I recently upgraded the RAM on my Toshiba Satellite A215-S7444 model laptop. It is an incredible laptop that I bought several years ago as a black friday special. Sadly, the 2GB of RAM just isn’t enough to cut it for everyday use. I bought some RAM for a great bargain off eBay and installed it in no time flat. Then things went south fast!

Static Noise and White Lines

The first issue that occurred was loud popping noises and static sounds when I watched any videos. Then the static noise was still present even when I had the volume turned off. The laptop sounded as if it were wheezing! Next, white horizontal lines appeared all over the Windows 7 sign in / login screen. This isn’t such a bad thing, but still annoying.

As this laptop model was only produced in a very limited quantity for Black Friday only, I knew it was going to be a pain to find any information. It was. Despite this post being mainly about the issues with the Toshiba Satellite A215-S7444 laptop, the information applies to all laptops. When it comes down to it, the problem was with the firmware.

Upgrading the Firmware on my Toshiba Satellite A215-S7444

After some searching, I discovered that the most likely culprit was a firmware issue. Further searching revealed that there was a serious glitch in the previous firmware when 4GB of RAM is installed in my particular laptop. A website I found suggested that I upgrade my firmware and even offered to link me to the appropriate page. Then I saw it, they wanted $5 just to link me to the right download. Craziness! I simply went to Toshiba’s website, typed in my laptop model number, and they linked me to the correct download page.¬†

I would highly recommend that you never pay for information like this as it comes directly from the manufacturer and is very easy to locate.

I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect after¬†downloading and running the application because I have never done a firmware upgrade before. The process was actually quite simple.

Firmware Upgrade Process for the Toshiba Satellite A215-S7444

Upon running the application, I was given several different options, including making a disk (way out of date, the laptop doesn’t even have a floppy drive) or burning a CD. The option to install from within Windows wasn’t available to me as I am running 64 bit Windows 7. Burning the CD was as simple as putting the disc in the drive and clicking the button. Within a few moment the disc was burnt and I rebooted the computer.

Firmware Upgrade Screen for Toshiba Satellite A215-S7444 Laptop

My experience was that a quick press of F12 was needed to access the boot menu. Depending on how your boot order is set up, you may need to do the same. The process was automatic from that point on. It is extremely important that during the process you do not reboot or unplug your laptop!

WARNING: The laptop very loudly beeps every few seconds during this process and takes several minutes. Protect your loved ones with sensitive ears! My wife wanted to chuck the laptop out the window as I was sitting right beside her on the couch while performing the upgrade.

After the Firmware Upgrade

Once the upgrade to the firmware was complete, the computer rebooted itself. I first loaded up a youtube video and tested the sound. No more static, no more popping, no more cracking! Then I put the laptop to sleep to test the white horizontal line issue on the startup / login screen. These lines were nowhere to be found. After about a week with the upgrade it has been smooth sailing. Not only have these issues been resolved but the laptop also does not run as hot. This has always been an issue for people with the Toshiba Satellite A215-S7444. Many other owners have complained about it running so incredibly hot. In fact, my fan melted inside and I had to replace it about a year ago. I bought two more replacements (very hard to find!), but now it doesn’t look like I’ll need them.

All in all, I am very pleased with the process. Hopefully this will help anyone else who is having issues with your laptop’s sound or those horrible little white lines.