Toshiba satellite A30 not booting up

February 26, 2013 at 11:27:29
Specs: Windows XP, Pentium 4
Hi, I just came across this site whilst searching for the impossible. Can anyone help, please. My old Toshiba satellite A30 that is used by my grandchildren was overheating, crashed and would not start up properly. I cleaned the machine then used Toshiba Recovery Discs 1 & 2 to reinstall. Cooling fan is now working well. XP started up satisfactorily. During the subsequent download over the web from Microsoft of XP update the machine crashed, leaving dark blank screen. N.B. It did NOT overheat again. Recovery Discs used again and XP opened after a few tries, BUT now the machine is very unstable - the screen sometimes goes blank during attempts to even move the curser with the touch pad. Using my little knowledge recovery can only be achieved by turning off and on again - then starting again but as soon as I try to do anything like getting on line - blank screen AGAIN. OK - so maybe I cooked the old machine when I left it so late to clean it and its now junk OR is there some simple thing I have missed??? Help for the aged machine and the old operator would be welcome. Thanks!!!

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February 26, 2013 at 12:27:53
When you cleaned the computer, did you completely remove any of the heatsinks (metal blocks with groves)? If so you may need to re-apply some thermal paste to those devices.

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February 27, 2013 at 00:51:40
Thanks thomasad for your prompt answer. Yes I did remove the heatsink together with the CPU. They came out firmly stuck together, I did nothing to separate them and reinstalled the sink and CPU complete as a single unit.
Please are you suggesting that I should split the sink and CPU, clean the existing dry thermal paste, apply new paste and then reassemble

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February 27, 2013 at 11:50:36
Since they were not separated during cleaning, I don't think that it would be the cause of the problem. Replacing the thermal paste will cause the laptop to run cooler, but may not fix the underlying issue.

When the computer screen goes blank, is the computer still running (say if there was an mp3 playing in the background does it continue playing)?

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Related Solutions

February 28, 2013 at 03:22:27
Thanks Thomasad, Today I fired up and all seemed well and I went on line. Then Black Screen. I can still hear the fan coming on occasionally 20 mins later, but not high speed constantly and when I unplugged the wifi dongle and mouse from usb port both gave the usual microsoft sound, so I guess the computer was still running. Nothing brings screen back other than switching off and on again when the computer started up with a screen.

Thanks so much for helping me, especially with the time delay of a day in our inter-continental chat. I shall be even longer replying next time as I am about to travel to London to see my Doctor and will not return for a couple of days. Thanks.

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March 1, 2013 at 02:30:49
Since the laptop is still running then this is most likely an issue with the screen or graphics card.

Try installing the latest graphics drivers from
(check your model no, this is the closest I could find to your description).

If this does not fix the problem then there is probably an issue with the screen. I would connect the laptop to an external monitor and see if the problem is replicated on both monitors.

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March 2, 2013 at 13:17:43
Thanks Thomasad, I started up, went on line and downloaded the latest graphics card driver. I could not work out how to open it into the Device Manager, so I opened it and do not actually know where or if it is actually open. I was expecting it to go into Device Managers-Display Adaptors, but when I tried updating the driver there it would not accept the new one I had downloaded.

The computer stayed working well and I was able to download XP update SP3 which is not on my Toshiba recovery disk, also I updated to Explorer 8. Then I tried the 120 Windows updates which were waiting, they all downloaded and I was beginning to feel happy. But when only 5 had been installed after some 3 hours total use, not running hot, suddenly a flash of blue writing too fast to read and a black dead screen followed. Automatically it tried to restart, firstly to the standard non-windows writing screen, then through to an XP screen,which goes nowhere and finally reverts to a black screen and automatically goes through the same motions yet again. Switching off and on later simply makes no change. So I now have a screen, but it does nothing for me. F2 gives the set up utility and F12 gives Boot Choices but I have no idea how to get out of this place.

Maybe enough is enough, or maybe you have another idea for me to try, please?

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March 3, 2013 at 06:33:15
You said that you removed the CPU and the heatsink and the CPU was stuck to the heatsink so you just pushed it back in? There is a locking mechanistic to secure the CPU in the socket you shouldn't just push it back in or it will not seat correctly.

You need to take the heatsink back off take a small flat head screwdriver and genitally rotate the head of the screwdriver between the CPU and the heatsink to separate them. Now check the pins on the CPU to make sure you didn't bend any.

On the CPU socket there is a little screw that has a lock and unlock symbol on it. Set the socket to unlock and line up and insert the CPU then lock it in. You should now replace the thermal compound and re-assemble. Hope this works for you.

Now your original problem, when the screen turns black on you, get a flashlight and shine it on the LCD and see if there is anything there. If there is, then it's your inverter or backlight, if there isn't anything, then it's your memory, graphics chip or LCD cable.

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