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Friend's Toshiba notebook will not boot

By azarzy ·
My husband's partner asked me to look at his laptop to see what was wrong with it. His story was that it boots but then shuts off. When I got it though it won't boot. The BIOS is showing the hard drive. I can also hear it spinning for about 45 secs to a minute but then it spins down and goes to a blank screen. No attempt to load Windows (XP). I've tried getting it to safe mode and last known config but it doesn't work. I just mess with computers on the side (I'm a student)and can usually figure most problems out however I need a little help with this. If you need any more info let me know and I'll tell you what I can. Thanks a lot.

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by robo_dev In reply to Friend's Toshiba notebook ...

Top guesses:
1) Faulty or incorrect power supply
2) Faulty battery
3) Damaged power supply connector on laptop or power supply
4) Faulty Hard Drive or system memory
5) Messed up bios settings

From what you describe, it sounds like it is running on the (discharged) battery and the AC adapter is not actually powering the unit or charging the battery.

Is the AC adapter working properly?

Unplug and remove all devices (battery, CDrom, pc cards, mouse) and connect AC adaptor.

Access the BIOS screen and reset the BIOS to factory defaults. (f1 f10 or similar key at bootup)

If no normal power-on, then check AC adapter and connections for damage...try a substitute AC adaptor. Try gently wiggling the AC adaptor connector on the laptop with the AC adaptor plugged in..the connection from the power connector to the laptop motherboard may be broken.

Make sure the correct power supply is being used (check the brand/part number of the p/s)

Sniff for burning smells from power supply and measure output voltage of AC supply with a digital multimeter.

If machine tries to boot, listen for normal hard drive spin-up, and initialization/reset sounds.

If drive is silent, or making odd repeated clicking noises or some other bad noise, remove the hard drive (typicaly one screw), and attempt boot sequence again. PC should give you setup screen and errors due to lack of hard drive.

If still nothing, remove both the hard drive and the memory module (under the keyboard or a little panel on most models) and try to startup with known good power supply and no other parts installed. Beyond that, it's time for a trip to the repair shop.

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by azarzy In reply to Friend's Toshiba notebook ...

Robo_dev, Thanks for responding. Here is what I've done and what happened.

Unplug and remove all devices (battery, CDrom, pc cards, mouse) and connect AC adaptor.

--Ok, did that. The AC adaptor isn't the problem. Also, the machine powers up with the battery alone.

Access the BIOS screen and reset the BIOS to factory defaults. (f1 f10 or similar key at bootup)

--Did that, no change.

The machine powers on with either the AC adaptor or the battery. I don't think that's the problem. It shows the Toshiba flash screen with push F2, F12....etc. After that it just goes black.

If machine tries to boot, listen for normal hard drive spin-up, and initialization/reset sounds.

--I can hear the hard drive spin up like it's trying to work but then it spins back down and sits there doing nothing.

--I'm moving on to trying the hard drive and memory. If there is anything to add (from anyone) let me know. They (my husband's partner) doesn't care if I can get any info off the drive so I'll probably end up upgrading it anyway. But before I have them spend the money, I want to make sure that's what it is. Thanks again.

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by azarzy In reply to Friend's Toshiba notebook ...

OK one more thing...When I try to boot to safe mode it gives me an error message on a black screen. The error message is...


If anyone knows what this means please let me know....Thanks.

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by azudean In reply to Friend's Toshiba notebook ...


this error come from system file....u need to format the harddisk or if u have another harddisk try to swap it.just to make sure weather the problem come from hdd or not.\

but the last error cnfm come from ur system file...

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by Kiltie In reply to Friend's Toshiba notebook ...

Hot Shot: Hard drive kaput

However there are a few other options to try, besides ones already mentioned. Some are listed in this MSKB article:

Another one is a hot re-install of XP, it is non destructive, Fred Langa shows how in his article here:

It might be worth trying those first, but if the owner is not worried about data on the drive, it will be faster to do a complete FDISK, reformat and clean rebuild.

There are free utility CDs available such as Hirens Boot CD, Ultimate Boot CD, Bart PEs CD (a slim version of XP in a PE environment).
Then there are the Linux Live CDs, all free, here is a list of some good Desktop ones (advantage being that they look sorta like Windows when installed, but don't touch any host OS - or even need a working hard drive)

Personally I would go for the latter options, but then I like FUN and have plenty of time, fastest and simplest is a reinstall though.

It may be that the hard drive is ok, just the key system files corrupted, then that saves the expense of buying a new one, but as you hinted of an upgrade, maybe cost isn't a factor, in which case, go that route, and get a bigger faster HD, more RAM etc etc

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by Kiltie In reply to

Oops, missed the link for the Linux LiveCds

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Similar Problem

by Pharohbender In reply to Friend's Toshiba notebook ...

Turns out a similar laptop toshiba doesnt boot if there is a fault with the ram also sounds like the ram is faulty by what you wrote as well, but it may also be the cpu is overheating
download ubcd and run a memory test to confirm if its faulty or not, if so problem solved if not time to give your heatsink a clean maybe full of dust

also from what you wrote about the error loading in safe mode may be hdd related so you may need to test the hdd for bad sectors
use hd tune if you can connect the drive to another computer

so test the ram
and the hdd for errors
if they are fine you registry is corrupt reinstall windows you may have a virus

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Toshiba Notebook Boot Problem

by ashily24dee In reply to Friend's Toshiba notebook ...


If the laptop battery is not charging the laptop in a proper way it will not start. The first step you must take is to check the condition of the battery and if it is able to get charged properly. Check if the laptop???s LEDs are lit. If they are not it means that the problem is caused because of the battery. Check if all cables are correctly connected. Plug in the battery into another outlet. Anyway in case of a damaged battery the solution is replacement.

Hope this information helps you.

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