Toshiba R500 / R600 backlight.exe transflective support

Since upgrading several Toshiba r500 laptops to Windows 7 (clean install), we can't get the backlight (transflective) button in the upper right to switch off backlighting so that the transflective feature (view the screen in full sun) works.

We've had several tickets open with Toshiba and are waiting on a response from a level 3 tech there.  Lots of empty promises for a call back.  

The Toshiba support forums are useless too, just a lot of unanswered questions.

What I'm wondering is if there's anyone out there with either XP or VIsta running on an R500 or R600.  From what I gather, the Toshiba TVAP package installs the necessary software into c:\program files\toshiba\tbs   This folder should have a backlight.exe executable in it, along with some supporting files.  Anyone have these?  I believe the xp/vista software will work fine on Windows 7.

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Berkson WeinTech FreelancerAsked:
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Is there any sort of setup file you can get from their website? You could try ordering a recovery disc, but it would be quite a task to find the exact file you need.

If it isn't working, its most likely because it isn't fully compatible with Win7, and unless Toshiba releases updated software this problem will never go away. I've had similar problems with certain keyboard functions and control bars (volume, button shortcuts) on older laptops.
Berkson WeinTech FreelancerAuthor Commented:
Yeah, there isn't a download available that I can find.  I have the recovery disk, I just don't want to roll back to Vista if I don't have to...  Was hoping that someone here already had in installed and that I could use their files. From what I gather, with this model, the vista drivers should work fine with Win7.  I don't know if there are registry keys that need to be set as well.
Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
I chose and R500-s5008 which may not be your model; but, on the second page of downloads is the Toshiba Device Access Control for Windows 7 which is normally what hooks between the specialized hardware and Windows:
If you need more help, please post the Portege R500-Sxxxx from the bottom of the unit, OK?
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Berkson WeinTech FreelancerAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your thoughts.  I don't believe that Device Access Control Utility will help.  From Toshiba's website:

Device Access Control Utility
Toshiba Device Access Control Utility is an "on request" utility that can be provided to customers on request. It is a utility that – once enabled by a supervisor or user – restricts copying files onto or off of a notebook PC and booting from external devices such as secondary hard disk drives.

Supposedly, it's the TVAP (Toshiba Value Added Packgae) that installs the transflective utility (backlight.exe) and the button contols.  
At this point, I couldn't care less about the buttons only launching IE.  It's the backlight.exe that I need - I'll just create a desktop shortcut to it.
The TVAP installers that I've tried, including those sent from the level 3 tech, don't do a thing in terms of installing backlight.exe.  c:\program files\TBS doesn't exist. after the install is done.
Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
It was ther too; but only for x64.  I asked for your model number?
Berkson WeinTech FreelancerAuthor Commented:
Oh right, it's a S5006v.
I didn't understand what you meant by:
It was ther too; but only for x64.
What are you saying there only for x64: the TVAP install or the backlight.exe and associated folder in the Device Access Control Utility?
I have the latest TVAP installer for x32 as well as several older versions.  None, seem to install backlight.exe in the c:\program files\toshiba\tbs folder, or anywhere else for that matter.
 Thanks again
Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
This is Toshiba Support's landing for your model:
On the first page of the Downloads tab is the TVAP for Windows 7x64 in English with a + next to it.  Click the + and your download will appear; but, you need to know if you  are using 32 bit or x64. Reinstall the latest version.
Then, I found this thread with exactly your problem:
"You just have to edit the presentation button in the button configuration tool.
Register it to C:\Program Files\TOSHIBA\TBS\Backlight.exe

works fine now"

The button configuration tool is in the Toshiba Assist program which is part of the TVAP.
Berkson WeinTech FreelancerAuthor Commented:
I really do appeciate all of the time, but you're just having me repeat what has already been done.
I have had no problem finding all of the TVAP drivers (x32 as I said in my last post " I have the latest TVAP installer for x32 as well as several older versions.  None, seem to install backlight.exe in the c:\program files\toshiba\tbs folder, or anywhere else for that matter.")
The point is this:
I HAVE THE TVAP DRIVERS, several versions in fact, including ones that Toshiba's own level 3 US support has provided directly. None of them install the c:\program files\toshiba\tbs\backlight.exe file.  THAT'S THE PROBLEM.   At this point, all I want it for that to install and I'll create a shortcut to it.
I too have Googled this problem and saw the same post about the button services quite some time ago.  I do not care anymore about the button services, but this is not installed as part of the Toshiba Assist program either.  No matter, a shortcut would do, the problem is that I have no exe to link to the shortcut, backlight.exe doesn't exist.
Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
Here it is and I found it on a forum for downgrading an R500 to XP:
It, BTW, supports command line options of 1 to 5 with 1 being the dimmest.
Berkson WeinTech FreelancerAuthor Commented:
Great, I'll have to try that out.  Can you give me the link to the forum you found it on?  The backlight.exe that I've used in the past was boolean, either backlight was on or off (putting machine into transflective mode)
Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
Read the last two posts; I was waiting for his answer regarding the download.
Berkson WeinTech FreelancerAuthor Commented:
I  asked which forum you found it on and never heard back:
Great, I'll have to try that out.  Can you give me the link to the forum you found it on?  The backlight.exe that I've used in the past was boolean, either backlight was on or off (putting machine into transflective mode)
As such, I didn't install your program, and won't until I can verify where it came from and that it's not going to be virus/trojan laden.  I'm in no way saying that I don't trust you, it's that I can't trust unknown sources for files.
As important, the transflective button is not a 1-5 setting, it's either on of off.  Technically, the backlight is OFF when transflective functionality is enabled, on otherwise.  This leads me to believe that your backlight.exe file isn't the right file anyway.  I'm not looking for random backlight.exe files.  There's dozens of those.  I'm looking for the one that is supposedly needed for the R500.
I really do appreciate your help, Davis, but you showed that you don't know this machine by haphazardly telling me to use Device Access Control.  That has nothing to do with the transflective function, it doesn't even have to do with the swcreen.  After that, I can't be expected to blindly trust that this backlight.exe that you linked to is correct.
Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
Here are Toshiba's instructions for setting the button function: 0 76930381
And they mislabeled their own download? "Toshiba Device Access Control for Windows 7"
I can't really download and test everything listed for your system; especially since I don't have one of those particular Toshiba's and they would all just fail (or destroy my PC); but, that link I posted was for exactly what you asked for.  If you are worried about it; I can understand that, so download and save it somewhere then check it with you AV in a couple of days.
P.S. I have seen thousands of Toshiba's since their first portable was introduced in 1985.
Berkson WeinTech FreelancerAuthor Commented:
Yes, I've seen that article at Toshiba.  That's for windows xp, and doesn't link to the drivers, which is what I need.
They didn't mislabel the device access control, it is a utility to control user access to certain devices.  It does not have anything to do with the transflective button.  The utility that is referenced in the kb article is "Toshiba Controls," not the "Device Access Control" that you originally suggested.
That article continues to say:
The operation of the Outdoor Display Switch depends upon a Windows software utility which is pre-installed during the manufacturing process. This software can be re-installed, if necessary, from the Toshiba Value Added Package for Windows, which is available on the Toshiba Service and Support website, at 
However, reinstallation of tvap, as I originally said, does not get this working.  Again, I don't care about the toshiba controls or the button itself, I just want the exe that it launches to turn transflective on or off.
Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
1) That download I posted earlier is clean; but, here is why Toshiba is having problems helping you.  They used a utility named MemAccess which allows folks to directly access hardware and requires a .SYS driver to work.  Supposedly, there isn't a version for Vista, much less 7 and it looks like you can forget x64.
The guys in tech support won't have a clue about these facts.  It's the guys in the back room who do and either they're too cheap to pay Zealsoft for an upgraded version or the guy who wrote it for Toshiba doesn't work there anymore.
You should check whether you already have MEMACC.SYS lsted as a running driver or you will also need to use the install.bat in the Redist folder or it won't work.  You may also need to install the VCRedist, as well.
2) If it is in any of the Toshiba downloads, it should be in this one:
which is the "Software Upgrades" package
3) Have you considered putting one of the units back to Vista with a factory restore so you could scarf the pertinent files and registry entries?
Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
Leave it open. We're still working on it.
Berkson WeinTech FreelancerAuthor Commented:
Leave it open. We're still working on it.
Berkson WeinTech FreelancerAuthor Commented:
The backlight.exe file that was referenced should not be used.  It does not appear to be for the r500, and requires the MEMACC.SYS driver (which DavisMcCarn suggested isn't compatible with Windows 7 anyway).  Plus the real backlight.exe is a toggle and the one provided has multiple levels of backlight, almost like brightness control.
Toshiba support was of no use nor were ANY of the files that are currently avilable online.
I did finally get this working though - the hard way - here's the what I had to do to get this working:
1) Pulled out the drive that had Windows 7 installed on it (a real pain - a dozen or more screws need to be removed for this model - there's no quick access door) and replaced that with a spare drive
2) Booted the system using the Toshiba Recovery CD (which even though my unit came with Vista on it, restored XP Pro).  I let the recovery process do its thing.  After a couple reboots, the transflective button worked.
3) Copied c:\program files\toshiba\toshiba controls\backlight.exe (that's it, no other files) off of the laptop.
4) Replaced the drive with the original, booted Win 7
5) Copied backlight.exe to the system and ran it.  Transflective worked.
This Backlight.exe file is 48.0kb.  
File description: LCD Backlight On/Off
Procudt Name: TOSHIBA Button Support
Product Version 1. 0. 0. 15
Copyright: Toshiba Corporation 2006-2007
Last Modified: 3/16/2007 2:55 PM
Language: Japanese (Japan)
I'm happy to make this backlight.exe file available to anyone else who needs it.  Just reply to this thread so I get notified and we'll figure out how to get it to you.  Hope this helps someone else.
Note, I had the latest TVAP driver installed prior to running backlight.exe, so any hooks that the exe needed were apparently already there.  
The actual transflective button still launches IE, but as I've said before, that's fine, I'll just stick a shortcut to the exe on my desktop.

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Berkson WeinTech FreelancerAuthor Commented:
Update- after all of that - I found backlight.exe burried on the Toshiba website.
It is NOT part of the TVAP drivers as support insisted.  I found it by downloading Toshiba Controls for windows XP.  I extracted the setup file using 7zip.  Inside the extracted folder, there's  Open that using 7zip, and there she is!
Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
Personally, I think we should split the points. You do have to admit that I put in the effort.
You should, BTW, be able to use the button manager to make the button work properly which will be easier for those that use the laptop(s).
And the lesson is that the crew that makes these things work for Toshiba doesn't make any notes AND doesn't communicate with tech support, huh?
(It isn't just Toshiba, though)
Berkson WeinTech FreelancerAuthor Commented:
No question, you put in the effort, but you also suggested utilities that were clearly wrong.  I'm talking about Device Access Controls and the wrong backlight.exe utility (which you should have known was wrong based on it not being a toggle).  Then you wouldn't say where you found the backlight.exe uttility, even after my repeated asking, which didn't help the matter.  I am grateful, but you didn't proide the solution.  As such, I've selected my post as the solution and as a thanks for your efforts and the first expert response, I've awarded points to you both.
I figured out today how to set the button for the backlight file in windows 7. Basically, the two buttons (toshiba assist and backlight on/off) are like programmable G keys on higher end keyboards. You just have to install the drivers for the backlight and program the key to turn the backlight on/off. Here's how you do it:
1. Once you update some of the drivers installed from the toshiba support website. On your laptop go to Program files/Toshiba/TBS and you'll find the Backlight (backlight.exe) file. If you double click on this file, the backlight should turn on/off. If you can't find the TBS folder under toshiba in the program files folder, you need to keep installing drivers until you have that folder.
2. In the same list as the backlight.exe file there should be a SpecApp file. Open this file and the program name should be called "Button Setting". A gray box should open with things like description, option, target path, button name on the left and register, close, browse, deregister buttons on the right.
3. The only thing you need to do is select the button name as one of the two options. Then click browse and the target path should be something like C:\Program Files\TOSHIBA\TBS\Backlight.exe . Then click the Register button and now one of those 2 buttons will turn the backlight on/off. You can program these 2 buttons however you like with any application you wish. Hope this helps!
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