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Need help Toshiba Satellite L655-S5096, either bad BIOS or hard drive!


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#1 hulahoop999

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 04:02 PM

So a few weeks ago, my sister told me her laptop occasionally wouldn't boot up, and would instead have a black screen with a blinking cursor. I borrowed it from her and decided to run a couple anti-viruses overnight. But when I woke up in the morning, I discovered that something had gone really wrong. For some reason, it looks like the BIOS has been completely deleted. Everytime it turns on, it'll flash the Toshiba logo, then go to the black screen with a blinking cursor.

I tried System Restore with the recovery disc, but I knew that that wouldn't fix anything BIOS-related. I heard that pressing F8 or something similar would let you access the bios, but the computer only responds to F2 and F12 which let you access the boot order screen and other things, but not the BIOS.

I even took out the CMOS battery like I was told, and left it out for a few days. However, nothing has changed.

I'm really really stumped and have no idea what to do. Any help please???


FAKE EDIT: I can still access everything on the hard drive through an Ubuntu CD.

FAKE EDIT 2: I've been told it may be a bad hard drive or a bad boot sector, so I need to back up everything and reformat the hard drive. Do you guys concur?

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#2 AustrAlien

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 04:35 PM

Most likely an infected MBR (MasterBootRecord).

You can do the following with Ubuntu if you are familiar with it, but if you are not, then burn an xPUD CD and follow the instructions as provided.

Please try the following: You will need a USB drive/flashdrive and a new blank writable CD.

:step1: Please do the following on a working computer:
  • Download GETxPUD.exe to the Desktop.
  • Run GETxPUD.exe
    A new folder will appear on the desktop.
  • Open the GETxPUD folder and click on get&burn.bat
  • The program will download xpud_0.9.2.iso, and when finished will open BurnCDCC ready to burn the image.
    Please be patient: This could take awhile - download file size 63MB.
  • Click on Start and follow the prompts to burn the image to a CD.
You will use this CD to boot the ailing computer from.


:step2: Boot the ailing computer with the xPUD CD.
  • (You may have to configure the Boot Menu or BIOS Setup Menu to boot first from the optical/CD/DVD drive.)
    A Welcome to xPUD screen will appear.
  • Click on File.
  • Expand the mnt icon on the left (click on the little arrow beside the icon).
    • sda1, sda2 etc. ...usually correspond to your HDD partitions
    • sdb1, sdc1 is likely to correspond to a USB flashdrive, external USB hard drive etc.
  • Click on the folder that represents your USB drive (sdb1 ?).
  • Click Tool on the top menu, and choose Open Terminal.
  • Type the following at the hash prompt:

    dd if=/dev/sda of=mbr.bin bs=512 count=1

    • Note: Leave a space between the following:
      • dd ... the executable application used to create the backup
      • if=/dev/sda ... the device the backup is created from (the hard drive when only one HDD exists)
      • of=mbr.bin ... the backup file to create - note the lack of a path - it will be created in the directory currently open in the Terminal
      • bs=512 ... the number of bytes in the backup
      • count=1 ... says to backup just 1 sector
        It is extremely important that the if and of statements are correctly entered.
  • Press the <ENTER> key.
    After it has finished a file will be located on your USB drive named mbr.bin.
  • Remove the USB drive from the ailing computer.

:step3: On the working computer:
  • Insert the USB drive, and navigate to the file mbr.bin
  • Zip-up the mbr.bin file:
    • Right-click on the file and choose Send to .. > Compressed (zipped) Folder.
      A zipped folder will appear in the same location as the mbr.bin file.
  • Please attach the zipped file to your next reply.
    This will allow the MasterBootRecord of your hard drive to be checked to see whether or not it is infected &/or damaged.

Edited by AustrAlien, 27 May 2012 - 04:36 PM.

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#3 hulahoop999

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 06:46 PM

Thanks, I'm creating the disc right now!

If this isn't the problem, is it possible that the hard drive is bad? In which case, she'd need to buy a new hard drive and a Windows 7 installation disc.

#4 AustrAlien

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 06:57 PM

Good: Creating the xPUD CD and getting me the MBR dump is pretty quick, and once I have the dump I will be able to tell you if there is a problem with the MBR.

At this stage we have no reason to suspect that the HDD may have a problem, especially given that you can browse it using the LIVE Ubuntu CD without issue.

Let's first have a look at the MBR ... and then we can consider your options.
  • If we need to test the HDD, I will give you instructions to do that.
  • If the MBR is infected/damaged, you can then choose to either fix it, or to perform a recovery from the factory-installed recovery partition on the HDD.

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#5 hulahoop999

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 07:23 PM

Hmm. xPud froze for a minute on the language selection screen after I selected English, and now it's been stuck on a black screen for a couple minutes. Is that normal? No activity from the HD or DVD...

#6 AustrAlien

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 07:27 PM

No, that's not sounding too good. (Sometimes xPUD has trouble on some systems.)

Please try booting with xPUD again. Try 3 or 4 times if necessary.

Let me know if it just will not boot up to the xPUD system ... and we'll try some other bootable CD.
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#7 hulahoop999

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 07:32 PM

Darn it, no luck.

I'm really starting to hate this computer hehe

BTW, bootrec doesn't do any good either

#8 AustrAlien

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 07:40 PM

No luck at all with xPUD?

Try creating a bootable UBCD CD to do the same job.
  • I could work up some instructions for Ubuntu if necessary ...

UBCD ... create bootable CD and get mbr.bin posted (instructions revised May 21st, 2012)

:step1: Please do the following on a working computer:
  • You will need a USB drive/flashdrive and a new blank writable CD.
  • Download UBCD and burn to a CD: If you do not already have a suitable burning program for writing .ISO images to disc ...
    • Download and install ImgBurn.
    • Ensure that you UN-check the box agreeing to install the Ask toolbar during the installation.
    • Place a new (blank) CD disc in the drive tray.
    • Choose Write image file to disc.
      • Under Source, click on the Browse button: Navigate to and select the .ISO file that you wish to burn.
      • Place a check-mark in the box beside Verify.
    • Click Posted Image
  • When the CD has been burned and verified as successful, it will be bootable.

:step2: Boot the ailing computer with the UBCD CD.
  • (You may have to configure the Boot Menu or BIOS Setup Menu to boot first from the optical/CD/DVD drive.)
  • At the first menu screen, select Parted Magic and press <ENTER>.
    Use Default settings ...
  • At the Parted Magic Desktop, double-click File Manager.
    A new window will open.
  • In the left window pane, click on the folder that represents your flashdrive.
  • Click Tool on the top menu, and choose Open Terminal.
  • Type the following at the hash prompt:

    dd if=/dev/sda of=mbr.bin bs=512 count=1


    Note: Leave a space between the following:
  • dd ... the executable application used to create the backup
  • if=/dev/sda ... the device the backup is created from (the hard drive when only one HDD exists)
  • of=mbr.bin ... the backup file to create - note the lack of a path - it will be created in the directory currently open in the Terminal
  • bs=512 ... the number of bytes in the backup
  • count=1 ... says to backup just 1 sector
    It is extremely important that the if and of statements are correctly entered.
[*]Press the <ENTER> key.
After it has finished a file will be located on your USB drive named mbr.bin.
[*]Shut down Parted Magic.
[*]Remove the USB drive from the ailing computer.
[/list]
:step3: On the working computer:
  • Insert the USB drive, and navigate to the file mbr.bin
  • Zip-up the mbr.bin file:
    • Right-click on the file and choose Send to .. > Compressed (zipped) Folder.
      A zipped folder will appear in the same location as the mbr.bin file.
  • Please attach the zipped file to your next reply.
    This will allow the MasterBootRecord of your drive to be checked to see whether or not it is infected &/or damaged.

AustrAlien
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#9 hulahoop999

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 07:45 PM

Hey Alien, thanks SO MUCH for these instructions, I'm taking up a ton of your time haha.


I'm gonna give this a break for now, I've been working on this $%#&ing laptop all day and on and off for about two weeks now.
I'll give it a shot tomorrow morning. If the new instructions don't work I'm planning on backing up the drive and trying one last full factory-fresh system restore. If that also is a failure, I'll just back up the files, wipe the drive, install Windows XP, and make my sister buy a Windows 7 upgrade disc.


Seriously, this is what happens when immature 19 year olds don't use any anti-virus and download a ton of movies and songs online.... :crazy:
After this I'm keeping the administrator password to myself so she can no longer download anything.

#10 AustrAlien

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 07:54 PM

No problem.

UBCD has a lot of handy tools on it ... so it is quite a valuable asset to have handy anyway. It has HDD testing tools on it too, if you need to test the hard drive ... or RAM etc. etc.

From your description it certainly does seem likely that a malware infection may be reponsible for infecting the MBR, and when this happens it is often the case that the computer is not bootable to Windows, and all you see is a blank, black screen with a flashing cursor when attempting to boot the computer normally from the hard drive.

Edited by AustrAlien, 27 May 2012 - 07:57 PM.

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