Reply
Member
SVTarHeel
Posts: 9
Accepted Solution

A45-S120 - WinXP corrupted, unable to change boot order to restore from DVD recovery medium

[ Edited ]

I have a Toshiba A45-S120 laptop that has previously worked fine. I hadn't turned it on for several weeks. When I tried last week, after the WinXP splash screen came up, the progress bar completed one pass and then the video froze and showed a ghosted image of the WinXP logo off to the right of the real one and the two images were displayed in alternating vertical stripes, almost as thought you were looking through vertical blinds. At that point, there was no further boot progress.

 

Pressing Esc got me into the BIOS page, so it doesn't appear that there was a hardware video problem. The only options that I can could in the BIOS were the time and password (which is not set). With the recovery DVD in the drive, I couldn't get the system to boot to the CD/DVD drive no matter what I did. I tried all the suggestions of F12, F2, etc., and nothing highlighted any of the row of icons across the bottom of the Toshiba spalsh screen. When I booted, unless I pressed Esc, the system recognized the failed Windows boot and went into the text screen giving me all the safe mode start options.

 

After typing the above, I had one other thought - to try to force the issue, I replaced the hard drive with one that should have been blank but I got the same louvered WinXP logo. Thinking maybe I had a drive that wasn't blank as it should be, I tried a known blank drive. Now I get no response from the system at all when I try to power it on, even when swapping back to either of the other hard drives.

 

Is this stuff symptomatic of a dying system or is there something I can do to resurrect it and force the DVD restore somehow? Refurbishing desktops is a hobby of mine but I haven't had much experience with troubleshooting and repairing laptop issues, so thanks in advance for any pointers.

 

JEFF

Member
SVTarHeel
Posts: 9

Re: A45-S121 - WinXP corrupted, unable to change boot order to restore from DVD recovery medium

A quick update to my original post.  I put the system back together and, as I was setting it aside, I noticed that the light was flashing that indicated it was being run off of the AC.  On a whim, I removed the battery and the light went off.  Following that whim, I tried restarting and I'm now back to a booting system that won't recognize the recovery medium.

 

Does that power/light oddity give anyone a clue about this - or another - problem?

Member
SVTarHeel
Posts: 9

Re: A45-S120 - WinXP corrupted, unable to change boot order to restore from DVD recovery medium

Would I have been better off posting this in the A series forum?

Frequent Advisor
cee_64
Posts: 8,150

Re: A45-S120 - WinXP corrupted, unable to change boot order to restore from DVD recovery medium

Please remember that this is USER to USER support.  There are no Toshiba Tech Support Personel posting here. 

 

This forum is as good as any for your request.  The most likely scenario is that none of the users here have an answer for you (I know that I don't).  Hopefully one of them (and there are several good ones that frequent these forums) will come up with something.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you don't post your COMPLETE model number it's very difficult to assist you. Please try to post in complete sentences with punctuation, capitals, and correct spelling. Toshiba does NOT provide any direct support in these forums. All support is User to User in their spare time.


Member
SVTarHeel
Posts: 9

Re: A45-S120 - WinXP corrupted, unable to change boot order to restore from DVD recovery medium

That was the reason I asked.  Since there hadn't been any feedback, I didn't know if the general forum was a bad idea and anyone who could likely help would be frequenting the series-specific forum.  Thanks for the clarification.

 

I've seen several posts online with Satellite owners having trouble getting systems to allow them to select CD or DVD boot so I was hoping that it was a common enough problem that someone could help me troubleshoot and fix this.  I'll just wait and see...

Member
SVTarHeel
Posts: 9

Re: A45-S120 - WinXP corrupted, unable to change boot order to restore from DVD recovery medium

I have an update.  I was able to borrow an A45-S151 with the same CD-RW/DVD drive.  I was able to boot the S151 from CD and also read data from the CD once it was booted.  While booting this unit via the F12 key, I noticed that all the options were available for me to change in the BIOS setup - not just time and pasword.

 

I then tried this known good CD drive in my S120 - it wouldn't boot and the system went immediately to the hard drive and tried to start in safe mode.  In setup, I only had access to time and password.

 

I then tried the suspect drive in the known good S151 - I was able to boot from CD, read data and, in setup, I had access to all options.

 

Now that I've ruled out a dead CD/DVD drive, I'm back to a non-booting S120 that won't allow me to change the boot device and that still has WinXP trying to boot into safe mode, which results in the freezing and louvered Windows logo screen.

 

I'm out of ideas and would greatly appreciate any tips or expertise.

Member
hrtxgold
Posts: 1

Re: A45-S120 - WinXP corrupted, unable to change boot order to restore from DVD recovery medium

Same here, I feel your pain.

Member
SVTarHeel
Posts: 9

Re: A45-S120 - WinXP corrupted, unable to change boot order to restore from DVD recovery medium

I was told that some Toshiba's exhibit odd BIOS password behavior from time to time and there's a way to boot the system with a password clearing dongle that plugs into the parrallel port.  I just ordered one yesterday.  I'll try to post back after I try it.

Member
RogerR
Posts: 9

Re: A45-S120 - WinXP corrupted, unable to change boot order to restore from DVD recovery medium

Same here - this does seem to be a regular issue without a solution.

 

Its interesting that a known-good CD drive produces the exact same symptoms - I have been wondering if my DVD drive could be defective too.

 

I have read a couple of other posts that speak to removing and repinserting the battery - I wonder if that is related to the BIOS somehow. If you have known good HDD and DVD drives and the motherboard posts, that does point to some kind of BIOS goofiness, I think.

 

 

 

 

 

Member
SVTarHeel
Posts: 9

Re: A45-S120 - WinXP corrupted, unable to change boot order to restore from DVD recovery medium

The dongle has arrrived.  I'll try it over the 4-day weekend and post back with the results.

Frequent Advisor
cee_64
Posts: 8,150

Re: A45-S120 - WinXP corrupted, unable to change boot order to restore from DVD recovery medium

If you still have access to the A45-S151 you might want to put one of hard drives from the S120 in the S151 then run the recovery disk for the S120 on the S151.  Now put the hard drive back in your S120 to see how it works.  Since both systems are from the same PSA40U family the hardware should be close enough to work.  I don't guarantee it will work, but it's worth a try. 

 

If that doesn't work you can also try using the S151 Recovery Disk then swap the hard drive to the S120 afterwards.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you don't post your COMPLETE model number it's very difficult to assist you. Please try to post in complete sentences with punctuation, capitals, and correct spelling. Toshiba does NOT provide any direct support in these forums. All support is User to User in their spare time.


Member
SVTarHeel
Posts: 9

Re: A45-S120 - WinXP corrupted, unable to change boot order to restore from DVD recovery medium

Well, I have good news and confusing news to report...


The dongle worked as advertised.  I booted with it installed, powered down and removed it, then restarted the machine.  I was able to change the boot device and enter BIOS with the ability to change the boot order, etc.

 

I then ran the recovery process.  The ghosted image restored and then, when the machine restarted, I got the same problem that started it all... the WinXP splash screen came up, the progress bar completed one pass and then the video froze and showed a ghosted image of the WinXP logo off to the right of the real one and the two images were displayed in alternating vertical stripes, almost as thought you were looking through vertical blinds. There were also 4 or 5 thin vertical stripes that were flashing as though video was being displayed though them like it used to if you used an older monitor with a new system that couldn't display things properly.  At that point, there was no further boot progress.

 

In order to do a bit more troubleshooting, I booted the system with a live Linux CD - it booted and ran OK.  I then tried installing Ubuntu.  It started and then the screen went wonky again, with pixellating lines all over.  I then repartitioned it, ran scandisk on the hard drive overnight (no errors), and reran the recovery process.  Same shadow image when the XP splash screen appears - and it does this both during the ordinary booting process as well as during an attempted safe mode boot.

 

As I was typing the above, I remembered one other thing I meant to try.  I reset the BIOS to default values and reran the recovery process - still a messed up WinXP splash screen after the progress bar makes 2 or 3 passes.

 

If anyone has ideas, I'd be grateful for the help.

Member
SVTarHeel
Posts: 9

Re: A45-S120 - WinXP corrupted, unable to change boot order to restore from DVD recovery medium

One final update - someone suggested I try a memory test.  With both sticks of RAM installed, the screen was unreadable when the bootable test began.  I removed one and there was no video.  That stick didn't work in either slot.  I then tried the other stick and it passed the test in both slots.  I then installed 2 more sticks and they both passed.

 

So for me, the solution was two-fold - I needed the dongle to fix the problem with selecting the boot device and the bad RAM was what was causing the video problem.