I have run into problem with my Toshiba satellite l300d (model no. PSLC8C) running on Windows Vista OS. The short story is I was trying to upgrade my BIOS (huge mistake on my part as I am new to BIOS upgrading) to fix a battery charging problem, but the system froze during the startup of the BIOS upgrade while I was in Vista. Now when I boot the computer it has a blank black screen (ie. no back light, no blinking cursor, it looks the same as if it was turned off). However, the hardrive light is on and solid in colour, but the laptop shuts down after about 2 minutes. I have the long story below, but basically I came to the conclusion that I need a way to reflash the BIOS to revive my brick. Any thoughts?
Here is the long story, so maybe I may have missed something along the way. Recently my battery charging seemed to be inconsistent (ie. I get the "plugged in, not charging message" every once in a while when I hover over the battery symbol). I googled the problem and it seems that up ugrading the BIOS could potentially solve the problem. I googled and came upon this link for a BIOS upgrade for my laptop:
Now, in hindsight I could have downloaded a virus, but I have no idea how to find out if this is a bad file or not. Anyways, I downloaded and double-clicked to open the .exe file. My computer froze at that point. I assumed it was part of the installation, so I waited about 1/2 hour before I shut the computer down to restart it. But I started getting the problem I am experiencing now.
I looked online at possible solutions and I initially tried power cycling (taking out the battery, unplugging ac adapter, holding power button for 1 min. to drain power). I also tried clearing the CMOS by opening the RAM compartment and shorting B500 solder points according to the steps outlined here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VqqGSiEbSo. That didn't work.
I do think that this thread post here is the closest clue I have to solving this problem:
The thread creator has a similar laptop model and problem as me and this poster solved the problem and helped several others who have modified his steps.
Here are his steps that I modified to suit my situation.
1. Download the correct bios from the toshiba website by using your model number. I got it here
2. Unpack using 7zip
3. You should see a file psap180.exe
4. Extract from this file again, using 7 zip or winrar
5. You should see a bunch of files, but the one you want is psap180.fd
6. Boot this file from USB drive formatted to look like an external floppy.
If you want to create your own usb floppy as well then this is how I did it. It's a bit idiosyncratic so you should modify the steps as you like:
6.1. Found a generic USB disk size 2.0 GB
6.2. Used Gparted (had to run this on bootup from usb because I was using a windows xp machine) to format it to FAT16
6.3. Wrote an MS-DOS partition table on it, also using gparted (this is the default type)
6.4. Plugged this formatted usb into a Windows xp machine and used right clicked on it to format it into FAT (FAT16)
6.5. Now the USB was visible, though Windows was calling it external hardware (correctly as it was now a working USB floppy drive)
6.6. Copied the psap180.fd file that was one of the files extracted using winrar from psap180.exe (this is the second level, so I first unzipped the downloaded folder to get psap180.exe, and then extracted the files, including psap180.fd from that.
6.7. I renamed this file to BIOS.FD
The extension was written in small .fd, but out of superstition I made that caps as well.
7. Plug in the usb disk into the dead laptop, remove battery, unplug power cable
8. *Important*press the F (alphabet key) button, then connect the power cord
9. Keeping the F button pressed all the time, turn on the power, and release the button after a while.
10. If you have a usb that blinks when working then you should be seeing this now. Nothing shows on the display.
However steps 8-10 were not working for me. I tried the combinations found from toshiba's help site: http://support.toshiba.com/support/viewContentDetail?soid=403623. All of them didn't work (F, C, U, N, all combinations above while pressing Fn, F2, F12, Esc+ F2, Esc+F12, literally mashing on all those keys hoping to get lucky).
It seems I couldn't get the laptop to boot from the usb drive because it didn't blink at all.
I have a lot of files and programs that I would like back from this HDD, but I want to avoid buying a new laptop as much as possible and having to insert my old hdd into an enclosure.
Edit 1: tried switching my RAM card to the other slot. Didn't work either. Also tried booting with no RAM or HDD inserted. No diagnostic motherboard beep heard.
Edit 2: Tried starting up the computer with drive inserted and pressing Windows+ F key and Alt+F key. Didn't work.
Edited by Vayjay, 23 March 2014 - 05:48 PM.