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Help: TOSHIBA Laptop AC Power Problem

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Hello everyone... I hope someone can help me in fixing this power issue problem in my Toshiba Equium A200 laptop. I have been searching every technical forum about this problem and I've seen many people having this kind of problem -- mostly toshiba laptops. However, none of them got this problem fixed or no one gave a good solution to this power issue. Well, here is the problem:
Since 2 months ago, my Toshiba Equium A200 suddenly freezes when AC power is plugged-in. When the laptop is in battery mode (meaning the AC power is unplugged), the laptop works fine and there are no problems within it. However, as Engineering student, I can't just work for few hours and recharge again the battery. I always work with my laptop for more than 3 straight hours. The lifespan of my battery is only 1 - 1.5 hours. To be more precise, sometimes my laptop won't boot at all when connected to an AC power. So what I did is to put the laptop in battery mode first and when it reached windows, I then connect the AC power. However, after few seconds, the laptop freezes and I cannot move the mouse anymore and I'll end up unsafely turning off my laptop.
I have already made many attempts to fix my laptop: do a memory test, hard disk test, disable dual core, have a new AC adapter, set frequency mode to always low. I already brought my laptop to the nearest Toshiba service center however, they told me that they'll replace the motherboard which will cost me about $500.00. Well, I do not have that amount of money for now and I am always hoping and praying that there will be a solution other than replacing the motherboard. Also, It would be ok for me if someone can tell me if there is a Toshiba battery (or alternative) that can give more than 3 hour lifespan.

This is my final year in my Electrical Eng'g course and I am on the process of finishing my thesis and I can't work effectively with my laptop having this power issue. I am hoping that someone having this kind of problem was able to fix the problem and willing to share their solution. Also, as an Electrical Engineering student, I have some background in fixing electrical hardware. So I am ready to do something with the laptop's hardware as long as that will be surely the solution to this problem.. Thank you very much..

mark j.
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