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Technical Information on Toshiba Laptops

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On a Toshiba laptop the pair of ports E4handE5hcanbe used to get and set many of the features of the laptop. For the most part thought it is better to use the System Configuration Interface and Hardware Configuration Interface where possible. These methods are often identical although the underlying hardware maybe very different. As a result any software using the SCI or HCI is likely to work across a wider range of laptops than if it manipulated the laptops chipset directly. Unfortunately a number of features can only be manipulated by accessing the laptops chipset directly though the E4handE5hports.
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Technical Information on Toshiba Laptops
Jonathan Buzzard jonathan@buzzzard.org.uk
July 1999 Version 1.2
DISCLAIMER: The information in this document has been obtained by reverse engi-
neering the software supplied by Toshiba for their portable computers in strict accor-
dance with the European Council Directive 92/250/EEC on the legal protection of com-
puter programs, and it’s implementation into English Law by the Copyright (Computer
Programs) Regulations 1992 (S.I. 1992 No.3233). As such it is likely to be incomplete
and comes with no warranties as to it’s accuracy.
Overview
On a Toshiba laptop the pair of ports E4h and E5h can be used to get and set many
of the features of the laptop. For the most part thought it is better to use the System
Configuration Interface and Hardware Configuration Interface where possible. These
methods are often identical although the underlying hardware may be very different.
As a result any software using the SCI or HCI is likely to work across a wider range of
laptops than if it manipulated the laptops chipset directly. Unfortunately a number of
features can only be manipulated by accessing the laptops chipset directly though the
E4h and E5h ports.
The two ports work in a similar manner to the CMOS RAM ports 70h and 71h. First
we write to port E4h which of the chipsets registers we wish to manipulate. Then we
read or write as appropriate to port E5h to get or set the register. All the Toshiba code
that manipulates these ports slows down the I/O with short jumps, however this does
not appear to be necessary. It is however essential that interrupts are disabled while
reading and writing to ports 0xE4 and 0xE5. Failure to do so could lead to a system
crash if two or more programs attempt access to these ports at the same time.
Machine Identification Number
All Toshiba laptops have a unique identification number held in the BIOS that can be
used to identify the model on which a program is running. There are two different
methods by which this number can be retrieved. The method needed depends upon the
model in question. The machine identificastion number is always an unsigned 16 bit
number.
0.1
Original Method
The first method is the simplest and is the method reqired on all older models. For this
method the identification number is stored in two bytes of the BIOS memory area.
The following pseudo code show how to retrieve the identification number
1

READ low FROM MEMORY F000:FFFA
READ high FROM MEMORY F000:FFFE
id EQUALS (0x100*high)+low
SCT Table method
On newer models (including all current ones) a different method is required. This
method is called the SCT Table method by Toshiba. This method of retrieving the
machine identification number needs to be user when the original method returns a
value of 0xFC2F.
Fan
There are two methods of controlling the fan. However it would appear that only the fan
on the Portage 610CT and Tecra 700x cannot be controlled using the Hardware Con-
figuration Interface. The method needed to control the fan differs between the Portage
610CT and Tecra 700x. The GetMachineID function from my Hardware Configuration
interface library provides a method to determine which laptop model you are running
on and to select the appropriate method. It is however preferable to use the Hardware
Configuration Interface wherever possible.
Portage
While I call this the Portage method, this method does in fact work on a wider range
of models, and was the method used in all version of my fan program prior to version
2.0. This method works on the Satellite Pro 400x, 410x, 420x, 430x, the Satellite 100x,
110x, 200x, 210x as well as the Portage 610CT. It would appear that the distinguishing
feature of these models being that they do not have a PCI bus. The Portage 610CT has
a machine ID of 0xFCCB.
The following pseudo code will turn the fan on:
DISABLE INTERRUPTS
WRITE 0xBE TO PORT 0xE4
READ byte FROM PORT 0xE5
CLEAR BIT 0 OF byte
(i.e. least significant bit)
WRITE 0xBE TO PORT 0xE4
WRITE byte TO PORT 0xE5
ENABLE INTERRUPTS
The following pseudo code will turn the fan off:
DISABLE INTERRUPTS
WRITE 0xBE TO PORT 0xE4
READ byte FROM PORT 0xE5
SET BIT 0 OF byte
WRITE 0xBE TO PORT 0xE4
WRITE byte TO PORT 0xE5
ENABLE INTERRUPTS
The following pseudo code will get the current status of the fan:
2

DISABLE INTERRUPTS
WRITE 0xBE TO PORT 0xE4
READ byte FROM PORT 0xE5
ENABLE INTERRUPTS
IF BIT 0 OF byte SET THEN ON ELSE OFF
Tecra
This methods is aimed at the Tecra 700CDS and Tecrs 700CDT only although it may
work on other models. Although the System Management Mode method will turn the
fan on/off on these models, it causes the processor to hang about two seconds later.
Therefore it is necessary to use the following method on these models. The Tecra 700x
models have a MachineID of 0xFCCC.
The following pseudo code will turn the fan on:
DISABLE INTERRUPTS
WRITE 0xE0 TO PORT 0xE4
READ byte FROM PORT 0xE5
SET BIT 0 OF byte
(i.e. least significant bit)
SET HIGH BYTE OF WORD TO byte
SET LOW BYTE OF WORD TO 0xE0
WRITE word TO PORT 0xE4
ENABLE INTERRUPTS
The following pseudo code will turn the fan off:
DISABLE INTERRUPTS
WRITE 0xE0 TO PORT 0xE4
READ byte FROM PORT 0xE5
CLEAR BIT 0 OF byte
SET HIGH BYTE OF WORD TO byte
SET LOW BYTE OF WORD TO 0xE0
WRITE word TO PORT 0xE4
ENABLE INTERRUPTS
The following pseudo code will get the current status of the fan:
DISABLE INTERRUPTS
WRITE 0xE0 TO PORT 0xE4
READ byte FROM PORT 0xE5
ENABLE INTERRUPTS
IF BIT 0 OF byte SET THEN ON ELSE OFF
Hotkey
The Fn key on Toshiba laptops in addition to it’s usual function on a laptop of providing
for the numeric keypad, also provides a number of other services. In particular the
combinations Fn+F1 through to Fn+F5 do useful things such as change boot mode,
set the alarm volume, switch between the LCD and external monitor etc. While all
these work under Linux, under MS-DOS or Microsoft Windows the Fn+F2 and Fn+F3
3

combinations provide visual feedback to what the current setting is and what you have
changed it to. Toshiba have also provided a program called Fnesse which enables you
to create short cuts to running a program with the Fn key.
The following method works on a wide range of Toshiba laptops from a T1900 all the
way through to a Tecra 740. However it would appear that from the Tecra 750 onwards
including on all current models and all Librettos Toshiba have chosen to use a different
method for detecting the Fn key press. This method uses the System event FIFO of
the Hardware Configuration Interface which unfortunately I have not been able to get
successfully working under Linux (it locks the laptop up requiring the use of the reset
button).
The following pseudo code shows how to get back the status of the Fn key.
DISABLE INTERRUPTS
WRITE 0x8E TO PORT 0xE4
READ byte FROM PORT 0xE5
ENABLE INTERRUPTS
The byte held in the variable byte indicates the status of the Fn key. If the Fn key has
not been depressed in combination with another key (or any of the keys making up
the numeric keypad) then byte will hold 0x00. If the Fn key has been depressed in
combination with another key and the other key is still held down then byte will hold
the BIOS scan code of that key. If the key has been released but the Fn key is still held
down then byte will hold the BIOS scan code of the key with bit 7 set.
It should be noted that the Fn key combinations that are used to emulate keys on a
standard keyboard cannot be detected as Fn combinations.
4

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