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Laptop will not boot to anything


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#1 possumbarnes

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 11:30 PM

A client dropped his Toshiba Satellite P775 laptop (Windows 7) off with me today saying he was updating "Toshiba" and wasn't really paying attention while doing so. He isn't very tech savvy and couldn't explain exactly what he was doing. From what he was saying and the way he was saying it, I think he was in Windows and Toshiba updates popped up and said there are such-and-such updates that need to be installed, so he did. I'm hoping that he wasn't updating the BIOS and fried it somehow, but here's what I've got:

1. When booting on the HD, it will boot to "Starting Windows" and just as soon as the first couple of red pixels of the Windows logo starts to form in the center of the screen, it freezes.
2. Pressing F8 will bring up the safe mode menu, but when it starts to load in safe mode, it stalls on some driver and fails to continue. Pressing F2 will allow me into the BIOS settings. If he was updating the BIOS and made a mistake, would I still be able to get into the BIOS? (I haven't bothered updating a BIOS in over 10 years so I'm not sure).
3. I tried booting on each ram module individually in both ram slots. It freezes with the same little red dot formed of the Windows logo.
4. I tried booting on a Win7 DVD and it freezes at the exact same point as when booting on the HD.
5. Just to prove to myself that it wasn't a failed HD, I removed the HD completely and tried booting on the Win7 DVD again. No change. Froze at the same point on the Windows logo.
6. I put a known-good Ubuntu 10.10 disc in and tried to boot on it. It acted like it was loading and then hung on a black screen with a blinking cursor on it. It wouldn't boot.
7. I put a UBCD bootable cd in and tried that. It boots up to the UBCD option menu, but it freezes when booting into UBCD (UBCD is winXP of course, but there shouldn't be any issues if all is working ok). I tried to boot into memtest86+ on the UBCD and the memtest screen comes up but nothing ever happens.
8. I tried to boot into the repair/recovery partition on the HD, but it freezes at the same point on the Windows logo screen.
9. I was able to boot into the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool. I started with 2 passes using the EXTENDED option. It made it to 21% complete on the first pass and stopped there for over an hour. I restarted the mem diag tool and selected 20 passes using the STANDARD option. It just finished all 20 passes with no errors so I started 20 passes using the EXTENDED option again. I'll leave it running overnight and see what happens.

With that first memory test using the Extended option seeming to fail, I'm kind of leaning toward bad memory. Unfortunately, I have no DDR3 memory to replace it with and test that theory.

Can anyone give me some other ideas to try or does anyone have a good idea as to what kind of issue I'm looking at here?
Thanks in advance.

UPDATE: Now I'm not sure about a memory issue. The extended run memory test I mentioned has been running for 10 hours now. It is on pass 3 of 20 with no issues found. It seems to stick at 21% for a very long time on each pass, but then it continues on.

Edited by possumbarnes, 03 November 2012 - 09:53 AM.

What's more irrational--a guy who believes in a God he cannot see or a guy who is offended by a God he doesn't believe in?

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 02:31 PM

<<...tried to boot into memtest86+ on the UBCD and the memtest screen comes up but nothing ever happens...>>

I've not used the Windows tool...but I'd say that you clearly have RAM issues if Memtest86+ does not run.

Louis

#3 possumbarnes

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 12:33 PM

This was a very frustrating problem, but it is fixed now.
This laptop would not boot on ANY operating system disk. I tried XP, Vista, Win7, Ubuntu, and UBCD. After your reply, Luis, I created a memtest86 CD and booted on it (instead of using the memtest on the UBCD). It booted up ok and completed 16 passes overnight with no errors. Also, I had got my hands on a stick of DDR3 and put it in. That didn't help either.

I then found a setting in BIOS that showed it was set to fast boot. I thought "What the heck? I'll try anything at this point." So, I changed it to boot normally and the friggin thing booted right up. Something about it bypassing certain steps in the POST was causing the entire issue.

Just goes to show that it can be the most simple things that prevent a computer from working properly. It took me 3 days to figure that out.
What's more irrational--a guy who believes in a God he cannot see or a guy who is offended by a God he doesn't believe in?

#4 hamluis

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 04:19 PM

:thumbup2: , very nice work on your part...happy computing :).

Louis




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