Toshiba Laptops Brick Themselves

Brick? Aggressive iPhone users eager to escape the clutches of ATT’s wireless stranglehold on iPhone service in the US download some tricky bits to modify their phones. Apple responds by turning those phones into bricks whenever they update the iPhone software. Imagine how much fun you could have with your laptop if it decided to assign itself a password one night, giving you a “Password=” prompt the next time you booted it. Even more fun, there is no correct password you can guess to access your laptop, excuse me, brick, no matter how hard you try.

If you own a Toshiba Satellite or Tecra laptop, get ready to play the “My laptop is now a brick” game. You can read the entire list of Toshiba models here at their official support page for this horrible problem. No apologies on this page, but plenty of models to check out and upgrade the BIOS.

Do it yourself fans can follow these directions from TechSpot. It requires you to take out your laptop’s keyboard and wireless model, then jumper two soldered leads labeled C88 with a paper clip while powering up your laptop. This will reset your password, including the bizarre random password created by the system.

My friend Kim Brand at FileEngine had this problem with his daughter’s laptop. Such fun for a college student to try to access her schoolwork on her laptop, and be denied access. Wouldn’t you love to have that problem at work, maybe during a big presentation?

Toshiba’s option for returning your laptop to the land of the living is to send it to the factory where they will reset your password, or rather the random system password, for you. They will also upgrade the BIOS which you should do immediately if you have a Toshiba laptop of any kind. Let’s hope they fixed the horrible problem they’ve created.

As I understand it, the Toshiba repair is free. But they don’t compensate you for your time and trouble and the lack of your laptop for the two weeks it will likely take them to receive, fix, and return your laptop.

Shame on you, Toshiba. Maybe I should change the blog logo for a day to “Toshiba Is Broken.”

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