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COMPUTER EXPERTS....Need some hlep please

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by jimx200, Jul 24, 2008.

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  1. jimx200

    jimx200 Member

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    Today my Toshiba laptop's screen went blank and then rebooted into the DOS or safe mode. When I scrolled down to select start under last Windows session, it starts to go into the Windows XP startup..but only for 1-2 seconds then flashes off completely, then keeps cycling to the DOS or Safe selection mode. Do this seem like a software or corrupt Windows issue or some sort of hardware issue. It's about 3 years old and has been flawless until now. Running on Celeron chip if it makes any difference. Thoughts? Thanks everybody.
     
  2. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

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    I'd need a little more to go on. How long did it run before it shut down. Does it successfully boot into safe mode and run for a good length of time without any issue, or does it reboot from there also? Can you hear a fan running at times? If you had the option to "Use last Known Good Configuration" from the boot menu, did you try that? Did you update anything in the way of software, drivers, or windows updates. Did you install anything new? Does a blue screen flash for a moment before shutting down?

    Here are just a few things that can go wrong. Laptops are nototious for overheating. If the fans go bad or get clogged up with dust or animal hair, they will shut down from overheating. The memory can also have issues. Sometimes simply reseating the memory modules can help. You could have a virus of some sort. There could be a driver issue. Most common with issues are graphics and sound drivers. There may be an issue with your hard drive or windows installation. Sometimes a defective battery can overheat and cause a spontaneous reboot. Some laptops have had overheating issues that are so severe, a chip can actually unsolder some terminals from the mainboard. Light and flimsy designs aggravate that by allowing the boards to flex and unseat the chips. If you have a reputable repair facility at your disposal, it might pay to take it there for a professional diagnosis before adding to the troubles.
     
  3. whiz white

    whiz white Strong Supporter of Trapshooting Banned

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    You should have the original install discs that came with it.

    Worst case is that you will have to insert the CD and boot from it to reinstall the OS.

    What's the model number? If you are getting the "Blue screen of death" is there an error number listed?

    I have worked on many of these Toshiba's.

    Whiz
     
  4. dmarbell

    dmarbell Active Member

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    Jim,

    There are restore points in XP. Before you reinstall anything, restore back to some point before you started having the problem.

    Under "Help and support" in the Start Menu, type "system restore" in the search window, and do some reading there.

    Danny
     
  5. skip

    skip Member

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    Bad power supply causing weak battery?
     
  6. Mr Newbius©

    Mr Newbius© TS Member

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    Just hit the "Esc" key a couple times and if that doesn't fix it chunk the entire damn laptop out the window and get a new one.
     
  7. jimx200

    jimx200 Member

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    OK, I have tried the following:
    Take out and reseat memory modules
    Remove and reinsert battery
    Tried to boot in the following without success: "Start Windows Normally", "Safe mode", and "Last Known Good Configeration". It just reverts back to the DOS command screen (not sure if that is the correct name). When I hit the start button, it goes right to DOS command screen and if I do nothing, it just cycles to off then on , etc. Even when I select one of the above choices, it still cycles back, shuts off, then reboots or starts on it's own.
     
  8. Jerry944t

    Jerry944t Well-Known Member

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    Does it have the same symtoms when it's running on house/office current? In other words when it's plugged in and you're not using the battery.
     
  9. jimx200

    jimx200 Member

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    Yes, same problem either plugged into current or running on battery only.
     
  10. Jerry944t

    Jerry944t Well-Known Member

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    OK, do you have a CD/DVD drive and the original installation disk?
     
  11. Mr Newbius©

    Mr Newbius© TS Member

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    The thing is fried ... get enjoyment out of tossing it from the window and go buy another one. It is 3 years old and for what it costed then you can get a better one today for 1/2 if not 1/3 of the price and be done with the frustrational headache you are causing yourself.

    You do practice and follow the system of saving all files and such on either CD or zip drive instead of your hard drive right? Makes for easy recovery of needed documents and files when things like this happen.

    So what kind of new laptop are you going to buy?
     
  12. jimx200

    jimx200 Member

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    Jerry, yes, have the original restore CD. Should I insert it prior to start to see if it will boot or start first then insert? You are thinking this is software issue? Much appreciate your help/suggestions.
     
  13. pyrdek

    pyrdek Well-Known Member

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    With regards to the last comment, I always tell students and faculty at my school the following statement of fact.

    "There are two types of computer users." (Here someone will almost always say Macs and Windows since they know I deal primarily with Mac support. They are wrong.)

    "Those who know what the term back-up means and do, and, those who at some point in time, will wish they did!"

    Hope your in the first group.
     
  14. Mr Newbius©

    Mr Newbius© TS Member

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    Remember that with a 3 year old system that maybe it is and most likely it is software but probably and I kind of think but not to sure is ... well ... it really does sound like your harddrive may have gone the way of ... well ... try reloading everything but ... well ... once these things happen they normally begin to happen quite frequently.

    Remember once you insert your system disk to reinstall your operating system and bring your computer back to like it was when new all and I mean all information on your disk is gone and gone for good so keep that in mind but then it sounds like it is gone already so what the heck ... insert it and start anew but next time it happens throw the computer and then the disk out the window and see which one flys farther.
     
  15. JJJ

    JJJ TS Member

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    Listen to Quack Shot he is a real expert,I speak from experience,on computers.
    JJJ
     
  16. Jerry944t

    Jerry944t Well-Known Member

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    When your computer first starts up there is a setup option which takes you to the system bios. Once you find your way into the bios there will be a setup option that lets you choose the first boot device. You need to set that to be the CD drive so that your computer will boot from the original CD.

    Give that a try and tell me what happens. Don't do anything until you can boot from the CD. There is probably going to be a repair option on that disk.

    If that works we can go from there.
     
  17. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

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    One caution about loading the restore disks. It can and probably will overwrite any and all data on the drive. If there is anything you want to save, like photos, music, office documents, etc, you MUST retrieve them before doing anything else.

    One thing I would recommend, would be to get a bootable Live Linux or Windows PE disk and see if the system will boot from that. If you don't have one, I can send you one if you PM an address to me. Let me know if you have XP home or Pro. I can provide instructions on how to boot from it. If the system boots and runs properly from the live disk, you can possibly repair your windows installation rather than overwriting it. If the hard drive is still intact, you may be able to recover your files onto external media using the disks. If the system will not run from the live disk, you would have a hardware issue and that would be a different story. I would strongly recommend doing the diagnosis BEFORE screwing up your data.
     
  18. unioncracker

    unioncracker Member

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    If your data is worth saving buy an external drive enclosure for about 40 dollars. Take the drive out put it in the new enclosure. Hook it up to another computer. Take the files off and reload windows. Do the reverse and put the files back on. Your in business.
     
  19. jimx200

    jimx200 Member

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    You guys are amazing...THANK YOU for all your help. Here is what's happening: after spending time on phone with Toshiba tech (still under extended warranty until 9/08)he thinks the hard drive is the culprit. I can return it to Circuit City, they said a week to 10 day turn around and add $100. for any data recovery. I got a friend of friend reference who is a tech and he is going to salvage data, replace the HD, and have it back to me in 2 days for $120. I'm going to have him handle it as I am sharing the desktop with my sales gal who does not like me using her (my) desktop computer...lol. I did a file backup on CD about 2 months ago and would like to save data since then...lesson learned about backing up daily! Question about backup: do most of you use online storage or just go with external HD? Thanks again.
     
  20. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

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    The external hard drive is a good option if you have a lot of data. One caveat, they can also fail. They usually don't do that at the same time as the system, but it CAN happen that way. Don't store anything in only one location. Online, or other offsite storage and local external drive is a good safety for mission critical data. There are many backup programs, but be sure that they actually copy the files you wish to save. If not, do it manually.

    An occasional drive image is also a good idea. That way you can restore the system to a recent point in time, rather than have to do a ton of updates and software installs to get you back to where you were. External DVD media can also be a benefit, but there are limitations to the file naming and directory structures used on the DVDs. They are decent for drives images and can be stored offsite as well.
     
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