03-01-2010 12:14 AM - edited 03-01-2010 06:55 AM
I know that many people with the x305 model are experiencing similar crashes, with the black screen and sound loop, but I have a lot of information that I have managed to collect within the past few months, this is going to be a long post, so bear with me.
First of all, I do not believe that this problem is software related, as I have reformatted my computer several times installing a variety of 32 and 64 bit operating systems, ranging from windows xp to windows 7 (I currently have 32 bit windows 7). I have made sure that I formatted the drive completely every single time too. As far as drivers go, I have tried pretty much every driver out there for the 9700m, from the latest beta nvidia drivers, the toshiba approved drivers, Dox's editted drivers (someone suggested trying those), and all the way to Omega drivers, and the crash continues to happen.
Second, I do not believe that the problem is caused by overheating. I have cleaned the laptop of dust, going as far as opening it (I am about 4 or 5 months past toshiba's warranty, and I brought it to best buy literally 6 days after the warranty expired to no avail) to clean dust and replace the thermal paste between the GPU and heat sink (also on a suggestion). I have used mutliple programs to monitor the temperatures (GPU-Z, Rivatuner, EVGA precision) during gaming and the core temperature has never risen above 70 degrees. I even bought a swissgear cooling pad, which keeps the temperature under 65 degrees, but the issue still was not resolved. I have further evidence pointing away from overheating, because solitaire is the quickest game to crash on me, and it is not graphics intensive (I have had countless videos in both windows media player and VLC player cause the same crash). I have also underclocked the core, shader, and memory clocks to see if it helps but it does not.
I also do not believe that the issue is sound related (it seems obvious that it wouldn't be but I have looked into it too, as some suggest checking) as I have reinstalled the sound drivers countless times, but the end result is always the same.
What I do believe the problem is related to is the VRAM, and I have multiple pieces of evidence that back this theory. I used GPU-Z to log the vram usage, as well as the temperature, during a game of Call of Duty: MW2. A curious thing happened, the game ran fine until the VRAM usage went up to about 500mb (out of the 512mb available) and then suddenly dropped to about 20 - 30mb as the crash occured and it stopped logging. I have also noticed that I can delay the amount of time until a crash in Call of Duty by reducing the texture resolutions to low and turning off specular maps (sometimes I can make it last a full playing session, but not always). With the texture resolutions set to low, the amount of graphics memory, or the VRAM, that is used is considerably less.
So my hypothesis is that there might be some factory defect in most of our graphics cards that cause a tiny chunk of the vram to be defective, naturally the less ram a graphics program uses the less likely it is to crash (but not always, because that little defective chunk could be used to store information at any time, but the less VRAM used the less likely it is that the defective chunk will be too). When the graphics card tries to pull the information out of the chunk, it crashes. Another theory of mine is also related to the VRAM, but contradicting what I said earlier there is a chance that it could be heat generation by the VRAM (it does not have a temperature monitor like the core) but I do not believe this is likely as I have underclocked the memory to test this in particular (lower clock means less heat generation). This is most likely a physical flaw present on the 9700m GTS and might be why when people send their laptops back to Toshiba to be fixed they change out the video card but the crash still occurs. I have heard that Toshiba changes a lot of different parts depending on the person that sent it in, for this crash I have heard of them changing the motherboard, the hard drive, the heat sinks, the GPU, and the ram (I think at that point they might as well buy a new laptop, as the cost of a new motherboard and GPU with installation is probably right around the original MSRP of the laptop).
I would really like to hear a comment from Toshiba about this crash, I do not know if tech support visits these boards but I believe that this is the most thorough and in depth report of this problem on these boards and that perhaps if they look into it they may be able to find a way to fix this error for all of us, either through a recall (probably not going to happen) or maybe even one of the brilliant minds at toshiba can devise a way (if it is the vram) to identify the bad chunk and lock it off, preventing it from being used and crashing the computer. I am very frustrated with this error, and I believe that Toshiba is not giving it's customers the support that they deserve (especially those out of warranty).
If anyone (user or toshiba tech) has a question or need elaboration on any of the observations I have made I will be checking this thread often.
Thank you for your time and I really do hope that this problem is taken care of in the near future,
Solved! Go to Solution.
03-01-2010 06:41 AM
I believe that I have just found a fix to this error (after staying up all night)
You need to be running a 32 bit OS to do this.
First, download the newest bios update available. Do not install it from windows (if you have updated the bios it won't even let you do it from within windows). Burn it onto a cd (sucks to waste a cd for this) and reinstall the bios (make sure you follow the directions exactly). After the bios have been reinstalled, download a program called ntune by nvidia. Go into your graphics settings like you normally would and you should have more options. Clock the memory down by about 100mhz and you should be good to go. I have spent the past 5 hours testing games (solitaire, CoD:MW2, CS) and all of them work perfectly. I do not know if it is the bios or the underclocking that fixed it (as I said I have tried underclocking before with programs such as rivatuner) but it works perfectly. Just thought I would share this with everyone who has been frustrated the past few months like I have.
I still want to hear a good explanation from Toshiba as to why this is happening though.
Oh and the reason you need a 32 bit OS is because Ntune bluescreens on 64bit OSs (I do not know if they have released a version that works on 64 bit yet, I might have an older version)
But yeah I am just glad to have everything working again
03-03-2010 09:51 AM
My son has an X305-Q701 with the same problem. Black screen and sound loop.
Many emails and phone calls with Toshiba and they deny any issue.
I took the computer to an authorized Toshiba repair center. After a week of testing they have determined that without the power plugged in, no issue. With the power plugged in, almost instant issue. They tried a number of different power bricks and power cords, same result. Finally they have determined that it's the power regulator, allowing power surge to the video card, resulting in video card crash. Fix is to replace the mother board. This is 2 months out of warranty. I will never purchase another Toshiba.
Good luck with your laptop. jg2
03-05-2010 01:36 AM
Hi, I've been searching all over the web because I've been having this problem with my X305 q701. It started to black screen on me back in 2009 and I finally decided to make use of the 1 year warranty before it expired in Dec. of 2009. Any before sending it in I reformatted back to factory settings and that did not help. I also did everything you posted Agarunovg, such as checking temps, cleaning out fans, using a notebook cooler but to no avail. I thought it might be a virus and so I called toshiba tech support and they forwarded me to a repair shop down here in Hawaii where I live. I explained to the repair shop the problem and after about a month of diagnostics they couldn't seem to replicate the "black screen" (only if I knew a video of the prob was posted on youtube I would have directed them with a link). Any way they didn't want to just give me back the notebook without doing anything so they changed out the motherboard and video card. So I got the notebook back about Christmas time and I thought that solved the prob since I wasn't getting any "black screen" while playing games or vids, but now 2 months into the new year, the notebook is doing the same "black screen" and it's getting more frequent now. This is a huge disappointment since my warranty expired at the beginning of the year. Agarnovg I haven't tried your fix of downclocking the memory on the vid card but I feel that's unacceptable solution since my game performance will suffer, but I just might have to since Toshiba isn't stepping up and following through with this defect on this particular model. Agarnovg, so far how is your solution holding out? does it still "black screen"? Hopefully someone from Toshiba looks through this forum because I'm sure it's widespread and I'm just glad that it's not just my system.
03-05-2010 08:06 AM
It's holding out perfect. I do not accept it as a solution either but as I am out of warranty it is a good free fix. I have tried downclocking with other programs but the only one that works correctly is Ntune (remember you need a 32bit OS). When my computer improperly shuts off I have to set the clocks down again because it goes back to defaults or it crashes. My settings in Ntune are core at 469Mhz and Memory at 576Mhz. No crashing at all with those settings. It didn't gimp my card too much as I can still run most games at high settings (although I do believe bad company 2 might have crashed on me while I wasn't at the computer, because when i came back I just had an unresponsive black screen and I had left the game paused when I left. Regardless, the difference in the stable memory clock from factory defaults is greater than 200 Mhz, and the difference in core clock is only about 60hz. But the system is completely stable which I'll take at this point instead of crashing every 2 to 20 minutes. I believe that this problems root is the video card. I think that it accumulates too much heat, their fan system is retarded. Instead of pulling cool air in and blowing it out through the heatsink to disperse the hot air into the environment, it pulls cool air in through the heat sink (effectively heating it up) and pushes it out the bottom (that's why what it is laying on tends to get really hot, and most notebook coolers aren't even slightly effective because they will be pushing air in the opposite direction). I think that this excess heat which isn't detected by the internal core temperature thermometer (it's kind of an ambient temperature) is not hot enough to cause this crashing, but may have gotten hot enough just once (all it takes is once) to damage part of the circuit on the video card (akin to xbox 360s RROD) and that when it is stressed with high clocks (or in this case factory defaults) it leads to a slightly improper value which just crashes the whole **bleep** card. I like you, will not be buying another toshiba product in my life. The fact that a crash like this can even occur on such an expensive (well expensive at the time, I'm still paying it off) product and the company shows absolutely no support and does not even acknowledge the issue, is absolutely absurd.
03-06-2010 08:10 AM
Things have gone from bad to worse. I have noticed to make some games stable I need to clock the card down even further. I've been playing half life 2 stable at 396mhz memory and 373mhz core (any faster and it crashes). This is completely unacceptable. If I wanted a video card with half the power (original mem clock was 799mhz) I could have saved myself about $1000. I was considering buying myself an x500, but if toshiba continues ignoring the cries of it's consumers I will go with a different brand, such as asus (I guess I should have done that in the first place). This is despicable. In the future I will take my money elsewhere, and recommend everyone else does the same. And if anyone has a number that I could call to talk to someone in corporate, I would really appreciate if you PMd me with it.
03-06-2010 05:49 PM
ok i have an X305-Q701 wit tha 9700m GTS
the thing that is catching my eye is..
inside of GPU-Z in the field that should show the video cards bios version.. its showing up as unknown..
maybe toshiba has loaded up the wrong bios on these cards and thats whats causing the problem? i know there are ways to flash the video card.. programs like nibitor etc.. and there are databases with the bios on the web.. do some googling.. im just throwing this out. i purchased this laptop from a 3rd party for my sister.. and. well i dont have the guts to flash the vid card bios..
i know one of u has to be willing to try
03-07-2010 11:01 AM
OMG Finally people that feel my pain!!!
I took my X305-Q701 back to best buy on January 12,2010(Luckily i still have my warrenty). I got it back and the description of what they did to "solve the problem" was that they had to "realign the heatsink". They even noted that they put it through a stress test to make sure everything was good. I got it back a week or so later and everything was working fine. The games I have been playing on it that made it crash ran perfectly fine without crashing. Then Mass Effect 2 released January 26. I was excited because i have been waiting for this game and i thought that i had finally got my computer working fine again, but i was wrong. Few minutes into the game, the same crash. I tried so many times to play it and it still crashed. So i was thinking, maybe it was just that game, so i tried playing the other games that crashed before like Team Fortress 2, Call of Duty World at War, Dragon Age...ect... all of them crashed just like before! Wow was I pissed...i got my computer back for 2 weeks and now i have to get it fixed again! I even reformated my computer for the 3rd time to be sure, same thing... I'm so frustrated that I have to take it back again. I just wish they would replace whole *bleeping* laptop with something better. But I agree with the rest of you all... Never again will i purchase another Toshiba product.
03-07-2010 02:59 PM
jttorio, maybe if you showed the repair guys the video on youtube or have they already witnessed the "black screen"? My problem is that the repair shop guys couldn't get it to "black screen". to give them credit they just went ahead and changed out motherboard and vid card but then again if they could witness the problem maybe with their expertise they would have pinpointed the cause. It's tough for me now since my warranty ran out. Any way as I type this I forget who suggested flashing the video card bios since I can't see their handle from this page, but I hope someone does try this. Please Toshiba look into this problem and post a patch, I don't know maybe a new video driver or bios update or some solution that we can download and install, if not then at least fill us in on what's the cause of the problem and give us a solution from there. I was really anxious to get the x505, but knowing that the x305 has this problem I'm holding off on getting it, until Toshiba can step up and help out their customers.
03-10-2010 01:57 PM
I'm actaully going to take it in today and i'll come back here and let you all know what happens.
Since Geek squad cant do anything to my computer because it will void out the warrenty, they have to send it into Toshiba...i wish Toshiba would try to play a game on my computer and see exactly what happens..cuz that black screen and that sound that occurs is so annoying!!! 20-30 crashes a day doesnt sound too healthy for my laptop =(
As for Gaming laptops..i might end up getting that alienware one if toshiba doesnt step up...
but yeah as i said...i will get back to you all when i get my laptop back from repairs.
03-10-2010 09:59 PM
Try getting older drivers for the video card and see how it works then. try older than version 185.0 to start with and see what happens. This problem could be nothing more than just a buggy driver and going back to one that was installed before the problem started may just fix it.
The X205 series of laptops can not run windows 7 and the newest nvidia drivers without having the screen fllcker everytime the clock speed changes, they have to run older drivers to fix the problem.
This driver fixed the issue with my X205 and perhaps it will help with your problem.
If running Windows 7 just use the Vista driver, it works great for me.
03-11-2010 12:50 AM
well I tried all the drivers out there and I took this into account, thinking it might be a driver problem, but even reverting back to original drivers didn't help. On a side note, is it just my x305 or does every other driver above nvidia mobile 179.48 beta cause stuttering when watching full screen videos on the net? Anyway man this is frustrating.
03-11-2010 02:22 PM
Hey Lowe, what was that video you were talking about that was on youtube?
Oh yeah and update on my computer...since i still have my warrenty i took it to best buy. they said they ran some program to check the cpu and mememory. they said that was fine. then they tried 3dmark to see if it has to do something with the videocard. they said that it was fine too...now the are saying it could be because the computer has too many process running and that it is too much stress on the processor therefore it is causing it to crash...
Omg im so frustrated...i just hope they can still send it into the manufacture because i think there is still something wrong with it.
03-11-2010 10:29 PM
here's the link to the youtube video of the "black screen" problem. This is exactly what happens to mines and hopefully this is also the same problem on yours.
I got it from another "x305 black screen" post on this forum and was relieved that my system wasn't the only one that does this. Well you know what I mean. Dam! doesn't anyone from Toshiba read these forums?
03-13-2010 07:23 AM
Thanks Lowe i'll check out the video.
yeah i know what you mean! i don't think people from Toshiba check this forum. its kind of sad that there are a lot of people that have this problem but nothing is being done about it.
I went back to best buy to find out whats wrong with my computer. They tell me that they tested the cpu and the videocard the best way they can to get the same instance that we are talking about, the "blackscreen" but they said they didnt find anything and it never blackscreened on them. I told them it was during gaming, why don't they just listen? but i dont know. i got tired of them doing all these test on it when i know its something to do with hardware. and i know geek squad can not open the laptop to fix it because it would void out the warrenty. so i was like "hey can you please send it in to the manufacturer, because i'm going out of town and if you guys do all these test and i wont be here, then my laptop will just sit here till i get back and you can't send it in because you need me to sign papers to send it in, might as well send it in now while i'm still here" at first they wanted to run more test on it because they said if they were to send it in and the problem could have been fixed by them then they would get in trouble for it. and i was like "come on i don't want my computer to be sitting here not being fixed while i'm gone on vacation, send it in because i know there is nothing you can do to it!" finally he agreed and let me fill out the paperwork. they said it will be about a week or two till i get it back. but thats cool with me because i'm going out of town for 1 week and the other week i have to study for exams.
i hope the manufacturer find something wrong with it because i'm tired of the crashing.
I'll let you guys know more when i find out. Take care.
03-14-2010 01:18 AM
jttorio that's the same thing that happened when I sent mine to the shop. They couldn't get it to "black screen". I ain't blaming them because it was pretty random. Again they changed the motherboard and vidcard just to be sure, but now it's happening again and much more frequently especially when I play COD4 multiplayer. well actually that's the only game I played ever since getting the laptop back from repair back in December. I think it's essential to link them to the video on youtube so they can witness what we mean by "black screen" and it just might give the tech's more clues as to what the problem maybe. I do hope they find what the cause is from your machine and please update so I can pursue any leads that they find and you report. Anyway I'll be checking up the site periodically for any response or fix. Have a good one.
03-14-2010 02:57 PM
Same thing happening on my X305-Q701 machine, it started exactly on December when I had issues with Need for Speed Shift and I thought of updating my graphics driver to 195.62, NFS Shift issue was resolved but later on during a "dragon age: origins" game; I started getting these black screen crashes and it started showing on NFS Shift Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 and now Mass Effect 2.
I completely disassembled my laptop wiped it clean, replaced my cooling fan, thermal paste, got a cooling pad and nothing. Temperature stays at 80-90 degrees, I do graphics work and 3D renderings and its still fine so far. but I need my games to run as expected too.
I believed that I really had the ultimate machine, I've had it for almost 2 years consuming the hell out of it with no issues, and placed an order for a X505, but now with this going on I think I'll pay more and get my self an Alienware this time, I don't want a warrantee, as much as I needed a proper technical support reply on this issue.
One thing I tried and worked fine on all the games is "right click on desktop went for the nVIDIA control panel, 3D settings, adjust image settings with preview, use my settings emphasizing PERFORMANCE" and turned on Vertical Sync on in all games, games run fine with less quality but in the areas when I used to get the black screen SOUND flicks a bit but the game runs fine after that.
One more thing I noticed, is that since this issue started my cooling fan roared less. (it used to make a higher noise when the fan used to move to higher speeds during over heating).
03-14-2010 07:55 PM
I've been having similar issues when gaming and watching videos on my X305-Q715, but im not sure that the problem is exactly the same issue. I get the sound loop, but my screen doesn't blackout like in the link in one of the previous posts, it kind of freezes and then slowly fades to white. Occaisionally the sound flickers back and forth to normal, but will always return to a spastic buzzing. I've tried clocking the temperature with programs like speedfan, but it happens at lower temperatures as well so I was shying away from overheating issues. It started after the first month or two after I got it and has gotten progressively worse. If this sounds like its the same or similar issue, please let me know.
03-15-2010 04:33 AM
@ Mini Titan: I don't really understand your post. So did opening up the system cleaning it and changing the fan fix the prob? And how bout changing the settings in nvidia control panel did that solve the blackscreen prob? I'mma try and play with the settings in nvidia control panel. I see an option for error reporting it's off. if I turn this on where can I go to see the report?
@ smurfed: mines totally black screens and sounds loop and the only way to get out of it is to hard boot by holding down the power button. CTRL+ALT+DEL doesn't work.
03-15-2010 08:38 AM - edited 03-16-2010 10:17 AM
Lowe / Cleaning and everything that I did along with reducing the performance did it for sometime only.
I just tried something different lately after seeing some recommendations of reverting to an earlier graphics driver. I clean installed windows 7 x64, stopped automatic windows updates. And used the drivers through the Toshiba Software Installer for Windows 7 found here: http://www.csd.toshiba.com/cgi-bin/tais/support/js
Changed my nvidia control panel 3D settings to "Let the 3D application decide", started NFS Shift for a test boosted settings to maximum everything, so far working fine so far, still testing.
One thing for the people on this thread, the issue we are talking about is ONLY for what lowe explained:
@ smurfed: mines totally black screens and sounds loop and the only way to get out of it is to hard boot by holding down the power button. CTRL+ALT+DEL doesn't work.
I'll keep you guys posted.