Toshiba's been a major player in the laptop market for decades, which means there are an awful lot of different Toshiba models out there. That can be a bit frustrating when you're trying to get help or upgrades for your laptop because tracking down what you need usually requires having a model number or part number. Those are provided with all Toshiba laptops if you know where to look, and you can find that information even if the label has worn off.
All Toshiba laptops have their model and serial numbers printed on them at the factory. Sometimes they're printed on a label located on the underside of the computer or inside the battery compartment. You might also find your model number laser-etched into the case itself. Laser etching is a bit harder to spot than a black and white label, but it won't wear out, get smudged or be worn off the way printed labels can. Whether it's printed or etched, you'll find three pieces of pertinent information there. One is the actual model number of your computer, the way it's described on Toshiba's website and product literature. You'll also see the product number or part number, which tells Toshiba support which options they'll find in your computer. Finally, there's the serial number, which identifies your specific machine.
A standard Toshiba model number comes in two parts. The first part tells you what family of models your computer belongs to, and the second part tells you the specific model. There are multiple versions of the Tecra Z50, for example, but the Z50-D1552 is a specific model with a 15-inch screen and a 7th-generation Core i5 processor. The product number or part number follows much the same pattern. If the number starts with PSSG2E, it's one of the older Toshiba Satellite models - in this case, an R50. Next comes a hyphen, followed by a series of other letters and numbers that identify the exact model in the Satellite R50 range and nails down the options that were included in it.
If you browse the laptop models available on Toshiba's website, you'll see that a lot of them are available in custom configurations. That's great if you're looking to personalize a computer that fits your needs exactly, but in the future, it might complicate life for any technician or support person who is helping you with a problem. With built-to-order computers, all you have is the first part of the model number, because the second half, which would normally indicate a standard set of options, isn't applicable. In those cases, the detailed information Toshiba's support staff would need is contained in the second half of the part number or product number.
If your product information sticker has come off or is worn to the point that you can't read it anymore, you might have to take an extra step or two to get a model number or part number. One way to do that on some Toshiba Satellite models and other legacy machines is through Toshiba's PC Diagnostic Tool. You can find it by bringing up your Start menu and then typing "diagnostic tool" into the search bar. Running the utility gives you several options, including identifying the machine's make and model.
Not all Toshiba laptops have the Diagnostic Utility installed on them, but there's a similar program available for download from the company's site. It's a simple application called the Toshiba Product Information Utility, and it shows your laptop's model and serial numbers. You'll find a link to the program on Toshiba's FAQ pages. When you click it, you are prompted to save the program to your computer. After it is saved, you can double-click to run it and get the product information.
Fred Decker learned business fundamentals at second hand as an insurance and mutual funds broker, and at firsthand as a retail store manager and the chef/proprietor of his own restaurants. He has written hundreds of business-related articles for sites including Zacks.com, Chron.com, Vitamix.com, Bizfluent and GoBankingRates and many others. He was educated at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.