Toshiba U205-S5034 Lock-Up Problem

For the last couple of years, I've had a Toshiba U205-S5034 laptop, and in general, I've been really happy with it. This is one small laptop. If memory serves, it has a 12.1" screen, and is in fact pretty tiny. That can be annoying from time to time,…

For the last couple of years, I’ve had a Toshiba U205-S5034 laptop, and in general, I’ve been really happy with it. This is one small laptop. If memory serves, it has a 12.1″ screen, and is in fact pretty tiny. That can be annoying from time to time, but frankly I don’t often use a laptop – only when I’m away from home – and that’s a good thing when carrying it. I decided that I didn’t really want to lug a massive machine with me any more, and it works great.

I did have to upgrade the memory (to 2GB), which gave me a little more breathing room, but other than that, it does the job well. The hard drive is sometimes slow when you try and do things like sync up with another computer (typically involving deleting a bunch of files or copying a ton of other files), but that doesn’t happen too often, so it’s not a huge deal. The problem is that every once in a while, it keeps locking up on me in the midst of, well, something.

I can deal with a lot of things, and since I don’t use the laptop all the time, it’s not a huge problem. And when the laptop does lock up, the mouse locks up, the screen freezes, and you’re done. The fan kicks into overdrive and you might as well shut down, because that’s it. You can turn it back on immediately and come right back up, but something has decided that it needs to stop working for a minute. Nothing I have been able to figure out has worked at this point. I do have an older Toshiba laptop with fan issues, but keeping this one propped up (to get extra air underneath) doesn’t help. Neither does the extra memory, or keeping running programs to a minimum.

What’s more, I’m not the only one. I found this thread where at least one other person has the problem, and this CNET page includes one too (open user opinions, then read the one labeled abysmal). Hopefully this will draw some more attention to the problem, or at the very least find someone who has managed to fix it. It’s not a huge problem, since you can start right up again and it seems to go away.

For me, the problem happens completely at random – it may not happen at all, it may happen in five minutes, it may happen in an hour. Then it locks up, the fan kicks up and you have to shut down. That’s about it. The only way out is to shut down and restart. There just isn’t any more information. Have any ideas? Let me know.

18 replies on “Toshiba U205-S5034 Lock-Up Problem”

Thank you very much for posting this. I am also having the identical problem on my u205-5034. I inherited mine when I pulled it off the shelf it had been sitting on for 2 years because my boss gave up on it because it locked up too frequently. I’ve since replaced the harddrive, upped the memory and reinstalled the OS twice. Now without thses stickers, maybe it’ll be OK. (It does make sense I guess, server overheating issues I’ve seen typically appear as complete lockups at random times) All the stickers seem to be covering LOTS of ventilation holes, including the one that says “CAUTION PC BASE CAN BECOME HOT!” – Maybe they are just making sure they’re being honest. 🙂

I have had this problem for 3 years. I can’t believe the fix is so simple! I removed the bottom half of the gray label completely and perforated the top half so that I could retain the Model and Serial Number info. You can barely hear the fan running now – I had to put my ear up to it just to make sure that it actually was. It’s running much cooler. I can now sit with this laptop comfortably on my lap. Many thanks to andy!

I recently updated the BIOS and it’s also been doing well.

I also had to A: Go back to the originally installed Windows (XP Home, vs XP Pro) and B: Go back to the originally installed memory (instead of more). It’s better than nothing, but it does bite.

I had the same problem and it drove me nuts. I update the BIOS and since then I have had no more problems with it locking up.

Same problem with my laptop too. At random times (usually sitting there playing music) it will lock up hard, the fan will spin like crazy and only a hard shutdown (holding power button for 10 seconds) will get it back. Then one day (playing perfect world) the fan spun the fastest I have ever heard, then the laptop rebooted. This happened twice in 1 hour. I felt that the cooling system was getting clogged up with dust and causing cooling problems (fan seemed to get louder and used more often as time went on and I used it more). I tore the laptop down, cleaned the heat sink and fan of dust, put extra thermal paste between the heat sink and the processor and put it all back together, only to have the laptop tell me that the primary cooling system had failed. GAR! I am not sure if the fan died (it did a strange pulsating thing where it ran near full speed for a second, then stopped for a second, then repeated after the cleaning) but the cpu runs in thermal safe mode (SUPER slow to protect the CPU) and doesn’t tell me WHAT the failure is.

Any way, just wanted to add my 2 cents and say you are not alone. I loved the laptop, but this issue drove me NUTS. and it would seem, eventually drove me to ‘break’ my laptop. I hope I can fix it…

My fan is on about all the time (when the computer is, I mean). I don’t have a problem opening the case, but I haven’t really looked at the fan. Most of them are fairly standard, with a simple connection – not sure about the laptop variety, however. Open it up and take a look. Shouldn’t hurt (just be careful!).

I also have the same problem, & just removed that label. However, last night I think my fan stopped working. It locked up and the fan was not running. I turned it off over night, & now it runs, but the fan is not going. Didn’t it used to run all the time? or am I just fixated on it now? Is it something I can replace myself? A local shop tells me $40 + cost of fan to install a new one.

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