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  1. #1
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    Laptop won't start up

    I'm working on a Toshiba laptop (Win 7 Home Premium) that won't turn on. It started out as a gift to our granddaughter a few years ago (July 2010). We later gave her a newer one, and this one went to another youngster. Now it's back on my desk, and as far as I know it was working for the last owner.

    Last night I turned it on for the first time in many months. It refused to start at first; I knew the battery needed replacing (would not hold a charge for more than an hour or so), so I left it on charge for a while. About half an hour later, it came on! I did some cleaning up and let some updates install with re-booting. After about 90 minutes of tinkering, I let another round of updates install, and I forgot to change the power selection from "Shutdown" to "Restart." So it shut down, and now it won't restart.

    Battery's in; power is plugged in; the lights for Power and the hard drive both come on, but nothing starts up. When I press the On button, I can hear a faint electronic sound, but nothing else happens. So I hold down the On button till the light goes out.

    One more thing: I noticed this morning that the machine was very warm back where the battery sits. I removed the Li-Ion battery, and it's really warm. You might call it hot. I tried starting with the battery out and the power cord in, but no joy. By the way, no, I do not have any sort of recovery drive at hand for this machine. I do have a couple of Win 7 installation disks that I've used to install the OS on other machines. Would those be of any use ... ?

    Any suggestions?
    Last edited by Caesar3; 2016-06-03 at 15:57.

  2. #2
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Here are some things you could try:

    1. Get a multimeter and check the power output of your A/C adapter, to make sure it is putting out the correct power.

    2. Remove all removable devices, such as memory and hard drive. Power the computer on. See if anything happens. It should at least get you to a Toshiba splash screen or a boot menu.

    If that is successful, then one of the things you removed is the cause of the problem:

    3. Reinstall the devices you removed, one at a time, powering off before installing it, and then powering on after installing it, to see if the problem reoccurs. If it does, then you have found the problem.

    I'm not sure if you feel up to this next one, but I read this on a Toshiba forum:

    4. Start removing stuff that is part of the laptop, such as the keyboard, touch pad, etc., one item at a time. Clean the contacts for each device, then reconnect it. Put it all back together. Power the laptop on, to see if things are now working correctly.

    (The post I read was from someone who discovered that his touchpad was the source of the problem. When he cleaned the contacts and then reconnected it, the problem disappeared.)

    It just so happens that I am working on a dead Toshiba laptop. I plan on trying the above as soon as I get some time.

  3. #3
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    Oo-o-o ... thanks! I might have to try that!

  4. #4
    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    How does one clean off the contacts of a touchpad?
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
    http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forum...-Technologies/

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by RolandJS View Post
    How does one clean off the contacts of a touchpad?
    Same as any other; there's nothing special about them. Of course, you have to take the keyboard off, but that's going to happen anyway.

  6. #6
    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    Youse all are a lot braver than I am!
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
    http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forum...-Technologies/

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    Are you able to boot up into the advanced boot options to select Repair your Computer so as to navigate to the Recovery Environment to either use the Startup Repair or the restore points.

    It may boot up with a System Repair disk, but if your Win 7 install disk doesn't include SP1 then it may reject it as not being compatible when you select the Repair your Computer option.

    A couple of weeks back I restored my other Toshiba Win 7 laptop from a system image and it wouldn't boot up after the reboot.

    Having found that it would only boot up with a SP1 install disk but freeze shortly after, I took it in under extended warranty and they changed the North Bridge chip.

    Not saying this is your problem but Win 7 machines are getting a bit long in the tooth now - I've had that one about 6 years now although it wasn't getting used as much, having been relegated to a secondary machine.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caesar3 View Post
    Battery's in; power is plugged in; the lights for Power and the hard drive both come on, but nothing starts up. When I press the On button, I can hear a faint electronic sound, but nothing else happens. So I hold down the On button till the light goes out.

    Any suggestions?
    People sometimes think that I'm kidding them when I tell them to disconnect the charger, remove the battery, then (without power applied) hold down the on/off switch for thirty seconds and then repeatedly press it five or ten times. Next, I tell them to reconnect the charger (but not the battery) and try turning it on again.
    I've found that this method often cures the "laptop don't start up at all" problem.

    If proper boot operation is restored when I do this, then later I can slip the battery back into the laptop and check it for proper operation. (In your case, since you know the battery is worn, I'd just properly dispose of the battery and order another.)

    RockE

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    Here are some things you could try:

    1. Get a multimeter and check the power output of your A/C adapter, to make sure it is putting out the correct power.

    2. Remove all removable devices, such as memory and hard drive. Power the computer on. See if anything happens. It should at least get you to a Toshiba splash screen or a boot menu.

    If that is successful, then one of the things you removed is the cause of the problem:
    I pulled out the hard drive and the RAM chips, plugged in the power source, and ... nothing. No splash screen or boot menu. The multimeter seems to show that the cord between the wall outlet and the brick is defective. I found another cord in my collection, tested it, then tested the plug that delivers power to the laptop. Output looks okay. Still no joy.

    I'm starting to feel like Sparky Griswold ("Christmas Vacation") trying to get the lights to twinkle.

  10. #10
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    RockE, I followed your tip exactly—pulled out the battery and the charger; held the on/off switch for 30+ seconds, then pressed the on/off switch ten times. Sorry ... no joy.
    Last edited by Caesar3; 2016-06-03 at 15:44.

  11. #11
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    Sorry, Sparky!

    It could be gone to never never land.
    I'd try checking the voltage of the internal battery. If the laptop is 2007 vintage the battery is likely "shot" (probably a CR2032).
    Last edited by RockE; 2016-06-03 at 04:24.

  12. #12
    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    @ Caesar3

    Remove the battery.

    Connect the power adapter from the mains power.

    Press and hold down the Backspace key on the laptop's keyboard.

    Press, then release, the power-on button while holding down the backapace key.

    After a few seconds you should see the Toshiba splash screen - release the backspace key after which the system should try to boot to Windows.

    Try to (press Enter) on "Boot Windows Normally".
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
    Most common computing error is EBKAC: Error Between Keyboard And Chairback
    AMD FX8120 (8-core @ 3.1GHz) CPU, Gigabyte GA-990FXA-D3 motherboard, 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1866MHz RAM, ATI-AMD Radeon HD6770 PCI-E VGA, 480GB Kingston SSD, 2TB Seagate SATA3.0 HDD, ASUS DVD/RW.

  13. #13
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    Thanks, Coochin—Tried your tip, but nothing happens.

  14. #14
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    Today I took the machine to a local computer repair shop. This guy seems quite legitimate—has been in business at his storefront location for several years. I described the situation and my attempts to resuscitate this machine. He tried without success to find any sign of life. His diagnosis: motherboard dead. He recommended that I simply junk it and buy a new, working computer (sounds good) or—if I really want to pursue it—find a new motherboard and fix it myself.

    I'm in the mood to try the latter, but I do have some concerns. I called Toshiba and found the part number. Their parts supplier says the motherboard is "not orderable." No surprise there. Of course, I do see some online vendors with the part in stock. Prices range from $230 (here) down to about $50 (eBay).

    I'll appreciate your thoughts. Should I even think about this DIY project? If I do go this way, what should I watch out for when shopping for a motherboard on eBay? The eBay vendors (most of them) state clearly that they're selling used parts, but that they've tested them to make sure they work. At least this one vendor accepts returns.

    What else do I need to think about? Does a MB replacement entail any other parts that I haven't even considered?

    Just now I looked online and found I can buy this same machine (or almost identical) on eBay for about $100! So why should I even think of fixing this paperweight? Your thoughts ... ? And, of course, a fairly nice entry-level machine sells brand new for less than $300. So why am I even thinking about ... ?

  15. #15
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    Replacing a motherboard on a laptop is not for the faint of heart. Any maintenance activity on a laptop where you remove the back is fraught with chances to screw things up royally. If your budget allows I recommend going with a new machine. Much less time & trouble. If required you can remove the old disk drive, put it in an enclosure, and retrieve the data.
    Joe

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