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What do you think the problem is? Help? Please?


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#1 asher1027

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 02:00 PM

I just picked up an older Toshiba Satellite A215 with Windows Vista. It was free because it has some problems. When I plug it in and power it on it sounds like it is booting up and the LED indicates that it is on but nothing is displayed on the monitor. I thought maybe it was a monitor problem so I hooked it up to a dell monitor through a VGA connector. Still nothing. All of the LED's say it is powered on and I can hear the computer working but I don't see anything on the monitor. Does anyone have any ideas to what the problem could be? If you like or need any additional info please let me know. Any help is GREATLY appreciated. Thanks!



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#2 zingo156

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 02:20 PM

If you take a bright flash light and shine it on the built in screen, do you see any picture? Sometimes inverters burn out which power the back light. The external monitor should work, I have seen some cases where they do not work on boot or until you change a setting. That said, on the keyboard, there should be a FN key and then use one of the F1-F12 keys to switch it to the external display. I looked at some pictures of keyboards for your model and it looks like F5 is the key you will need to use. FN +F5 to switch to external.

 

Try to remove the battery and the power cord from the laptop, plug in the power adapter only (leave the battery out) and try again.

 

If you still have no picture through external or the built in display then let's move on.

 

DISCONNECT THE POWER ADAPTER AND THE BATTERY FROM THE LAPTOP (only plug back in to try to power on, anytime you are going to remove a part from the comptuer, disconnect all power sources first).

 

There should be a plastic cover on the bottom of the laptop that has a few screws in it, it covers the ram and other easily accessible things.

 

Remove that plastic cover and  then you can try to remove the ram and put it back in. If that doesn't work, try 1 stick of ram in 1 slot at a time. Move each stick to each slot. A single bad stick of ram could be the problem or a bad slot.

 

Try to reset the cmos by removing all power sources, battery, power adapter and then the button cell battery from the main board if you can access it.

 

If it still is not working, you would need to start removing all hardware that is not needed for post, DVD drive, Hard drive, Wireless card, webcam, keyboard, mouse etc, each component can cause problems, this would require a tear down of the machine.


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#3 asher1027

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 03:12 PM

Wow, I was not expecting such an amazing response. Thank you so much! I will try what you have suggested and will report back to this thread with any further information. Thanks! 



#4 zingo156

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 03:32 PM

Best of luck, if eventually you have the computer torn apart and everything removed except cpu/cooler + fan, ram, mainboard, monitor, and you still get no image from external or built in, you will need to start replacing parts 1 at a time and retesting.

 

If you had 2 sticks of ram and neither worked in any of the slots (1 at a time), I would start to suspect your video chipset may have failed but it would require testing with a new mainboard. Generally main boards are not cost effective to replace nor recommended in older machines because you likely won't be able to find a "new" mainboard. I would never recommend "used" unless it was a last resort "I absolutely need it to work type situation".

 

If you only had 1 stick of ram, I would recommend trying with a known good working stick.

 

It is possible the cpu could have failed , those are cheaper to replace. I rarely see them fail so it wouldn't be my first guess.


Edited by zingo156, 16 April 2014 - 03:34 PM.

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#5 asher1027

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 03:34 PM

Thanks for the fast replies. Well I just tried plugging in the external monitor and still nothing. I then removed all power sources (as you said) and plugged the adapter back in and tried it again and this time I got a message on the external monitor saying;

"MONITOR IS IN POWER SAVE MODE"

         "ACTIVATE USING PC"

So I then proceeded to press the function key along with F5 to switch to external monitor mode, but still nothing. I will try the next step in your instructions now.



#6 zingo156

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 03:40 PM

"MONITOR IS IN POWER SAVE MODE"

         "ACTIVATE USING PC"

 

That means the monitor is not receiving a signal from the computer. Continue testing after removing ram etc.


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#7 asher1027

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 09:49 PM

Well we got it working! We found out that the problem was a bad ram slot. Thank you so much! All we had to do was take out both pieces of ram and try one with the top slot and when we turned it on it worked fine! Thank you for your time and help. 



#8 zingo156

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 08:19 AM

You are welcome. Was it the stick itself that was bad or the slot. If one stick works in the top slot but not the bottom slot, it likely is a slot related issue. Happy Computing.


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