won't start, hard drive

April 15, 2012 at 15:25:49
Specs: Windows vista
toshiba,vista, seems to start, but goes to black screen

See More: wont start, hard drive

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#1
April 19, 2012 at 21:23:37
Have you, or is it possible someone else who had access to this computer...
- dropped it, or dropped anything on it, or otherwise exposed it to a physical jolt ?
- spilled liquid on it, or sprayed it with liquid, or exposed it to liquid such as rain ?
Since the video last worked properly all the time, has there been a power failure event that happened while the AC adapter was plugged in ?

Those things are the most frequent reasons something inside the laptop has been damaged.
.......

You have NOT told us enough !

I'm assuming you have NOT installed ram that has not been installed in this computer before just before this happened.
(If you HAVE done that, if you still have it, try installing ONLY the ram in it that was installed in it before when the computer worked fine.)

Are you getting...

1. - no video at all, even BEFORE Windows is supposed to load ?

- or - 2. - you DO get normal video every time you boot the computer BEFORE Windows is supposed to load, but NO video at all AFTER Windows is supposed to load ?

- or - 3. - you DO get normal video every time you boot the computer BEFORE Windows is supposed to load, but you're getting a black screen with an error message on it instead of normal Windows graphics ?

If yes, if there are different choices you can try on the screen, have you tried all of them but you always end up at the same screen with the error message ?
.....

For 1., if the leds on the computer are lighting up normally, try connecting an external monitor,
or if the leds on the computer are NOT lighting up normally...

In the following, the same things that apply to laptops also apply to netbooks.

Laptop no video (or video problems), and battery, AC adapter, power jack T shooting.

See response 1:
http://www.computing.net/answers/ha...

DO NOT plug in or unplug a monitor's video cable into / from a video port while the computer is running. Doing so can damage the monitor's circuits and/or the video adapter's circuits.

Some laptops will display on an external monitor without you having to do anything.

If you get no video on an external monitor, some laptops have a key combo that you must press to toggle the display to external video only / built in display video only / sometimes both - see the Owner's or User's manual for the model.



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#2
April 20, 2012 at 09:07:36
#2 is closet

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#3
April 20, 2012 at 18:09:33
" #2 is closet "

I'm assuming you meant to say: #2 is closest

You can Edit any of YOUR OWN posts on this web site, for a limited time, by clicking on "Edit This Message" at the end of your own posts.

"...2. - you DO get normal video every time you boot the computer BEFORE Windows is supposed to load, but NO video at all AFTER Windows is supposed to load ? "

Describe how your situation is different from that.

Note that if you DID get normal video every time you boot the computer at first , but after that you DID NOT, that's a common thing that happens when your built in display is in the process of failing - when you have a problem with the backlight or the voltage inverter that supplies high voltage to it.
In that case, try connecting an external monitor to the computer. See the info for 1.


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#4
April 21, 2012 at 01:38:04
toshiba emblem is seen on screen.

one blue blip from drive indicator light.

purple status bar fills to within quarter inch of full.

screen goes blank with curser blinking in upper left.

pressing any function key gets bleep sound.

F2 or F12 will work on start up.


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#5
April 21, 2012 at 08:23:46
Okay, that sounds like there's nothing with the laptop itself - at least the mboard, cpu, and the built in display - your problem is Vista is NOT loading properly.

Do any of the things mentioned above in the section starting "Have you, or is it possible someone else ...." apply, as far as you know ?

Either or both of these things can indicate a problem with your ram (memory modules)....

Are you hearing the beep or beeps you normally hear while booting the computer that indicates the bios has passed the POST, when there was nothing wrong ?

Have you changed which ram you have installed in the computer, or have you been fiddling with it's original ram, and it's only since then you had this problem ?
....

If you ARE hearing the normal beep or beeps while booting (apparently some recent models don't do that in any case - they light up leds or blink them on the keyboard in certain patterns when there's a problem), and if you still have ram installed that worked fine previously and haven't been fiddling with it, and have NOT dropped the laptop etc., then....

--you MAY have a problem with the hard drive - it's in the process of failing -

- or - there may be nothing wrong with the hard drive itself - in that case your problem is only with Vista itself.

Assuming the latter is your case, and that you are NOT trying to use a hard drive that had Vista installed on it when it was in a different computer (in which case Vista will probably NOT load all the way, and if so that situation is NORMAL), try this....

What are the system recovery options in Windows Vista?
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/...

Excerpts:

"The System Recovery Options menu is on the Windows installation disc. The menu might also be installed on your hard disk if your computer has pre-installed recovery options."

NOTE that brand name system original software installations often DO have pre-installed recovery options.
In that case you DON"T NEED a Windows Vista DVD to try those options.

Those things assume that if the recovery options ARE pre-installed on your model that there's nothing wrong with the data necessary to make those options work correctly.
...

If none of those things help, or if they don't work....

- you MAY need to boot the computer from a a Vista DVD in order to fix your problem, but make sure your problem is NOT caused by one of the following things....

- if you have NOT been fiddling with your ram and have NOT dropped the laptop etc., then....

.....test the hard drive with hard drive manufacturer's diagnostics.

If you don't have a floppy drive, you can get a CD image diagnostic utility from most hard drive manufacturer's web sites, but obviously you would need to make a burned CD, preferably a CD-R for best compatibility, on another computer if you need to.

E.g.
Seagate's SeaTools will test (almost) any brand of hard drive.
Do the long test.
http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.j...

The bootable Dos versions of SeaTools can be used even if Windows is not working properly.

If the hard drive itself tests okay, any data problems found can be fixed, one way or another.

- if you HAVE been fiddling with your ram, and or if it's possible the laptop HAS been dropped, etc., then....

- if you have installed ram that has not been installed in this laptop previously and was found to work fine, it may NOT be 100% compatible with using it in your mboard.

In that case, you may NOT hear the beep or beeps you normally hear while booting the computer, you may or may NOT hear an error beep pattern (if you normally hear a beep or beeps while booting), and Windows may NOT load all the way.

If you still have the same ram that was installed before you changed ram modules, try installing ONLY that ram.

- a common thing that can happen as time goes by, or if the laptop has been dropped, or if you have been fiddling with the ram modules, is the ram has developed a poor connection in it's ram slots.

In that case, you may NOT hear the beep or beeps you normally hear while booting the computer, you may or may NOT hear an error beep pattern (if you normally hear a beep or beeps while booting) , and Windows may NOT load all the way.

See response 2 in this - try cleaning the contacts on the ram modules, and making sure the modules are properly seated:
http://www.computing.net/hardware/w...

For a laptop, or netbook, you must remove both its main battery and AC adapter before you do that.

For a brand name computer, see the Owner's or User's manual if you need to - how to remove or replace the ram is usually in that - it may already be in your installed programs. If you can't get into Windows, it may be on a disk that came with the computer, or you can go online and look at it or download it - it's in the downloads for your specific model.
......

If you DO have a ram problem, you must fix that BEFORE you test the hard drive, otherwise the result of the hard drive tests may be FALSE.

If you do a ram test, do that AFTER having tried cleaning the contacts and making sure the ram is seated properly - otherwise any errors found may be FALSE.
If the ram is incompatible with the chipset, or on more recent computers, incompatible with the memory controller built into the cpu, it will likely FAIL a ram test - that is NOT a true indication of the ram being faulty - there is probably nothing wrong with it, and it will pass the test if installed in a mboard it is compatible with.
NOTE: Sometimes incompatible modules (or matched pairs) won't work properly when more than one is installed, but will pass when by itself.

If you have 4 gb or less installed, I recommend this. It takes a lot less time to run a full pass than memtest86 does, and it has never produced a false result for me with any system ....
- Microsoft's
Windows Memory Diagnostic:
http://oca.microsoft.com/en/windiag...
Windows Memory Diagnostic is limited to testing only the first 4 gigabytes (GB) of RAM.
It can be toggled (press T) to do a standard or a more comprehensive set of tests - use the default 6 test one first - if it passes one pass of that, use the latter one. A few of the tests in the latter set are intentionally slower.
If you don't have a floppy drive, see the Quick Start Information at that Microsoft link for how to make a bootable CD of the Windows Memory Diagnostic (you need Windiag.iso - you don't necessarily need to use the program they mention to add it to the CD).

If you have more than 4 gb of ram installed, use something such as Memtest86, or Memtest86+ .
However, be aware that....
- Memtest86 has bugs that cause SOME systems to produce FALSE errors if they have an AMD main chipset and/or an AMD cpu.
- Memtest86+ has bugs that cause SOME systems to produce FALSE errors if Legacy USB devices or USB keyboard or similar is enabled in the bios BEFORE you run the tests.



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