Toshiba has launched a global programme to replace faulty memory modules in certain models of its notebook computers that have been on sale since as early as April 2002.
The programme covers 27 models of Japanese domestic and international notebook computers.
Toshiba has sold about 650,000 computers which contain the type of memory module in question, but only those from a certain supplier or suppliers are thought to be faulty and will be swapped, said Midori Suzuki, a spokeswoman for Toshiba in Tokyo.
The total number of machines that contain the faulty module is unknown, she added.
The fault, when it occurs, happens when the PC is waking up from sleep mode and can cause a blue-screen error, lockup of the PC or memory data corruption.
It came to light after Toshiba began an investigation in the middle of this year that was sparked by Hewlett-Packard's (HP) announcement of the discovery of a design flaw in some notebook computer memory modules, said Suzuki.
HP launched its own exchange programme in late June to swap out modules affected by the flaw, which the company said causes the modules to fail when used in conjunction with power-management techniques in Intel's mobile chipsets and processors.
The flaw was found in modules from Samsung Electronics, Infineon Technologies and Winbond Electronics, HP said at the time. The company also said it found a different flaw in modules from Micron Technology.
Toshiba's Suzuki said the company could not comment on if the problems identified by HP and Toshiba are the same one or not.
Machines covered by the programme, which is not a recall, are: Tecra models S1, 9100, M1 and M2; Satellite models 2400, 2405, 1110, 1115, Pro M10, Pro M15, M30, Pro M30 and M35; Portege models R100 and M200/M205; Dynabook models T5, E6, V7, Satellite M10, SS S7, SS 2100, E7, V8, V9, VX1 and SS M200.
More details of the replacement programme and a software tool to determine if a machine contains the faulty modules, are available on Toshiba's website: www.toshibadirect.com/content/pc/b2c/CEP.html . It will run until 30 April 2005.
Martyn Williams writes for IDG News Service