My call to Toshiba Tech Support

Friday, August 26th, 2005
[Warning: This blog post is on the boring side and will probably interest only those with Toshiba Tablet PCs. Many non-tablet readers of my blog will want to skip over this rant, unless they are interested in examples of  TCFDTLAIDBWFS *]

I'm taking the time to post this, not to whine, but to raise the awareness level of how vendors, in this case, Toshiba, could take simple steps to create satisfied customers. (Of course that supposes that vendors read blogs to find out what their customers and people who recommend their products have to say.) Perhaps Lora, Warner, JK, Rob, or Marc will make some noise about this and kick this into the mainstream. [Hint.] If Toshiba (or any vendor wants to talk with me, I would be happy  to receive your call. You know where to find me.)

Summary of my call to Toshiba Tech Support.

I decided to call Toshiba Support today; I wanted to learn how they would assist me with my problem. I called 800-457-7777 just after 4:00 PM, PST. I pressed 1 for English, and 3 for tech support. I was quickly connected to Amir in tech Support. That's probably the shortest hold time I've encountered anywhere. Amir politely informed me that he was familiar with my problem (a corrupt file in Windows) and that what I needed was the Retail Version of Windows XP with which to run the console recovery program. I informed Amir that I understood this and that was the purpose of my call - to get the retail disks so that I could fix my system. Amir explained that Toshiba does not sell the retail version of Windows XP and that my only option (other than reformatting my system from scratch using my self-created product recovery CDs)  is to go and purchase a retail version of Windows XP PRO, Tablet Edition.  I explained to Amir that the Tablet PC version of Windows XP is only available to OEMs, like Toshiba and Fujitsu and that it is unavailable for retail purchase. Amir put me on hold for a few minutes and returned to explain that since the Tablet PC and Media Center are add-on editions to standard XP, I could probably put one of those disks in my system and run rconsole from there. Amir apologized for the fact that there is no way to extract the file that I need from the recovery CDs. (OK, I know how I'll fix this, and I'll get it done quickly, but I won't be publishing it on my blog.)

I decided to push my luck and see if I could eradicate the spamware and UFOs from my Tablet PC

While I had Toshiba Support on the line, I decided to ask about two other nagging problems: the UFO under my screen and my desire for a new set of recovery disks sans Toshiba-provided spamware.

I was pleased to learn that laptop is fully covered for the dust problem - the extended warranty will cover dispatching a technician to fix my M4 screen. I'll arrange to do this sometime, soon. (I did not deal with this sooner because I did not want to give up my tablet.)

As far as the spamware, I was not as pleased with the answer. I was told that the "free bonus software" is included on all Toshiba product recovery CDs. I explained that Michael Sampson has an international version that did not come with the free spamware. I explained that if I have to reload, I did not want to invest half a day removing what Warner Crocker calls ...   Oh, nevermind. There's no getting around spamware; too bad.

In short, Toshiba Tech Support was fast and courteous and completely unable to assist me with the two problems that were most important to me.

OK, time to drop this for today. I've got much more important work to do than whine about my M4. I still like the Tablet and I will continue to work with the M4 in order to find the ideal solution for my clients.

Meanwhile, it's back to paper while I reload or repair the M4.

Fortunately, pencils are inexpensive and plentiful.

(* Marc, TCFDTLAIDBWFS means Tablet Customer Frustration Due to Lack of Adequate Install Disks But With Free Spamware. No, I can't pronounce it.)

Discussion/Comments (16):

My call to Toshiba Tech Support

Microsoft and Toshiba (et al) are only fueling the piracy concerns that Microsoft alread has. Who is going to buy a retail version of a product that they already own?

Posted at 08/27/2005 4:16:42 by Jeff Singfiel

Is a Mac Powerbook in your future?


Sorry to hear about the problems you are having with your Tablet PC. Maybe it's time to switch to a Mac?

Hope all is well my friend.


Posted at 08/27/2005 16:33:48 by Bruce Elgort

My call to Toshiba Tech Support

Hey does Michael's restore CD lack the crapware? Does it work with your tablet?

Posted at 08/27/2005 17:51:11 by Eugene Franco

U.S. vs International TPC OS CD

Eugene, I would expect that Michael's system recovery CD, if he made one, would not have the spamware that is generously provided to Toshiba's US customers. While I could ask for that CD, I'm concerned that I'll run into other problems with serial numbers and the like. It's just not worth my time to experiment.


Posted at 08/28/2005 22:53:58 by Eric Mack

re: Is a Mac PowerBook in your future?

Thanks for the kind words, Bruce. A Mac PowerBook is not as likely to be in my future as a Mac tablet. I'm hooked on the Tablet form factor and I hope that Apple will raise the standard for design and customer service in this area. Even though I would probably stay with the PC platform, improvements by Apple are likely to benefit all of us. Still, I would be open to consider an alternative.

At this year's Collaborative Technologies Conference in New York, I promised my colleague, Michael Sampson, that I would consider a Mac as a productivity tool. Michael's young son, David, has already offered his consulting services to help me evaluate the platform.

As an xProductivity specialist, I owe it to myself and my clients to look into this further. The challenge is that the world and clients that I serve us predominately PC-based. Regardless, I've started a MindMap of my software requirements; perhaps I'll post them in a future blog entry so that we can continue this discussion.

Best regards,


Posted at 08/28/2005 22:56:16 by Eric Mack

"would consider a Mac as a productivity tool"


If I remember our discussion at CTC correctly, at 11.15pm on Tuesday June 21 you said "That's it, I'm buying a Mac". We were recording a podcast at that time, but I think you haven't posted it because your Tablet crashed while trying to save the file. Do I recall correctly?

:-) M.

"One for Macintosh, and Macintosh for All" (1fm-amfa)

Posted at 08/29/2005 1:06:27 by Michael Sampson

re: "would consider a Mac as a productivity tool"

Yes, Michael, you recall correctly. You are so kind.

It's true folks, I did say "That's it, I'm buying a Mac." It was in a moment of extreme duress - my Tablet had crashed for the 4th time (at least) that day. I believe I narrowed the problem, that problem at least, down to the TPC memory leak and possibly an errant Windows desktop app.

Michael, I knew that day would somehow come back to haunt me; however, I had completely forgotten about the Podcast., That was a lot of fun.

I still have it - it's on 400 separate files, salvaged from my Audacity temp directory when the M4 crashed.

No time to stich the files together and the few recovery tools I tried made the audio file worse. Perhaps I can train my 6 year old to concatenate the files together for me.

Meanwhile, my M4's been running, though each day brings new slowness. I'm not going to reboot until tomorrow, because I have 2 more papers due and I don't want to risk that I won't be able to boot up again. No time for that.

As for the Mac for the Mack, I'll start collecting my requirements list. This is not a promise to buy, just a promise to consider. Although, at the moment ...

Posted at 08/29/2005 3:15:05 by Eric Mack

My call to Toshiba Tech Support

Eric, if you currently try & boot XP standard on the M4, it will not load. I tried this because I used the Microsoft Automated System Recovery facility (ASR), which is part of Micsoft Backup to build a backup image & wanted to get back to it. Toshiba have acknowldeged the issue & I am told this support will be part of the next BIOS release. I'm in Australia & so have the International version of the Toshiba software & it doesn't seem to have quite the niggles you have had.

Posted at 08/29/2005 7:38:37 by Richard Presser

My call to Toshiba Tech Support

I have a Qosmio G25 - it had a bad DVD-RW and the tech they sent stripped the torque screws holding to the motherboard, severed the connector from the drive to the motherboard, dinged up the chasis while trying to force it apart with screws still holding it together and finally scratched my 17" LCD screen. Toshiba has been horrible about resolving this. They were rude and aggressive, while all the time I had in writing the form that shows it was THEIR tech who broke it. Consequently I have a $3000 piece of crap sitting on my desk until they decide to do something about it. I do not reccommend any toshiba product to anyone unless you have alot of patience and a high tolerance for aggravation.

Posted at 01/23/2006 13:13:05 by Joe

My call to Toshiba Tech Support

I have a Toshiba laptop model PS50CC-OUX1ZP which just started acting up. Whenever you start it up, within seconds after Windows XP starts up, an error report comes up and then the screen goes all wavey with colored lines. It happens so fast that Microsoft does not get enough time to analyze the report. I started it up in Safe mode and got a reading saying that I should "Disable Driver or check for updates, try changing Video Adapters". They also said to check with Toshiba for BIOS Updates and to disable BIOS Memory Options such as Caching or Shadowing. The Tech Info they gave was; Stop:0X0000007E(0XC0000005,0XF6C3981A,0XF845 DAC0,0XF84507BC). SIS63.SYS-ADDRESS F6C3981A BASE AT F6C36000,DATESTAMP41ab05b9. I am completely at a loss as to what to do except to try to download BIOS updates and try them. Any help you could give me would go along way even if it is only to tell me where to get the updates I require. Thanks David

Posted at 01/09/2008 18:11:44 by David Whalen

Time to buy a Lenovo Tablet PC

David, I wish I had something positive to say about my own Toshiba Support experience, but for the most part, I don't. My Tecra M4 works great but IU rarely use it because I cannot go through the pain of dealing with Toshiba again, I now have an IBM ThinkPad tablet., Worked great - out of the box - and I enjoy it, I jumped the gun going with Toshiba. They appear to make good products in most cases but their support undermines any credibility with me. I will certainly not recommend them. Meanwhile, I have many good things to say about my Lenovo X61 Tablet PC. Good luck!

Posted at 01/09/2008 18:16:20 by Eric Mack

Trying to get onlineToshiba Tech Support

I am sooooooo frustrated. I have been trying to get to the online product support with Toshiba and the websites keep sending me around and around without any help. I finally find a feedback screen and I get a message that says "please include a useful message".

AAAARRRRGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!. Even windows Vista is not that frustrating

I have a Satellite A215-S7437. My D:\ drive is no longer recognized so I cannot read CD's or DVD's and I can abviously not use the Toshiba DVD to restore the settings. How do I fix my problem.

Posted at 02/01/2008 2:10:04 by Robert Bellavance

re: Trying to get onlineToshiba Tech Support

I am happy to report that I continue to enjoy my IBM/Lenovo X61 Tablet PC.

Posted at 02/08/2008 15:03:22 by Eric Mack

My call to Toshiba Tech Support

I have a Toshiba laptop and I regret the day I purchased it and my dealings with Toshiba. The laptop has not worked right the day that I brought it home. I called Customer Support(support what a joke) and they were cold and in-different.

I have extended warranty with walk in service to a authorized repair facility right down my street. Toshiba is going to pay in a major way. I will make sure that the repairs to the laptop equal the price that I paid for it.

Burn in Hell Toshiba

Posted at 02/10/2010 18:30:17 by Mark Matson

My call to Toshiba Tech Support

Thanks for sharing... nice article.. keep try to update ....

Posted at 03/10/2010 3:15:53 by pccure

My call to Toshiba Tech Support

posted my problem at and got some tips …..thanks Jenny

Posted at 03/16/2010 2:55:59 by pccure

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