Opening Up The Toshiba Satellite C55D-B5214

Opening Up The Toshiba Satellite C55D-B5214

This week I will show you how to void your warranty and walk you through the steps to open the Toshiba Satellite C55D-B5214 and map out the available, easy access upgrades: HDD and RAM.

RAM Update:  2015/01/04

I have confirmed that this model can have RAM upgraded to at least 8GB. Please see the RAM section below for additional details!

2014/05/31 – Mark Harmon has stated in the comments below that he has upgraded successfully to 12GB of RAM.

2015/06/20 – SuzyD has confirmed in the comments below of a successful upgrade to a full 16GB of RAM. I was unable to track down the specs for the CPU that lists the max, but this is the most you can purchase as it only comes in a max of 8GB per 204pin stick.

Wireless Update:  2015/01/31

I have found the wireless module and confirmed that you can upgrade it.  Please see the Wireless Module section below for additional details!

User Upgradable

Before I purchased this laptop I did some research to see what kind of upgrades would be easy. I assumed that like all laptops I have been in contact with before that RAM and HDD were a given. However, while looking this machine over on Best Buy’s website, one line struck me as odd. The RAM listed itself as not being expandable and that 4GB was the max. This concerned me as there is an increasing number of laptops, especially low cost or ultra thin devices, that soldier the RAM to the motherboard. This is usually ok, as long as you never have to upgrade and the RAM doesn’t die on you within the devices working lifetime. As with it being soldiered to the motherboard, the only solution to bad RAM or upgrades is to buy a new machine.

With that said one of the reviewers stated that they had upgraded their RAM to 8GB using an empty expansion slot which increased the APU’s video RAM to a full 1GB instead of the 512MB that is used with its default 4GB. Seeing this, I figured that it was then possible to upgrade the device and ended up purchasing it under the assumption that I could upgrade both the RAM and HDD without too much trouble.

Solid Bottom Case Design

Another item I noticed while researching this laptop is that the bottom of it is solid. No covers or slots for easy access to any internals. Even the battery appeared to be melded into the case. It turns out however, that this case design is easy to open up and I can’t imagine the process be any simpler. So don’t be fooled by it’s solid design.

The Procedure

WARNING: DO NOT ATTEMPT IF YOU ARE NOT EXPERIENCED WORKING WITH COMPUTER COMPONENTS. THIS PROCESS WILL VOID YOUR WARRANTY AND YOU MAY DAMAGE YOUR SYSTEM. IF YOU PROCEED IT IS ADVISED THAT YOU USE PROPER STATIC PROTECTION TO MINIMIZE RISK OF DAMAGE TO YOUR COMPUTER OR ITS PARTS.

Want to see how to disassemble this in video format? Check out this video, else read on below!

To open the C55D-B5214(and its brethren) you will need to remove a dozen or so screws and pop the rear case off. To start, first ensure the laptop is powered off. Then remove the battery screws listed in the diagram below. Once removed, the battery will slide out the back by pulling it away from the rest of the machine. This is much simpler than anticipated and makes this an easy to replace item in the future. (One major concern is taken care of!)

Laptop screw location diagram.
Toshiba C55D Laptop Screw Locations

Now that the battery is removed we can continue disassembly. It is now you will want to put on any static protection gear such as an anti-static wrist strap.

The DVD drive is the next component to remove. Unscrew the single screw holding it in place and slide the drive out of the casing.

To remove the DVD drive, remove the shown screw and slide the tray out.
DVD Drive Screw Location

After removing the DVD drive, you can now remove the remaining screws listed in the first diagram. Do not worry about getting them mixed up, they should be all the same size(mine were).

After removing all remaining screws, you are ready to remove the bottom panel. Use the DVD drive opening as a starting point and slowly pop apart the bottom from the rest of the laptop. At this point they are only snapped together so it should be straight forward to separate them. This is best completed with the laptop resting upside down on a flat surface. Some of the connections may refuse to come apart easily so grab a tiny flat head screwdriver(such as an eyeglasses screwdriver) and gently pry the connections apart. Once done, the entire panel will lift off and leave you with easy access to it’s components.

C55D-B5214 Motherboard and hardware.
Under the bottom cover of the laptop. Most hardware is easily accessible.

What Is All This Stuff?

Here are the items of most concern: HDD, RAM and DVD Location (for placement reference).

Other items that are not labeled include:

  • CPU Fan
  • SD Card Reader (Half Size)
  • Motherboard with connections to daughter boards. One for power, Ethernet and USB 3.0 and another to the touchpad and card reader.
  • CMOS Battery – Not labeled as it doesn’t exist. Looks as if the motherboard could have a mount added in the grey circle area under the fan and above the HDD. This unit uses the regular main battery for this purpose. This is the reason removing the battery always results in a clock reset however settings such as CMS/EFI boot remain. Not the way I would expect it to work.

HDD

HDD in isolator case which holds the drive in place.

The HDD that came with the laptop is a basic 1TB 5400RPM drive. This is a decent size for a drive, however from my experience the 5400 RPM speed was causing much of the sluggishness I noticed when using it. As noted in my post on Windows 10 Technical Preview, I upgraded the HDD to an SSD. Below is the process for removing and replacing the drive.

Start by removing the blue tabs at the end of the HDD and then slide the drive out of its slot by pulling the silver tape tab that is connected to the drive.Remove the blue tabs from the casing as shown. Then slide the HDD away from its connection.

Once out, the rubber casing can be removed and a new HDD can be slid in to replace it. After replacing the HDD, simply slide the rubber case back into place and set the tabs into their slots.

Below is a picture of the drive replaced with an old Samsung 830 128GB SSD. I have folded the tabs to make the drive fit better and the SSD is not as thick as the mechanical hard drive.

SSD in HDD Isolator
SSD fitted into the HDD slot. Tabs are folded over in the rubber case to ensure a tighter fit.

 

HDD (left) is thicker than the SSD (Right)
SSD’s come in multiple physical sizes. Some SSD’s(right) are thinner than HDD’s(left) and other SSD’s. If upgrading be sure to get the right size for your device.

 RAM

SK hynix 4GB RAM module that was preinstalled.

As shown in the diagrams above and mentioned earlier, this device has an empty RAM slot just waiting for you to fill it. With what RAM you ask? The A8-6430 in this device can handle up to 1866 MHz ram (per the AMD Product Description) however I am not sure what the motherboard is rated to handle. [Update 2015/09/17: Motherboard 1866MHz compatibility confirmed by Alison B in the comments below!]

The stock RAM that is installed is SK hynix brand. According to their Product Document Page and their Part Decoder Page this module is 4GB of 1600 MHz 11-11-11 1.35v RAM. Although usually it is best to buy sticks of RAM at the same time and all from the same brand, to save costs, you can use this information to purchase aftermarket items.

Note: I am not sure what the max RAM is for this laptop. However, given that it’s an entry level 2 GHz quad core CPU, I wouldn’t think that you need more than 8GB unless you have a very particular work load that requires it.

Update: 2015/05/31 – Mark Harmon has confirmed in the comments below that 12GB of RAM is supported.

Update 2015/06/20 – SuzyD, from the comments below, confirmed that you can install the max of 16GB without any issues.

Update: 2015/01/04
I have successfully upgraded this machine to 8GB of RAM. To do so I purchased RAM with the exact same specifications as listed for the pre-installed stick. If you are looking to upgrade this yourself and want to use something verified to work, I purchased the RAM shown below.

crucial notebook memory.

This is a 4GB stick of 204 pin 1600Mhz 11-11-11 1.35v crucial Notebook RAM.

To leave our blog and visit this product’s page on Amazon.com, click here: Crucial 4GB Notebook Memory

Update 2015/07/13 – Novice Computer user has confirmed in the comments below that the following Kingston RAM worked with their C55D-B5102.  You can find this RAM on Amazon by following this link(Will navigate you to Amazon.com): Kingston Technology 4GB 204 Pin RAM
-End 2015/07/13 Update-

Installing the RAM

Installing the RAM is the same as all other laptops that I have seen and worked on.  For those who haven’t installed laptop RAM before but worked with Desktops you may be confused at first.  Basically you insert the RAM slightly angled into place and then push it down into the module holders.  Below is how the stick rests when not clipped into place.

Installing RAM to the C55D-B524.

After installation no other changes to the computer are needed. The new 4GB of RAM is automatically detected. Windows shows that 6.94GB of the 8GB installed is usable and that 1GB is reserved for the integrated R5 GPU. This effectively doubles the VRAM for the GPU which should allow you to increase your graphics settings in any games you play. I haven’t tested this to see what the new scores are so perhaps that should be another post? Let me know in the comments or through our contact page!

-End of 2015/01/04 update-

-Start of 2015/01/31 update-

Wireless Module

toshiba_C55D-B5214_wireless_module_crop

The default wireless in this machine is 2.4Ghz wireless N300. Not bad for this machine considering its price range, but what if you want to upgrade your home network or connect to any available access point? Well, the good news is that this is also upgradable. The wireless module requires some additional disassembly to get to but it’s nothing difficult.  To get to it you will need to get underneath the cable held down with silver tape shown in the image below.

toshiba_c55d-b5214_wireless_module_location

To do this, first remove the yellow tape holding it in place, then remove the silver tape from the chassis and slide the cable out of it’s resting slot.  Once complete you should be able to gently fold the cable up but be careful not to bend or crease it.

toshiba_C55D-B5214_wireless_module

After getting the cable out of the way you will see a tiny wireless module in an M.2 format expansion slot. I determined this after some internet research as the M.2 format is referenced as the standard expansion slot used in modern laptops and small form factor devices. I also matched the size and pin layouts of the cards used in these slots to help be more confident in it’s type. However, I never found any print documents that explicitly identified this slot type.  I can confirm that the M.2 format wifi card I purchased does fit and works without issues, so I would think most cards of this type should work.

From here you just want to unscrew the single screw holding the stock wifi module in place and slide it out and replace with whatever card you wish and reassemble in reverse order of disassembly. The wireless card I chose is an Intel 7260 dual band wireless card as it runs both 2.4 and 5Ghz bands as well as A/B/G/N/and AC wireless up to 867Mbps (108 Megabytes per second). It even includes a Bluetooth 4.0 module which is a great bonus (although I cannot get it to work). This covers all current standards and wasn’t too expensive (paid about 40$ at time of writing on Amazon). Not bad considering Wireless AC only USB sticks sell for similar prices.  Below is an image of the new wireless card installed.

toshiba_c55d-5214_new_wireless_moduleI have done some initial testing and the card does work out of the box with Windows 8 however as of writing Windows 8.1 shows Bluetooth as disabled and greyed out.  Unsure of why as I installed Intel’s drivers, however I will update this section if I can get it working. Update: I am unable to get Bluetooth working with my machine. I am unsure if I have bad hardware or if perhaps there is some other hardware limitation.  I am also experiencing issues getting over 20 Megabytes per second transfer as well.  So if you get this specific module, it may be something to consider, although I have a feeling this is a configuration issue on my part as usually the hard part is finding hardware that is recognized.  I may have some driver conflicts as well that I haven’t had a chance to look at yet either.  I should have updates to this before the end of February( 2015) if you would like to know for sure.

If you would like to upgrade your wireless with the same module you can click this link to leave NautilusMODE and view the product on Amazon: Intel 7260NGW

-End of 2015/01/31 update-

-Update 2016/06/18-

Motherboard Jumpers

After receiving a number of comments asking about resetting the CMOS/BIOS password I disassembled my machine to take a closer look. The jumpers are present but very hard to find(tiny). Below is a diagram showing where they reside. They are just below the second RAM slot above the CPU when you remove the main back panel. If you can’t read it or see it, click the image to view it on it’s own.

toshiba-c55d-b5214-jumper-locations

The JCMOS section should work to reset the CMOS functionality while JPW should be related to the password(PW) set to the BIOS.(Per superuser.com)

Unfortunately while testing this out I managed to damage my machine presumably out of repair. So I will stress again, please proceed to use this information AT YOUR OWN RISK as it is possible your machine could suffer the same fate. Not so much because of using the jumpers but I believe I was poorly insulated against static shock. My machine only boots without any video(even when forced as I mention in the comments below). So unfortunately I can’t verify this will work. For some hints I found this link that may help from superuser.com(same link as in the previous paragraph): http://superuser.com/questions/983997/where-is-the-jumper-to-reset-bios-on-toshiba-satellite-p855

The section that is most helpful from the link above is the second portion offering additional troubleshooting if it doesn’t work. I hope this can help solve all your BIOS lockout issues.

-End of 2016/06/18 update –

 Closing Thoughts

This turned out to be the easiest laptop to take apart and upgrade that I have seen which makes me even happier with my laptop purchase.  Although I had also hoped to find the wireless module to upgrade as well(currently stuck with 2.4 Ghz Wireless N300) I feel that it may be tucked away under the keyboard.  That investigation will need to happen at a later date.  Possibly when I add the extra 4 GB of RAM into the extra slot.  If and when that happens I will be sure to update this post.  These upgrades were completed. Sorry for such a messy article, but there were a lot of updates from the original findings. 🙂


 

What do you think about this article?  Was it helpful or interesting? Would you like to see more of this type of article? Am I crazy for voiding my warranty within the first two months of owning it?  Let me know in the comments below!

Looking for more info on this machine? Check out my other posts!

Article Update: Upgrading the Wireless Card in the Toshiba Satellite C55D-B5214

October 2015 Toshiba Laptop Update: Bluetooth and Trackpad

78 thoughts on “Opening Up The Toshiba Satellite C55D-B5214

  1. I recently found the wifi module in my laptop and upgraded to wireless AC! If you are interested in how to upgrade from N300 to wireless AC bookmark or subscribe to be sure you don’t miss it!

  2. Do you know where the RTC Battery is located on this or the Toshiba Sattelite C55D-B5242 models? My email is [removed to protect you from spammers and spambot crawlers] and I’d appreciate any help you can give. Chris

  3. Hi Chris,

    I tore my laptop apart again this afternoon to see what I could find. I had assumed it was under the keyboard on the opposite side of the motherboard from what you see when you take the bottom cover off. To my dismay there is nothing on the back of the motherboard. From what I could see it appears there is circular section that may be possible to use as a RTC Battery, but there are no connections/holders for one.

    It appears that the RTC is running off the main battery. This would make sense as every time I have opened my laptop I have had to reset the date/time. Also, the battery isn’t designed to be swapped out easily so it makes sense that they would opt to draw power from there instead of another internal battery.

    Are you having issues with your laptop keeping the appropriate time? I haven’t let my battery completely die 100% yet, but I may do that now to test my power theory.

    ~Trevor

  4. Thank you for posting this guide. It gave me the confidence to up upgrade my memory to 12 GB and install a 500 GB SSD. IF only the touchpad wouldn’t freeze……..

  5. I’m glad you found this guide useful! Thanks for commenting and confirming that 12GB of RAM is supported, I have noted your findings it in the RAM section above.

    As for the touchpad, I am looking into how to fix it. My initial research has led me to articles that mention its a Windows 8 issue. So I will have to reinstall Windows 10 to see if it persists, I think it’s a driver issue. My issue is that it’s so inconsistent I can’t force it to happen to test solutions and only happens when I don’t have time to dig into it. If I find the answer I will be sure to post a solution!

  6. HI. Just wanted to let you know I’ve upgraded to 16GB (the max), and all is recognized, and everything is running well.

  7. Hi Suzy, what type of RAM (model #) you used? I was trying to do the same using two PNY 8GB DDR3 PC3-12800 (1.35v CL=11 unbufered) but it didn’t work. It just cannot power up. I called Toshiba tech support and they said the RAM of this machine cannot be user upgraded. (But clearly, it has a RAM expansion slot built in!) I called Crucial tech support and they advised me to update my Bios version to V1.5 (mine was 1.4) which I did, but it didn’t help either. BestBuy tech support (where I bought my RAM) changed another set for me just in case the original one was a defect chip set, but this new one didn’t work either. So, before I give up on this, I just wonder what specific RAM model you used? Anyone else tried this?

    By the way, I made a big mistake by buying a cheap machine that gives me so much headache. I’m not using it for fancy games or anything, just running a few Microsoft Office applications or keep a few web pages up would bring down the system so that I have to kill applications in order to recover. It’s so frustrated!

  8. Forgot to mention that my machine is Toshiba Satellite C55D-B5308 with 4G RAM.

  9. Hi Gary,

    I did a little research to see what I could find for you. I did find a review on Amazon for the C55D-B5304 that someone had upgraded to 16GB so I would assume that the B5308 has the same motherboard with the CPU. They appear to be identical spec wise although the case seems different which may mean the motherboard differs. It could be that the PNY RAM is not supported by the motherboard similar to limitations found when building custom PCs. However to test this try using a single stick of RAM to see if it boots. If it supports 8GB and PNY it will boot and then you know its a max limit of 8GB. Else, if it still doesn’t boot it may be that it is incompatible.

    I had luck with Crucial, if you use the link listed above in the article, you can select the 16GB kit (2x8GB).

    However that isn’t a guarantee as I see that your laptop has the E1 processor inside so perhaps it could truly be a limitation in the processor or with the motherboard. I have run into that issue in the past as well. I previously owned an Acer laptop that the manual listed a max of 4GB but my machine was manufactured with a different motherboard than I think expected as the chipset embedded in it only allowed a max of 2GB ram. I tried a few brands and size combinations before using Linux to grab the chipset model number to cross-reference its specs online.

    If you try a different brand of RAM, let us know if it works! Good luck with your upgrade!

  10. Hi Trevor,

    Thanks so much for looking into this and for your advice. Looks like it’s a compatability issue, as even the single 8GB RAM didn’t make it boot. I‘ll keep posted if I can ever make it work.

  11. Hi there,

    Looking at the specs in your C55D-B5102, it appears to be very closely related to the B5214. So much that I don’t even see a spec difference. I would guess it’s most likely a SKU difference for who sells the same machine or has some other minor change but would guess it shares the same parts under the hood.

    As it’s the same AMD processor(or any CPU in the same family) I think it should be compatible. I have never run into issues with Kingston myself and they seem to be well supported in desktops and laptops so I would think its a safe bet. However with having tested that specific stick I can’t say for sure.

    Have you had your laptop apart yet? I would think it has the same speed/voltage/larceny as the B5214. If that RAM for some reason doesn’t work give the crucial a try that I linked to in the article above if the factory RAM matches the B5214. If you do buy the Kingston I would love to hear if it works for you!

  12. Hi Trevor, thank you for the info. I just upgraded the RAM, and I am using the upgraded laptop to make this comment. it does say 8 GB as you mentioned. Thank you so much. really appreciate it

  13. I actually had a blast opening it bit I felt i was opening years of research. fascinated by the circuitry. college student. so, i learned about circuits in physics. although i don’t aspire to be a computer engineer or electrical engineer, I am fascinated by the ideas that went in creating such things.

  14. Hi Novice Computer user,

    Glad to know you were able to complete your upgrade and enjoyed the process. Just curious, did you use the Kingston that you first asked about or the crucial RAM that I mentioned in the article?

  15. Hi Trevor, I used the Kingston one that I shared. Let me know if there’s some sort of confirmation screenshot i can post.

  16. Hi Novice Computer user,

    I will take your word that it is working. I have updated the article above to add it as a possible upgrade option! Thank you for confirming this option for others!

  17. Hello Trevor. Someone gave me a Toshiba Satellite C55D-B5308 as a gift. I’m extremely thankful but I would like to upgrade it since I do some app development and the simulators won’t work with the standard resources so I’m thinking about upgrading to 16GB ram and a SSD.

    My question is: given that this particular model has a AMD E1-2100 Dual-Core 1GHz 1MB Cache, do you think the upgrades will significantly boost performance? If not, maybe I’ll just add another 4GB or ram. I’m thinking the processor will be the bottleneck and it may not be worth the $150-$200 in parts. Any thoughts?

    Thanks for posting this.

  18. Hi King,

    Yes, you are correct in thinking the CPU will be the bottleneck. My guess is that at around 2Ghz or higher a dual core would be a minimum for basic development and not to mention simulation tasks which I assume require the large amount of RAM you mention. I would think the A6 or A8 quad core at 2Ghz is more what you would want to have a decent, responsive experience. Have you noticed that RAM is the main issue when using your machine? I am going to guess the 1Ghz cores may run your applications it if there is no minimum CPU speed required, but they would also bring your machine to a slow pretty much unresponsive crawl. Not to mention heat it up. I don’t think it would be best to stress it to that level.

    If you still want to get some extra performance for everyday tasks I would suggest an SSD if you plan to use this device often as it should really add to its responsiveness even at the lower CPU speed. The difference between a 5400RPM platter drive and an SSD is night and day on pretty much any machine. If it has 4GB, adding another 4 may or may not have a big impact. Windows 8.1 is pretty efficient with RAM and my laptop is idling at 1.5GB used after boot but of course with 4GB and an APU 512MB is reserved for graphics. So unless you find you are routinely hitting a RAM limit in task manager I would think the current 4GB would be enough for basic usage.

    Sorry to confirm the machine isn’t powerful enough for what you want to do. But it should be a great daily task machine.

    Glad you found this guide useful and taking the time to comment!

  19. Thanks for clarifying. I think you’re right. I noticed that the CPU and the hard drive are the main culprits for slow performance. I’m considering replacing the SSD but only if I can use the same SSD in another laptop later on in the future. If I do upgrade to SSD, I’ll post an update.

    You mentioned you used an old SSD you already had. Are SSDs usually compatible with other laptops?

  20. Internal SSD’s come in two common formats for laptops. SATA based that are fully enclosed(as I show above in the HDD section) or M.2/Mini PCI Express that look more like a wireless module(but usually much longer). SATA is what is used for modern standard HDD’s. That should be what’s in your device as the Mini-PCI/M.2 connection is usually left to high end laptops with multiple drives or netbook style devices where they can reduce device size by using the smaller format. Actually if wanted to use a USB wifi adapter or Ethernet only and have more internal storage, I could replace my wifi card with a tiny SSD using the M.2 format.

    So yes, buying a standard 2.5″ SATA SSD(as shown in the pictures above) you shouldn’t have any issues reusing it later in another laptop or desktop. SATA appears to be here to stay and I am not aware of any connection that would replace it in the near future. If you are concerned about identifying them don’t worry, you can’t really confuse the form factors because M.2/mini-PCI has the chips exposed/slot based form factor and SATA uses two L shaped connectors on one side and looks like a traditional HDD, just smaller.

    The only compatibility issue I can think of is if the OS wouldn’t support it but that is more of an issue with finding an initial drive. As long as it is supported by the OS, future versions shouldn’t remove that compatibility for a rather long time. So you are safe to purchase any current SSD that is listed as compatible with your OS and it should be able to be reused later in another machine without any issues.

    Sorry for the longer post, but thought it was a good time to discuss the format differences. Perhaps I will add this into a separate post later regarding PC part formats and compatibility in the future.

    If this is confusing at all, let me know and I will do my best to make it understandable.

  21. That’s the best explanation I’ve seen and yes, I will be upgrading to SSD now and probably throw in an extra 4 GB of ram since it’s relatively cheap. I’ve already checked compatible SSDs on Crucial and they are 2.5″ SATAs like you said. I’ll keep you posted.

    I did notice some improvement after changing visual effects to “Adjust for Best Performance.” And the laptop handles web development and WAMP surprisingly well so I think I’ll keep it for a while and use my desktop for app development if necessary.

    Thanks for the reply Trevor!

    BTW Not sure if you’re aware, but the “Notify me of new comments via email” isn’t working. Not complaining, just thought you may want to know 🙂

  22. Glad to hear that although low spec it still can do what you need it to!

    Thanks for the heads up on the notification of comment issue. I will take a look to see what I can find out regarding that.

  23. 16 GB confirmed at 1866 MT/S (DDR3 PC3-14900)!!! See details below.

    Trevor, I do have a question about the wireless module upgrade. Did you ever get your Bluetooth working? I’m thinking about upgrading to the module mentioned in your article above. Any updates on performance on module?

    ——————

    Thanks, Trevor. I upgraded the RAM on my Toshiba C55D-B5214 from the default 4GB to 16GB (8GB x 2 which is the confirmed MAX). Things anyone wanting to upgrade RAM should know:

    1. After upgrading with matching pair of RAM modules, it will remain SINGLE CHANNEL function only.

    2. I upgraded using the Crucial 16GB kit (8GBx2) DDR3 PC3-14900 Unbuffered NON-ECC 1.35V 1024Meg x 64 ordered directly from their website (item: CT6295499). and the performance increases are HUGE!!!! I mean HUGE! I don’t game, but do a lot of XAMPP web development work. Before upgrading, I was getting cursor lags, frequent freezing up, and always between 83% – 98% RAM USAGE with the factory default 4GB. After updating from WIN 7 to WIN 10 and was at 94% after just booting up system and only running antivirus and my wireless keyboard/mouse software in background.

    Now with 16GBs installed, my system is FAST, no lagging at all! After boot, I’m between 13% – 20% ram usage at MOST. Everything works TONS faster, and I can run XAMPP (with virtual server function turned on), Photoshop x64, AfterAffects, tons of browsers all open at ONCE and it is still fast!

    Product Specs: Crucial – 16GB kit (8GBx2) – Speed 1866 MT/S, DDR3 PC3-14900 • CL=13 • Unbuffered • NON-ECC • DDR3-1866 • 1.35V • 1024Meg x 64 •

    —————-

  24. Hi Alison, thanks for posting your finding and glad to know the upgrade made a world of difference! Also thank you for confirming that 1866MHz is supported by the motherboard. I have updated the article to reflect this.

    In regards to single channel I do remember reading that is limited to this family of APU’s and I forgot to add that in the original post. Sorry everyone for overlooking that!

    Lastly I haven’t performance tested the wireless in a while. I will have to do some additional tests including bluetooth(as I don’t use it and currently don’t see it installed as an option). The maximum speed that I was able to achieve was about 20 Megabytes per second which is around 160Mbps, but hardly near the 866Mbps my router can theoretically output. I am thinking I should be able to get at least double using AC. Of course at the time I was experiencing wireless issues prompting me to wire our entire apartment with Ethernet. So these may be related.

    This may be it’s own separate post but I will be certain to update my findings in this post as well(with a link to the new article of course).

  25. Hi Alison,

    I have tried extensively for hours to get the Bluetooth in both Windows 8 and 10(while seeing if I could get my laptop to update for free) but just can’t get it working. I do see unrecognized PCI devices in my device manager and Intel’s drivers install but it doesn’t change the status or let Bluetooth devices show up. So it looks like that’s a no go. As I have been busy wiping and reloading my laptop numerous times as part of my hardware testing I haven’t had a chance to do full testing transferring files over the network. I think all of these updates will be summarized in a post coming up this week. So stay tuned for the official update!

  26. Thank you for the article, I’ve just bought this laptop and upgrade the ram to 8gb using kingston 4gb ddr3l (1.35v). It works great with the stock ram and the bios automatically read it as 8gb now.. I also upgrade the hdd to ssd, using patriot blaze 240gb.. Now it runs fast dan smooth.. 🙂

  27. Hi Alldhika! Glad you found this article helpful!

    I have also written a number of other articles about this laptop if anyone is interested. Just search the site or click on the laptop model number tag to find all the others!

    Thanks for stopping by! 😀

  28. spoke too soon…my ram shows as 8 gb installed and 3.44 usable…i managed to update the bios to 1.40 but can’t figure out how to have the system remap the memory ?

  29. okay…figured out ram issue. swapped ram/reseated the chips and full 8gig recognized

  30. Sorry to hear about your RAM issues, but glad to know it’s working now for you!

  31. Hey Trevor, I have successfully upgraded my ram up to 8gb of ram. Kudos, I can confirm that Crucial worked for me. Same one you linked in description worked for my Toshiba C55d-b5102.

    Have you or do you know if we can connect an external gpu to our computers? I have a Toshiba C55d-b5102 satallite and cant find the PCIe port. Please let me know.

  32. Hi Adam,

    Great to hear your upgrade worked! I did some exploration into external GPU’s and even M.2 based GPU’s to see if it would be feasible to drop the wireless and use a USB adapter to free up space for the GPU. However all my searching resulted in mixed results with questionable means. Although possible to have a full external GPU added, the cost of the external GPU with adapter(only found one that was about $70) and power supply would cost a few hundred dollars. At that point it may be best to just save these funds for a future new laptop. There are also other limitations with external GPU’s such as needing a way to get the output back into the machine and usually they output directly to external monitors.

    If you are interested, one of the articles I found was this one from LifeHacker: http://lifehacker.com/5851902/turn-a-low-powered-laptop-into-a-gaming-machine-with-an-external-video-card-dock
    This was actually found from this link here: http://www.tomsguide.com/answers/id-2323895/connect-external-desktop-gpu-laptop.html
    Both contain additional information but all roads seem to lead to an answer of you can’t really update the GPU. Is there a specific reason you wish to run an external GPU? The R5 I found was powerful enough to do moderate gaming and I was able to play TF2 without issues on my machine(note I do have an SSD to help with fast loading).

  33. Great post. The computer has 4gb already, so if I buy an 8gb stick of ram and insert it I would have 12gb of ram right?. Would that work or would I have to buy two sticks of the same gb in order to work?

    Thanks

  34. Hi Luis,

    Yes that should work without issue.

    Normally it is recommended to use two equal sticks to allow dual channel to kick in (enabling I think up to a 5-10% performance boost). However, if my memory serves me right this line of APU’s is only capable of single channel anyway. So no worries and no added performance other than the extra space if you get matching pairs.

    I did check my laptop with 2 x 4GB sticks(the manufactures and crucial listed above) with same specs and it only shows Single channel using CPU-Z. So no further performance can be gained. Feel free to use an 8GB stick to bump your specs up to 12GB.

  35. thanks for your post. I followed it and open up my Toshiba C55D B5308, and ordered from Crucial “CT102464BF160B.C16FPR part no. CT6891968” 8GB DDR3L-1600 SODIMM 1.35V CL11, put it in, an 8 GB upgrade, GB shown in system info:
    —————————————-only 4G——————–only 8G——————4+8 G together
    installed physical mem…………..4………………………..8…………………..12
    Total physical mem……………….3.43…………………….7.43……………….11.4
    available physical mem………….1.32…………………….6.31……………….10.3
    total virtual mem…………………..4.86…………………….8.80……………….13.2
    available virtual mem……………..2.21…………………….7.73……………….12

    Before the laptop takes forever to load a webpage, like a 56K modem, now, it takes less a second, not quite eyeblinking yet, but at least, the laptop is now “normal”. I paid $214 at Amazon for this laptop and now $37 ram, for a 15.6 inch laptop with 12G ram and HDMI, not bad. Thank you for your post, and now my laptop is now normal.

    bun

  36. Oh, forgot to say, either 4G + 8G or 8G alone, but booted without problem. Thanks Trevor.

    bun

  37. Hi bun,

    Glad to hear this post helped! 😀 Also thank you for posting the listed amount of available RAM with each configuration!

    I see that based on specs that your specific model has the E-1 processor. I note this because I see that the amount of RAM reserved (for the Radeon 8000 series graphics) is less than my A8 with R5 graphics that has a full 1 GB reserved with an 8GB configuration. An interesting difference between APU’s.

    If you are looking to boost the speed anymore of your system a cheap SSD should do the trick if you don’t already have one. I have seen incredible deals of 120GB SSDs for 50$ USD and 256GB for 70-90$ of late. That should help get your files into RAM faster booting and any other task faster. I personally use SSD’s in all my builds and have seen first hand what a difference going from 5400RPM to 7200RPM to SSD can do. The speed boost is well worth the price and the prices are getting cheap enough that it’s certainly something to consider. Although with a 1GHz CPU I am not sure how quickly that may become the bottleneck or how much that may slow you down. If you give it a shot I would love to know your results!

  38. I am thinking about it. I saw in ssd 240 as low as $50 and another 8G Ram is $37. I am not sure up from 12G RAM to 16G Ram give a bigger boost vs 5400RPM to SSD. Just do not know which one give the best bang for the buck. And also, if I choose to go with SSD, how to transfer the window OS from the old drive to the new SSD drive? I am very tech NOT savvy 🙁 . And any SSD SATA3 2.5 inch will fit, or is there more parameter I have to be careful? dont want to buy a piece and found out it wont work. Thanks, Trevor

    bun

  39. Hi Bun, the SSD should give you more performance than another 4GB of RAM in your case. Any 2.5″ SATA SSD should work.

    As for backing up and restoring your data to the new drive it’s a very easy procedure. I had originally thought I made a post showing how to do this but it looks like it never got past the draft stages(and for WIndows 7 Pro only)! I will work on getting a guide set up on how to do exactly this. It’s a rather simple procedure, but the steps needed to do it are not obvious unless you have looked into it. So stay tuned and I will have that for my post tomorrow or sometime next week!

  40. where is the cmos battery located if it even has one? i have a toshiba satellite c55d-b5308
    and its asking for a cmos password but i dont have it.

  41. Hi Randy,

    There actually is no CMOS battery in these machines. It’s powered by the standard battery pack. If you are have set a CMOS password and can’t recall it to enter the machine you should be able to disconnect the battery and drain the power; by letting it sit for a while (10 minutes) or by then pressing the power button to fully drain the motherboard. Once drained the system settings should be reverted back to stock factory settings and the password should be removed. I haven’t been able to test this myself so please let me know if this works for you.

  42. Hi and thanks for all the great info, Can you please check for me and see if the laptop will power on with the battery removed and only the ac adapter attached, I think I have a dead battery and since there is no CMOS battery I figure that the bios is not getting powered correctly hence no boot or post screens.

  43. Hi Joey, Glad you found this article helpful! 😀

    I just checked to see if my laptop boots without a battery and discovered that it actually wont. It starts up and stays frozen at the Toshsiba splash screen. I do have Linux Mint currently installed so I am using the old CSM boot instead of EFI so not sure if that makes a difference. However if you are getting the same issue and using a default Windows install, then it seems that’s the way it works and you will need a new battery before your machine will work again. This seems like a design flaw on this model, but I suppose they don’t intend on you servicing it yourself and so didn’t take that into consideration.

  44. Thanks, well I am not getting the Toshiba Splash Screen, so it may not be the only problem.

  45. About a year ago my screen broke and it had little visibility so i was able to connect it to an external monitor. I decided to remove the whole screen and its frame from my laptop and just put the ext. monitor behind the keyboard.

    Today I decided to perform a factory reset and go back to a previous windows version from what i currently have, windows 10. I was not thinking at the time and when i performed the reset and started up my laptop it was no longer recognizing the external monitor.

    It would be easy to just type in my password and all but as i previously said i performed a factory reset and it should be showing the start up options ( Time zone, Name, Organization, etc…)

    This is the laptop I have: Toshiba – Satellite 15.6″ Laptop C55D-B5206 – AMD A8-Series – 4GB Memory – 750GB Hard Drive – Jet Black

    I don’t currently have the money to buy another laptop and I am a full-time college student so its really frustrating. I’ve gooogled and received many solutions but none worked.

    If anyone has an idea on what i can do or if there is anything I have not tried please comment, thank you ahead of time!

  46. Hi Albert,

    Sorry to hear your troubles 🙁 . That is a terrible chain of events and I have been in similar situations myself where you really have to dig for answers. I have attempted getting screen output using HDMI and VGA output to no avail while installing Windows or having the ability to see the EFI/BIOS screens.

    Not all hope is lost though! There are a few things you can try. First off I found a similar issue on superuser here: http://superuser.com/questions/476933/cannot-enter-bios-due-to-broken-screen

    One piece of advice listed actually worked on my Toshiba C55D-B5214. This was to press power and close the laptop lid forcing it to use its external display connectors. I understand you have removed your screen but if you can position the connectors that it thinks the screen is there and closed you may be able to trick it using this. One remark is a user noted about a switch or magnetic check to see if it’s closed so you may want to explore this more if you can’t get it to work with your current hardware’s state.

    If this fails, I think you may be able to reimage it from another PC. Of course this requires you to have a back up of your previous installation to be able to do this. Not to mention the imaging software able to apply it to another disk. I haven’t done this using Microsoft’s built in imaging software, you would just need to ensure that you don’t overwrite the OS on the machine you are working on.

    I hope those options are able to help. Best of luck getting your machine functional again!

  47. And it’s HAS to be with a VGA cable, correct? I have it connected with an HDMI cable

  48. You seriously deserve like a thousand Internets. Thanks for the insight with the cmos battery. What an odd configuration. Found out that the battery going g out was affecting the I ternal clock and was through in off the boot as well. New battery solved it all

  49. Hi Albert,

    I tested it again with HDMI and it worked as well. Doing some more research on the issue and I found that laptops generally have a physical switch or a magnetic switch that interfaces with the screen to determine if the lid is closed or open. I gutted my machine again to see if I could locate it and didn’t turn up anything. I did find one thing with a red N leading me to think that may be a North magnetic magic switch but using household magnets I couldn’t trick the machine to thinking it was closed. Probably has a very specific magnetic field it looks for.

    On the bright side though I found removing the screen cable completely allowed it to boot to HDMI or VGA without issue. I have updated the screen of the motherboard above to show which cable it is. If you haven’t already, try removing this cable completely and see if that can get it to boot to external video by default. Let me know if that works for you! Unfortunately I am not sure what else you could try after this aside from restoring the OS on the HDD externally and then moving the HDD back into the machine once its ready for use again.

  50. Thanks! 😀 Glad to know I could help Matthew!

    If you look closely above it even appears there is a spot to solder connectors in place for a real CMOS battery (the grey circle like spot between the fan and the HDD area) but it seems they decided to opt for it to run purely off the main battery which is very strange. If I have some free time I should do some more research to see if it would be possible to add one in this spot. Might be a fun project. Too bad my laptops case is starting to crack and fall apart from about a dozen disassemblies. Maybe I can fix some of the screw mounts that broke when I do this as well. 🙂

  51. Hey Trevor

    So this is my current state. I found the sensor and I am able to see the screen and boot it into the advanced settings. Now I bumped into another problem. I get this loop of “diagnosing your PC” and “preparing automatic repair.” I read on another forum that I could fix this by going into the advanced settings and bring up a command prompt and typing these 3 commands and then restarting:

    Bootrec /fixMBR
    Bootrec /fixboot
    Bootrec /rebuildBCD

    I’m not 100% sure about the legitimacy of this but I tried and I still get the loop. Any ideas on how to fix this?

    And thank you for the support and the time you spent helping me!

  52. Hi Albert,

    Depending on your situation, it may be easiest to just wipe and reload the entire OS now that you can get reliable video out. What OS were you using previously? If it’s Windows 8 you can easily download and make an installer on a USB stick to attempt a repair or install from scratch. However, there wouldn’t be any harm in running those commands to see if it fixes it first. What those do is rebuild the master boot record which tells the hardware where to find the OS when your PC boots. So it shouldn’t cause any harm(although any HDD actions do have the possibility of failing and doing more damage). However if it doesn’t, you can try the following:

    I have written up a Windows recovery guide here: https://nautilusmode.com/2015/08/16/laptoppc-windows-recovery-informationguide/
    This should have all the details you need to wipe and restore your OS.

    I would suggest a wipe and reload due to what seems to be a corrupt install or other possible issues. If you do go this route and need to gain access to your files that are not backed up and you have not used bitlocker (or other encryption software) you should be able to boot using a Linux USB (guide to do that here: https://nautilusmode.com/2015/09/13/how-to-try-linux/ see the section on LIVE USB). Once booted via LIVE mode (DO NOT INSTALL) you should be able to mount the main HDD and then copy your files to an external drive.

    Hope this helps!

  53. On the same Toshiba Satellite that you opened up where is the cmos jumper to reset the password?

  54. Hi Michael,

    I haven’t seen one inside this machine. I haven’t tried it yet, but I have read multiple places online that removing the main battery for at least 30 seconds should cause all settings to reset. This may need to be extended, and it also wouldn’t hurt to attempt to power on the machine to fully drain all power from it after removing the battery. I will give this a test later to see if it works.

  55. Trevor,

    Thanks for your help with this computer. I am hoping to change the ethernet Card because it has a limitation of 100mb I like to put a gigabit ethernet card. Do you know is it possible to change or is it soldered to the motherboard. Otherwise, I will have to get a wireless module that support 5ghz or dual band. My preference the ethernet card because it is much more faster for my use. Thanks again in advance.

  56. Hi Phil,

    In the new video I embedded in the article above you can see it’s part of a custom daughterboard. As shown above you can upgrade the Wifi, however if you are looking for wired, I would suggest getting a USB 3.0 Ethernet adapter. They usually go for about 15$ and will provide the full Gigabit speed so long as it’s used in the single USB3 port on this laptop.

  57. Thanks for the awesome write up Trevor! I upgraded the c55d 5212 to 8 gigs using this ram.. Kingston Technology 4GB 1600MHz DDR3L PC3-12800 1.35V Non-ECC CL11 SODIMM Intel Laptop Memory KVR16LS11/4.

    What a huge difference. Gaming has improved as shared memory went from 512 to 1024 for the gpu. Almost want to try 1866 ram.

  58. Hi D,

    Happy to hear this was of help to you! 😀 I looked into the difference between 1600 and 1866 RAM and wasn’t able to find much. I did find this article on bit-tech.net which is for it’s older brother for the desktop(Kaveri which is the predecessor to Beema which this APU is) which you should check out: http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2014/01/14/amd-a8-7600-kaveri-review/11

    It shows that there is a small difference between speeds (in games) and I would think with the tech being so close you would find a similar scaling although I have no proof to back this assumption. So, it looks like for the minimal gain, I would personally stick with 1600MHz ram as you already have it and put that extra cash away for something else. Hope this is also of use to all who may be curious about the performance gains. Unfortunately I don’t have any 1866 notebook ram for testing or I would gladly run some benchmarks myself.

  59. Hi chris, yes you should be able to. After looking up your model, yours seems to be the same spec wise as my B5214. The only difference that I see is that the HDD is smaller at 500GB instead of 1TB. Given it’s the same otherwise it should have a similar if not the same motherboard and an empty RAM slot. To confirm, it’s pretty easy and straight forward to remove the bottom cover and check. I would suggest doing this to ensure that you get what you are expecting.

  60. Can you remove the wireless card since it’s a PCI and replace that with a more advanced graphics card?

  61. Hi Steven,

    Technically the answer is yes, however logistically the answer is probably no. The only issue would be finding an M.2 slot compatible mobile GPU that can take it’s slot. However that catch comes that it would most certainly need some form of cooling. Of the dozen or so laptops I have worked on for people, I have always found the GPU to be part of the greater CPU heatsink. I haven’t worked on any high end gaming machines, so perhaps they have their own cooling loop. Either way that GPU would probably fry without any cooling system. So, as long as it would fit the limited space for it, it “could” work technically. However a custom cooling solution would be needed. So, unfortunately without a lot of effort to take care of the heat problem, it won’t be possible.

  62. I have a Toshiba Satellite C55D-B5214
    It has been some how bios password locked. To clear it I have to find the jumper locations under the ram stick. However I could not locate those two soldered locations. could you please identify the jumper locations. Any other method on how to remove the bios passwoed would also be appreciated.
    Thanks

    Albert

  63. Hi Albert! I took my machine apart again to locate them and added in a new section showing the location of the jumpers in the article above. Unfortunately I am unable to verify if they work to reset the password as I believe I have damaged my machine beyond repair(details in post above). So if you try this yourself, please be sure to use proper static protection and do this AT YOUR OWN RISK. Sometimes things can go wrong and bad things happen. 🙁

  64. Hey Everyone!

    Just saw this as cool way to upgrade my laptop until I have enough components to build a Desktop PC. After some research, I have some questions that I don’t know the answer to.

    1. Where is the PCIe port on my laptop? What generation is it?

    2. I am planning on getting an NVIDIA GTX 1080 graphics card. I currently have a RG630-S12, which runs at 630W continuous. What PCIe adapter board should I buy?

    3. Will I need to download any software or change my booting sequence to make this work?

    4. Will this run VR with an additional 4 gb of RAM?

    Thank you.

  65. Hi Zach,

    To answer your questions:

    1. I believe the Wifi Card slot shown above uses M.2 as it works with an M.2 upgrade card, however I don’t have any manufacturer documentation to prove this(so take this information as is and without warranty). M.2 runs as PCI-E 3.0 speeds, so a converter may work, but a path for the cable would need to exit the laptop to be able to then have space to place a full sized GPU.
    2. There are adapters that would allow you to have external connectors for internal GPU’s, however I haven’t worked with any myself. I know they come in USB 3 format, but an M.2 to PCIE adapter should work, but would also require an external power supply.
    3. As for any software changes, if using the M.2 slot, it should be recognized so long as the GPU has power during boot as the machine should read the M.2 slot the same as a PCI slot in a desktop. As for the USB options, I haven’t worked with those either, so some web searching would be in order.
    4. Will this run VR? No, any of the CPU’s I have seen in these series laptop are not powerful enough to run VR. At minimum you would need a desktop class i5 or FX-8350 or higher based on the VR solution you are attempting to use. I would recommend you consult the manufacturer of your desired VR solution for proper system requirements.

    Now for a non VR upgrade, technically I can’t see why hacking the conversions together wouldn’t work but it doesn’t mean you should (based on the CPU. More on that later). This is also merely my guess as I haven’t done so or tested it myself. So I can’t stress enough that if you attempt this, do so at your own risk as it may or may not work as expected. Additionally, the CPU would most likely bottleneck the system to such a degree that spending any money on the upgrade would seem to be more of a waste than putting it towards a newer system with better specs.

    I would recommend against such an upgrade. Save the cost and look to build your desktop or buy a better laptop(although there are no laptops that I am aware of that can push VR yet).

    Sorry if this is disappointing. However unfortunately the hardware wouldn’t be able to handle the task. Thanks for stopping by and asking! If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask!

  66. I was wondering if it would be possible to tell me what type of motherboard I need to replace mine in a Toshiba Satellite C55D-B5308 I have done all my research and can not seem to find anything telling me what kind i can use for it.

  67. Hi NoNamedDemon, unfortunately the motherboard is not replaceable except with an exact copy from the manufacturer. If you are in need of another I would think you may find luck looking for one on ebay. Plenty of people salvage parts form devices and sell them online, so you will have to look to someone having that specific model to replace yours. Good luck with your repairs!

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