Toshiba Tecra 510CDT

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I've managed to upgrade my Toshiba. This laptop was given to me by a friend some years ago. It's large, grey and heavy and not very quick. One of the problems with it has been the size of the disk. The standard disk is a 2.1GB disk, which was fine for Win95 way back in 1997 when it was made, but which is a little small for even a minimal Linux installation these days.

(Sigh, my first computer had a whopping 64k of RAM. That's kilobytes, not megabytes or gigabytes, and managed to fit BASIC, a spreadsheet, a wordprocessor and an OS in anyway. Had some good games too.)

I normally use the Tosh as a terminal to the main server so I can sit in the living room and read email while having my children trip over the network cable.

However, as I'm going to be away from home for a while, I decided to try and fit a bigger disk into it, so I can hopefully write a bit when I'm away.

I picked up a 30GB Toshiba disk today, but wasn't sure it would fit. some old BIOSes won't recognise large disks. I was worried that my Tosh would only recognise up to about 8GB, which is apparently the largest disk size you can fit in the model below mine.

It was, however, just plug and play. I swapped out the disks, noting that the new disk is half the thickness of the old one, despite having 15 times as much storage, and powered up. Starting up the RedHat install showed that my Tosh was now equipped with a 30GB hard drive. Pretty cool really, for a Pentium 133.

But, speaking of Plug and Play, the Tosh has an infrared port which is only activated by Windows. I've tried setpnp to get it going, but not had any success. Apparently 2.6.x has better PnPBIOS support so I'll try and get 2.6 running on it and see.


I should point out that I renamed the computer after the upgrade. It's now Large, Heavy, Grey with a lot of data retention. It's known as olifaunt.

Waider said:

I found that in order to get my IrDA port working under Linux (Compaq laptop with a SMCC IrDA chipset) I had to use setserial to set /dev/ttyS2's IRQ correctly: /bin/setserial /dev/ttyS2 irq 3
Apparently ACPI config does a far better job of doing this right on my laptop, but there are a whole other set of issues with that.

OK, I'll try that.

If I run lspnp on the Tosh, it shows device 16 as the inactive FIR device, and no amount of setpnp poking seems to work. Any ideas?

cOqUe said:

Hey! I also have a Large, Heavy, Grey Toshiba Laptop. A 335CS, witha a 4.1GB hard disk and ad 266MHz Pentium processor.
I want to upgrade the hard drive (maybe to 20 or 30 GB). It has it's last bios update installed.

Does anyone here think it would work fine??

dave said:

It will probably work, but I can't find that model number anywhere. The closest I can find is a Satellite 335 CDS, which does have large hard disks available for it. See

I think it's quite likely that a larger hard drive would work.

paul yoon said:

I don't suppose you're able to boot from a CD, are you? My 510cdt shows BIOS version 6.70 and doesn't seem to want to boot from anything except a FD or HD.

Here's to big, grey, and slow.

dave said:


Mine has bios 6.90, which I got from the Toshiba website. It appears to boot off a WinXP install CD, but it won't actually install XP. (The install procedure hangs up when detecting devices.)

I've never seen it boot up from Linux (or Knoppix, or FreeBSD) CD.

I normally keep iso images of the operating system on a separate hard drive partition, so that I can boot from a floppy and specify that the install images are on the local disk and install that way. Much quicker! I'm not sure if you can do that with Windows. Windows 98 was such a frustrating experience when compared to XP or Linux, that I just nuked the Win partition.

Also, Linux geekery-wise, I've found that the PCMCIA in the 2.6 kernel doesn't recognise my PCMCIA cards. I use the latest standalone pcmcia-cs-3.2.7 and the latest 2.4 kernel and it's fine.

Nick said:

My name is Nick in CA.

I have a (indestructable)510 CDT.

Can anyone tell me how to get the front IR port working again?

I have W98 SE installed and all i can get is the rear IR port to it software (98)?

i reinstalled 740fir98.exe (IR driver), but nothing!

Any help anyone?

ciber said:

I also hava an indestructible 510CDT. It was given to me some time ago and I need now to repair it. It seems to have a problem in teh hard disk that prevents it from booting Win95, which is the OS it ahs installed. I don't have a floppy drive, and can't set it to boot from cd rom. It doesn't even recognize it has one attached! SO I'm with an incomunicable computer and need deperately to fix it. The rest of the hardware seems to be in working order...Please help, any advice will be of great help! :-)

Aaron in Texas said:

I also have a grey, heavy, and slow. I had to reformat a couple of weeks ago, and now I can't get my floppy drive to save files. It's tells me to replace the network connection or replace the floppy. After several frustrating attempts to get this working I'm coming to the end of the rope. I love this old pos as my wife got it for me to write with, but it's a real pain to have to e-mail all my files to myself so I can get to them on my desktop computer. I didn't install the toshiba control panel when I reformatted. So I thought maybe this was the problem, but the access panel refuses to initialize. If anybody can help I would appreciate it. thank you.

Hello all.
Trackback, could you tell us the model of your toshiba HDD 30GB? please, I'm having compatibility troubles and want to have a more extended list of posibilities.
Thank you very much for all.


dave said:

Felipe: it's a Toshiba brand disk, identified as MK3018GAS. It just worked for me with no troubles at all. I've had both Windows 95/98 and Linux on this machine with this disk and not had any problems with it.

Ciber: I've had the Tosh boot from CD with Windows95 install CDs, but never with Linux/BSD/etc installers. With Windows 2000, I had a make a pile of boot disks, but it wouldn't complete the install procedure anyway. Nor for XP. Hardly surprising, if you can imagine Windows XP on a Pentium 133...

Nick: the Toshiba software is for Win95, not 98. I've not managed to get the front IR working under 98, or any of the IR working under Linux. The IR chip is a completely proprietary chip exclusive to Toshiba, so third-party drivers are unlikely.

Aaron, I use my Tosh for writing too, although I run Linux on it and have no problems with the network connections. I have a wireless card (Bluetake) which connects to my wireless Linksys hub with no worries. Check your network drivers and re-install them. Perhaps your network settings need work?

Sorry for the delay guys, I've been back down in Australia (with my Tosh!) on work. It works down under too, on both wired and wireless connections.

Dean said:

Hello My Name Is Dean,

I just Bought A Toshiba Tecra 510 CDT

I would love to know how much in Australian Dollars Is that fantastic 30 Gig Hard drive To Purchase from Toshiba Dave And.
Is the toshiba a good mp3 player?
I want to put my mp3 collection on there and take it instead of taking my cd's
as 2.1 gigabytes is not much to work with.
And could you send me a link to the site
how do you get the old pc from pentium 133 to the best it can go?
Thanks for any advice you may give.
does anyone also know how to use the internet on 2 computers using a network and primary pc as a server. (Laptop And Desctop)?

dave said:


I paid about HK$700 for the drive from a shop in Hong Kong, which would be about A$130 or so at the moment. I didn't get it from a Toshiba dealer, though.

I've tried upgrading the processor - it can't be done, as far as I can see. It's soldered to the motherboard with a heatsink firmly fixed to it.

As for sharing your internet connection - Windows 2000 should be able to do that for you. Looking under Properties in your network connections control panel.

Dean said:

Thanks Dave,

I only have windows 98 se on the laptop i dont think i should put any newer ones on there as i recon it would drag the speed down too much. Is it faster then Many other pentium 133's being toshiba.

My Pc the One I have Been using to ask you these questions is a pentium 4 processor 2.4 gigaherts and its one from HP)
Hewlet Packard.

Its Current Operating System Is Windows XP Home Edition.

98 se should be good enough for a network.

Do you know if the tecra can play age of empires and total annilation they are old ones.

Also i was looking info up on linking 2 computers together and they keep saying to buy a hub u don't need a hub if you are only connecting one computer up to the laptop as a network i want to be able to dial up using both computers.
Do you know much about ethernet cables.
Thankyou for any advice

Bob said:

Hey Dave:

I'm running a REALLY minimal install of Linux on a Tecra 510CDT, but seem to be running into a problem with the modem and sound card. The sound card doesn't bother me much; I can live without it (can always boot Windows if I want to play MP3's), but, as I am trying to understand Linux better, it would be really, like, EDUCATIONAL for me to learn how to do it. Any tips would be appreciated.

Now, the built-in 288 whatever modem in the Tecra works good. BUT, I also have a USR 56K Sportster external faxmodem (5686-03) that I would very much like to get up and running on the Tecra; I've looked at several websites (and the annoying speed of 288!) which indicate that the modem "is compatible" with Linux. Every time I try to use it, though, I just get 3 lights and no dialing (works good with Windoze). This one is really frustrating. I also tried it a few years back with a Red Hat distro I found in the back of a Linux for Dummies book, and had no luck with that either. Again, any hints would be appreciated.



Bob said:

Hey Dave:

I'm running a REALLY minimal install of Linux on a Tecra 510CDT, but seem to be running into a problem with the modem and sound card. The sound card doesn't bother me much; I can live without it (can always boot Windows if I want to play MP3's), but, as I am trying to understand Linux better, it would be really, like, EDUCATIONAL for me to learn how to do it. Any tips would be appreciated.

Now, the built-in 288 whatever modem in the Tecra works good. BUT, I also have a USR 56K Sportster external faxmodem (5686-03) that I would very much like to get up and running on the Tecra; I've looked at several websites (and the annoying speed of 288!) which indicate that the modem "is compatible" with Linux. Every time I try to use it, though, I just get 3 lights and no dialing (works good with Windoze). This one is really frustrating. I also tried it a few years back with a Red Hat distro I found in the back of a Linux for Dummies book, and had no luck with that either. Again, any hints would be appreciated.



dave said:


It's probably a winmodem, i.e. a modem with all of the processing done in software. They don't work at all with Linux, as far as I know.

With regard to the soundcard, I've managed to get it working by selecting CS4232 as the sound card when compiling the kernel. The basic trick is to compile all of the soundcard drivers as modules and try and load them all in one by one to see what works. There also used to be a sndconfig utility which was pretty good at figure out which card you had. You should make a careful note of the sound card parameters from the bios screen (press esc-f1-f2 repeatedly when booting up), as you will probably need to pass these to the sound card.

Callum said:

Howdy all.

I'm in Canada, eh?

Just curious. Reading the first handful of posts, you can get a 30GB hard drive in this beast of a laptop? can it be done? BIOS does support it and all? orignal 2.1GB drive is crapping out.. so I should guess I can just remove it from the caddy and put the 30GB'r in the caddy and plug it in. Should work.. right? I'm a MP3 enthusiast as well, and would like to try to load Windows XP on it.. I've upgraded from 16MB to a 64MB total, and looking to go to the max she can take.. by putting her up to 144MB. Letme know if it sounds good to you guys. Yayy! :)

Evenin' all.


Alane Nebbia said:

I have an old Toshiba Tecra 510CDT that originally had Win95 on it. I updgraded it to Win2000 when my husband needed it to travel with for work. Now he's got himself a Dell and I'd like to let the kids use this laptop for games. Unfortunately, many of their games are not compatible with Win2K so I'd like to bump the Toshiba back down to Win95. I can't seem to use my Win95 installation CD cuz the BIOS doesn't have a "boot from CD" option....any advice out there?
Thank you!

Heinz said:

Hi all,
could someone please let me know if this grey machine has an ethernet connection? I can buy one very cheap and would like to use it just for internet browsing, but I am not sure if it would work with my ASL line.
thanks for your advice and help

dave said:

Callum, a 30Gb drive will work and the BIOS will support it. It certainly works with Linux on mine. I've never been able to get XP to install, however. Windows 95 may not support drives greater than 2GB ubless you have FAT32 installed (Win98 should be ok). If you don't have FAT32, you'll end up with 15 2GB drives, C: to Q:!

Alane, There should be a program to make a boot floppy diskette on the Win95 CD. See if there's a directory called 'extras' or something like that.

Heinz, my tosh doesn't have an ethernet connection, but PCMCIA network cards are pretty cheap.

Callum said:

Howdy all again.

Anyone know where I can find a memory upgrade for this beast? A 128 stick perhaps? Anyone got one just lying around or have one wanting to get of? :P


Callum said:

Hey all again! lol.

Will a 40GB'r work with it? You would think it would eh...

Thanks, Callum

dave said:

Callum, I'm not sure where you can get RAM upgrades. Check your local RAM dealer for EDO Laptop RAM. It might be quite difficult to get the 128MB stick.

As for the 40GB disk, I don't see any reason why it shouldn't work, although your OS may not support it. If you have win98 or higher, you should be ok.

Callum said:

Hey again.

Well, I've located a 128MB base stick (that replaces the base 16MB of RAM that comes with the Tosh in the first place. Now, how do I get the 16 out and the 128 in? :D

dave said:

There's a panel on the bottom of the Tosh which you can unscrew. The RAM should slot in there.

Callum said:

Do you know how to remove the whole bottom panel soI can access the motherboard?

dave said:

You can lever the bottom panel off , but it basically involved disassembling the entire laptop. I wouldn't recommend it, as I don't think there's anyhing you can change on the motherboard. The processor is soldered on, not socketed, so an upgrade that way isn't an option.

Eric said:


I recently re-installed Win95 [from 13 floppies - lol], but I can't get the screen resolution to display properly. I've basically got 640x480 w/ 16 colors and black space all around the viewable area. I'd like to set the resoltion so it uses the entire screen at 800x600 at a decent color depth. Any ideas [I've tried changing the res in the control panel, but it doesn't seem to work]. Thanks for any pointers.

dave said:

Eric, you need to install the drivers from here []

Eric said:

Hi Dave,

Thanks very much! Worked like a charm. I appreciate the help.

Callum said:

Anyone know what kind of RAM this bad boy takes? PC66? It's an EDO SoDIMM obviously.. I found an IBM PC66 stick of 128MB.. so I wanted to see if it worked :)

jesse said:

Hi all, i just wanted to let you guys know i have both a 32 and 64 meg stick for a 510 cdt if anyone is interested. I upgraded mine to 84mb of ram, and i just got a 10gb hard drive ordered, and i upgraded the cd drive to a 24x toshiba drive. If anyone would be willing to do a partial trade for one of the sticks of ram for a floppy drive that works in the 510, contact me.

Callum said:

Hey Jesse! I've got a floppy drive for the Tosh if you'd like to make a trade for a 64MB stick.. I've got a 48MB stick in her presently.. what do you say?

Callum said:

Hey Jesse.. me again.. haha.. you can email me at and we can arrange for a deal per chance??

Jesse said:

Callum, email sent. And riddle me this, why is it that my 12gb travelstar drive with a lock goes right to the password prompt, but the brand new 10gb toshiba drive just freezes at the post? I tried both standard and enhanced ide, and the drive is partitioned and formatted, and i know it is working fine. I also flashed ot the new bios version, but to no avail.

bill said:

Hi Guys,

apologies in advance for ignorance, but can anyone tell me what the pop-out lever above the "On" button on the Tecra 510 does?

Any advice on replacing a keyboard or help sources for info would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Callum said:

The little lever is to pop out the internal CD-ROM drive or floppy drive so you can switch between those two. Replacing the keyboard would involve pretty much completely disassembling the laptop. Believe me, there is ALOT of screws, and I mean alot. Close to 100.. and you have to remember where all of them go. Really sucks.

Rota said:

I was given a 510cdt and actually like it but it has been a pesky thing. I've got 32 ram and put a clean install of windows 98se on it. I bought two different 32bit Lan Cards and got them loaded and everything looks good in network and system properties but when I go to winipconfig it isn't recognised there so will not draw an IP address.

Before I was given the laptap a 16 bit lan card worked fine in it. I'm trying to figure out if by doing the clean install I took out some driver I need or if I just need to get a 16 bit card. Anyone have any advice?

Brad said:

Isn't there a caddy so you can add a second HD to the 510CDT?

Callum said:

Brad - yes, there is one out. I suggest looking on ebay to for one. If any of you are looking at buy a fully functioning beautiful laptop (this one, acutally haha) check this website out. OR if you'd like to make an offer, email me at

Rota - yes, 32-bit LAN cards will work fine. I had a 32-bit running on it, although the Tosh is designed for 16-bit cards. 32-bit cards run a 3.3V, and 16 run a 1V. You can seem the problem. Just keep an eye on it, and don't store the cards in the laptop while not in use, or when you are shutting it down, as well as powering up. You can risk frying them.

mahesh said:

Hi guys,
To get the IR port working on the toshiba with windows 98,first install the IR drivers from toshiba .com and THEN install Puma Technologies'TRANXIT2.This should get the IR port working.Sure worked for me.

David Chandler said:

Hey Dave,
I am on the road traviling right now and I need to upgrade my old Corel draw 7 to Corel draw 8 , so that it will read a new program disk from my company. I currently have the disk to do that in-hand, However I forgot my cd-rom drive @ home! Is it possible to interface the program from a different computer that has a cd-rom drive or perhaps an exterior drive feed thru a serial port??? I'm looking for a CHEAP solution. Any suggestions???

dave said:

David, if you can get another PC with a CD-rom drive, share the CD-Rom on the second PC, and you should be able to read the CD-Rom as if it was attached to your Tosh.

If you can connect your Tosh to a network with at least one other PC, you should be able to see it in 'Network Neighbourhood'. You can share the CD-Rom drive by right-clicking on the directory (on the second PC) and selecting the 'Sharing...' menu.

craig said:

I have a 510cdt i have loaded windows 3.1 and i am trying to upgrade to win 98 se but for the life of me can't get the cd-rom to work. can anyone help!!


Tage said:

Hi Dave

Unfortunallly I have formated my cdt510, but I'm unable to boot from the cd-drive (win95/98), I do not have a fdd. What do I do (wrong)? The bios does not have a "boot from cd" Can you help me?
Thanks in advance Tage

Chad in Seattle said:

Hey Dave,

I just got a CDT 510 that's missing some parts. The power supply is missing, & I'm wondering if you just put a power cord straight into it (it will be getting 120VAC!), or does it need a 15 volt power supply like the PDF on Toshiba's website implies (but is unclear about)?

May The Force Be With You!



dave said:

Chad, it takes mains power direct from the outlet - the transformers and whatnot which would normally be external are internal in this laptop. It's one of the reasons it's so heavy!

There should be a silver stick on the bottom with the model number and serial number. This should also tell you the power requirement. Mine says:


0.7-0.4A 50/60Hz

So I guess it has one of those switching power supplies in it.

Falcon said:

Wow. I'm amazed this thread is still running after so long! Nice to see that other people besides myself are still interested in this laptop.

I just hope there are some 510CDT gurus listening...

I have this 510CDT laptop... its modem had a blown soldered-on line fuse, which I located and wrapped a wire around to bypass. Without that, it thought there was no dial tone. Due to the fact that it's a simple Win3.1-compatible hardware COM port -> modem conbination, it's definately NOT a Winmodem. Just to clear that up.

As for the front and rear IR ports, this particular controller has "channels" that are configurable in the Windows 98/ME Network Setup control panel, under properteies for the card. The front port is the "B" channel, back is "A". Due to the nature of IR, it's impossible to simply let both work at once... ;)

Okay, now my problem. This computer (specs) claims to support both 32-bit and 16-bit PC cards (cardbus), basically everything under the sun... but at the same time I'm unable to get ANYTHING working! I have tried a Netgear WG511T 108mbps 802.11g wireless card, a Belkin F5D6020 V1 802.11b 16-bit wireless card, and a combo USB 2.0 + FireWire card. None have worked, though the WG511T got as far as connecting to the wireless network before completely freezing the computer under Windows ME (the most stable OS I've run on this thing).

It still has the base 16mb RAM (just bought a MASSIVE - size-wise - 32mb upgrade on eBay), and I've tested these cards under Windows 98 (crashes constantly), Windows 2000 (too slow, drivers didn't work), Windows 95 (nothing worked), and now Windows ME (seems to be working, I seem to have some luck isolating the problem). On a side note, I have no floppy drive, and had a hell of a lot of fun juggling the hard drive's boot sector and DOS mode CD driver so I can keep it booting!

I'm starting to think it's the memory addresses Windows is picking for the card. The USB 2.0 controller installed smoothly and perfectly, but failed to recognize when I plugged something in. The Belkin card simply won't install at all (always a yellow "!") under any OS. The Netgear card always installs right (except in 95, understandably), but just won't run.

Any suggestions...?

Falcon said:

Oh, and another note: The CD-ROM module in this laptop is VERY unique for its age, in that it actually uses the same interface as modern CD-RW/DVD laptop drives! This means that you can take its aging, old CD-ROM drive, and slap one of those new CD-RW+DVD drives in it, if you really feel inclined to do so! I did this with mine for a minute, put my regular laptop's broken DVD-ROM drive into the case and slid it into the computer, sure enough, it powered on and worked as expected.

Just a little tip ;)

mick said:

I've got a 510cdt with bust mouse buttons. Anybody got any instructions for taking the thing to bits ?

mick said:

no problem..glued and taped it

Chad in Seattle said:

Dave, thanks for the power supply info. It powers up, now I need to find an affordable hard drive for it (big enough to install Vector Linux on), & figure out whats up with the cd-rom drive.



Sian said:

I was just wondering if someone can recommend an affordable hard drive (big enough for Linux).
And if anyone knows how to set it up to boot from CD.

I'm glad there are people out there, like me, who are loathed to get rid of such a good laptop which has lasted me well.


Sian said:

Does anyone know where I can get copies of the original discs that came with the laptop? I never had mine because I inherited it from my dad's work.


Roberto said:


It’s a real tickle to know that others share in my reluctance to part with my 510CDT. My little workhorse has served me well for many years performing as an office machine, personal laptop, as well as running CNC machines over its many lives. I bought it used some 8 years ago and wish now only to be able, as you to have it reside in front of the TV to surf and do simple tasks. I am running on Win98SE and have it hooked up to a small home network through a PC card and find the 2 Gig Hard-drive adequate. I intend to upgrade the RAM from the present 64megs to the full 144 when I can find the card for less then $100 US. I’m still searching.

I have done some research and have tracked down a few sites offering compatible drives and peripherals which I have listed for the benefit of all. My only wish is to be able to get a USB card working, to transfer data from time to time. I have installed and upgraded the Bios to version 6.9 I believe from the Toshiba site. My two card slots are both working fine one of which is labeled “CB” which I believe should allow me the option of installing the USB card. I can not get the machine to recognize either of the USB cards I purchased. I understand the 16 and 32 bit limitations. Are there any settings I can change to make a difference?

I must admit some of the dialogue on your site is beyond me; however I am eager to learn and manage to meet my computer needs by doing the research.

Any assistance from you or the group would be much appreciated.




Pinecone said:

As Falcon noted above, I discovered that the interface on my 510CDT could take a much more modern CD-ROM.

I am trying a Teac CD-224e made in 1999. It plugs in OK and gets power, but when it's in, the machine freezes after memory test.

Is there firmware for the BIOS or drive that is likely to help? Failing that, maybe jumpering on the drive's circuit board?


darren said:

I have just purchased a toshiba tecra 510cdt , when i inserted a cd that has pics on from digi cam it doesn't recognise it has a disc there "D:\is not accessible .

i have tried a music cd in the drive and it has played ok , also a game cd but it seemed to wipe the h/d out of space !!!

. im wondering if the limited h/d ( 2gig) has anything to do with this?

i need some info on h/d & memory ie, will upgrading these make the machine quicker & let me view pics from disc ? or is my machine faulty ?

we do a lot of camping in the summer so we thought it would be a good idea to buy an old laptop so we could download pics and free space on digi cam mem stick .
if any one could forward any information before this sat ( we go away ) it would be very much welcomed .

thank you for reading my posting cheers D .

Peter said:

Greetings, fellow 510 nuts:
I have mine online/dsl via router, everything seems to work, but feel severely limited b/c I only have 48M RAM, and would like to find a 144M card. Problem: I paid $50 for the Tecra, and it seems a bit topsy-turvy to pay twice that for memory. Anyone know of a source for cheaper memory sticks?
Also, I have the same problem as Darren noted, in that the CD-ROM won't recognize CD's made on my desktop CD-RW.
Appreciate any ideas on both the above.
Peter - Oakland CA

Norman said:

Hey 510 dudes, I have read all of these notes on the 510 with great interest!!
I've learned that this old machine can do a lot nore than I thought

I have run into one problem that I have not sean an answer to. Mine does not recognize the cd drive at all, and I cannot find a driver dor it. Does anyone know where I can find one??

Norman - Walker, Michigan

victor said:

hi to all tecries. My wife purchased this 510cdt at a thrifty store for $30.00, and daft techy that I am I tried to upgrade it's 98 first editon to XP Pro - Biz Boom Crash!!!#$@ - well I think the answer to trying to get it to boot from cdrom (which is not supported in bios) is to get a FDD and boot from floppy like the old 186 used to do. guess what ?? I don't have a FDD. SOOOOOO, instead of investing anymore money and time I think it best to canibalize it for all of you to share it's parts. It has 144 RAM, CDROM, 2.1 GB HDD, and all parts were working till I sent it to purgatory with my XP wand. So if you want some parts - please email me and tell me how to get it out to you - you pay shipping, and remember - I'm just trying to get my $30.00 back.

EDIT by dave: that's vhernandez1 [at] Replace the [at] with @, obviously.

homerG said:

Hi Dave, just finish installing a 40 gig HDD drive, using Fdisk to create partion & format, my problem is it only shows 8 gig instead of 40, the 510CDT's bios is v6.9, what disk utility you use to get around this 8 gig limitation?

dave said:

homerg, in the BIOS, you should make sure that the hard disk type is set to EIDE.

I used fdisk too (well, actually DiskDoctor in the Fedora Core Installation, but that's almost the same thing) and it worked for me without any special fiddling.

homerG said:

Thanks Dave, I'm not familiar with DiskDoctor, is DiskDoctor a DDO Disk manager? the 40 gig HDD is make by Samsung, according to thier Web site, the only way to get around the 8 gig limitation is a Bios upgrade.

FAQ Samsung Site:

Full Capacity of Drives Larger than 8 GB Not Recognized
The next prominent barrier occurs at 8 gigabytes. At this point the space allocated in the computer's BIOS for referring to different hard drive sectors is completely used up.

To get around the 8 GB barrier, the computer's BIOS would need to be updated. Newer BIOSes support Int 13h Extensions (Int 13h is the BIOS interrupt that interfaces with the hard drive) that allow the BIOS allocate more space for addressing. Please contact your computer or motherboard manufacturer for a BIOS update.

dave said:

DiskDoctor is a Linux disk manager. You could try downloading a Linux live-cd (ubuntu is good: and use fdisk on that (not the same as DOS fdisk!) to partition your drive.

If you can get the tosh to boot from the CD of course.

I don't think that the 8GB barrier is an issue - I've got a 30GB disk in my tosh with the same BIOS and it just worked with no problems.

fdisk output:

[root@olifaunt i386]# fdisk /dev/hda

The number of cylinders for this disk is set to 3648.
There is nothing wrong with that, but this is larger than 1024,
and could in certain setups cause problems with:
1) software that runs at boot time (e.g., old versions of LILO)
2) booting and partitioning software from other OSs

Command (m for help): p

Disk /dev/hda: 30.0 GB, 30005821440 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 3648 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/hda1 1 13 104391 83 Linux
/dev/hda2 * 14 1023 8112825 c W95 FAT32 (LBA)
/dev/hda3 1024 1056 265072+ 82 Linux swap
/dev/hda4 1057 3648 20820240 f W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/hda5 1057 3648 20820208+ 83 Linux

homerG said:

Maybe thats what my problen is, I'm using DOS Fdisk from WIN98 SE. the Fdisk you using, is it compatiable with DOS Win98 SE or its for Linux only? I'm planning to use this for Win98 only. I like to know before downloading, because its a very large ISO image.

Thanks for your help.

dave said:

Linux only, I'm afraid. I did have Win98SE on the Tosh a while back on a 8Gb Windows Partition I made using linux fdisk, but I overwrote it for something else.

It may be that the version of FDisk you're using can only handle up to 8Gb. Perhaps you could make 5 8GB partitions?

homerG said:

Since Linux Fdisk is not compatiable with Win98SE, creating 5 8Gb partitions will not do me any good, because DOS Win98SE can only see 8Gb, Looks like I'll have to live with the 8Gb limit, what a wasted Hdd space (32Gb).

Again Thanks for all your help, appreciated very much.

eric said:

greetings sir:
i bought a 510cdt at a shop with no hard disk drive and when i turn it on it always ask 4 a password.pls help the way it doesnt have any ram either!

R00T said:

Hi guys,
I have a Tecra 510CDT, 133/144MB/20gb. It is the brain of a little project I am working on (does not need a supper computer just something small that runs Linux, has a parallel port and Ethernet/Web server), it used to run clrakconnect 2.0 ( I recently upgraded the Linux distribution (for lack of updates) to TinySOfa classic (, I first tried a newer clarkconect and fedora, but they were too much for the gray beast. TynySOfa works great, but the audio does not work anymore, tinysofa uses kernel 2.6.11, the audio is an important part of the project; has anyone being able to get audio to work on the 2.6.x series? If so, could you please disclose how to?

Sian said:

Oh man this is frustrating. Does anyone have that they can e-mail me or know where I can get the boot diskettes for windows 95 on these lovable machines. Or know how I can boot from CD (the tocdrom file from the Toshiba site doesn't seem to work - although I could be doing it wrong)!



radeon said:

Eric is there any way you can email me the boot up disk from the set of 13 for windows 95 I look arount but cant find it

Carles said:


I bought an old laptop Toshiba Tecra 510CDT. It's enough for the purpose I want. But I have a problem: when I set resolution for 640x480, the useful screen is set in middle of screen, with dark unuseful zone around de 640x480 zone. In other words, resolution of 640x480 doesn't fit all screen. I've teste several drives, but none of them seems to correct this. Is normal that this resolutions doesn't fits all the screen ?


Carles said:

Sorry, using Windows 98, referred message 74 about resolution of screen at 640x480.


dave said:

Carles, you need to go into the BIOS (press esc or F1 or F2, can't remember which, sorry, when the Tosh is running through the memory check on bootup) and enable screen stretching in there.

Afterwards, you should have proper full screen 640x480.

Mitch said:

Dave you need at least a pentium pro 200 proccesor to run WinXP, and 128 mb of ram

Carles said:

Thanks Dave, but after I changed this parameter as you said, still doesn't fit all screen. I haven't reinstalled drivers after this step, but I think that is not necessary. While booting, W98 logo doesn't fit all screen too. After I bougth this laptop, 640x480 fits all screen, but after I reinstall w98, wasn't posible. Any idea ?

John said:

I have a Toshiba 720CDT laptop I got for free and have been using it for basic web programming (PHP, etc). The laptop only has a floppy drive in it and a 28.8 modem so transfering larger files is a bit of a problem. I have managed to get a old parallel port cd-rom drive running on it and a parallel port SuperDisk drive, but since these both are quite large and require external power so I decided to purchase a Syba CardBus to USB 2.0 PCMCIA card so I can use a thumbdrive I got. I inserted the CardBus card and it recognized it and I went through the install and it seemed to go ok, after a couple restarts I put my thumbdrive in and it recognized a new device and installed a driver for it and it went fine. The problem is that when I went to use the thumbdrive the PC totally locked up so I tried another thumbdrive after restarting and it locked up the PC right away. After another restart I tried the other thumbdrive and it recognized it but when I tried to access it, it locked up again. It also locks up when I tried a few other USB devices. And sometimes when I insert the PCMCIA card into the slot the pc locks up automatically. Toshiba's site says that it has 32-bit CardBus Type II slots. I am not sure why this happens and would appreciate any help anyone can provide.

Thanks, John

CardBus Site:

Laptop Specs Can Be Found At:

Toshiba Tecra 720CDT Windows 98SE fully updated

George said:

I was given 2 510cdt laptops with windows 98.Windows will only start in safe mode and doesn't recognize the CD drive. I do not know what was done with these before but I understand they worked. They were but surplus from a software company when their computers were upgraded.

Any ideas. Thank-you


Ferdie said:

I have the 510cdt given to me by my friend, just when i was starting to format i accidentally erased dos now when i start it just show the memory initialize and blinking underscore then nothing happens. ive already inserted a bootdisk but nothing happens. can anyone help me.

orville said:

I have the 510 but it has novel client on the start up page how do I get to safe mode to delete this program. some one told me to install win 3.1 but it's not working.any surgesstions thanks.

dave said:

Ferdie - you have to tell the BIOS to boot from your bootdisk. Press ESC when booting and then F1 to get into the BIOS menu. One of the options on one of the pages is to choose the boot device order. Choose FDD-Secondary-Primary and that will boot in the order of Floppy then CD then Hard Drive.

Orville - to get into Safe Mode on most versions of Windows you need to press F8 when Windows is starting up, just after it's finished the BIOS check and just before it says "starting Windows"

If you go past the Novell Login, it should say something like "network not found, log in locally?" and allow you to login to the machine normally.

DH said:

I have 510CDT which I was going to sell to a friend of mine. I erased everything off of my hard drive in anticipation of the sale and then my friend changed his mind. I have kept the old 510 in the closet. I recently had a chance to buy a Canon CFX-B380IF(printer, fax, scanner, copier) dirt cheap and discovered that the drivers will not work with Windows XP which is my OS on my Tosh Satellite.
So I said Ahah, I will get out the old 510CDT and use my Restore Reconfigure software that came with it and low and behold my floppy is blank and the last five zip files from the CD are unreadable. Do you know where I can get the Restore Reconfigure Diskett and CD cheap?

Carlos Garcia said:

Hi to all, surprisingly, this "forum" keeps going after long time with the TECRA 510CDT that I got from a friend. I read the postings before and (unless I did not undertand) i do not see any answer related to the PCMCIA cards, I plugged one and is recognized by WIN98SE (I change the original OS)but I can not conect to the internet; other than rogers settings, is there something else that I have to configure? to make work properly? Any answer will be really apreciated. Carlos.

xoen said:

hello, my advice for dos/win95/win98 users.

Some of u probably know that, but...

I had black border syndrome in dos and win95/98.
Bios screen settings didnt help. I thought its just impossible to rescale to fullscreen.
trouble in dos programms and games, as Heroes of might and magic2 or System Shock in ex.

I found solution.

Small TSR which can rescale to 800x600 every resolution.

U can say..interpolation, AGAIN;/?

Its not like that.

It is working :D.

all i can say, download and read docs.

savage said:

My friend has one of these and we are trying to get it working. it currently has no os on it. I have win 98 cd that I'm trying to install on it but i can't get it to boot from the cd. I have played with every setting in the bios it seems. The bios is 6.90. I have the 3.5 inch drive and the cd rom. However I do not have a 3.5 in drive on any of my other computers so I am unable to make boot disk. Is there any other option I have in order to boot from the cd.

dave said:

savage, the setting to make it try and boot from the CD is "FDD-Secondary-Primary". I've found that these laptops are very reluctant to boot from a CD, however.

Whenever I reinstall an OS on mine (I use it for testing out new Linuxes, among other things) I do a network install. I don't think you can do that with Win98 though.

You could try searching the Win98 CD to see if there's an image of a boot disk there. Look for files about 1.4MB in size. They might be called boot.img or boot.bin or something like that, but 1.44MB in size is the giveaway.

hendi said:

I have that Big,grey and slow too But it was such a tragic happen! i can't find the HDD!
can You Guy's helps me... where can i found the HDD? it's my dream come true to having Tosh were Function again, please.....

Steve said:

I want to use my old tecra 510cdt as MP3-station too but came along 3 main problems: - Bought a Samsung 40Gb-Harddisk, plugged it in and installed W98. It says "8Gb HD-Space available". :-( Updated my Bios from V6.7 to 6.90, no change. Can it be a question of the used harddisk? I have the possibility to exchange the harddisk to money or another brand disk (toshiba/fujitsu/hitachi) within the next 10 days. - Bought a 32bit-PC-Card to USB-Adapter and could not get it running. While my Ethernetcard (i think it's 16bit) works perfectly well in both Slots, the USB-interface does in neither of them. It is not recognised at all by Windows (even no beep when pushing it in).

- It is LOUD. Any ideas, how to get it quiter? When in battery-mode, its ok, but pushing the power-cord in (230V her in germany) make's the fan a FAN.

- Tried to connect (due to not working USB-solution) a Logitech PS/2 keyboard and mouse to the tecra via a bought PS/2-Y-Adapter - neither of them works this way (yes, i putted the mouse in the "mouse"-end of the Adapter and the keyboard in the "keyboard"-end of it.

ups... these are four problems... Way to go... sigh.

I would really appreciate and ideas/comments to any of this points which brings me to a solution.

dave said:

You could try going for a Toshiba HDD. I installed a 30GB Toshiba in mine
and it just worked, with no problems. That's your best bet, I think.
However, the problem *might* be Win98. I installed Win98 on the 30Gb
drive, but I only gave it a small partition (less than 8GB, if I recall

You need to change the PC-card type to Cardbus in the BIOS for 32-bit
cards to work.

There are some utilities to control the FAN under Linux. I think there
may be some under Windows as well. Google for 'toshutils'.

I've used a USB mouse in mine via one of those usb-ps/2 adaptors, but not
a keyboard.

rodrigo said:

Perhaps another owner of that Big, grey and not very quick. The use I give to it is for PDF reading and Internet radio listening. It's loaded with 64MB RAM, win98SE, Toshiba 16 bit Wireless Card (tried with many 32 bit ones but they didn't work but for my surprise a 32 bit network card works).

I don't think a hd larger that 32GB will work on it, you may change the jumper that limits the size.

And... yes is heavy and big but it has built in power supply, great thing that manufacturers don't do any more. It also demonstrates that is very a reliable and long lasting computer

steve said:


The 40Gb Harddisk now works. The trick was to partition it with linux and after that it works flawlessly under Win98se.

The mouse/keyb-problem seems to be a problem with my logitech-wireless-stuff. According to logitech, it can be assumed that it uses to much power for both components to work. When i use a wired mouse and keyboard with the Y-adapter, everything works fine.

@dave: thanks very much for your help. I'll give me PCMCIA-USB-Card another chance and will look for a fan-controll utility later on.

Simon said:

i'm trying to install a syba 2.0 usb card in a tecra 510cdt running on 2000 pro but the computer just won't recognise the card.

Jim said:

hi and my 510 has the 2.1 gig hdd. i have a 6.5 gig hdd and would like to swap it into the 510 but how?
the 2.1 us in a case about 1 inch high and a smallish plug at the end to plug into puter. the 6.5 is abt 1/4 inch high and full row of pins at the end. doesnt appear compatible at all yet most all the hard drives i see are of this style and are suppose to be compatible.
thanks for any help on this. jim

Tage said:

Hey all of you,
I think that the solution to the problem about reinstalling OS, for those of
us who havent a FDD is to by an IDE adapter 2,5" HD to 3,5"
You can get it

> Datortillbehör / Kablage/Kontakter / IDE kablage / 38269

With this adaptor you put the HDD in the desktop, and install the OS. Cool!
I might try it - if I do I'll let you know

Renthallin said:

Hey all,

I just got a 510cdt from a friend who said I would have to do some updating to make it more current. I am sure glad I found this site, there is some very helpful information here. Thanks guys for all your knowledge. :D

Anonymous said:

Hi, I have a 510CDT but not the manual or any books on it, can anyone tell how I can get into the Bios on this, the usual F2 or F1 does not seem to work on this machine. It runs Windows 98SE ok but I would like to try and tweak it a bit.

dave said:

Press 'Esc' when the Tosh is checking memory, then it will beep and prompt you to push F1 to get into the BIOS.

Renthallin said:

I have been doing some looking around and it seems that either the 128mb RAM stick is no longer made or is in such high demnand that it sells out right away. Anyone know where I can possibly get one?

I have also been trying to use a bootable win98 cd, but it appears that my 510cdt does not recognize my cd-rom drive. The light blinks but it wont load the program. I did go through BIOS but my only choices were FDD->Built-in HD; FDD->Secondary HD; Built-in HD->FDD or Secondary HD->FDD. Anyone know which I am supposed to use or if there is a way to test whether or not my CD-rom is working at all? I have seen some people say that booting from the CD is probably not going to work.

Lastly I am looking for other sites that have spare parts for the 510cdt, anyone know of any besides the ones listed here? Many of these no longer supply parts or seem very high priced. Thanks in advance.

Don said:

I would like to install a USB port to allow transfer of pics from camera to the tecra. USB 2.0 appears to need a chip with a speed of 166 at least (many say 233). How fast is the pentium(r) in the Tecra? The USP software available now requires 32 bit. Although advised to get an old version that runs on 16 bit, I noticed it is possible in the Tecra's setup to make the PCMCIA card "32 bit enabled". I'd love to find out the USB PCMCIA that works on the Tecra. What is it?


dave said:

Don, I've never had much success getting USB 2.0 cards to work on the Tosh. They will work, but they generally require a power source -- usually the ps/2 mouse socket. Unplugging this or plugging in USB things would invariably cause a total system lockup under Redhat 9 (Linux).

You might have better luck with Windows. The Tosh has a 133Mhz Pentium.

There are plenty of USB 2.0 Cardbus Cards available and they're usually pretty cheap. You will need to set the PCMCIA slot to 32-bit/Cardbus compatible, and you may find that your 16-bit cards won't work. I've never seen a USB 1.1/16-bit card.

Again, this was my experience with Linux, and you may have better luck with Windows.

The solution I found to getting pictures from my camera into the Tosh was to get PCMCIA readers for SD-Cards. You can also get them for CF cards. Eagletec make some nice cheap ones.

Renthallin said:

Hi, here is my problem. I have tried to boot from a win98 boot disk with no luck. I have also tried a bootable version of win98 on cd with no luck. During one of my tries I had Microsoft Millenium pop up but alas it wont load to anything but DOS.

Now I have a WinME boot diskette but it gives me a command to Remove disks or other media, Press any key to restart. Doing that just tells me to insert system disk in drive, Press any key when ready. Any idea how I can get any OS working in this comp?

Anonymous said:

I also have a Tecra 510CDT with a DVD-rom drive. I cannot seem to play any DVDs - I have been tryting with Interactual and DVDExpress - both state failure due to video resolution limitations?

Anyone have any ideas on how to solve this?

jeepy2 said:

cont. of post #104

Toshiba DVD-ROM SD-C2102

I was able to get to the DVD menu screen using VideoLan, but nothing after it.

Ron said:

I was recently given a Tecra 510CDT with WIN ME. It works fine, but slow in today's standards. The party that gave it to me got it from someone else, so I don't have everything that may have come with it. Is there some place that I might find a user's manual? The computer indicates there is an A drive, but I can't find where it might be. There is a CD drive. There are a number of places to plug things in and buttons to press, but I've no idea what they are there for (outside of the usual printer and serial ports). Can anyone be of assistance? Thank you!

Joseph O'Brien said:

I have had a Toshiba Tecra 510cdt given to me as a gift. It has a 201gb hhd and I have read that it is possible to fit a larger one. I have the latest bios installed. I also have a MK2018GAP hhd but the connector is different. Do I need a Toshiba HDD Connector - P000217920 to make the connection? Can anyone help? Please.

Joseph O'Brien said:

Sorry! The hhd is a 2.1gb and not a 201gb!!!
Any help to
With many Thanks in advance!

Anonymous said:

I have been working on a friend's Tecra 510CDT and it was an interesting process to get it up and running. I installed Windows 2000 on this one. The first mistake to avoid: DO NOT use the Win98 startup disk!! I downloaded a custom win98 boot disk (with no ramdrive) from With this disk, (after using fdisk and format) I was able to copy the system files from the floppy to the hard disk (using the sys c: command at the a:> prompt). This makes the hard drive bootable and the cdrom drivers load automatically -- which works around the problem caused by the swappable floppy and cd-rom drives. I also had to copy the remaining files from the floppy to the hard disk (at a:> prompt copy *.* c:). Now you can reboot, put the cd-rom drive back in, run smartdrv, and start the windows 2000 setup with the winnt command (which lives in the i386 folder of the windows 2000 cd).

Fdisk still has the 8GB limitation in this case, but once the OS in installed, you can easily allocate the rest of the drive as a 2nd partition.

Hope this helps some poor soul.

dave said:

Joseph, the disk inside the Toshiba is inside a little holder which has an adapter. This should convert from a standard 2.5" ide to the one you can see on the drive container.

You'll have to take the old drive out and take the external container apart. Don't take the drive apart! It's more difficult to describe than to do, but you should end up with some metal brackets, a driver adapter plug and a 2.1GB drive which is probably thicker than your 20Gb.

Joseph O'Brien said:

Hi Dave, The 20gb HDD installation (as you suggested) worked like a charm. You are a 'Star'. Now, my other problem is the 128mb memory upgrade. I bought a 128mb memory and fitted it but the Tosh would not boot up. I got my supplier to send me a replacement in case it was faulty. It was no different. I fitted a 64mb memory which it only saw as a 32mb memory, giving me 48mb ram. I have since fitted a 32mb ram which works fine. I still only have 48mb. What's my problem? Is it a BIOS setting? I read somewhere about a 430xh chip on the motherboard limiting the size of ram. Is this true? My beast is a Toshiba Tecra 510cdt, Model: 1232EBYX-ENDI. Made in F.R.Germany by Toshiba Europe GMBH. Anyone got any suggestions?

[Anonymous] said:

I have recently had many problems with my Tecra 510CDT, Windows 98 completely crashed. Following advice from a friend I made a Win.98 Bootdisc. The instilation went fine as I have a floppy drive, however I now have my CD-Rom dirve as (E:) and have a strange unformatted hard-drive drive (D:). I know that this is to do with the bootdisc creating a RAM drive (D:) but ow do I get rid of it? I have noticed also comment 109, how someone has downloaded a custom bootdisc from "". I have been on the site but I cannot seem to find the file. I really don't mind re-installing Windows. Can anyone help?

Oliver said:

Ron, I am writing this to answer you queries about the range of sockets on the Toshiba Tecra 510CDT. On the back the largest socket, the one that has spring-loaded cover, is for a docking station. The small black rectangle is an infrared port, this allows connection between devices with infrared ports (eg. mobile phones or PDAs). On the left side, the side with the power switch, there should on the bottom edge a slidable cover, with a symbol of a floppy disc above it. If you slide it to the right a connector is exposed, you can use this to connect an external floppy drive. On the same side, above the power button there is a retractable lever, you can use this if you want to put the floppy disc drive into the laptop, instead of the CD-ROM drive (Beware: the CD-ROM drive will not work in the external caddy!). All you do to eject the drive in the drive bay is:
1. On the front under the CD-ROM drive there should be a small switch with a padlock next to it, push this switch to the right until it clicks, doing this should also reveal a small red indicator square.
2. Push the leaver in above the on button until it pops out.
3. Under the PCMCIA slot there should be small square button with a numer 3 next to it. Push this button in whilsh pulling the leaver up. This should eject the drive in the caddy. Once done, insert the drive you want to insert, push the lever back in and pull the small switch back to the left.
Anyway, moving on. Still on the left side there should be a large openable cover. In this area you can put PCMCIA cards, like wireless network or UBS like what I have in mine. See above comments for how to set one up. On the right side there sholud be one socket. This is usually a modem socket, so you can go on the internet. There is not much that this laptop can't do!
On the bottom there are three panels. The biggest panel is for the battery, it is marked, unsuprisingly with a battery symbol! The smallest one, held on with screws is for upgrading the RAM, again see above comments for further information. The final cover covers the hard disc drive. The switch to open it is located on the side of the laptop, not the bottom.
If you look on the keyboard there is a button labled "Fn" if you press this and "F10" it will connect to a docking station if you have one attached.
Finally the reason why Windows shows that there is a floppy drive connected when clearly clearly one is'n attached, is becaues earlier versions of windows display a icon for a floppy disc drive even when one is not attached or disabled in the BIOS. I have built many computers and this is a frequently occuring problem.

I hope that this helps you, Ron and also anyone else who is in the same situation.

Andy C said:

I picked up an 510 off the junk heap at work (They were going to PAY someone to dispose of it!). I figured I could just use it for school, and keep it in the trunk of car.

So I upgraded it to 2000 pro and put an version of office on it. The battery, of course, doesn't work, but who cares? As for a harddrive upgrade I bought a 2 gig flash card for $75 and use it to put all my notes, and load them on my network at home.

But I'd really like to get a wireless card on it. School has a wireless net up and it would be really nice to have access to my network from class. Has any one figured out how to get a wireless card to work? I've tried at least 5 cards so far.

Andy C said:

I picked up an 510 off the junk heap at work (They were going to PAY someone to dispose of it!). I figured I could just use it for school, and keep it in the trunk of car.

So I upgraded it to 2000 pro and put an version of office on it. The battery, of course, doesn't work, but who cares? As for a harddrive upgrade I bought a 2 gig flash card for $75 and use it to put all my notes, and load them on my network at home.

But I'd really like to get a wireless card on it. School has a wireless net up and it would be really nice to have access to my network from class. Has any one figured out how to get a wireless card to work? I've tried at least 5 cards so far.

I have a Tecra 510CDT. I've upgraded it to a 40 gig hard drive and I am running White Box Linux 3.0 (same as RHEL 3.0), kernel version 2.4.21. The *only* piece of hardward I cannot get to work is the IR device. The toshoboe driver does not seem to work.

Barry Watzman said:

There is so much I want to say.

First, I have a problem on my two 510's that I got virtually for free: I can't get the sound system(s) (Crystal & Windows Sound System) installed correctly so that both of them are "clean" and without splats in Winodws 95 OSR 2.5, with BIOS 6.9 & the latest drivers. Sound does work, but there are yellow "splats" on either or both the Crystal devices and WSS (windows sound system). If anyone has this working correctly, please E-Mail me (

Now, however, I can possibly help out a number of you. I am a degreed engineer, A+ & network+ certified, worked for laptop makers and VERY familiar with laptops (especially Toshiba).

On PC Cards, I have not tried PC cards in my units but it's supposed to take both 16-bit and 32-bit ("Cardbus") cards in both slots. However, there is a BIG "gotcha", a configuration item in the bios. The default is "PCIC Compatible", which in my experience usually doesn't work. Change it to "16-bit and cardbus" (or something like that) and your problems may go away and you may be able to install a USB PC Card (which will, by definition, always be a Cardbus (32-bit) card). This is probably the issue with people trying to use both USB PC Cards and Wireless network cards, because properly configured it does support Cardbus. [Also, in my case, after installing Win95 OSR 2.5, I found that in device manager PC Cards (all types) were disabled by default, but a simple check-box fixed that].

Floppy drives: If you are going to work with a 510, get an external floppy. You can buy them on E-Bay for $5. The key is that almost any Toshiba external floppy drive will work .... Toshiba almost totally standardized their external floppy drives, they are all interchangeable with one exception. The one for the Tecra 8000 does have a smaller connector. You can tell that one because it's plastic case is dark, charcoal gray (almost black) vs. the light gray of earlier Tecras and Satellites like the 510.

Windows XP: Give it up. Both the CPU and memory are hopelessly too low in power. Even NT or 2000, which can be loaded, are probably best advised against. Stick with 95/98.

Memory: It uses standard EDO memory, available in 16, 32, 64 and 128 meg sizes. There is 16MB permanetly on the motherboard + whatever you put in the memory slot. You can get 32MB modules for about $15-$20, and 64MB modules for $25-$35 (E-Bay), however the 128 meg modules are rare and prohibitively expensive (you can buy a better laptop for the cost of a 128MB module). Note: In the 510, and in some other machines ("late" Satellite 400 series, 440 to 495), Toshiba supported a non-standard "large format" memory card. These cards cannot be used in "normal" laptops that take "normal size" SO-DIMM memory (however, normal cards can be used in the 510). Take advantage of this, because the price of these non-standard extra-large memory modules is FAR less than an otherwise identical but SO-DIMM standard EDO module of the same size.

CD: As far as I can determine, there is no ability to boot from a CD.

OS Installation: With a floppy drive, you can boot from DOS on a floppy and make the hard drive bootable to a DOS prompt and configure the hard drive to self-boot DOS with CD-ROM support (FDisk, Format, SYS (if necessary) a CD-ROM driver (oakcdrom.sys) and the proper autoexec.bat & config.sys). Then you can copy the installation files to the hard drive and do the install. This is the "best" and "right" way to do an OS install.

If you do not have a floppy, you have to remove the hard drive, and do the above steps on another PC to which the hard drive has been temporarily installed. DO NOT INSTALL THE OS, rather make the hard drive DOS bootable to a C: prompt with CD-ROM support. Then copy the OS setup files to the hard drive. The actual installation itself MUST be done on the target computer (the Tecra 510).

Video: LCD displays should always and only be run at their native resolution (800x600 in this case). You should not scale a different resolution (smaller or larger) to this size, you should run directly at this size (and only at this size). If you have a small 640x480 windows with a large black border, you don't have the right drivers installed (or you don't have the right resolution selected in display properties).

Hope all this helps. Hope someone can help me with the sound problem.



jay said:






Elmeri Kumpuniemi said:

Hi, my name is Elmeri. I have had this old toshiba tecra 510cdt with my travel of life for long time, but now I actually started to use it more regulary, because I tought that, hey, why not install linux (DamnSmallLinux) in it, and use it as my second computer and for chatting, like irc and msn and stuff. Well first problem occured when I bought and usb bus 2.0 for PCMCIA, from Transcend. i cant get it work with this, because it doesnt read any usb, or my linux wont even notice it. the machine beebs when i unplug it. also, with dsl (damnsmalllinux) the computer freezes when i unplug it. please contact me at, or write here.

I really need help. i read all the messages up there, but all i managed to get was lousy beeb, but that tells me it works. what should i do? im working for it so I manage to get it work...MAYBE. but if anyone knows how do i fix this, i would be pleased.

greg fowler said:

i have a toshiba tecra510cdt that wont play music cds because back up program cant find it.what do i do its only a 10x cd player?

greg fowler said:

just brought a good toshiba tectra 510cdt laptop but i cant get cd rom drive to play says it cant find cd player.exe. someone please help me

Kirk W. said:

I have found the following resources that may be helpful to other owners of the Tecra 510 CDT laptop:

I bought a 128 MB memory card last year for that laptop from the following source:

(Or start at if this link doesn't work. This site has other hardware for the Tecra 510 as well.) The 128 MB upgrade is priced at US $44.00 and is in stock as of today.

I installed this memory card in the slot underneath the bottom of my Tecra 510 CDT. The memory card works in parallel with the internal non-removable 16 MB memory, giving me a total of 148 MB. I only had to plug in the card. It was not necessary to change any BIOS settings. The laptop recognizes the memory and I've never had any problems with it. Performance has improved noticeably.

Ms. Blackwell above was seeking a user guide for this laptop. An online version is available. It is an excellent basic guide that describes every operating feature of the laptop. This user guide is a file named "510guide.exe". A search on Google revealed one source for this guide. ( The web site is in a foreign language but this should not be a problem.

Sian Jones said:

Hi Barry, I found your article really interesting. You know you're stuff that's for sure. I want to put Windows 98 onto my Tecra, but this would be my very first time doing something like this and I'm a bit nervous, what with the not booting from CD etc. Is there any chance of some detailed steps which I can follow (and maybe directions of where to find files) so that I can give it a shot.

Thanks a lot

Rob Brwon said:


I have a Tecra 510CDT that is both still going strong (for the most part) but I though I ought to change the CMOS battery. Any cautions on this?

Also....will perusing for it I found the existence of a "RAM" battery. What is that? Should I replace that as well? Any cautions there?



Rob Brown said:


I have a Tecra 510CDT that is both still going strong (for the most part) but I though I ought to change the CMOS battery. Any cautions on this?

Also....will perusing for it I found the existence of a "RAM" battery. What is that? Should I replace that as well? Any cautions there?



Jim said:

Hi, I have a Tecra 720cdt. I dont remember how, but I messed around and managed to disable the sound somehow. I have tried removing and re installing the sound card and drivers, but no luck. Can any one please help with this problem? Thanks in advance, Jim.

Roan said:

Well i've just read the WHOLE thread and am quite happy and my Tecra is looking me with scared eyes mwahahah

I'm about to dissembowel it and make it a whole new laptop

As far as I read from this thread, here's my current Tecra 510:

133 Mhz
48 Ram
4x CD rom
3 1/2 inch floppy disk drive
2.01 Gigs HDD

According to you guys, (dave and others) this could end up being:

133 Mhz
148 Ram
DVD - CD RW rom
3 1/2 inch floppy disk drive
MK3018GAS 2.5-inch 30GB Hard Disk Drive

As far as PCMCIA cards... i havent been able to get any, i desperately want to get my tecra online with either an ethernet or a wireless one...

any info on this issue?
I've found and changed the PC CARD CONTROLLER MODE to Cardbus/16-bit so that should make it work fine.

Thanks guys, my email is and would love to have some feedback on this issue.

Take care.


Oliver said:

This is a little comment about playing DVDs on the Tecra 510CDT. I have a computer that I wanted to play DVDs on, it hav a AMD Athlon 400Mhz processor. I found a drive and some software. However the playback was poor, it was about 1 frame per second. I was thinking about this. I brought a new Toshiba laptop recently and tried it's DVD drive in my 510. The playback ws not very desireable. It was not really capeable of playing my DVD. I don't think that the Tecra 510CDT is quite capeable of laying DVDs on its tiny processor.
If anyone's had a different experience with DVDs could you contact me, I'd be really interested. e-mail:

manu said:

can you please tell me how to removed the cdrom drive and put in a FDD inside i have no clue how to do this

Scooter said:

All comments on here have helped me alot. My main goal is to get my Tecra 510 CS to run smooth and have wireless.

So far I have tried Win95/98, and now, ME is working fine. I have a sony Vaio PCGA-CD51/A external cdrom which is probably worth more than tecra, but i'm playing about.

I downloaded a ME bootdisk and changed config.sys file to include drivers for cdrom which I included on bootdisk. I'm gonna try my spare Netgear WG511 PC Card but not very optimistic at this point.

This is where I'm at now and will let you know what happens. In the end I formatted the HDD and started afresh. Read for about 2 days. 40 hrs so far playing about! (Missus going mad!).

The display came up fine straight away. Think there's no sound. If anyone wants this PC Card just email me- (assuming it's not gonna work).

Thanks for all your posts - most enlightning (cheers Falcon for mention WinME #50).

Scooter said:

Everything works perfect with ME (51CS) except Netgear WG511 as expected. Anyone got a 16-Bit card?

André Ventura said:

hi all, i have a 510cdt to it is a indestructable laptop, but mow i have a BIG problem, i have a 32bit pcmcia card and it worked with the BIOS v6.50 but i´ve updated the bios to V6.90...well big mistake!! now it doesent run as soon as i insert it the comp lock up..-it just frezzes. does any one know where to get the 6.50 bios? thanks

dave said:

André (#135), just go into the BIOS on boot and switch it to Cardbus mode. When you flash the bios, you'll reset it to the defaults, which include 16-bit PCMCIA mode.

The latest Linux Kernels, by the way will recognise the PCI cards in 16-bit or 32-bit mode. I leave it in 32 bit mode and it works with my 16-bit wireless (802.11b) card and the 32-bit (100Mbps) Xircom card.

Manu (#132), there's a little switch on the front which releases the internal drive, and the level on the left hand side will let you eject the internal drive. The floppy will go in just like the CD, but you have to eject it from it's external caddy first. Unfortunately, the CD-Rom won't work in the external caddy.

André Ventura said:

Thanks for the anser Dave...but i changed de bios settings to cardbus/16-bit and it still frezzes when i insert the pcmcia card, by the way i have the win98se with no promblems until this what more can i do? i realy need the wireless (why oh why did i change the bios LOl) please any more advices? thankx

André ventura said:

Oh by the way the card that now hangs up the system is a linksys wpc11 ver.3 witch is a 16bit card so it worked fine with the old BIOS and i recomend it, it works fine in all the laptops i´ve tried it on. i wich it helps you, im a realy 510CDT fan and i don´t want to put it aside because of this.

André ventura said:

Problem solved, FORMAT C: ! then install win98 S.E everything works fine pcmcia card and all i have internet and the laptop works fine!

André Ventura said:

Oh the only "catch" is i have to start up the comp with the pcmcia card inserted otherwise if hangs up when i insert it, other than that it works like a chamrm! old grey heavy and slow...but i just love it!

TheBrave said:

I've got an old Tecra 700CT that I have one document file in that I want to get out.... How would I get it out of there??? This may be simple but I can't figure out a way to get it out of there.

dave said:

My son using the 510 CDT:

dave said:

The Brave: Get yourself a USB to IDE cable, remove the disk from the laptop and plug the disk into a PC/Mac/Linux box of your choice and read the files off the disk.

You'll need a powered USB hub to get it working.

Teknowmage said:

I've been reading the various comments on the Tecra 510CDT, with some amusement. I bought a Tecra 500CDT, a decade ago, for a price that was "astronomical".

But, the little grey box just keeps on going, like the Energizer bunny. Nice little machine.

I run Win98SE on it. That's about its capability point. Tried WinME and Win2K ... they functioned. I did add in the "Unofficial Win98SE SP2.1a" upgrade, and that gave the little beastie a lot of good stability.

In terms of wireless, I've found that the SMC2632W V2 card works fine.

Tried locating a USB card. No such animal exists, at least for Cardbus/16. However, a theoretical solution exists. Start with a Cardbus/16 CF (Compact Flash) card, WITH I/O SUPPORT. Then get the USB 1.1 CF card, meant originally for PDAs, and plug it into the PCMCIA/Cardbus card. Cost is excessive and I've not tried it for real. But for those with curiosity, money, and a driving need, this should work.

The only upgrade I'm contemplating, is the DVD-ROM drive. Not for movies, but to read DVD data disks.

If anyone out there tries the USB solution. Let me know how it works.

bruce said:

For some reason my 510 thinks the removable drive is the Floppy A:, even though it is a CD-ROM drive. This just started happening after years of using the CD-ROM drive.

Where do I tell it that it is not the floppy. I did not see anything in the BIOS

gagan said:

i have a toshiba satellite pro 400 cdt and im trying to get a netgear wg511t wireless network card to work in it but it isnt do u know how i can get it to work

Richard said:

I've been wanting to get a usb port on my Tosh 510 but any pcmcia cards i've found want more than the 133mghz I've got.

Was there and if so where can I find a type one usb card? If i could get this thing to see a usb port I'll be up on my wireless network. any hope?

ben said:

can enyone help? i cant get my tecra 510cs to boot from the cd drive so i can load up wins 98

Thassilo Damerow said:

Hello, i have just rescued my Tecra 500cdt from the junk. The Tecra 500cdt has 64MB and a 1.2GB HD. First i´ve tryed win98... no problems. But then i´ve tryed to get a wireless Lan PCMCIA card working... no chance. The netgear wg511t and linksys wc54g, both doesn´t work. So i tryed win98se... even the same procedure. No WLAN cards would work. But the IR Ports are working under win98 so i used my VPA Compact2 as a GPRS Modem per Infrared. So far so bad.... No i´ve installed win2000 to try the wlan cards... with success! It seems that the win98/se drivers or the ndiswan drivers or something else wouldn´t work and make trouble. Now my wlan does work, but my IR Ports are out of reach. Win2000 doesn´t recognize the integrated infrared Ports. What a S**t! Next i try to get a larger HD (greater than 8GB) in that grey Pandora Box.

Thassilo Damerow said:

It´s me again....
I have bouhgt an 128Mb Board. The original KTT500/128 for 12€ (approx. 12$). But it doesnt work in my Tecra 500cdt. The Memory test only counts up to 114000Kb and then tells me that there is something wrong. In an other Homepage i´ve found out that many of our Tecra 500 an 510 cant work with more than 64Mb because of the Memors Processor thats inside. I couldnt believe it. Did anyone of You tried this Ktt500/128? Or did someone tried an "normal" 128Mb SO-Dimm 144Pins memors Bank?
Please answer me:

Roan said:

Well, For almost a year I've had this big, heavy, grey and almost useless tosh as a nice cup-holder. But I got a new cellphone (nokia 6070, ok it's NOT new, but its my new phone) which has Infrared connection. I am running Win 2000 with service pack 4, but the front IR port is not working, and it's uncomfortable to be using the rear one... I was wondering if there's a way for me to update drivers or something. But the file transfer works fine :) (it;s just a lil more complicated)

Also I was wondering,

Does anyone know of a wireless PCMCIA which will WORK on the Tosh? I have the updated bios, 48Mb ram, 2gig hdd, win 2000, and a LAN PCMCIA which is working right now.

So... anything you can do to help, feel free to email me at

Take care, and long live the ToSh!

Eric Hornby said:

Does anyone out there know if the Tecra500cdt is capable of supporting a 4 port usb 2 plug in device. I have tried to install the one Ive bought complete with software but no joy! how do I get into the bios to turn on the usb feature assuming there is one? any advice gratefully received. Eric

dave said:

Sorry about the delays in replying guys - been busy.

Richard, I don't think there are any type 1 USB PCMCIA cards. I've never seen one in years of looking. I've never gotten USB cards working reliably on the Tosh, in Linux or Windows. I think the slot doesn't push enough power for USB2.0.

Thassilo, Most wireless cards are 32-bit. You'll need to go into the BIOS and change the PC-Card slot to be Cardbus compatible. I'm amazed that you got Win2000 to install (and on such a small disk!). I've got a 30Gb drive in my Tosh, and it's fine. I think the big barriers are 8GB and 32GB, so you could try a 40GB, and always restrict it to 32GB. I doubt there'd be much difference in prices between a 30GB and 40GB drive these days.

Also, I think you need a special stick of RAM to get 128MB into the Tosh.

Roan, I had a 16bit BlueTake card (based on the ATmel chipset) which worked fine under Linux for a while. A recent 2.6 kernel (i.e. any modern Linux distribution) should support it natively. They're quite hard to find though. Any modern Wireless card should be OK, if you can get a cheap one. (Just about any wireless card will also be worth more than the Tosh, but that's retro computing for you.)

Teknowmage at #144 had a card which works.

Eric said:

Just got a tecra 510 48mbyte with 2 gig hdd, cd came with the big docking station and all for 30 quid (60 USD ish). The docking station give me floppy, scsi, usb, network , a couple of spare pci slots and a 5 1/4 slot for extra drives. It may be old but this is a cracking piece of kit.

Actually bought this to run ms-dos apps, but win 2k runs ok and with the docking station, well I'll keep my dell xpi's for dos....I do have a spare 9gig 2.5 drive so may try other o/s 's to see what give best compatability/performance. Anyone tried openbsd on these ??

dave said:

I haven't run OpenBSD on mine, but I've run both FreeBSD and many flavours of Linux, so I doubt you'd have a problem with OpenBSD.

As mentioned above, drive's up to 30gigs have been tried and worked.

Eric said:

Just put an 18 gig scsi hdd into the 5 1/4" space on the deskstation which works fine (might change this for a cd rewriter though) gonna swap the 2.5" drive later for the 9 gig and try some new o/s's..

Have a good weekend all.


Neon_Knight said:

Hello. I have a Toshiba Tecra 520CDT (yes, my friend gave it to me...). Originally it came from a bank, so I hear. when I got it it had some boot password checking thing, so I formatted the drive. (and promptly tore the HDD flex cable in half by accident...don't ask me how)

Now, I have Damn Small Linux on a live CD to boot from, but whenever I start my laptop, it takes AGES (at LEAST 5 minutes) at "Memory Initialize". It just sits there. And then, after a long long wait, it finally boots from the CD.

I don't know why this is, or what is happening. I looked into the BIOS and the boot priority was all fine, CD > FD > HD. It detected no Hard Drive. Everything seemed fine. I don't know why it's taking so long. (I have 48 MB RAM).

Also, does anyone know where I can possibly get a replacement HD flex cable for my Toshiba Tecra 520 CDT?

Thanks in advance for any help anyone can give me.

dee said:

I have a Toshiba Tecra 510 CDT it works I have not tried to connect it to the internet does anyone want to purchase it?. I bought it thru an auction it was used by a government office?. It does not come with anything I have borrowed a power cord from my friend. There is no mouse but the cursor is controlled by a black button on the keyboard. Please let me know if anyone is interested in purchasing.

Neon_Knight said:

I'd buy the flex cable for the Hard Drive.

Would you be willing to sell just that one part?

Bryan said:

Hello World
I have a problem and wondering what to do...A friend of mine has a Toshiba 510cdt. The hard drice got wiped out and now asks for a system disk.
It does not have a floppy drive only cd. I have a 95 and 98 SE install cd but it doesn't seem to see the cd. Any suggestions on how to make things work?



LMC said:

I purchased an old tecra 500CDT from my local recyling facility for £15. I just wish I'd known about this site before I ripped the beastie apart!
I think that the motherboard and CMOS has died in the exicement. Trying to locate a simular P1 or simular componant to test out.

Most parts were working anyway, with the exception that I was going to buy new memory from Kingston, they still manufacture good reliable parts, the Cdrom unit is busted and I can pick up a split new DVD unit for a few pounds, locally and I have 2.5" 40GB HDD. all waiting to be installed. I knew where to borrow several older PCMA XD/CF and SD cards, because All I wanted to was to run the laptop on Win98SE, and edit photos with PS5.5, play several older win 95/98 games that XP refuses to run. I'm looking for an assembly/disassembly diagram or simular schematic, It was going to be one of these "bad Ideas" project, and if I solve these little niggles, I was going to take this on my hols.

To be honest re running DvD movies, it is possible to run previous versions of Power DVD software. Or something simular from freeware software.

Ivan said:

Bryan (#160) I'm certain I've got a set of CDs for a 510CDT. Along with the Toshiba revisions, udates & patches for the hardware.

peter said:

hello all, i have a tecra 520 cdt, it runs a 6.8 bios (anyone know where the 6.9 update is?) a 2.1gb drive, second battery and floppy drive i have XP SP1 loaded onto laptop, I have got usb operational along with IR port,and it runs well, it is slimmed down a tad :) i need a 128mb ram chip and bios update if you gents can help.


Roy F. Williams, Sr. said:

I have a Toshiba Tecra 510CDT/2.1 with a
hard drive 4.0 GB (3.81GB actual)
Ram menory 144.0GB
Pentium Processor
Windows 98 SE (4.10.22A operating system
toshiba CD drive
Toshiba floppy drive
Model PA 123U XCD
Part # PA 123-T2A
also with this is a complete Desk Station
Model # PA 2710U
Serial # 07627010 with a
Toshiba Etherlink III card.

Any one interested in all of this please contact me as it all works perfectly & has just a new operating system installed in the hard drive.

dave said:

Hi found your site while trying to find out about my tecra 510cdt. I found it very interesting read all the messages but not sure if I read something about a games port for the 510cdt ,I want to connect it to a digital piano via midi I have a midi adapter that connects to a joystick/game port on a desktop computer is there a some way to connect this to the laptop. will appreciate any help you can give me.


Luc Brière said:

Roy F. Williams, Sr., how can we contact you? What are your coordinates?

I'm interested.

Luc Brière

Randy said:

Hi Peter

The link on the toshiba canada support site for the 6.9 BIOS update is:

There are several other files useful for some OS - 3.x/95/98/NT

Hope that's helpful!


bj said:


- i have a tecra 510cdt
used it many years
mainly for changing firmware in sat-receivers

- Now i have it running on winXP

but ;; seaching for ;;
howto add USB

to this undestructable big grey

- cd-rom can read and copy cd s
but cannot write

"" no cd-rom was detected ""

any help on the ;; USB INSTALL
??rs232adapters to usb ??

any pointers will help


bj said:


I just finnished the install
with cardbus usb + generic hub & updated winxp pro

works ok

a bit slow loading

also, using the cdrom with winxp

now i have to find an upgrad for the bios
which supports winxp

more Ram & maybe a bigger hd.


dave said:

Luc, Roy has asked me to add his contact details: royfsr (at)

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This page contains a single entry by dave published on January 30, 2004 2:46 AM.

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