05-29-2012 12:06 AM
Laptops are so miniaturized it's a miracle they work at all. Since it's still under warranty I would negotiate a replacement and see if they would pro-rate the warranty on it.
06-03-2012 06:06 PM
I've had this same problem for about a year. Working with Toshiba techs is hit and miss. Most of them are clueless and will tell you you have to reinstall Windows or reformat your drive instead of trying to find out what is actually causing the problem. I did both, but it didn't work.
Usually I can go three or four days without the screen freezing, then it will do it two or three times in a day before it settles down again. It doesn't seem to have anything to do with any programs that are being run at the time. If I let it sit it will reboot itself and I often find the computer has rebooted while the screensaver is on.
Mine is a Toshiba Satellite A665-S6070. I have two of these, but the problem doesn't seem to happen to the other one that my girlfriend uses for watching tv, playing games, and social networking. I mainly use mine for my work as a writer, so I'm always running Word, Firefox, Thunderbird, and Windows Explorer.
Now here's what I think you'll be interested in. Over the past year I've received notes from Microsoft's crash analysis saying:
"Address a problem withyour video device driver
"You received this message because a hardware device in your computer caused Windows to shut down unexpectedly and restart. This is a serious problem, commonly referred to as a 'stop error' or 'blue screen.' "
Anyway, I've been experimenting once again with the video drivers on the Toshiba site. With the older drivers the computer freezes just as you're describing. With the newer driver the computer is able to recover itself. The screen blinks and I get a message that it's recovered from an error. That's the good part. The bad part is that once the computer goes to sleep, it crashes when you try to wake it up. The login screen comes up and the computer reboots.
I'm experimenting now to see whether I can prevent this by never letting the computer go to sleep.
While this is not a cure, I think it narrows down the problem. I hope that helps.
06-03-2012 07:20 PM
I'm starting to understand this is a common problem with Toshiba laptops of my model and similar. There are plenty of reports of freeze-ups by searching the internet. Here's one:
Some blame the laptop. Some blame the MS windows operating system. Some blame the drivers. Some blame the hardware. I don't know who to blame because I don't know what's causing it. I suppose if Toshiba knew, they would fix it. Apparently they don't know either.
Previously I've always had IBM, HP, Compaq, or Dell computers. One of the HP computers with W98se had a freezeup problem which I was able to fix. It was caused by system software glitches. Otherwise I've had no freezeup problems with computers over the past 30 years til I encountered this Toshiba laptop. The only way I know to avoid it is to avoid Toshibas, but I already have this one so am involved already. I like the computer if it wouldn't freeze-up so hope they can/will fix it. Indeed that might be important for their future survival in this business. Word gets around.
On the positive side, this forum is remarkably open and uncensored for free discussion of such problems. That's a plus. The answer may be in there somewhere if someone would correlate and analyze all the data scientifically.
06-03-2012 10:32 PM
Wow, I guess this really looks like it's going to be a nightmare for me too. I've had my laptop, a Satellite L775D-S7132 for just over 3 months and really only use it to surf the net. I'm having the freezing/crashing problems too, and I have also had other problems with the display not brightening up to be useable after I unplug it from the AC adapter and go into the other room to print something out. Maybe it is the USB? I'll have to experiment with this myself. Right now tech support wants to do a factory reset. I just have very little time to take care of this because I'm a full-time mom of a toddler who doesn't tolerate me being on the computer, much less let me talk on the phone for twenty minutes or more to work with tech support. Ugh!
06-04-2012 12:54 AM
I found that I wrote this note when the problem began:
At that time I thought it was the RAM upgrade, but now I'm fairly certain it was the display driver. I had also run a bunch of install files I downloaded from the Toshiba site at that same time and one of them was the display driver. That's when my computer began rebooting when coming out of hibernation. Then with all the reinstalls and other problems, an older driver must have been installed and that problem went away, but the random freezing began.
I spent some time trying to fix this last November, without much luck. I was too busy until now to tackle the problem again. This time when I installed the newer driver and the freezing seemed to stop, but the rebooting coming out of hibernation began again and occasionally the screen goes blue and pops back with the message that the driver crashed but recovered from a kernel error. This brought back memories of it doing that before.
I'm staying with this Nvidia driver for now. At least it recovers from whatever is probably freezing the older driver. And so far turning off hibernation has prevented it from rebooting.
Since I have two identical laptops, I'm going to swap the hard drives. If it is a hardware problem, then problem should stay with the computer. If it's a hard drive problem or a software problem, then it should stay with the hard drive. We'll see.
I'm not a computer expert, although I've been using them since 1977. I'm hoping someone reading this will have some good ideas to try.
06-12-2012 04:52 PM
rcvd back from repair#3 @1610 6/12/2012. They said:
Diagnostic Fault: Hardware
Diagnosted Conclusion: Defected HDD
Current specs: Win7HP, 640GB HDD, 2x2GB memory. Visual inspection: unit has normal wear and tear on plastics. Notebook turned on and booted up to Windows extremely slow. Hard drive test failed with bad sectors.
Replaced hard drive (duplicated image), cleaned cooling module and applied new thermal grease to CPU. System boots up to Windows normally, updated BIOS to current version 3.1, ran software and driver updates. Notebook runs fine and passed all function tests.
I'm extremely skeptical but so far so good after 2+ hours (no freezeups yet). I was surprised that they diagnosed it as a bad hard drive because repair#1 did the same thing and replaced it back in January. The odds of getting a new hard drive that's bad are presumably small, but it's possible. Cleaning the cooling module and the new thermal grease were also a surprise and unexpected. Updating BIOS and drivers is expected, and possible help avoiding the freezeups(?). I was reluctant to update the BIOS myself after reading some bad experiences, so I'm glad they did it. I'm pleased that they did an image and returned the computer to me in the same configuration as I sent it. I didn't have to reinstall my software, etc. Note that this time it went to Tri-Star repair in California, the prior two times to their Louisville Kentucky notebook repair center. My impression is the Tri-Star operation is higher level (better). The feedback they sent me on the repair sheet is more complete and responsive. I will have no complaints if it stops freezing up!
06-14-2012 06:27 PM
It has now been about 52 hours and no freeze-ups yet (knock on wood). I've put it thru its paces including installing software, running my apps, updating MS Updates and other software updates, making Acronis image backups, working in the network folders with Windows Explorer, doing a little camera work with the built-in camera, etc. It will take 30 days without a freezeup (July 12) to give me a 50% confidence level because it has gone as long as 4 weeks in the past without a freezeup, then started freezing again.
In the meantime others with this kind of freeze-up problem might want to take note of the repair actions they took in my prior post just above. Cleaning the cooling module and applying new thermal grease to the processor is not something anyone can do. I've never done it, and I've been tinkering with computers for a long time. The driver and software updates from the Toshiba website are fairly straightforward, however I've read some nightmare stories about folks who trashed their machines trying to update the BIOS. Running complete diagnostics on the hard drive is strongly indicated.
If it freezes again, I'll intend to report back here. Then I'll make followup reports in like 1 month, 3 months, etc. I'm nothing if not methodical.
06-21-2012 05:02 PM
So far, so good, after 9 days (no freezes). I'm an odds maker. I figure the odds that they fixed it so it won't freeze again are about 22% at this point. That number will rise to 50% (50:50, a toss-up) on about July 12, then to about 90% on August 12, if there are no intervening freezes. Then I will start becoming really optimistic (95%+ confidence level) if it makes it to September 12 with a clean record. Wanna bet?
07-12-2012 06:06 PM
All's well after a month, no freezes yet, so I believe the odds are 50:50 that it has been fixed. I can begin to allow some optimism now, rising to about 90% probability on August 12.
I don't know which of their procedures did the trick but if I had to guess --> cleaned the cooling unit and put new thermal grease on the processor/heatsink interface.
Monitoring of the temperature with the built-in sensor didn't show anything unusual, but there could be hotspots on the processor nevertheless unless the thermal grease is applied uniformly and in the correct amount. No doubt there's a built-in safety switch which automatically turns computer off if processor gets too hot - which might be the freezes I was experiencing, followed by autoshutdown of computer after 10 minutes.
07-21-2012 03:40 PM
I have two of these laptops. The same Lockup occurs on both. Here is what I found:
Toshiba has a heat issue. When the CPU overheats it goes into a Lockup condition. I disassembled the unit and cleaned out lint and dust from the CPU heat sink fins. Alternatively, blow some compressed air through both the inlet (on the bottom) and the outlet (on the side). This should clear up the problem. When you are running the laptop try to place it on a flat board rather than cloth. This will help with the air flow and keep lint away.
07-21-2012 04:09 PM - edited 07-21-2012 04:20 PM
Did that fix the problem on your laptops? Or do they still freeze occasionally?
Mine has now gone 5 weeks without a freezeup after getting back from warranty repair for the 3rd time on 6/12/2012, so I'm getting somewhat optimistic they've actually fixed it this time.
Note that my operating conditions probably cause maximum heating. I use certain software that uses 99%+ of processor time constantly. I run it that way continuously, often for 24+ hours at a stretch, before giving it a brief breather - then it's back to the salt mines again! However even when I was getting freezeups, they did NOT happen while I was running it in this stressful fashion. The freezeups only happened during the intervening pauses when the system was no longer under stress, so the temperature should have subsided. That's not logically consistent with overheating being the cause of these freeze-ups.
They also replaced the hard drive (for the 2nd time) which their tests indicated was defective. So that could have been the cause - rather than overheating. That would mean the original hard drive was defective, and their first replacement hard drive was also defective. The odds of that happening are probably small, but it's possible.
Or I guess it could have been a combination of both, or maybe had multiple contributors. Things are not always that simple...
07-24-2012 07:26 AM
I have a laptop that is freezing. I have found that it seems to do it when it overheats. It seems to overheat when I use it a lot and at the end of the day. When it does this, you can't even alt/cntrl/delete. You have to shut it down, cool off, then it works. Not sure if I need to replace the battery charger or what. It doesn't hold much of a charge anymore... so I leave it plugged in all the time, but do log off each night. Does anyone know what I need to do to stop this?
07-24-2012 08:05 AM
I read a lot of JohnnyBob's issues.... I use a wireless mouse, and a wi-fi connection. Mine seems to be due to the laptop heating up. Not sure if I can clean around the fan and oil it myself? I am mechanically inclined.... Again, I keep it plugged in to the charger all the time. My battery charger does get hot. Maybe it needs replacing? It also seems to get hot around the fan, but the fan is blowing.
07-24-2012 09:21 AM - edited 07-24-2012 09:37 AM
Battery chargers normally get warm, but I don't know exactly what's normal. If it's too hot to touch without burning your fingers, or if you can smell an electrical burning odor, then I expect it's too hot. The only way to test that theory seems to be to substitute a known good battery charger.
If you leave it plugged in all the time (like I do), then the battery doesn't need to hold much charge. I suppose it might not work right if the battery is completely defunct, won't hold any charge.
I would switch to a cable connection and a wired mouse for awhile to rule them out. If the laptop is overheating internally, there are several solutions.
I've seen devices advertised that you can sit the laptop on and they claim to help disperse the heat. Any hard surface would be better than a soft surface. A ventilated metal surface would seem best.
If the cooling pathways in the laptop are clogged, you can try blowing compressed air into the ventilation ports. I'm not sure exactly where they're located but maybe the following reference would help:
If that doesn't work, then it would seem necessary to take the laptop apart and manually clean the ventilation ports, the fan, and the heatsink. If you know how, replacing the thermal grease between the processor and heat sink is also recommended. There's also a chance the fan isn't working or isn't full speed, so it might need to be replaced too.
You would have to be more mechanically inclined than me to oil a cooling fan. I seem to recall trying that once with WD40 but don't think it helped. I expect they may have sealed bearings. When they wear out, replace the fan. Mostly they need to be cleaned because the blades accumulate dust. The best way is probably to use a very soft brush to dislodge the dust, or possibly a Q-tip, maybe slightly moistened. I've read that blowing compressed air directly onto the fan can damage it by making it spin too fast, so you should first block the blades so they can't rotate.
There are various utilities that monitor internal temperatures and fan speed. I use AIDA64. I'm not sure offhand if one of the Toshiba utlities will also do that - I haven't looked.
07-24-2012 02:25 PM
Many Thanks. I will try some of your suggestions. When I am not using the computer, the plug in battery pack is not hot. When it is really hot, it would be uncomfortable to hold it for more than 10-15 seconds. I do use it on a table with a table cloth, so the fibers from it, and also the fact that it doesn't breathe as well may be part of the culprit. I definitely think it should be cleaned and lubricated. Thanks again and sorry you had to go through so much with your computer. Sounded very frustrating.
07-24-2012 05:36 PM
A couple of comments...
There are thermal sensors on the critical components in a laptop, like cpu and disk, which are designed to protect those components from permanent heat damage. When the processor or disk overheats, the sensor trips and cuts off the power. Then the computer just stops dead. As in black screen. And it won't reboot again until the internal wonderworkings have had time to cool down, typically 5-10 minutes. This behavior is generally not what most users call a "freeze". Cleaning fans and heatsinks or replacing thermal grease often solves this kind of problem.
Other heat-related intermittent problems indicate that there is some hardware component that is malfunctioning when it gets too warm. This kind of issue often manifests as what a user typically calls a "freeze": power stays on, the computer still seems to be running, but no longer does anything useful. Cleaning fans and heatsinks or replacing thermal grease generally isn't sufficient to resolve this kind of problem completely, although that may lower the operating temperature of the failing component enough to reduce the likelihood of failure to a tolerable level. The only sure way to fix this kind of issue is to find and replace the failing module. However that can be a real challenge, especially if the frequency of failure is low. These days, very few repair shops are willing to spend the effort required to isolate an intermittent failure that happens only after several hours, let alone only once every few days.
All computer fans these days have sealed bearings, so there is no way to "oil" them. Don't go spritzing oil around inside your laptop, or you'll live to regret it!
07-24-2012 09:11 PM
Thanks Ester, it all makes sense. I do have a network manager friend, but hate asking her questions, so I have decided to find an answer on my own. I think all of this info probably covers the issue that I am having.
07-24-2012 09:27 PM
Seemed to me that there was something else I wanted to add, but since I was in a rush to finish up and go do other things, I couldn't think what it was. Now that I'm back, I remember...
Most laptops these days are under-powered in the battery charger department, because using a smaller charger saves the manufacturer a few bucks on each unit sold. Chargers are spec'd with just enough capacity to trickle-charge a fully-discharged battery while supplying full power to run the laptop. That means that the charger is almost always operating at or near its maximum rated capacity. Which basically means that they all tend to run quite hot. Not too hot to touch, but often too hot to hold in one's hand comfortably for any length of time.
So I agree with "JohnnyBob"... as long as the battery charger isn't too hot to touch, or smoking/smelly, then it's probably OK.
Besides, it's very unlikely that a bad battery charger would cause hang/freeze symptoms. If the charger isn't working right, then it would be as if the laptop were running entirely on battery power. So you should expect to get a "low battery" warning at some point, rather than having the machine hang/freeze/crash.
08-19-2012 04:10 PM
I started this thread. I just wanted to report that my Toshiba laptop appears to be fixed, with good confidence. I received it back from repair on June 12 and have been running it almost continuously since then (over 2 months) without further freezeups. I may not check in here again unless a problem happens...