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Toshiba satellite l300d black screen on boot, BIOS problem?


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#1 Vayjay

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 01:48 PM

Hello,

 

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:

 

http://drivers.softpedia.com/get/BIOS/Toshiba/Toshiba-Satellite-L300D-BIOS-180.shtml

 

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:

 

http://www.theeldergeek.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=39364&st=0&p=310099&#entry31009

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.


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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 04:50 PM

Hello, and welcome to Bleeping Computer

 

Instead on only pressing the F key try the following combinations

 

Windows + F key    Held down together when powering on.

 

If then above does not work try:

 

Alt + F key



#3 Vayjay

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 05:46 PM

Thanks for the reply. Just tried it but no dice.  I still have trouble getting the computer to read the usb (ie. get the light on the thumb drive to blink). I'm currently trying to find other ways to format the stick so it can be read on startup.

 

I have a question though. I've been doing this with only the RAM inserted so I don't risk damaging my hard drive. Do I need the hard drive inserted to do this process?


Edited by Vayjay, 23 March 2014 - 05:49 PM.


#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 05:57 PM

I wouldn't believe so, but I have never heard of a hard drive being corrupted by a bad flash.

 

You could use Rufus to format the flash drive. Or the HP USB format utility

 

http://rufus.akeo.ie/

 

http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/Hard-Disk-Utils/HP-USB-Disk-Storage-Format-Tool.shtml

 

 Edit: I was reading that the Fn+Esc key may be another  key combination at power on.


Edited by JohnC_21, 23 March 2014 - 06:06 PM.


#5 Vayjay

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 02:12 PM

Saw your edit. I tried the Fn+Esc as well as ALT, windows key, ctrl and nothing still won't read my usb. I've been doing some reading over at these forums: http://forums.mydigitallife.info/forums/25-BIOS-Mods and I'm beginning to think I still haven't properly formatted the usb or the BIOS.FD file I'm using.

 

I need something called an SLIC for Toshiba in order to use Phoenix tool to retool my bios file, but I am having trouble finding it at the moment. Any help is appreciated.



#6 JohnC_21

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 03:58 PM

I don't think you need the SLIC table for Toshiba as that is part of the BIOS. I don't know how to add it to a bricked computer.

 

I would try formatting the USB key with the HP USB format tool I linked to.

 

Some other key combination I found were the Windows + B key , Fn+B, Fn+U ,Ctrl + Home, Ctrl + Esc, Fn + Esc

 

On an old computer I had to hold the home key down but I doubt that would work in your case.



#7 Vayjay

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 04:37 PM

Thanks I am trying your HP usb format tool method as the others I've read are way more convoluted than I care to risk. I'm trying to research what system file I should be using to create a DOS Startup disk with this format tool. The current laptop I am doing this with is a Tecra A8 with Windows XP and the laptop I'm trying to save is Satellite L300D with Windows Vista.

 

Edit:

Instructions to use HP USB format tool here:

 

https://www.logicsupply.com/blog/2008/11/03/booting-dos-from-a-usb-drive/ 

 

found the win98 boot file here to use with HP USB format tool here:

 

http://www.eocfiles.com/bdc86eb1ed2989c30dcd1902e84939ae/bootdisks/win98boot.zip


Edited by Vayjay, 24 March 2014 - 04:55 PM.


#8 JohnC_21

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 05:20 PM

If that does not work for you, try Rufus. It allows you to create a bootable USB flash using FreeDos. Just select FreeDos in the dropdown box next to the select iso section.

 

Edit: Check this link. The person changed the name of the BIOS.fd file to SACPHO10AP.FD and used the key combinations ALT-F or WINKEY-F.

 

http://i-trivial.de/index.php/tipps-a-tricks/34-notebook/52-toshiba-l300d-restore-bios


Edited by JohnC_21, 25 March 2014 - 10:01 AM.


#9 MartyIagi

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Posted 07 February 2016 - 04:52 AM

Hello. These ways are possible to use when your  bios is wrong or crashed. But, if notebook is totally dead through any reasons, for example bios upgrade procedure was not finished with the power failures, or by the human fault (thats my event), your notebook cannot comunicate with USB, CPU, nothing workś, and you have only one chance to repair your notebook: On the ebay you need to find seller who shipping with the new chips with bios. The price is about 17Euros. Then you need replace your empty chip with the new one. You need somebody who knows how desolder SMD chips from the motherboard and solder the new chip. I have proceed it, and my notebook is alive again!






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