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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Toshiba Satellite A200 power on failure


    I have a Satellite A200, Model PSAF3A-0QH01N, running Vista Basic, It was bought new, in New Zealand, in 2008 and it has worked well.

    It has now developed a problem that can only be seen when it is dead cold. At this time it will not boot.

    When the power button is pressed the power supply connected, power on and charging lights are all on. The hard disk light flashes very briefly, the screen does not show anything at all. The laptop then fails to do anything else.

    - Tried with and without the battery installed
    - Tried with another power supply
    - Reseated and tested the RAM
    - Installed a new hard disk
    - Clean install of the O/S

    If I power on (but it doesnt boot of course) and leave it for maybe 5 minutes, push and hold the power button until it turns off, then push the power button to power on, the laptop will usually start ok, show BIOS screen and Vista will start. It will operate normally while it remains powered up.

    I've put this in the Hardware forum because:
    - RAM has been tested
    - Hard disk has been replaced
    - OS has been re-installed
    - Nothing shows on screen

    Therefore I assume it is not a RAM, not a hard disk and not a Windows problem. It could be a BIOS issue but I have no idea how to prove it.

    Can anyone suggest something I have missed, or suggest something I can try to fix this somewhat annoying problem, please?


    Last edited by colinsw; 2013-03-04 at 03:41.

  2. #2
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
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    Does it make any noises while booting, such as beep codes or hard drive clicking? Does the fan come on or stay off?

    Beep codes: If there is a beep code this may tell you what is wrong.

    Hard drive clicking: If you hear this, your hard drive is bad, or about to go bad.

    Fan not working, or working too much: Computer may be overheating.

    Just to eliminate any possibility of it being the OS: have you tried to install a different OS, such as XP?

    When you are able to get into Windows, check Device Manager to see if any devices are marked yellow. Perhaps some critical driver got corrupted.

    A couple of days ago, USB got totally whacked on one of my XP machines. The mouse and keyboard didn't work, and I kept seeing USB error messages. Good thing the computer has PS/2 ports on it, because I was able to connect a PS/2 mouse and keyboard and work that way. (I was dead in the water with the USB mouse and keyboard.)

    I did a Windows update and found a USB driver listed under Hardware, which I installed. I then uninstalled all of the "yellow" devices, including one hidden device. I then restarted the computer. Mouse and keyboard now worked, and no more error messages.

    Then a day later, the mouse quit working. I replaced it with another mouse, and the problem disappeared. Apparently the mouse was the culprit all along. It somehow whacked USB on the computer.
    Last edited by mrjimphelps; 2013-03-04 at 06:33.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Manning, South Carolina
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    Another possibility would be that the CMOS {BIOS} battery is dying. The machine is 5 years old and although this button style battery should last about 7 years you may have gotten a bad one. I'm not familiar with your particular laptop so I don't know where the battery is located or if it is user replaceable. In most desktops it is very easy to replace and is usually a CR2032. HTH
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  4. #4
    New Lounger
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    Auckland, New Zealand
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    Thanks for your interest

    Given that the laptop does not 'boot', there is no real indication as to the cause of the issue.
    On power up, the CPU fan spins up (fast for a few seconds then returns to normal), I can hear the hard disk spin and the DVD drive initialises.
    There are no beeps and the hdd does not 'click'
    because the machine does not boot, there is little value to replacing/reinstalling the OS eg. Ive tried booting from CD with same no boot result
    When it does boot, I have checked event logs and there is no issues showing
    Windows update has been run and drivers have been checked and updated before

    CMOS battery may be an issue because I have had similar symptoms on a desktop some years ago, but how does one open these laptops? the A200 seems to have several sub-models and while there are dis-assembly instructions on the web, none of these apply to my model
    Last edited by colinsw; 2013-03-24 at 17:17.

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