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Toshiba laptop not starting but beeping!! I swear I didn't touch it!!!

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geezer
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Ay up chucks! My wife's toshiba laptop (satellite M40 - 313 windows XP SP2 1 Gb RAM etc just over 1 year old) has suddenly died. She went to turn it on and all it does is beep pathetically, whirr a bit then it tries again 3 or 4 times before giving up. Some green leds come on but nothing on the screen at all. It doesn't even get to the Toshiba logo. It had really been fine up to this point and this has come as a bit of a mystery.

Help us out please and save our marriage!!!;)

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Chaky
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Looks like dead hard drive.

How does it beep exactly? Beep codes are useful in these situations (ex. 1 long - 2 shorts is a beep-code for faulty video adapter).

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geezer
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Wow that was quick Chaky! Thanks for the quick reply... There has been some news since then...

We bought the thing one year and 17 days ago and when I told the guy the story he took it back for repair and will pretend I bought it back BEFORE the warranty ran out...

So, hopefully Toshiba will fix it at no charge. I'm a bit worried about the "dead Hard drive" diagnosis- This means total data loss, right?

I figured maybe the thing overheated somehow and fried the CPU or something...

We Shall see, thanks for helping anyway and I'll post the outcome if I ever get it back!

Slan abhaile agus adh mor ort!

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Chaky
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Usually hard drives go with a "bang" (sudden and fatal), but there is a chance of data recovery. You said that there is spinning before it gives up. That means that CPU is still working. It's either (99%) HD or (1%) motherboard (IDE/SATA controller to be precise), but my money is on the drive. IDE/SATA controllers usually just stop seeing HD. Spinning means it sees the HD, but can't get any reading from it. Could just be a bad cable. Who's to know? Anyway, I hope HD is still recoverable. I've heard of some companies that specialized in data recovery from dead HD's.. they take out the disc and recover data directly from it.. but I don't really know who, where, what or how much.

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Pavan Kalyan V
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Usually hard drives go with a "bang" (sudden and fatal), but there is a chance of data recovery. You said that there is spinning before it gives up. That means that CPU is still working. It's either (99%) HD or (1%) motherboard (IDE/SATA controller to be precise), but my money is on the drive. IDE/SATA controllers usually just stop seeing HD. Spinning means it sees the HD, but can't get any reading from it. Could just be a bad cable. Who's to know? Anyway, I hope HD is still recoverable. I've heard of some companies that specialized in data recovery from dead HD's.. they take out the disc and recover data directly from it.. but I don't really know who, where, what or how much.

My thosiba laptop gives a very long beep just displaying the thosiba logo only... i dont know wats worng with it... please some one tell me about this....
Thanks in advance

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DenisOxon
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It could be as simple as a stuck key, but if not, then unplug everything external before switching on. Also make sure there are no cd's or floppies in drives.

If that does not work then I would remove power lead, battery, wait five minutes before putting battery back in and power lead and trying again.

Then switch off, remove memory and power up again.

One long beep sounds to me like something is stopping it booting.

Denis

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Chaky
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Try hitting ESC key before the beep or, if possible, disable the full screen logo in BIOS. That way you'll se the POST error message(s), instead of logo design.

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drexdagboo
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i am in the same ship, with beeping errors. if you can give me a web site or doc that has the beep layout i would be verry appreciative. i have a m35-s456 i recieved by trading a broken down old car. the beeping is, one space three space three space one. i love working on pcs but laptops are new to me and i dont like breaking things while taking them apart laptops are to tight toghther for my preferance.

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Thinka
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Hey drex I found this website, I also have a dead machine (actually more than one) that I'm trying to fix, but I also am more wary of laptops.

And whilst on the subject of diagnosis, does anyone know of any motherboard diagnostic cards that they would happily recommend? Or are these not needed if you have a screwdriver set and a list of BIOS beep codes??

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Chaky
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1-3-3-1 is a beepcode for "Autosize DRAM"

If it is Phoenix BIOS, anyway.

If that is the caae, then it is a RAM issue. Either incompatible, faulty or needs to be reseated. If there is more than one stick in it, try running with one at the time. You can't rule out faulty motherboard either.

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drexdagboo
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thank you for your help. i have offically traded the car for the lap top and it dosent seem like a bd trade because of your help. thank you.

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Chaky
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Just make sure you got all the manuals and CDs that came with the laptop.

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Thinka
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And whilst on the subject of diagnosis, does anyone know of any motherboard diagnostic cards that they would happily recommend? Or are these not needed if you have a screwdriver set and a list of BIOS beep codes??

No one has commented on this as yet. Any takers?

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Chaky
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e-bay sells allot of cheap ones. They seem perfect for home use.

There are pro-looking analyzers available.

I still prefer beep-codes and screwdrivers. They won't become obsolete ever. Unlike these cards.

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caperjack
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i have 2 different ones,a pci/isa one about 5yrs old now .and the pro looking one ,bought it on e-bay for about 30.00$ for laptop and pc .it seems to work ok,the manual with codes is a poor translation to English though

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Thinka
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I see... the pro ones seem to be considerably more expensive. Not sure that's worth it atm to be honest. I agree tho Chaky, beep codes and screwdrivers will never go obsolete. Might still consider a cheap ebay one tho, just to see for myself how that's different to doing things manually, so basically to see the benefits of it. Caperjack has already pointed out an important downside.

Thanks all.

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drexdagboo
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thank you for your help the laptop is botting smoothly and beautifuly. i need to replace the cmos batt(?) its the watch batt i know that. and i am hoping that the ac power light that flasses green/roange is related to the problem. considering i just got this laptop with a hundred dollars for a 84bmw with frame damage and no tires. thank you for your help.

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Chaky
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A good deal. You got rid of the junk AND got yourself a laptop. Well done.

Mind you say what did you that made it boot again? Is it a RAM thing, or did it just boot by itself?

There is one sure way to test the CMOS battery. Simply unplug the AC cable and remove the main battery. If the date and time is reseted, then you know that you need new CMOS battery. It doesn't necessarily have to be coin-shaped one. Sometimes they are soldered.

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drexdagboo
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the ram was the problem, and now its running beautifuly.

the cmos batt was the issue with the green flashing on the fron cover. to fix that problem i let ti do something it hasnt done in a long time........boot up . its a rechargeable cmos that require a legenthy on period. i didnt guess that it was rechargeable so i am going to defrag tonight. this is the first defrag in how long? haha!

and the laptop did not come with any software at all.

i am in a tedious job of cleaning the keyboard.

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Thinka
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and the laptop did not come with any software at all.

Do you mean no operating system (such as Windows or Linux) or no applications/programs? If you're looking for relatively easily obtainable, "light", dependable OS, go for Ubuntu or Debian. Takes time to learn, but it is almost a guarantee that you won't be sorry!:)

You
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