studying for some MCSE exams) I
knew more about this, but I have forgotten the details.

raheencomputer wrote:

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Re: Weird Question - Japanese Laptop with English OS

I sorted out one of these notebooks for someone who had returned to
Brisbane having bought it while living in Japan.

Make sure that you have the restore CDs that come with the Notebook as
getting drivers off the web is virtually impossible.  Dynabook in Japan
didn't want to know when I emailed for drivers.

I did, however, successful load English WinXP legally (using the licence
key on the MS sticker). From there I was able to load the drivers from
the restore CD.

I assume that you will have no trouble with the wireless card, of
course, as it has drivers supplied.

I can't comment on the processor upgrade.
Just don't expect any support outside of Japan.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Re: Weird Question - Japanese Laptop with English OS

Thank you for the input, I have acquired quite cheaply a P4 2.2 gig
CPU mobile of course, I will try it and see how it goes.  No pain no
gain as they say.

Does anyone know if the A10`s came with a wireless antenea pre
installed? I know some models came delivered with an wireless
connection however was it common practice to install it to all units?

Site Timeline