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Getting Toshiba to build in 2nd HDD connections_custom build

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  • Toshiba
  • Build
  • Hard Drives
  • Laptops
Last response: in Laptop General Discussion
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August 22, 2007 5:00:27 PM

I spoke w/ several Toshiba sales reps & couple of 'phone answering' "tech support" people :pfff:  . One issue was for customized laptops, that offer option of 2 HDDs. I asked if you opt NOT to order /pay for a 2nd HDD when ordering laptop, will the connections for a 2nd HDD be built in to add one later on?

Answers were all over the map. Depending on who was answering, I got:
"Absolutely not. If you don't order the 2nd HDD, they won't build the connections in so one can be added later."

"Yes, probably."

"I'm not sure."

"Yes, unless you order it in a month w/ an "R" in it."
(I just made the last one up )

1) So, (w/o paying for the 2nd HDD itself) can you order a customized Toshiba that includes 2nd HDD bay connections & a mobo that'll support it?

2) How do you get them to do it, and does it wind up costing as much as ordering the 2nd drive anyway?

More about : toshiba build 2nd hdd connections custom build

August 22, 2007 5:47:36 PM

I had the same issue with Fujitsu, and I got a more clear answer (I got a higher up tech [who sent me internal pictures,]) on the HDD, but the gy was very confused with graphics. :sarcastic: 

Anywhoo in that case, the SATA port is there, but there is no retention cage, you may have the same situation, which would confuse people. For me, I ordered a single fastest HDD and will add a 7KRPM one later, but I need to buy the retention cage when I'm ready.

Here's the image I was sent showing the standard connector and empty bay, and beside an HDD with the Cage that I would need to order separately;


I have a feeling the situationis similar for you, as it makes little sense for them to use a totally different MOBO for the single drive build versus the dual drive build. Using the same board with the header simply not occupied makes sense. You may need proprietary cage and maybe even a special cable afterwards, but you can 'likely' get that from Toshiba's parts department, Contact them about that with the information I gave you and they may be able to give you a clearer answer now that you know what you're needing to clarify. And don't be afraid to ask for the most knowledgeable tech person available, anything less wastes their and your time.

But, always be courteous even when frustrated, because it's even easier for them to tell you no, than to help you, and those phone reps don't care THAT much to deal with people who don't make it easy to help.
August 22, 2007 6:29:21 PM

Thanks very much, GGA. Sounds like some good advice. To clarify, your laptop also doesn't have the connection slot / block for 2nd HDD? The pic is of another unit - not yours?

I thought of asking for Level II tech (or higher) - esp. after getting the run around. Many "1st Level techs" (anywhere) seem so reluctant to give you to someone w/ more experience. Maybe that should say to someone w/ any experience.

I opened the HDD compartments on about (3) 17" late model Toshibas. The secondary HDD bay is a little larger than the primary. In your pic, the 2nd (empty) bay clearly shows the connection slot (?block? - about 1/2" X 2") for the HDD connectors to slide into. That block / slot for 2nd HDD was absent in Toshibas I look at. They didn't use the wrap around metal "retention cage" like in your pic.

The HDD connection block in primary HDD bay in the Toshibas was held in place by 2 very small screws. That tells me they can add / not add it. What OTHER additions the factory must do to make the 2nd HDD connection functional, I don't know (i.e., cable, soldering, connection on mobo, etc.).

I can see having to pay a few $$ extra to get them to add the connection, but not being told "you can't have it at all unless you buy the 2nd HDD."

I'll follow your advice & ask for a higher level tech or mgr / supervisor.
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August 22, 2007 6:51:43 PM

phkhgh said:
Thanks very much, GGA. Sounds like some good advice. To clarify, your laptop also doesn't have the connection slot / block for 2nd HDD? The pic is of another unit - not yours?


Actually that's the unit currently 'shipping' to me. So it would be how mine will look, and as you see it does come with the extra connector in bay 2. But it's a Fujitsu not Toshiba, I'd be surprised if Toshiba doesn't do a similar practice, it just doesn't make sense to not do that (remember they prefer to build 2-4 times as many of the same thing than having 2-3 differnt variants), but if the ones you looked at are different maybe they do. But maybe that's for the ones they send to retail where it's a set configuration, whereas the online build your owns all start from a standard configuration that allows both. That makes sense too because if they know 500,000 are destined for Wal Mart configured like this, then there's no advantage to including the 25 cents per laptop connectors, it also limits their competition from without. But I could see the build it yourself being different as a base, but it's best to contact them and be absolutely sure, even if it means, e-mail or fax to get the information you need in a solid form (BTW, e-mail copy and fax give you more leverage to return it or upgrade it if not satisfied whereas someone on the phone is still just saying 'one of your reps told me' which has a little less weight.

Quote:
I thought of asking for Level II tech (or higher) - esp. after getting the run around. Many "1st Level techs" (anywhere) seem so reluctant to give you to someone w/ more experience. Maybe that should say to someone w/ any experience.


Yes good idea, but IMO be somewhat conciliatory in saying, I am following up on a previous call, and I needed to get in touch with a subject matter expert on the HDD for thi laptop, as I have the following issue. Something like that should make them want to pass you up the line (less work for them, and unlikely to be offended [although they may be required to make an attempt by company policy])/

Quote:
I opened the HDD compartments on about (3) 17" late model Toshibas. The secondary HDD bay is a little larger than the primary. In your pic, the 2nd (empty) bay clearly shows the connection slot (?block? - about 1/2" X 2") for the HDD connectors to slide into. That block / slot for 2nd HDD was absent in Toshibas I look at. They didn't use the wrap around metal "retention cage" like in your pic.


And that it disturbing, butlike I mentioned it may be different for those bulk orders versus the one you build online / on the phone.

Quote:
The HDD connection block in primary HDD bay in the Toshibas was held in place by 2 very small screws. That tells me they can add / not add it. What OTHER additions the factory must do to make the 2nd HDD connection functional, I don't know (i.e., cable, soldering, connection on mobo, etc.).


And that is an issue because it could be something they omit from an entire build line, so thus you need to manuyally connect it to the MoBo if it's even there. At that point it start gettin to be alot more work/hassle for me than saving $50-100 on a second HDD.

Quote:
I can see having to pay a few $$ extra to get them to add the connection, but not being told "you can't have it at all unless you buy the 2nd HDD."


I agree and it makes sense, but maybe from their perspective the added effort on their part isn't worth their hassle unfortunately.

Quote:
I'll follow your advice & ask for a higher level tech or mgr / supervisor.


Yeah I think that's the only way to get the correct information you want and not either guess yourself, or have some Customer Service dude 'posing as a tech' guessing. If you want mention that you've seen people on Tom's with similar situations who got detailed answers from their laptop MFRs, hey even mention that Fujitsu sent me a picture to allay my concerns. do it in a nice way, cause usually stuff like that eithe sparks competition, or it sparks resentment. Once again I think a little honey added to a statement like that, may get you someone sending you a picture as well to confirm. I tell you when I saw that I had absolutely no doubt, and while I might not be able to order the cage, that the guy said I could in writing and provided me the picutre, he has 100% confidence from me.
August 22, 2007 7:37:16 PM

Thanks again.
I tried to edit my previous post but didn't "take."

Wanted to ask about Toshiba's policy (maybe others?) on custom orders, if you choose the 80 GB HDD, they don't offer ANY 2nd HDD.
Is this likely due to their marketing, or some physical / electronic constraint of the computer(s)?

Good point about the email / fax record. I knew that, but glad you mentioned it.

May be right about differences in preconfig'd vs custom units. I just need to find someone there willing to definitively clarify (preferably in writing!)

Excellent about the tech service you got from Fujitsu. Was that a Level I or II or... that sent the info? IOW, how much did you have to beg? Maybe I should look at Fujitsu (custom). Seen a few in stores - not many models.

How do they compare to Toshiba / others, quality & price for similar features? Which model did you order & how much (if you don't mind)?

EDIT: I called Toshiba back - they say there's no email contact to tech support. Spoke to both tech supp & sales...again. Even though a previous tech said there would be a connection for 2nd HDD even if I didn't order the 2nd HDD, others there in both sales & tech supp definitely say "NO." I even asked if I could pay for it. Again, "NO."

The Level I tech I spoke w/ this time ('Tox', in Phillipines) was really abrupt & somewhat annoyed that I even asked to speak to a level II tech or mgr or supervisor. She / he (couldn't tell) refused to let me speak to <u>anyone</u> else in tech supp in spite of how nicely I asked. Basically told me to go back to sales - "it's not a technical support issue."

Yes, it appears other mfgs do put the 2nd HDD connections in. One guy said his HP (or Sony?) had it. The Great Grape Ape showed us his pic of the Fujitsu w/ the connection.
August 23, 2007 12:30:28 AM

phkhgh said:
Thanks again.
I tried to edit my previous post but didn't "take."


If you need it edited somehow let me know, I could edit it for you.

Quote:
Wanted to ask about Toshiba's policy (maybe others?) on custom orders, if you choose the 80 GB HDD, they don't offer ANY 2nd HDD.
Is this likely due to their marketing, or some physical / electronic constraint of the computer(s)?


Yeah best to find out, because the thing I liked about the Fujitsu is the smallest/cheapest configuration was also the one with the faster speed, and would make a perfect dump/data drive for the primary. With a concern like yours above it's getting a little more appraent to me that you need solid confirmation.

Quote:
Excellent about the tech service you got from Fujitsu. Was that a Level I or II or... that sent the info? IOW, how much did you have to beg? Maybe I should look at Fujitsu (custom). Seen a few in stores - not many models.


I contacted them twice first by phone to ask about 3 things (like is the HD2600 is is 64bit or 128bit memory interface [128bit, got that in writing too later]), what's the dead/stuck pixel policy (got that in writing too) and also is the Robson turbo Memory a part I can add manually later on some (factory installed not mini-PC supposedly [will know for sure later]), and then I got organized, put my next 4 questions into an e-mail and sent it off, and it was forwarded to Fujitsu's tech team. Some of their answers didn't make sense, but at least I have it in writing, and that picture is worth a thousand words.

Quote:
How do they compare to Toshiba / others, quality & price for similar features?


Well the features are OK, but limited in that you can only get one configuration for the graphics on the N6460 so if you don't like it, too bad. Also the T7300 was the max, while I had hoped for a T7500 or greater, but T7300 was my minimum for any choice.

But after looking at many options myself and unfortunately not getting the HDX in Canada for another month or more (and still not with the WUXGA screen) the Fujitsu made sense, and was cheaper than lesser models availables which while they had one nice aspect a T7500 or GF8700M didn't have both for near the same price, and with the ASUS G2S, didn't have a full keyboard.

Luckily for me the Fujitsu matches what I want very closely including both PCMCIA and Express Card slots (thus I can keep my old Audigy 2ZS and add RAID eSATA XpressCard.

I might upgrade the CPU and will definitely upgrade the HDD, but even the ability to downgrade to 1GB instead of 2GB thus allowing me to swap in my current memory and swap out the 1GB for when I send my old laptop to a friend.

I like their customer service now (hey always a good start and the main thing I don't like about DELL and even Gateway [whose laptop I've loved for the past 2 years]), and my previous experience with a Fujitsu Stylistic 1200 was GREAT, awesome quality, only dissapointed in the upgradaility limits, but still way ahead of it's time as a Penitum120 stylus based Tablet with 2GB HDD.

Anyways, hopefully you get as clear and concise responses from Toshiba as I did with Fujitsu. But to add a little balance, some of the Fujitsu techsstatements about things like supported resolutions and Multi channel audio output on the 2 channel realtec codec left me wondering if he was guessing or they had been given poor information. hopefully that doesn't happen to you. For the realtec question I just asked realtec's support team directly (it supports 2+2 channel audio on the analogue ports but send the proper DD, DTS and PCM signal over the SPIDF), and they confirmed that the SNR is indeed higher than most of their other solutions (which is what's important to me if my 2ZS has issues with Vista).

Anywhoo, long post to basically say, hope Toshiba can clear it up for you, and don't take anything for granted, send them an e-mail.
August 23, 2007 12:46:19 AM

Just finished my long winded reply when I saw your edit.

phkhgh said:

EDIT: I called Toshiba back - they say there's no email contact to tech support. Spoke to both tech supp & sales...again. Even though a previous tech said there would be a connection for 2nd HDD even if I didn't order the 2nd HDD, others there in both sales & tech supp definitely say "NO." I even asked if I could pay for it. Again, "NO."


That royally sucks, but not as bad as their tech support obviously does...

Quote:
The Level I tech I spoke w/ this time ('Tox', in Phillipines) was really abrupt & somewhat annoyed that I even asked to speak to a level II tech or mgr or supervisor. She / he (couldn't tell) refused to let me speak to <u>anyone</u> else in tech supp in spite of how nicely I asked. Basically told me to go back to sales - "it's not a technical support issue."


I am surprised, I would've though by now that these people would've learned from other examples, that it's far easier to lose a sale than gain one, and you should be able to get some explanation as to why they are different. Very surprising, especially about the lack of an e-mail address.

I must say I love the features of their X205, but I'd be a little hesitant about suppor like that if you're looking to buy, imagine what it'll be like after you've given them all your money.

I'm truly shocked, ....... and yet ...... not really, because bad customer service seems to have become the norm. Heck my experiences with DELL would keep me from ever going back, but a friend whom I sold my laptop to got better customer service on the last 2 years of my 3yr warranty than I did in my first year. :heink: 
August 23, 2007 1:04:24 AM

Thanks Great Grape, for the details on Jujitsu Fujitsu. I'll probably check them out. Which model did you order?
Quote:
Anyways, hopefully you get as clear and concise responses from Toshiba as I did with Fujitsu.

I think that ship has sailed. I doubt I'll spend any more time talking to them. I got the same "NO" about the 2nd HDD connection from several different people, although it was like pulling teeth.
Quote:
...hope Toshiba can clear it up for you,

I could just go ahead & order the 2nd drive, depending on what I find w/ other mfgs. Dell has good custom options, but I've seen a lot of negatives on their recent quality & service. Shame.

Guess I could send a request to Toshiba customer service... and then wait. But, I wasn't married to them. They seem to be rated fairly well, but not much or any better than several others. They've certainly done nothing to sway me, though service & support is one of the biggest complaints w/ most computer co's today.
Quote:
and don't take anything for granted, send them an e-mail

I don't - that's why I kept calling. As I mentioned, they told me there was no email contact for tech support, so they don't want to put it in writing, I guess.
August 23, 2007 1:50:26 AM

phkhgh said:
Thanks Great Grape, for the details on Jujitsu Fujitsu. I'll probably check them out. Which model did you order?


N6460.

Quote:
Guess I could send a request to Toshiba customer service... and then wait. But, I wasn't married to them. They seem to be rated fairly well, but not much or any better than several others. They've certainly done nothing to sway me, though service & support is one of the biggest complaints w/ most computer co's today.


Yep, look around see what you can find, but in the meantime send a good detailed e-mail to sales who should be able to get a good answer for you, even if it takes longer to get a reply than a direct tech e-mail.
!