10-27-2011 02:54 AM
After running faultlessly for six months after it was new, my Equium laptop started exhibiting some weird symptoms. Sometimes separately, sometimes all together.
These symptoms could occur all together or in various combinations.
Bizarrely, opening task manager (by ctrl alt del as you couldn’t right click it), and then closing it usually freed up the apparent system freeze and re-enabled the external mouse. You didn’t actually need to remove any processes for this to get things running again, although the keyboard lag would still be there and the touchpad would still be unresponsive. It did however mean you could continue to use the thing albeit in a very frustrating way!
Some days it ran for a while before starting to misbehave, other days it was a complete trial battling a lagging keyboard, U/S touchpad and random apparent freezes. It’s now got to the stage that it’s bad every day, and it’s driving me to distraction.
OK, what have I done so far?
If I check CPU usage when the problem occurs (which is now becoming so constant I’m ready to buy a Mac) it’s only at a few percent, and physical memory usage is at 50% or less. Programs also load very quickly, so I’m discounting a lack of RAM as the problem.
The hard disk appears quite busy at times, even when the machine doesn’t appear to have much it needs to go to disc for. Task manager indicates that even when the disk seems to be chattering away, CPU and RAM usage are still relatively low.
My latest theory revolves around the fact that I’ve noticed occasionally when the thin strip light above the touchpad is on and undimmed, it goes off and the touchpad stops working as soon as any key on the keyboard is pressed. I’m now wondering if there’s something wrong with the keyboard driver (if there is such a thing on the integral keyboard on a laptop...)or keyboard itself. Can I stress that I’ve spilt nothing on it, and the keyboard lag problem affects all keys.
1/ Anyone got thoughts on this as the potential cause and, in particular, is there any way I can disable the keyboard at start up and maybe plug a separate USB keyboard in to check?
2/ Do you have other thoughts / fixes / diagnostics I should be running?
Toshiba Equium U400 – 145. 2GB RAM, 1.86GHz Intel processor, Vista 32 home. No weird software installed, just the usual Word, Excel, Firefox and Thunderbird etc.
10-27-2011 03:17 PM
..took the system back to its original configuration using the Toshiba recovery discs.. .. I deliberately then didn’t get updates for a while. However the problem has persisted.!
Updated the BIOS from the Toshiba site
Daryl, that eliminates everything but hardware from suspicion.
Time for either serious servicing or a new laptop.
11-03-2011 04:06 AM
Thanks for your time. Yep, you're right; I've now discovered that the problems all stem from how hard one touches the keys, particularly V B, N and the spacebar. Using these keys can cause the thin light above the touchpad to flicker or go out all together, and all the other problems in the original post to occur. I'm guessing that there's a loose connection or dodgy ribbon cable directly underneath the lower middle part of the keyboard (where the V B N and spacebar are) which is intermittently making / losing contact. Playing with different pressure on these (and other) keys gets everything working again.
When I'm feeling brave I'll lift the keyboard and have a look underneath. Anyone know of a good source of service /dismantle instructions for an Equium U400 - 145?