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Laptop booted to black screen


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#1 OmegaWolf747

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 10:11 AM

Laptop is a Toshiba Satellite P505-S8945, Intel Centrino Core2 Duo P7350 @ 2.0 GHz, 6 GB DDR, ATI Radeon 6400 HD 1 GB, Conexant Pebble Audio, 530 GB HDD, Windows 7 Home Premium x64 (upgraded from Vista Home Premium x64 SP 2).

Anyway, I turned it on as usual and went to get food. When I returned, instead of finding it at the Windows login screen, it was just a blank black screen. The laptop was definitely on with the front LEDs glowing and the fan spinning. It didn't respond to mouse clicks or key presses. I quickly turned it off and then back on again. The second time, it did boot up normally.

I just finished backing my data up to an external drive, just in case.

I haven't installed any new programs recently and keep my machine spyware and virus free with Malwarebytes Antimalware and Avast 4.8 Home Edition.

My question is, what can cause this and is it the sign of some imminent system failure, or just a one time fluke?

Thanks.

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#2 keyboardNinja

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 11:52 AM

Eh...sounds like a one time fluke to me...the only way to be sure would be if it happened again.

How long were you away while it booted?
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#3 keyboardNinja

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 11:58 AM

Also, did you update your drivers after the upgrade?

You might try updating your display driver, after creating a System Restore Point.
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#4 OmegaWolf747

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 12:23 PM

Thank you for replying.

When I upgraded from Vista to 7, I ran the Toshiba upgrade DVD, which uninstalled the old Vista drivers, installed 7 and then automatically downloaded and installed all the necessary new drivers and software.

The display driver I have from September, 2009 is actually the latest one. Toshiba doesn't seem to think laptop display drivers are important enough to update regularly. Since I have an ATI chip, I'm stuck with the official release, unlike the lucky nVidia stiffs who can use LaptopVideo2Go.

Also, I was gone for maybe six minutes.

Edited by OmegaWolf747, 23 April 2010 - 07:30 PM.

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#5 keyboardNinja

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 12:25 PM

Okay...

How long were you away while it booted?


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#6 OmegaWolf747

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 07:46 PM

Sorry about that. I was away for about six minutes.

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#7 keyboardNinja

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 09:46 PM

What timeout do you have set for a screensaver or to turn the screen off?

Try to repeat the incident. Do a cold boot and just let it sit there for about 5-10 minutes without touching anything. See if it happens again.
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#8 isaved007

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 09:26 PM

What timeout do you have set for a screensaver or to turn the screen off?

Try to repeat the incident. Do a cold boot and just let it sit there for about 5-10 minutes without touching anything. See if it happens again.


I've had the Black Screen of Death problem a few times, and it did seem to be related to the screensaver or auto- screen shutoff functions in my case. I had more problems with my laptop before I flashed the most recent BIOS version, though. I still can't figure out why BIOS updates take so much manual searching for when they're as important as they are.

Have you checked for a new BIOS version? It's a shot in the dark, but as a new computer user it's something easy to overlook.
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#9 OmegaWolf747

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 09:29 PM

It hasn't done it since. *knocks on wood*

I have the screen set to shut off after an hour idle. It always comes right on if I jiggle the mouse.

I'm going to look for a BIOS upgrade this weekend.

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#10 keyboardNinja

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 12:49 PM

Here is the link to latest BIOS offered by Toshiba for your model: http://cdgenp01.csd.toshiba.com/content/su...ds/spe0v310.exe

Why and How to Flash Your BIOS

Pay attention to the Precautions on pages 3 and 4.

Just a side note: imaging your hard drive before a BIOS update will not do you any good if the BIOS update kills your computer (unless you apply the backup to a different computer). If the BIOS becomes corrupted after an unnecessary update, a hard drive image won't matter, as you won't even be able to boot at all (even off a CD/DVD).

Bottom line: don't mess with the BIOS unless you have to.


If it were me, I would just wait and hope that it won't happen again. It was probably just a fluke.

Edited by keyboardNinja, 30 April 2010 - 12:57 PM.

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#11 OmegaWolf747

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 07:57 PM

That's the BIOS I already have. I upgraded it before upgrading from Vista to 7.

I will wait and see if the problem occurs again. If it does, hopefully Toshiba will get off their arse and put out a newer BIOS.

Edited by OmegaWolf747, 30 April 2010 - 08:02 PM.

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#12 keyboardNinja

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 10:34 PM

Well, you don't really need a new BIOS. The current one works just fine.

But yeah, let me know if the problem happens again.
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