Wimminz – celebrating skank ho's everywhere

March 31, 2014

Laptop lifesavers….

Filed under: Wimminz — Tags: , , , — wimminz @ 12:04 pm

In my night job I get asked a lot about downgrading new laptops to Windows 7.

I have just done my last one, not worth it anymore.

Thankfully, because I am smart, which just means I have been burned in the past, and learned my lessons, as soon as I get a new machine the very first thing I do is pull the hard disk and take a full image using Macrium Reflect.

If you do not do this, stop, do not pass go, do not go any further, do not do anything else.

I can’t stress that bit above in red enough.

The reason I can’t stress it enough is we have gone back to the bad old days of the winmodem, and there is an actual reason that Lenovo Thinkpad T series laptops start and £650, and Toshiba Satellite C50’s of the same size start at £325.

The reason is the components used in the Toshiba are UTTER shit, every possible corner is cut, and the fucking things are deployed with a bare bones (not even full spec) UEFI BIOS, not a proper one, and hidden partitions containing the Win8 install.

Make no mistake, pull the hard disk, wipe it and all partitions, reinstall it in the laptop, pop in a genuine MS Windows 8 install DVD, and you will have a brick that refuses to even see the fucking hard disk.

No, it’s not because the HD has Primary / Dynamic / GPT setup, you can create the fucking partitions manually ready for the install and it still won’t work.

That’s cos the Satellite comes with a disk with 5 partitions, 4 of them hidden from the user..

  • 1 gig NTFS system drive, hidden
  • 100 MB no name FAT32 LBA, hidden
  • 128 MB <no name> NTFS, hidden
  • 450 gig NTFS main partition visible to the user
  • 10 gig NTFS recovery volume, hidden

Yes, the bitch is looking, via UEFI, at those two small hidden partitions, one FAT32 LBA and one NTFS, to even SEE the fucking hard disk.

Even OpenSUSE 13.1 won’t install to one of these bastards.

So at this point, unless you have that Macrium drive image, you are TOTALLY fucked, because the only install media is in that hidden recovery partition, there is no recovery DVD, even if there was, it’s the same as a Win 8 DVD, it won’t fucking work if those two small hidden partitions are missing or damaged.

The Toshiba website doesn’t provide you with any repair or recovery methods or downloads either….not *merely* a case of them being lazy, there is literally no way, they would have to provide a disk image and tell you to pull the disk, put it in a docking station, and blow the image to it, which is how they build the fucking things.

Now, while we are on the fucking subject…

Starting this little cunt for the first time, it sets up windows for the first start, choose your region etc, this is FROM THE FACTORY, and it takes a fucking HOUR PLUS to actually get the cunt to boot to the desktop.

Once it has gotten to the desktop, expect at least another 30 minutes of waiting, while you think it is frozen, for it to finishing the first run setup.

Then it starts in all it’s glory, and the first thing you do is right click on the desktop to sort out the display resolution and settings, because they are fucking awful, and then you realise the settings are right, it is just the cheapest and nastiest LCD screen you ever saw.

And on, and on, and on….

So lets see what our £350 buys us

Part Code PSCG6E-05J002EN
Review Date 10 Oct 2013
Rating ***** stars out of 5
Processor Intel Core i3-3120M
Processor clock speed 2.5GHz
Memory 4.00GB
Memory slots 2
Memory slots free 1
Maximum memory 16GB
Size 32x380x240mm
Weight 2.3kg
Sound Realtek HD Audio
Pointing device touchpad


Viewable size 15.6 in
Native resolution 1,366×768
Graphics Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000
Graphics/video ports HDMI, VGA
Graphics Memory 256MB


Total storage capacity 1,024GB
Optical drive type DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports 3
Bluetooth yes
Wired network ports 1x 10/100
Wireless networking support 802.11n
PC Card slots none
Supported memory cards SDXC, MMC
Other ports 1x USB3, headphone, microphone


Carrying case No
Operating system Windows 8
Operating system restore option restore partition
Software included none
Optional extras none

And lets compare it to the bottom of the range T series stinkpad at £650

Card reader
Card reader integrated

Card reader
Compatible memory cards MMC,SD,SDHC,SDXC
Energy Star certified

EPEAT compliance Gold
RoHS compliance
Colour of product

Data transmission

Display diagonal

15.6 in
Display Resolution
LED backlight
Touch sensitive screen
Energy management
AC adapter frequency

AC adapter input voltage 100 – 240
Battery life (max) 12.8 hour(s)
Battery Technology Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Number of battery cells 9
Expansion slots
CardBus PCMCIA slot type

ExpressCard slot
SmartCard slot
Discrete graphics adapter model

On-board graphics adapter model Intel HD Graphics 4000
Hard drive
Hard drive capacity

500 GB
Total Storage Capacity 500 GB
Keyboard Layout

Numeric keypad
Pointing device ThinkPad UltraNav
Windows keys
Compatible memory cards

Internal memory 4 GB
Internal memory type DDR3-SDRAM
Maximum internal memory 8 GB
Memory Clock Speed 1600 MHz
Memory slots 2x SO-DIMM

Cabling technology 10/100/1000Base-T(X)
Networking standards IEEE 802.11g,IEEE 802.11n,IEEE 802.3,IEEE 802.3ab,IEEE 802.3u
Operating system/software
Operating system architecture

Operating system provided Windows 8 Pro (64-Bit)
Optical Drive

Optical drive type DVD Re-Writer
Other features
Cable lock slot

Cabling technology 10/100/1000Base-T(X)
CardBus PCMCIA slot type
DVI port
ExpressCard slot
Hard drive capacity 500 GB
Memory Clock Speed 1600 MHz
Memory slots 2x SO-DIMM
Optical drive type DVD Re-Writer
Pointing device ThinkPad UltraNav
Processor family Core i3
USB 3.0 ports quantity 2
VGA (D-Sub) ports quantity 1
Warranty 1 year warranty
Windows keys
Packaging content
AC adapter included

Quick Start Guide
Phone Features
Form Factor

Audio system

Dolby Advanced v2
Built-in microphone
Number of built-in speakers 2
Battery life (max)

12.8 hour(s)
Battery Technology Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Number of battery cells 9
Ports & interfaces
CardBus PCMCIA slot type

DC-in jack
docking connector
DVI port
ExpressCard slot
Microphone in
Mini DisplayPort quantity 1
S/PDIF out port
SmartCard slot
USB 2.0 ports quantity 2
USB 3.0 ports quantity 2
VGA (D-Sub) ports quantity 1
L3 Cache

3 MB
Motherboard chipset Intel QM77 Express
Processor Clock Speed 2.4 GHz
Processor family Core i3
Processor Model i3-3110M
Cable lock slot

Fingerprint reader
SmartCard slot
Card reader integrated

Card reader
Compatible memory cards MMC,SD,SDHC,SDXC
Hard drive capacity 500 GB
Number of hard drives installed 1
Total Storage Capacity 500 GB
Technical details
Cable lock slot

Cabling technology 10/100/1000Base-T(X)
Colour of product Black
Energy Star certified
Form Factor Clamshell
Intel Anti-Theft Technology
Intel Hyper-Threading Technology
Intel My WiFi Technology
Intel visual technologies Intel Clear Video HD,Intel Insider,Intel InTru 3D,Intel Quick Sync Video
Numeric keypad
Optical drive type DVD Re-Writer
Pointing device ThinkPad UltraNav
Warranty 1 year warranty
Weight & dimensions

245.1 mm
Height (front) 31.8 mm
Height (rear) 35.6 mm
Weight 2770 g
Width 372.8 mm


  1. DA FUQ!?!
    This could basically mean that Toshita is unrecoverable once a half-competent trojan coder figures out how to infect the hidden partitions directly.
    And I don´t even want to ponder about NSA backdoors.

    Having the BIOS on the HD… and I thought Dell were bitches with their proprietary screws, cases and motherboards.

    Comment by hans — March 31, 2014 @ 12:34 pm

    • I’m going to be anal here Hans.
      1/ The HD has it’s own “BIOS” of sorts, that’s what is on the PCB on the HD.
      2/ UEFI is not really a BIOS, it is not a Basic Input Output System http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BIOS it is a Unified Extensibe Firmware Interface http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unified_Extensible_Firmware_Interface

      Like everything else, there is good and bad, there are good BIOSes, and nasty and crap ones (award etc) and the same is true of UEFI.

      What is happening here is Toshiba and others are writing the UEFI to ***EXPECT*** to find a standard and defined file path to the GPT boot disk, if you fit a new disk, or the GPT partitions are damaged or deleted, it can’t find that path, and simply HALTS, it does not go on and try the next boot device, it “thinks” there is no HD, so why bother…

      Comment by wimminz — March 31, 2014 @ 12:44 pm

      • Ah, I totally missed the boat on this whole new(to me) GPT thing.
        Have to read up on that damn newfangled thingamagic.

        Comment by hans — March 31, 2014 @ 5:12 pm

        • well the old system you could only have three proper primary partitions, that wasn’t actually true, because you could create a logical partition and bang a bunch of logicals inside.

          To me, three has always been enough for windows, 100 mb system, root and backup/storage, for linux I just went logical.

          GPT under windows you can have up to 128 partitions.

          The main arguments against MBR and for GPT, as far as I can tell, were that lots of people did shit they should not have done in MBR, which is all very well, but you can do shit you shouldn’t in GPT too, and it will be the same people cutting the same corners.

          Got a bigger than 2 TB disk, you are going to want GPT

          Got GPT, you are going to want XP pro 64 bit minimum

          None of it has fuck all to do with SATA or transfer speeds.

          HTH etc

          Comment by wimminz — March 31, 2014 @ 5:29 pm

  2. As a follow up to myself, yeah, I know about UEFI and GPT

    The issue here is you have a laptop, have a genuine Win8 install DVD, have a brand new HD, fit HD to laptop, attempt to boot normall with Win8 DVD expecting it to do as normal and partition and format your new HD, and it won’t, it won’t even get as far as booting from the CD or USB, it halts the boot process because IT CANNOT SEE A FUCKING HD…

    Comment by wimminz — March 31, 2014 @ 12:35 pm

  3. sounds like Toshiba is selling the laptop as a throw away appliance. If the hard drive crashes or Windows gets corupted, trash the laptop and buy a new one.

    Comment by Joe — March 31, 2014 @ 6:23 pm

  4. It’s not *just* Tosh, it’s ALL the cheap lappies, last year there was a scare based on *exactly* the thing I discuss here, if you put a linux live CD into the optical drive on a cheap Samsung laptop without FIRST disabling secure boot, not even booting the live cd, just inserting it while winders was running, it bricked the whole laptop…. back to the factory for replacement.

    Comment by wimminz — March 31, 2014 @ 6:26 pm

  5. I’ve been trying to find a laptop to replace my venerable X-series thinkpad, a travel laptop (this means <13", so T-series is out) with a good keyboard. I've been really struggling for about six months now looking for something decent, it seems like the longer I wait the more features are missing from laptops. New X series laptops don't even have F1-F12, just capacitive buttons. I'm at the point I'm going to buy a GETAC (probably v100, c2d gen, just to see if I can use it, hell u9400 is not a bad CPU and with an SSD/ram upgrade it's probably faster than the toshibabook). But I can't get my hands on one.

    How are windows laptops so crap these days. They have an inch of bezel on each side of the keyboard but home/end/prtscr don't have their own buttons. Which <13" is worth buying?

    Comment by ello — March 31, 2014 @ 7:59 pm

    • Yeah, the X’s were reasonably good, X220’s were always popular…

      As for which sub 12″ to buy, haven’t got a clue, I’d still go for T series.

      Comment by wimminz — March 31, 2014 @ 8:14 pm

  6. I’ve had decent luck with HP laptops, as long as I got them with an Intel processor. The HP Pavilion 11t-h100 doesn’t look too bad, although it doesn’t upgrade worth a sh*t.

    Comment by tweell — April 1, 2014 @ 5:11 am

  7. I picked up one of those cheap Toshibas last fall, a celeron version and barely touched it as I detest win8. Plan has been to pull the harddrive image it, store the physical drive as backup and just reinstall win8 onto a crappy ssd I have wasting space. Something to do on a rainy day. One of my big gripes has been that these companies won’t even give you an OEM restore DVD. They just tell you to use the Toshiba etc.. backup/image tool they include with all their bloatware.

    Comment by JFP — April 3, 2014 @ 7:47 pm

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