• Please review our updated Terms and Rules here

[HELP] Looking for Documentation on a Toshiba 1910CS 486 laptop

John Draugr

Experienced Member
Mar 16, 2007
Yonkers, NY

Does anyone have a digital (pdf, docx, etc...) copy of the manuals for the Toshiba 1910CS laptop? I'm interested in upgrading the RAM and HD on my unit, but I'd rather have documentation on hand before I attempt surgery on the unit. Replacing a HD was not as easy as on todays laptops. I'm assuming the drive is under the keyboard, but before I go unscrewing the entire casing, I'd rather have documentation on the system. If anyone can help, please let me know.

I do not have the documentation you seek, but I have extensive experience with several 486 Toshiba models and can tell you several things with near-certainty:

The HDD is a standard 2.5" slightly-tall (standard at the time) IDE HDD - usually these are either ~200 or ~500MB and the BIOS can only do those two sizes.

The RAM is a proprietary card-style RAM often referred to as "Credit Card RAM". It looks like a PCMCIA card but it is not pin-compatible or logic-compatible - 4-8MB is typically onboard and the rest is on the card, if any, so check for a PCMCIA-like socket to see if it has a card in it already.

Assuming that the T1910CS is similar to the T4400C, and I'd bet it is, you unscrew the bottom screws, and pry the top half of the casing (clamshell open) away from the bottom half to open it, getting access to the HDD and CPU.

The CPUs on all 486 Toshiba Laptops I've seen are, by the way, standard desktop models, so you can likely upgrade that as well. The highest I've tested on a T4400C is an IBM DX4-100 (Cyrix made), and the highest that works on a T6600C (that I've tested) is the stock DX2-66, but my DX4-100 might have been damaged when I tested it in there so it could work too.

Edit: I looked up a picture of the 1910CS, a Satellite model, and it's 99% identical to the T4400C, so all of the above should hold true for it.

thank you very much for that detailed info. It will really help. :) I do ahve a few further questions though.

1. Scratch this question. You already answered it. LOL :)

2. I think I know what you are talking about with the RAM. Above the PCMCIA slot is a smaller slot with a black film like tongue. I can pull it a bit but I'm afriad if I pull to hard I'll break it. I'm almost positive the unit has 4MB ram so it is possible that the slot is empty and that film like piece could be used to eject the RAM card once it is installed.

3. As for the Hard Drive.... I'm not sure where I'll be able to find a 2.5: IDE 500MB drive. I did check eBay but there was only one seller in the UK and he was asking for $$$$. I wonder if I could use a large drive like a 1GB drive and just get the first 524MB of that drive to work.

4. As for the processor. I have a spare DX4/100. Do you think that would work in this laptop? As of now I've been playing with the laptop and a bunch of games. Everything runs smootly so I may not repalce the processor, but if opening the unit up is a pain, I may do it now just so I won't have to re-open it down the road.

Well, thanks again for the info. Now, I'll hunt around for a 4MB RAM card for that model and a 500MB HD.


Which models have the better screens? The 1910CS or the T4400C? I saw a T4400C on eBay and the graphics look sharper and more colorful. I really have to do some more research. I'd like to figure out which Toshiba laptop is the best 486 laptop for my gaming and general useage. The 1910CS is a great little laptop that I picked up recently and the only complaint I might have is the dual scan screen is kind of...I don't know, how do I explain it???? Fuzzy, faded, etc... Typical from what I recall about the older color dual scan monitors on laptops.

2. Quite possible, but both of my Toshiba machines do not have a pull ribbon. Yours is a bit newer, though.

3. I have a spare working Toshiba 2.5" disk. I had a T4400SX which I disassembled, screwed up, and then tried to reassemble (one of my worse days) that I ended up stripping for parts, as well as two dead T4400Cs (including one that was my first laptop, I miss it..). Unfortunately the two T4400C disks are dead or malfunctioning, but the other one is fine.

4. Yes, assuming that it does indeed have the desktop socket as mine did.

I have the three disks here, two are model MK2124FC and one is model MK2224FC. I believe the MK2224FC is the working one. Feel free to look up the info, I'll sell you all three disks if ya like (the broken ones for shipping only), or just the working one - the other two are.. malfunctioning oddly. If you end up getting the ones I thought broken, and then get them to work, let me know before wiping them as one of them has my data on it and I'd like to retrieve it - a book I was writing among other stuff. PM me if you're interested.

Edit: Oh and the screens. I haven't experienced anything but an SX series and C series screen, the SX is a really crappy monochrome, and the C series screen is beautiful and sharp. I believe that the C series screens are described as 640x480 Active Matrix TFT 256 Colors.

Those two drives you mention are 210 and 120 MB drives. I'm hunting down a 500MB drive, I may have found someone. If I do, then I'll just have to find a ram card to bring my laptop up from 4 to 8 or more MB.

BTW, do you know if there are PCMCIA 10 or 10/100 nics that work with DOS and DOS nic drivers?

I have been searching the web and I see some sites with ram for the Toshiba laptops, but even though I searched for "Toshiba 1910CS memory" or "Toshiba 1910CS RAM" I'm not confident the online shops are showing me the proper memory for my laptop. I wish I had a manual or parts list of all compatible parts for the 1910CS model. :(
What I find is that any machine that takes the card RAM works with all of the card RAM no matter what model it was intended for. I stuck two T4400C sticks in my T6600C and it didn't care, worked fine.

Be sure to check your BIOS before committing to a 500MB drive, just to be sure that your model takes them. It will have a selector for drive size instead of drive type if it's at all like the T4400C and T6600C BIOSes.
Oh and I forgot to answer your PCMCIA network question - The Aironet 350 is a wifi card I know to work with Win3x (and it's supposed to work with DOS, but I can't get it to) and almost every PCMCIA NIC ever made has DOS drivers - I've got like 4 arbitrary different PCMCIA NICs and they all have packet drivers available.

Does anyone have a digital (pdf, docx, etc...) copy of the manuals for the Toshiba 1910CS laptop? I'm interested in upgrading the RAM and HD on my unit, but I'd rather have documentation on hand before I attempt surgery on the unit. Replacing a HD was not as easy as on todays laptops. I'm assuming the drive is under the keyboard, but before I go unscrewing the entire casing, I'd rather have documentation on the system. If anyone can help, please let me know.
Thanks John "....

Ciao John e ciao a tutti dall'Italia del sud, città di Taranto.
John, mi spieghi per favore8Se puoi in IItaliano), come si smonta il Thosciba T1910CS ?...non riesco ad aprirlo!

I don't have a manual for you, but there are bits of information out there since it is a popular model and many people like the challenge of using it for Linux etc. Here is a bit from Google:

Memory Upgrade for Toshiba T1910 Laptop, the Toshiba T1910 Laptop takes the 88pin JEIDA DRAM Cards (non-parity, 3.3v) Memory Type, and comes installed with 4 MB (non-removable) of Memory. You can upgrade your Toshiba T1910 Laptop to up to a maximum of 20 MB Memory, the system has 1 slot to install Memory, already with 4 MB (non-removable) standard Memory installed.

I don't know about the ultimate correctness of that comment, but there is good information from this site, which has detailed specs of each 486 model.
To get into BIOS:
Hold down ESC during POST, then press [F1] at the prompt.

I've got a T1960CS that I still use. The color does have a sort of washed-out look, it's the technology of the era rather than anything wrong with the display. My T2150CDT from just about 18 months later has a much nicer display.

I'll tell you, though, even that "washed out" T1960 display looked like "The Fuuuutuuuure" when I first fired it up. My co-workers gathered around to watch the powering-up ceremony and oohed and ahhed appreciatively.

To open it up, remove the screws on the bottom. I recall there's one screw hidden under a tab on the top of the keyboard panel, but you don't need to touch it to open the bottom of the case to get at the hard disk. What it's for is obvious once you get inside.

It's not a good Win95 machine, I even downgraded from Win95 back to 3.11 on my 2150CDT, and it has 32MB of RAM (my T1960 has 8MB.) If you must do Windows, I'd strongly suggest sticking with 3.0 or 3.11 (better networking under Windows for Workgroups, but you'll need a PCMCIA ethernet card, and drivers, and a full bottle of your favorite headache treatment.)

Personally I run mine under DOS 6.21 with the Toshiba extensions (just power management for the 1900 series) and do all my I/O over PCMCIA modem, serial and parallel ports. I had Ether in it once, but the drivers kept going wonky on me so I finally just pulled it out and wiped the drivers ( I had had a stable ethernet card once, but noooo, I had to yank it and put in a newer, shinier one for some reason and that's the one that the drivers went bonkers once per fortnight.)

I have a book...somewhere. I gave the system to my daughter for about a year, and after it had been superseded for her I got it back, but not all at once. So the book has been separated from the system. When it turns up I'll see if I can scan some of the significant parts.

RAM: The stuff that won't work won't even look right. If they actually have it in stock (you often won't find out if the company really has it until after you place an order, I think they take orders then see if they can get any themselves) then it'll probably be refurb or NOS. Make sure of the supplier's return terms before ordering, and be comfortable with them.

The system runs very well under DOS with the installed 4MB. It'll even run DOOM. You can expand it up to 20MB. The largest expansion it will take is 16MB, some places offer 32MB cards, they'll either not function or only give you 16MB. In both cases my experience is that they don't damage the computer, but they won't work. There was another model in a closely related line that would take these, and they often get listed for the 1900 series, too.

If I recall correctly, the difference between the 1910 and the 1960 is processor speed and not much else. Going by memory, the 1910 is 33MHz and the 1960 is 66MHz.

Removing RAM: With the system off, and the display open, there's a door that covers the RAM slot on the right edge of the keyboard area, near the display. Flip it open, inside is a black piece of kapton tape above the RAM module. Pull it out then gently but _firmly_ pull it to the side of the unit to get the RAM module out. Don't use a tool on it (pliers, etc.), because that might tear the kapton. It's tough, but not that tough.

To insert RAM, place the module in with the printed side up, arrow pointing in toward the computer. It sits beneath the kapton tape, if you try to put it on top of the tape, the tape will keep it from going in. Slide the module in until it sits nearly flush with the edge of the case above it. System power off, through the entire procedure, of course. Put the cover back down over the unit. It will click shut without being forced if the RAM module is seated properly.

Hard disks: I have used hard disks other than the original sizes in my T1960 and T2150. Again, this is from memory, but I recall the 1960 as taking anything up to 520MB, and the 2150 as taking anything up to 2GB. I remember the Toshiba BIOS as not being a limited laptop BIOS, but behaving like a full desktop BIOS. Our company was buying them as desktop replacement systems for folks who traveled and gave presentations outside the company. They were the only laptop approved by our company as a full desktop replacement (aside from the HP-UX laptop machines, which were approved for replacing a Unix desktop at the time.)

At any rate, I used to keep a box of hard disks I swapped in and out of both systems, depending on their current use (different OSes, development environments, etc.) These disks weren't specially selected, they were pulls from random laptops that'd been scrapped out (non-Toshiba, as you could hardly kill a Toshiba with a 12 guage shotgun and a dump truck. ;) ) They were different sizes. I recall using drives up to 450MB in the T1960. Disks of 1GB and larger I used in the T2150.

Whether a larger drive will work as a lesser capacity disk will depend on the disk's configuration of heads and platters in part. You can also try to use one of the add on programs from the time that will remap the drive from its physical configuration to a logical one.

The back feet on the bottom of the case will click in and out to hold the machine at a better angle for typing for some people. I usually leave mine flat, but some folks prefer the angle the feet give when extended.

The door to the immediate right of the keyboard on the base is where the click-on trackmouse goes. It's a sweet little thing. Unfortunately, I lost mine about ten years ago. I really miss it. If anyone happened to pick one up at USENIX in 1999 or 2000, that was probably mine. I can't recall which year I lost it, any more. I'll pay a small ransom or trade some hardware for it. :D
Hi John
If you are still searching I have just acquired a set of manuals for a T1900 in excellent condition. T1900S and T1910 Series User's Manual, Special Enhancements 2.0 User's Guida and Companion Guide. They came with a perfectly working T1910/200 System Unit (with power supply) in excellent condition apart from a battery that is well past its sell by date. There is also a tracker ball that docks onto the laptop at the side.
I would think you could use just about ANY 2.5" IDE hard drive you wanted, if you were to use a BIOS overlay like ontrack. I have used the OEM Seagate and Quantum versions of Ontrack on a few systems, I have 20 and 40gb drives working in multiple 286, 386, and 486 systems, granted DOS is limited to a 2gb partition size, so you end up with about 10-20 partitions/drive-letters, but they do work. I have even got a 20gb drive working on an old IBM PS/2 386 laptop, and we all know no BIOS is more picky than IBMs PS/2's BIOS. Even if you dont care about wasted space on the drive, there is an overlay called ANYDRIVE that will address up to 520mb drive, even if the BIOS has no setting for it.
Service Manual Found

Service Manual Found

I know this is an old thread, but if anyone is still looking for information about the TOSHIBA T1910CS 486 laptop, there is a service manual here:

http://www.minuszerodegrees.net/manuals/Toshiba/Other/Toshiba T1900 T1900C - Maintenance Manual.pdf

I have just completed a repair of the starting problem documented here:


This link contains a fix involving the replacement of a capacitor: