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Lap Top Problems!! Help Me ASAP. I'm In Big Trouble Now!

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by superstar, Dec 5, 2006.

  1. superstar

    superstar Command Sergeant Major

    Okay here is my problem...

    I got a call from a friend asking if I would help him install a program he bought since he didn't know much about computers. He dropped off his laptop with me and I put the program on it. The laptop was working fine and dandy. I called him and told him that it was ready for him to pick up. So he came and got it and talked to me later on msn messenger and told me thanks that it was running nice and he appreciated my efforts.

    For the record he just bought this lap top and it seems to me as if it's either refrusbished or used. I can tell because I know a heep of a lot about pcs.

    Anyways he e-mailed me today with a message that read: "My laptop crashed, and now it won't boot up. It keeps restarting on it's own, and it won't even go into Windows XP." He was on it when I gave it back to him and said it was fine so I dunno what's up. Maybe he went on the net without virus protection because he was talking to me on a messenger late at night and who knows where else he was roaming online. Great well now I have a feeling I should take the time out and fix it for him. What could this be and how can I diagnose his lap top when I get it?

    I noticed 3 things that struck me odd when I took it in just to put the program on it. The first thing was that he had the windows vista theme on winxp pro service pack 2. I know from experience that you shouldn't use that because the windows vista theme could screw up your pc. The second thing I noticed is I didn't see any anti virus (although I am not sure since I was not looking for it), but usually it would be out in the open on the systray or desktop. He just got dial up on his lap top.

    Well I need some pointers as to how and what to do if I do help fix this dum lap top. I would only be doing it because I put the program on his pc (that I have installed a million times on my computer and other peoples pcs). He bought the exact same program I've been installing for years. Well my guess is I would first check to see if I can safe boot. Problem is I dunno how to safe boot on a lap top. Second off I would check to see if there is an antivirus program on his pc. And if not than I would install one and scan his pc. Another thing I was thinking is worst come sceanario I would have to reinstall windows xp for him and he would lose everything. He has nothing on his pc anyways because he just bought it. But I dunno if I reinstall windows if it will screw his lap top up because I notice that lap tops have different things in the systray for internet and battery watch, etc.

    What am I to do? How can I diagnose his pc? Especially if it isn't booting up?

    (he has a Tosiba lap top... I will figure out the model when I call him)
  2. TimW

    TimW MajorGeeks Administrator - Jedi Malware Expert Staff Member

  3. superstar

    superstar Command Sergeant Major

    Thanks for that information so far. Anyone else care to join in? Because I am not going to pay for this guys lap top. No way no how. The most I'd do is see if I can fix it. End of story. All of these ideas and tips you all give me will be useful when he brings it to me tonight.
  4. TimW

    TimW MajorGeeks Administrator - Jedi Malware Expert Staff Member

  5. superstar

    superstar Command Sergeant Major

    Okay well he just gave me his laptop. & told me that the program I installed for him that he bought was fine and that it was working fine. He said he knows that couldn't have been the problem either.

    He began to tell me what he did after I gave him the laptop. He doesn't know much about pcs by the way. He said that he was on msn messenger and a friend gave him a url link to go on to get free music (what an idiot). Anyways he said he clicked on it and than his pc just crashed and shut off or whatever.

    So now I'm stuck with the pc here with me and I booted it up. This is the screen I see when I boot it up:


    Anytime I choose any single option all it does it pretend to load or seem like it's loading my option and than just reboot again.

    His lap top info: Toshiba Satellite A40 System Unit Model No. PSA40C-09CXV

    Any help? If I should refer to one of the links above you posted or if anyone has any ideas let me know. I have the only winxp disc he has because he got it used. I can reformat the pc and put windows xp back on it but i don't want to only in a worst case scenario. He said that if I have to do that it is fine. But I don't know if that will bring back his battery watch, wireless internet stuff in the systray and all that as this xp disc does not look to be the same version he had on the lap top.
  6. TimW

    TimW MajorGeeks Administrator - Jedi Malware Expert Staff Member

    If you say you can put windows back on ..you are saying that you do have the xp disk the was used to do the original install? If so, try the repair install and then do a bitdefender scan as soon as you are back up and running.
    Bitdefender agree to the license and then select Scan. DO NOT CHANGE THE OPTIONS TO SHOW ALL FILES SCANNED. That will make your logs huge and we don't need to see clean files. Once Bitdefender completes the scan:

    Click-on the Detected Problems tab. Then select Click here to export the scan report

    When the window comes up to save the report, change the Save as type: box to Text (Tab Delimited) (*.txt) and then in the File name box enter change to bdscan then click save. This will save a file named bdscan.txt in whatever folder you are currently in when you save the file (take notice of where you are at so you can find it later). This bdcan.txt file will actually contain HTML code that we can easily view later while reviewing your log. All we have to do is rename the file to bdscan.html.

  7. superstar

    superstar Command Sergeant Major

    how do i start the win xp disc?

    i have it but dunno how to get it to boot as i dunno how to get the laptop to boot off a cd at startup. im new to the lap top world i only know about pcs.

    this looks like a normal win xp disc not a special one. i would think that a lap top would come with a special disc that has all the utilites and software needed to get the laptop to work online/battery watch/ etc.

    hmmm so how do i get this to boot off the disc? if it keeps restarting to that screen i posted?
  8. TimW

    TimW MajorGeeks Administrator - Jedi Malware Expert Staff Member

    Get into the bios (should be a momentary flash on the screen as you boot to tell you what to hit ...f2 ...maybe...
    Then set the boot up order to cd-rom as first...hard drive as second.
  9. superstar

    superstar Command Sergeant Major

    I got into the bios. Thanks. The screen shows the time on one side, the password which is not registered, and the boot priority on the other side. But when I click the left right up and down arrows it only lets me go to the time and password. How do I get to the boot priorities?

    It won't let me go on that side. This bios can't be password protected because it says password not registered. man what a lousy day. & worse for my friend because he said his car wouldn't start either! Thank you & Please Help. I hate doing things for people.
  10. TimW

    TimW MajorGeeks Administrator - Jedi Malware Expert Staff Member

    Down arrow should scroll you thru each option ...should take you to the right side. The enter to open the options.
  11. superstar

    superstar Command Sergeant Major

    That won't work I have no clue as to why. And it says to use the arrows to move where I want. But it won't work. Should I set the bios to default values?

    Because look... When I turn on the pc it shows the toshiba screen, that is where I hold and press esc. Than it shows a black screen that says:


    After pressing F1 I see this screen:


    It wont let me go to the boot priority side. Man Im mad!!! Please Help my blood is boiling. It won't let me set vaules with the home button, I press page down and I see another area of the bios but the arrows wont highlight anything. Nothing works other than moving the arrows and they go on the clock and password areas that's it. Could there be some sort of block on this?
  12. TimW

    TimW MajorGeeks Administrator - Jedi Malware Expert Staff Member

    No f11 option on start up? Which should take you to the toshiba recovery ....

    No harm that I can see doing a default bios setting ....
  13. superstar

    superstar Command Sergeant Major

  14. superstar

    superstar Command Sergeant Major

    What next?
  15. TimW

    TimW MajorGeeks Administrator - Jedi Malware Expert Staff Member

    You have done what the website tell to do to access the bios ...I really have no idea as to why you cant get to the boot order ....you might try emailing toshiba support with model no. and the issue.
  16. TimW

    TimW MajorGeeks Administrator - Jedi Malware Expert Staff Member

    One last though, before I leave ...it might boot if you had the original Toshiba disk....
  17. superstar

    superstar Command Sergeant Major

    i think the bios is corrupt

    i am going to need to flash it. do you know how i can do this? I know a lot about normal pcs and i can take them apart. so i want to take this thing apart and do the same. the guy at tosihba on the phone told me i need to take the battery out and than reset the jumpers. how can i do this?

    i know what battery and jumpers i just need to know how.

    please help.
  18. TimW

    TimW MajorGeeks Administrator - Jedi Malware Expert Staff Member

    Taking out the battery for a few hours will reset the cmos .....the jumper configuration ...not sure would need to see the manual ...is it on their website?
  19. superstar

    superstar Command Sergeant Major

    I called them and they tried to help me. They said to hold the letter "c" down while the computer boots up and that should have started the cd to boot. That didn't work. They also said to try tapping the "F12" key while the system booted and that would have taken me right to the boot priority screen. And that didn't work.
  20. TimW

    TimW MajorGeeks Administrator - Jedi Malware Expert Staff Member

    Man ...what ever he got when he clicked on that link (a serious no-no) ..it is obviously a major nasty ....or else there is a serious hardware crash ....keep us posted as to the toshba help.
  21. superstar

    superstar Command Sergeant Major

    Is it possible to get some sort of virus that would do all of this?

    Like I said he clicked on a free music website which I believe was a very bad bad site his other friend told him to go on.
  22. TimW

    TimW MajorGeeks Administrator - Jedi Malware Expert Staff Member

    In a word ....yes ...esp. if it infected the mbr .....
  23. superstar

    superstar Command Sergeant Major

    Are you serious? There are virus' that infect the motherboard?
    I never heard about that? I thought you can only catch a virus on your hard drive and that's it. You wipe off your hard drive and put windows on it again and your good to go. Wow is this true?
  24. TimW

    TimW MajorGeeks Administrator - Jedi Malware Expert Staff Member

    Master boot record ...not motherboard ...lol:)
  25. superstar

    superstar Command Sergeant Major

    What is the master boot record?
  26. TimW

    TimW MajorGeeks Administrator - Jedi Malware Expert Staff Member

  27. superstar

    superstar Command Sergeant Major

    Can that affect the bios?
  28. TimW

    TimW MajorGeeks Administrator - Jedi Malware Expert Staff Member

    Typically no ...though some bios allows for virus defense for the bios ....so, I guess that could be yes.
  29. sl00py99

    sl00py99 Private First Class

    :eek: Hi. I have a Toshiba laptop, a Satellite. It's an earlier model, though. I would reinstall xp on your friends's laptop and be done with it. You will probably have to make a set of boot floppies and also download all of the drivers from the Toshiba site and make your friend a driver cd. I am a bit confused, though, as to why you can't navigate through the BIOS setup and change the boot order. Toshiba's tech support is not too hot. You will probably be directed to a support forum like this one. Best of luck to you, and let us know what else we can do. If you need a link to the xp home or pro boot floppy creation files, let us know.
  30. sl00py99

    sl00py99 Private First Class

    :eek: Hi, again. It appears you have the latest BIOS on the laptop, now. If you want to try to reflash it, you can download this:

    That should be a link to the flasher floppy creation utility for the same BIOS version, 1.50. Be sure that is what you want to do before you do it. I would try making the xp boot floppies, then use your friend's xp cd, first.
  31. superstar

    superstar Command Sergeant Major

    How on earth would I get it to boot off of the xp boot floppies if I cannot even get into the boot priorities in the bios?

    By the way the bios for this lap top is not even there. The bios listed there is:

    ACPI Flash BIOS version 1.50 for Satellite A45-S120

    This lap top is: Toshiba Satellite A40 System Unit Model No.PSA40C-09CXV
  32. superstar

    superstar Command Sergeant Major

    Nevermind I am willing to flash the bios to the same version or newer as long as you can give me the exact download link for it so I can do it. I need the exact one for this laptop.

    Th bios version on this right now is 1.50
  33. sl00py99

    sl00py99 Private First Class

    :eek: The only BIOS flasher I could find for a Satellite A40 was the version 1.50 you mentioned. To get the laptop to try to boot from the xp setup floppies, it looks like you will have to wipe the hard drive. Active@Killdisk or Darik's boot and nuke would be my suggestion. Let us know how you come out.
  34. TimW

    TimW MajorGeeks Administrator - Jedi Malware Expert Staff Member

    Which is going to be a trick if it won't boot to cd .....otherwise we would have done a repair install by now .....

    you have the latest bios ...did you remove the cmos battery????
  35. superstar

    superstar Command Sergeant Major

    I got a suggestion from a friend to download the same bios I have or newer for this laptop and remove the hard drive out of the system (literally). Than to insert the bios cdrom and boot the pc. He said since the hard drive won't be there it should boot off the disc. This lap top has no floppy drive by the way, so it has to be done by disc.

    And why do you keep mentioning the cmos battery? that battery that looks like a big watch battery? What good would that do if I take it off.

    All I need right now is the exact version of bios for this laptop and it can't be from the american toshiba site because this is canadian made. Toshiba told me to look for it at: www.toshiba.ca\support (under drivers and downloads)

    But I can't find it. I need it for cd and instructions on how to do this.
  36. TimW

    TimW MajorGeeks Administrator - Jedi Malware Expert Staff Member

    Removing the battery will clear any corruption in the bios ...in effect resetting to default ......

    And the link is bad ..
  37. TimW

    TimW MajorGeeks Administrator - Jedi Malware Expert Staff Member

  38. superstar

    superstar Command Sergeant Major

    Your saying all I have to do is unscrew the laptop and find the cmos battery (the big watch battery looking thing), and take it off and put it back on. & this may make the bios work again????
  39. TimW

    TimW MajorGeeks Administrator - Jedi Malware Expert Staff Member

    Yes ...that is want I am saying ....may work ....leave it off for at least two hours ....some lose the charge in minutes ...some take hours ...
    The link I gave you ...put in notebooks / and model and you should have a popup window that lists the bios as well as the manual ...which could come in handy.
  40. superstar

    superstar Command Sergeant Major

    Listen if I never said it before thank you for all the information you have been giving me. I will try to do the cmos battery thing by taking the laptop apart and trying to find it's location. Sure wish there were a manual for this motherboard.
  41. sl00py99

    sl00py99 Private First Class

    :eek: Hi, again. If Tim's idea works, and you can find the cmos battery, maybe you will be out of the woods. Certainly, this laptop has usb ports. Maybe you could use a usb floppy drive to do what you need. The Toshiba BIOS flasher utilities are used to create a bootable floppy. The flasher itself is a DOS executable which runs from that floppy. If you can't get your hands on a usb floppy drive, it might be that you could create a bootable cd with the flasher on it. If you pull the hard drive out, as someone else mentioned, the laptop might not pass a post test and boot.
  42. sl00py99

    sl00py99 Private First Class

    :eek: Something you might try before disassembling the laptop looking for the cmos battery is to remove the main battery and let the laptop sit awhile, then replace it and see what you get. That would reset everything else in the laptop. An old Toshiba laptop I used to have got "stuck" once (can't remember the exact problem), and that got it going again. Sorry you are having such frustrating probs.
  43. agent-mulder

    agent-mulder Private E-2

    hi, i think holding down control and c on boot will make it boot from the cd drive
  44. superstar

    superstar Command Sergeant Major

    Well I tried to take the lap top apart yesterday in order to find the cmos battery. But I've never taking a lap top apart so halfway through I stopped. I got to a point where I felt uncomfortable doing it. Only because I didn't know where I was headed because I could not find a motherboard manual.

    I've made my own report with the beginning and the recent effects of this whole issue as to why the lap top is having problems. This is just a recap of many hours of work and all of the help you've given me. Please read the following short summary.


    - Using the computer as normal for several hours
    - Clicked on link to a foreign website (which was later pronounced to be prone to virus’, malware, grayware, etc.)
    - The user was unaware that this website was an illegal site where security threats flow constantly. This site was visited due to someone internet messaging the user with a url link.
    - The computer shut off on it’s own while visiting the site


    - Upon restart the computer goes to a prompt screen asking you to choose to boot from one of the following: Safe Mode, Safe Mode w/Networking, Safe Mode w/Command Prompt, Last Known Good Configuration, or Normal Windows Start Up.
    - No matter what option is selected the pc continues to reboot to the same screen
    - The bios (hold “esc” at Toshiba startup) will not allow you to move the arrow keys towards the “boot priority” selection. This is essential in order to boot the windows xp cd rom for a fresh installation of windows.
    - The only areas you can select in the bios are the “time/date” and “password” sections. There is no password on the bios at all so not being able to head towards the boot priority is a major issue.


    - The bios may be corrupt and might need to be flashed/updated in order to set the boot priority to allow a windows disc the capability to run and install
    - This computer may have been known to have a bios corruption. This would leave the user in a bad situation when trying to reinstall windows due to a security breech.
    - There may be a hardware failure/crash involving the motherboard or hard drive. This could be due to a power surge, neglect, damage, water spill, etc.
    - There may be an issue with the keyboard involving the bios options or the keyboard itself may need to be repaired.
    - The bios may be infected with a virus or it is corrupt in itself.
    - A hardware crash is a possibility
    - The master boot record (mbr) may be seriously infected

    - According to Toshiba Canada the key used to enter the bios is “esc”. The keys that are meant to be used to automatically enter the “boot priority” screen itself are either “F12” (tapping at start up). Holding down the “c” key at start up is meant to let the cd drive run instead of any other boot device. (note: none of these work at the moment other than “esc”)
    - In order to install windows correctly on this lap top with all the tools needed to run the accessories and utilities in the lap top you would need to have the “Recovery Disc” made for this exact model. The user does not have this disc in possession. Installing windows xp itself would not reinstall all of the utilities therefore the exact “Recovery Disc” used for this pc would need to be ordered.
    - You would not need the recovery cd if windows xp is installed and all the drivers are downloaded.

    Authorized Toshiba Contact/Repair Centers:

    Gartech Integrated Busniess Solutions
    1140 Sheppard Ave West Unit 2

    Computer Sysytems Center
    275 College St.

    Toshiba Canada Customer Phone Support:

    Toshiba Cd Recovery Orders Can Be Made At This Number:


    That is my summary report of what is going on and what may be done. I have come to the realization that we have only two options left here. These are the final two options that I spent all night, all night, all lonesome drinking coffee night, thinking of...

    1. I took the hard drive out of the pc out of curiousity and put in a win xp disc. The disc did boot up and windows was ready to install, but it couldn't because there was no hard drive. So what I can do is flash the bios with the same version using a disc. Though I do not know if you can flash a bios with the same version. On top of that I need to know exactly how to put the bios on a cd. I know where the bios is, it's right here at this link from toshiba canada:

    The current bios on this system is version 1.50. I figure if someone can help tell me how to get the bios burnt on a cd, than I can just take out the hard drive from the lap top, flash the bios, put the hard drive back on when the bios is done being flashed, than be finally able to choose the boot priority and get windows xp to install. It's so easy I just need someone to help me put this bios on a disc please. I need step by step instructions as to how I would burn it. So you would actually have to download it yourself too if your helping me, and burn it to cdrw if you want just so you can be 100% sure that we will be successful doing this. I think that would fix the bios if it is corrupt or infected. Once the bios is fixed I can go from there and fix everything else on my own. (ie: install windows, download drivers, etc.)

    2. The second thing I thought of was taking the hard drive out, placing it in another lap top, installing windows on it, and putting it back into this problematic lap top. Although I'm not sure if this would work as windows may install itself with the intention of being suited for the other lap top, and once being place in the problematic one it may not run because it was set up for the other one. That is what I think would happen. Best case scenario it would work. The thing is I only know one person with a lap top and if they don't let me borrow it to do this than this option is a no show. Not to mention I dunno if they use some sort of different hard drive. I say this because I know real big standalone pcs use ide, and sata. So I am not familiar with lap top hard drives.



  45. TimW

    TimW MajorGeeks Administrator - Jedi Malware Expert Staff Member

  46. superstar

    superstar Command Sergeant Major

    I would do that but all the Toshiba models are listed there except the "Toshiba A40" I am trying to fix. Ain't that something? All of them are listed except this one.

    (Please read the last post I made on page 3 if your joining in or trying to help)
  47. TimW

    TimW MajorGeeks Administrator - Jedi Malware Expert Staff Member

  48. sl00py99

    sl00py99 Private First Class

    :eek: Hi. I wonder what would happen if you booted with the xp cd, then reinstalled the hard drive with power on. Might be worth a try.
  49. superstar

    superstar Command Sergeant Major

    Call me stupid I know you should never connect something with the power on. But I did try that last night! So it's funny that you should even mention that. Yes the xp cd started but when I put the hard drive in it still wouldn't proceed because when I tried to follow the "install windows" selection it said now drive was found. So that didn't work...

  50. sl00py99

    sl00py99 Private First Class

    :eek: Ok. I am an electrical/electronics tech. You don't have to tell me about the pros/cons of plugging in a piece of equipment with power on. However, with many low-voltage dc-powered items, such as a hard drive, you can often do it with no ill effects. I thought it was worth a try. Now, on to other things. You say you want to flash the BIOS. Ok. If you go to the Toshiba support site, you will find a file there called 1a45v15.exe. This is a self-extracting compressed folder which contains, among other things a file called 1a45v15.iso. That file is a n image of a bootable cd which will do exactly what you want...to flash the BIOS. If you haven't heard of it, you can download ImgBurn (http://www.imgburn.com/), a great program which will help you make the cd you want from the .iso file. Just so you know, 1a45v15.exe contains the ONLY flasher utility I could find for the A40 series. I pretty much said that, earlier. It says version 1.5, not 1.50, but is probably exactly what you want. Toshiba says it is for four A40 models and several A45 models. The first thing it does when it runs, if memory serves, is to look at the BIOS version you have, and tell you if it is compatible, and to give you the choice to abort or to proceed with flashing. Burn your cd, and happy flashing. Good night and good luck.

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