I have a notebook that went virtually dead after a memory upgrade:

The Toshiba Satellite M45 notebook came with 512MB RAM in one slot and a second empty slot. I attempted to remove the existing 512 and replace it with a 1GB stick and add a matching additional 1GB stick in the second memory slot.

Upon reboot, this resulted in the computer essentially freezing up, emitting a strange sound and displaying a flashing keyboard lighting sequence where the CAPSLOCK key lights up in green, and at the same time, green lights below the F10 and F11 keys turn on and then off. I have a video of the laptop posted on line that shows this phenomenon.

Currently, the computer won’t boot from the Windows XP disk and won’t boot to the bios. I attempted to put the computer back to its original state by uninstalling the new memory and reinstalling the original memory, but the computer started up with the same problems.

The original manufacturers spec sheet and a Belarc system scan done two months ago are attached as pdf files. The exact memory and computer specifications are as follows:

Memory: Initially configured with 512MB DDR SDRAM in one slot with second slot empty.
Attempted to remove existing RAM and add two sticks of 1GB Corsair Value Select RAM DDR-333 (PC-2700) SODIMM Latency 2.5-3-3-7-2T (VS1GSDS333) per the recommendation of the Corsair memory configurator. [http://www.corsair.com/configurator/system_results.aspx?id=55088]

Toshiba Satellite M45-S1691, Part No. PSM43U-D1700Q, UPC 032017408692
Processor and Chipset: Intel Celeron M Processor 1.6GHz, 1MB L2 Cache, 400MHz FSB; ATI Radeon XPRESS 200M Chipset
Main Circuit Board: ATI SB400 Rev0.4b
Bus Clock: 100 megahertz
BIOS: Phoenix Technologies LTD 1.50 08/11/05
Graphics: ATI MOBILITY RADEON X200M 8MB-128MB dynamically allocated shared graphics memory.
Hard Drive: 80GB 5400 RPM PATA, with NTFS file system
Fixed Optical Disk Drive: DVD SuperMulti (+/-R double layer) drive supporting 11 formats.
Power Supply: 65W (19V 3.42A) Auto sensing external AC Adapter, 100-240V/50-60Hz frequency (Universal) input.
OS: Windows XP Professional

The video of the problem is at this link: http://erc.blip.tv/#1021096

Any suggestions or other input is appreciated.

When you say it wont boot to bios do you mean:
You can't access BIOS settings

There's no BIOS information desplayed on boot (blank screen)

You can't boot past BIOS

Are you very experienced with PC hardware? The only thing I can think of with the information I have so far is that something was been physically damaged during the installation.

Yes, when I say it won't boot to bios I mean that I can't access the bios settings (which you can see in the video). I have some experience with PC hardware to the extent that I have built a desktop computer for myself and done assorted upgrades, ie memory, on the computers at the company I work for.

I get the sense that that doesn't qualify as a lot of hardware experience at this forum, but for better or worse, that's what I know. I don't have a degree in computer science but I am a voracious reader of PC publications, such as PCWorld magazine and books.

I do have an update to my request for help: I submitted a support request and got a call back from Crucial. The Crucial rep suggested that I take out all the memory and boot up. If I get a series of bios-related beeps, that would be good and mean the motherboard isn't fried. Starting up without the memory in place will reset the bios, he said. Then I should shut back down and put in the original memory and restart. I will try this out later this evening when I get to the laptop. I will update here after that.

The Crucial rep also said that they have heard of problems associated with this laptop's chipset.


So no BIOS access at all, you wouldn't be able to flash BIOS from the CD because it's not loading far enough to boot from a disk. Did it respond the same way with the new ram? (aside from the first boot when you got a partial windows load.

I am kind of curious if the disk starts spinning when you insert a valid boot CD (windows) but it probably doesn't matter.

Booting without ram to reset bios is probably the best course of action right now. You might not have "a lot" of hardware experience, but plenty to replace a ram module without physically damaging anything, so it's probably a BIOS issue.

Is your system out of warranty? If booting without ram doesn't fix it you might be able to send it into toshiba, their repair depot sucks, but gets the job done eventually.

PS: if you didn't send in your warranty card you can fudge the purchase date to make the warranty valid. As long as it's reasonable they'll trust you.