[SOLVED] I need help with 2009 Toshiba laptop

May 29, 2020
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In 2012 I was given a 2009 Toshiba laptop by a friend who bought a newer laptop. My laptop is a Toshiba Satellite L455-S5975 with an Intel Celeron 900 processor with 2GB DDR2 RAM, 250GB HDD, 32-bit. It's been great, and I've been pleasantly surprised that it has lasted so long. But this year it has been slowing down. The signs of dying out are noticeable, and it's not the battery, as I have put in a new one (we non-techies can do this ourselves) and had it checked. So I decided to get a new processor. The processor is no longer being made, and none exist anywhere that I know of, so I can't buy a new one. Thus, 2 questions: (1) Is there a current processor that can be installed as a successful substitute? (2) Someone told me it would speed up if I added some memory, but the part he found on Amazon does not say it works with my laptop. Will it? The description on Amazon says "Kingston Technology 2GB DDR2 800MHZ SODIMM Memory for select Toshiba Laptops (KTT800D2/2G)". I would appreciate your input so I know whether to buy it and pay to have it installed.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
You can't use a newer CPU, and in fact, unless the BIOS was designed for several different sub models, which might have come with a higher performing CPU installed, you couldn't even install a same Gen CPU because it must be supported through the BIOS firmware. If there are other, same model laptops as yours that optionally had better CPUs, then it's "possible". And that's if you don't have a BGA socket where the CPU is soldered in to the motherboard. A lot of these, especially these older, less expensive models, did have them soldered.

Adding some memory might help a bit. In fact, with only 2GB of RAM, it almost certainly WOULD help a bit, depending on what OS version you are running and what you actually do on the machine. Unfortunately, the performance difference probably isn't worth the investment. Not when entry level sub 200 dollar netbooks grossly outperform what that machine is capable of.

I would highly recommend not throwing any money at a system that old. The fact is, given the age of the motherboard, it's probably not going to be long before you start seeing some kind of failure either there or in the power jack/mini board assembly. When it does, that's going to make any investment you put into this OTHER than maybe an SSD, seem like a real bummer.

If you still want to try and throw some memory at this, then this kit should work and would double your memory capacity. You will want to remove, and not use, the memory that is already in it now. Adding memory that isn't matched to the existing memory is a good way to end up with configuration problems. Stick to a matched set if you do upgrade. Like this.

PCPartPicker Part List

Memory: Mushkin Essentials 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) DDR2-800 CL5 Memory ($41.39 @ Amazon)
Total: $41.39
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-05-30 00:32 EDT-0400


Honestly, it's money that would be better spent going towards a newer device.
 
Last edited:
Reactions: manish_mv

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
You can't use a newer CPU, and in fact, unless the BIOS was designed for several different sub models, which might have come with a higher performing CPU installed, you couldn't even install a same Gen CPU because it must be supported through the BIOS firmware. If there are other, same model laptops as yours that optionally had better CPUs, then it's "possible". And that's if you don't have a BGA socket where the CPU is soldered in to the motherboard. A lot of these, especially these older, less expensive models, did have them soldered.

Adding some memory might help a bit. In fact, with only 2GB of RAM, it almost certainly WOULD help a bit, depending on what OS version you are running and what you actually do on the machine. Unfortunately, the performance difference probably isn't worth the investment. Not when entry level sub 200 dollar netbooks grossly outperform what that machine is capable of.

I would highly recommend not throwing any money at a system that old. The fact is, given the age of the motherboard, it's probably not going to be long before you start seeing some kind of failure either there or in the power jack/mini board assembly. When it does, that's going to make any investment you put into this OTHER than maybe an SSD, seem like a real bummer.

If you still want to try and throw some memory at this, then this kit should work and would double your memory capacity. You will want to remove, and not use, the memory that is already in it now. Adding memory that isn't matched to the existing memory is a good way to end up with configuration problems. Stick to a matched set if you do upgrade. Like this.

PCPartPicker Part List

Memory: Mushkin Essentials 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) DDR2-800 CL5 Memory ($41.39 @ Amazon)
Total: $41.39
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-05-30 00:32 EDT-0400


Honestly, it's money that would be better spent going towards a newer device.
 
Last edited:
Reactions: manish_mv
Looks like a t3000 is possible:

Potentially a t7250:
https://superuser.com/questions/491938/can-i-upgrade-the-processor-in-my-toshiba-satellite-l455

Looks like a t4400, t8100, t8300, t9300 and t9500 work, and t7700 and t7800 will work but requires an f1 press upon each boot unless you update the bios to a modded one:
https://www.bios-mods.com/forum/Thread-REQUEST-Toshiba-Satelite-Pro-L450-L455-CPU-Upgrade

Okay so the answer to your 2 questions:
1. There is a faster processor, but it is not current and shouldn't be bought new because it will probably be a fake. In fact, in my searches even most of the supposedly 'used' processors were fakes. Be very careful.

Of the processors the t9500 is the top dog with the t8300 and t9300 tying for second place:
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/Intel-Core2-Duo-T9300-vs-Intel-Core2-Duo-T9500-vs-Intel-Celeron-900/1008vs1010vs665

Any of these will be a very substantial boost from the stock Celeron 900.

2. Your laptop luckily supports 4GB ddr2 modules. That's the good news. The bad news is that these modules are many times more expensive than 2gb modules. But even upgrading from 2gb to 4gb will really wake that system up, and at some point in the future you can always upgrade to 8gb via 2x 4gb modules:
http://www.kahlon.com/rm653982_Toshiba_Satellite_L455-S5975.html

Used 2gb modules are prevalent everywhere and if you already have a 2gb module, you can just search for the exact same part number to add a second identical one.

I would not buy from Amazon as there are too many fakes and bait and switch cheaters there. Ebay isn't much better, so the best is from another owner, local or on a forum or reddit hardwareswap. Honestly if you find the right person and they have a 2gb ddr2 module, they will probably just give it to you as they have very little monetary value right now and would be put to good use.

These two modifications should really wake the machine up. 8gb of ram will really put it in good shape.

And I just found this thread that confirms a t9500 works:
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
You can buy a used much faster system for about $120-150, which is a much much much better use of money than upgrading a Celeron based system that uses DDR2. If you were going to spend $5,000 to fix an engine on a 10 year old car, but a full working 5 year old car with 1/3rd the miles was $6,000 what would be the smart choice?

I usually go for Lenovo T420/420s or T430 models in that price range of systems, they are cheap now, very solid and will run Windows 10 with no issues.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
You can buy a used much faster system for about $120-150, which is a much much much better use of money than upgrading a Celeron based system that uses DDR2. If you were going to spend $5,000 to fix an engine on a 10 year old car, but a full working 5 year old car with 1/3rd the miles was $6,000 what would be the smart choice?

I usually go for Lenovo T420/420s or T430 models in that price range of systems, they are cheap now, very solid and will run Windows 10 with no issues.
My point, exactly. I agree with all of this.

https://www.amazon.com/HP-Chromebook-Education-11-6-Inch-Bluetooth/dp/B086BRJV33/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&fst=as:off&qid=1590822490&refinements=p_n_operating_system_browse-bin:17702486011,p_89:ASUS|Dell|HP|Lenovo|TOSHIBA|Toshiba,p_n_feature_three_browse-bin:9647486011&rnid=9647481011&s=pc&sr=1-1
 
May 29, 2020
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To you nice people who took the time to try to help: THANK YOU! I want to acknowledge your effort. My response: I didn't understand half of what you guys wrote :) but I will ruminate over it and, with help, try to understand more of it. What I forgot to mention is that my OS is Windows 7, Home. What I did not go into (because I didn't want to make my post even longer!) is that this gift laptop came with software (that the giver acquired) that either cannot be re-acquired by me, period, or else would cost me money to re-acquire, including Adobe Acrobat X (which now has a continual cost year after year). I am mainly a word processing specialist, and Word 2003, which is what I have now (and I have the program on a CD) is far and away the best version of Word ever created, so I want to be able to use it no matter what. I have just purchased a nice new laptop (which has everything we could ask for) with my stimulus check; it will be used in addition to "my baby", and if my baby dies, it will replace it. And I also own a relatively new laptop that has (rented) Office 365 on it (which contains Word 2016/2019). I am OK with spending $200 or so in trying to make "my baby" last longer; if the endeavor fails, I won't feel regret over that relatively small amount of money. Using Word 2003 for all my personal projects and correspondence, including taking a zillion screen-shots of Web screens and pasting/cropping them inside Word documents, is simply much easier and more user-friendly than using a later (docx) version of Word.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Well, in that case, my recommendations would be that in order to extend the life of "your baby" you might actually WANT to try adding the memory kit I outlined and then possibly also swapping out the hard drive inside for an SSD. You can clone your existing drive's contents to the SSD so that you don't lose anything, using the free version of Macrium reflect so long as you get an SSD that is at least around 20% larger than the sum of all the data you currently have stored on the current hard drive.

How much actual data is currently residing on the hard drive that is installed, so that we can know what size of recommendation is sensible, in the event you decide you DO want to speed up that device and get some additional years out of it?

The good thing about an SSD upgrade is that it's never a waste. It can always be repurposed to another device if that one should happen to die.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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I have almost that exact same laptop, my sons first college laptop.
L305-S5955, also with a Celeron 900 CPU.
It was slow when it was brand new. Currently running Win 10 as my test box.

There's not a lot you can do to it to make it "better".
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
I have a P845t-S4305 with an i3 that is about three years newer than what the OP has, so Ivy bridge circa 2012, and even that is getting to the point where it's usefulness is pretty much limited to web browsing and light office applications. But it is still somewhat useful and since my much newer HP with an AMD A8 series APU is practically useless since it succumbed to thermal fatigue in less than two years of minimal use, it still sees SOME usage and I can understand the desire to wring as much value from it as possible.

Still, understanding that it will never be a really decent device because of it's age and fundamental limitations is a very good thing to allow yourself.
 
May 29, 2020
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Thank you, Mr. Darkbreeze, for continuing to help. Response to your most recent post: My "system directory" screen says that my C drive has "868 GB free of 931 GB". Unless there's more to it, this would mean that it has 63 GB of programs files and data files combined. (If this number seems low to you, it's because I store almost all of my data files on USB drives.) The C-drive directory lists 32 folders and 5 files; the system does not indicate the total memory used for each of those folders (not even with "Details" display), and thus does not give a total of memory used. 20% more than 63 GB would suggest getting an SSD that has 75 to 80 GB.

I'm willing to buy (and pay for installation of) an SSD; I recently found a local tech who is honest and fair. I could use direction as to what Web sites to buy from. But I confess ignorance about the process, and I know nothing about "Macrium reflect". If we remove the hard disk, then install the SSD, how could we transfer files from the hard disk to the SSD? Wouldn't we first need to transfer the files from the hard drive to a 3rd (an outside) memory location, and then (after removing the hard disk and installing the SSD) transferring the files from the outside memory to the SSD? And is there any reason why that outside memory location could not be a USB? (I expect that you'll reply by telling me how "Macrium reflect" relates to all this!) If Macrium is a remote "container" (like escrow) or if it's a download, and I utilize it, let me know how to get to it (URL on the Web). P.S.: I do want to speed up my "baby" and I ABSOLUTELY want to get a few more years of use out of her!
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
So, if you pay somebody to install the SSD you might just as well pay them to do the clone for you as well. They should know how if they are an experienced and reputable technician. Somebody must have replaced the drive that came in that already because it came with a 250GB HDD according to the specifications I looked at. It's possible that it already has an SSD but that's doubtful. Given that you are only using 63GB of space, I'd say that a 250GB SSD is plenty and right now this would be a good option for that system.

https://www.newegg.com/crucial-bx500-240gb/p/N82E16820156187?Item=N82E16820156187&nm_mc=AFC-RAN-COM&cm_mmc=AFC-RAN-COM&utm_medium=affiliates&utm_source=afc-PCPartPicker&AFFID=2558510&AFFNAME=PCPartPicker&ACRID=1&ASID=https://pcpartpicker.com/product/mdc48d/crucial-bx500-240gb-25-solid-state-drive-ct240bx500ssd1&ranMID=44583&ranEAID=2558510&ranSiteID=8BacdVP0GFs-4UJc03MyneAhXz7ZQNPTig

And no, doing a clone won't work the way you are wanting to do it. In reality, it is probably going to take being installed in another system to do the clone anyhow since it's doubtful your laptop has the ability to accommodate two drives and without that ability you'd have to acquire a universal external drive adapter that connects via USB, which is an additional cost for something you'll likely use one time. Better to simply let whoever installs it do the clone for you if they are capable. If they are not, then you probably don't want them doing the installation in the first place and should seek a different technician or repair facility.
 
May 29, 2020
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About what my laptop might currently be able to do: On the Desktop are 2 icons, each consisting of a cartoon-drawing of a sheep's face (the 2 drawings are not identical). One is labeled "CloneCD", the other is labeled "Virtual CloneDrive". I don't know if either of these could help in doing the SSD task.

As for my tech guy's capability: I just don't know how knowledgeable and experienced he is; I only know he's honest. I live in a mid-sized city in which over 40% of the population and businesses are of a certain ethnicity that has a reputation for not caring about honesty (including about their experience), so searching around for a good tech guy can't ensure that I'll find one. I'm not even sure how to definitely find a good tech guy in the closest large city (which is not over 40% of that ethnicity). Does the hardware/computer community have a listing or ratings system on repair shops or repair guys (maybe a Yelp-like one) from which I can select?
 

USAFRet

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Given a new 250GB-500GB SSD, and an external drive with a bit of free space, I could do that whole swap in under an hour.

If whatever tech you contact wants to take longer than that...find someone else.

And no, that "CloneCD" thing is not what you need.
 
Reactions: Darkbreeze

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Given a new 250GB-500GB SSD, and an external drive with a bit of free space, I could do that whole swap in under an hour.

If whatever tech you contact wants to take longer than that...find someone else.

And no, that "CloneCD" thing is not what you need.
Exactly. This. 100%.

If your tech is "honest" then he should have no problem either telling you yes it is something he can do easily, or no, it is something you should get done elsewhere. And if he recommends you get it done elsewhere, then you should probably ALSO get the SSD installed elsewhere because any technician even slightly worth his weight would easily be capable of doing both the install and the clone, and a lot more. Most of our regular members here could do that, and the majority of them are NOT techs. So if that's the case and he is honest, he should be able to tell you WHERE to go that is both capable and reputable for this kind of job. If not, contact me by PM with your city and I'll see if I can at least point you in the right direction with a few general recommendations on who to possibly check with.

That's about the best I can do and I make no guarantees about anybody or anything that happens after that point. If you were near me, I'd just do it myself, but I doubt it.
 

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