My suspend back

The summary: after breaking a lid latch on my Toshiba Satellite A105-S4134 laptop, I was unable to reliably use the ‘suspend’ function. I repaired this with a fairly simple procedure. I took the long way around to get to that procedure; you don’t have to.

The whole back story: I had a quick and unexpected contact with Earth while exiting a car on an icy day, and while carrying my precious baby Toshiba in my backpack. She lost a right lid latch that day…

I can live with the fact that the lid is not quite as secure as before (there’s still the left lid latch), but I find it harder to live with the fact that now, when she’s in my backpack in suspend mode, she’ll spontaneously power on, in the hot and suffocating confines (when one is powered on) of the backpack laptop pocket. That could lead to at least battery drainage and at most CPU meltdown, neither of which I want.

There’s no option in the BIOS to turn off the switch action (and OS settings didn’t help either, which didn’t surprise me). Toshiba/Intel, please put this option in your BIOS settings in future models.

So, I had to say goodbye to suspend, which is paaainful to me, because I hate waiting for bootups and app startups and all that garbage several times a day. I wanted my suspend back.

The daring resolution: I decided today to go ahead and disassemble the machine and see if I could somehow disable the switch. I used the handy little Toshiba disassembly guide (and made a donation). Note: DO NOT DISASSEMBLE YOUR MACHINE LIKE THIS. It was somewhat risky and quite unnecessary for me to do this, so I don’t recommend making that mistake if all you want to do is disable your lid switch.

However, in the process of doing this, I did discover the fix to the problem. I noticed at one point that a couple of screws were sticking to the upper-right corner of the screen bezel. Odd. They were stuck there magnetically. I checked whether they’d stick to the other side; they wouldn’t. Hmmm, I thought, this is interesting, because my earlier tests had indicated that the right side of the lid was the important side in triggering the lid switch. Is it magnetic? I put things back together enough to be able to boot and test the theory, and used a magnetic toy to reveal that yes, the lid switch is magnetic.

So that means all I have to do is find and remove the magnet, eh? Wish I hadn’t disassembled the whole machine… I reassembled everything and switched to this guide. I went as far as Step 4ish. I opened the screen mask far enough to get to the top-right corner, and found a magnet with some tape over it, which was a good sign. I removed the tape and pried out the magnet (which was also glued from the underside) easily. Put everything back together and tested, and…

Woohoo, I can suspend my laptop again.

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