Hi All,

First off - cool forum. Definately need this, this time!

OK. I've got a Toshiba Satellite A20 (PSA20C-0CH4DP) that normally runs great. However my 18 month old son had something that didn't agree with him, so he decided to throw up on the machine. Yuck.

So it's been cleaned up, and boots but *something* happens after booting (can be a few seconds to a few minutes later) and the screen goes white and the machine locks-up.

I took it to a tech, and he didn't think it was the HD. We thought it might have been the integrated wireless card -- but even with the switch to the side turned of, I still have the same problem.

The tech thinks it could be the motherboard, but in any event it would take about 2-hrs to open it all up and do a visual inspection -- which will end up costing several hundred dollars.

Does anyone have any ideas as to what the problem could be?

I've also tried to start the computer up in Safe Mode, but it still "crashes"

Any suggestions would be appreciated.



Recommended Answers

All 11 Replies

but in any event it would take about 2-hrs to open it all up and do a visual inspection -- which will end up costing several hundred dollars.

Puke on a laptop doesn't sound like a software problem.

But how do you want us to help you when even the tech guy, who has the computer right there, needs to open it up? Kids ARE expensive.


Puke on a laptop doesn't sound like a software problem.

But how do you want us to help you when even the tech guy, who has the computer right there, needs to open it up? Kids ARE expensive.


Well, I guess if this is a problem with the motherboard then I'd pay him to open it up, replace it and close it up. But if it is a problem with the LCD, then why pay to open up the motherboard?

I was looking for a tip as to what the problem could be.



Assuming the little one hit the keyboard and not the LCD the problem would point to the motherboard. If the system boots up for a short period before locking that could be a heating issue (fan stopped working) also.

Definatly look for puke. If the computer comes on then you can eliminate damage to some things. If the puke got on the keys, than the keys may have shorted out or if theres still a little bit of moisture between those keys the computer may see it as a person holding the key down forever. usually a computer will give a keyboard error during the post as if the keyboard had a stuck key or was broken.

The puke may have gotten into a cooling fan causing overheating and BAD SMELL. There is no way to get to this part unless you take the computer apart because of the fans being located deep inside.

The puke may have also fried some freaky component in charge of doing something. Something like this can be overlooked by techs and take forever costing you money. On the other hand, it may be a simple piece of plastic jammed somewhere causing fustrating sleepless nights worrying about it.

Ususally over time i have found the problem and been able to fix it. It just may take some time for it to show up.

Good Luck with that. (This is one of those freaky stories that i can add to my list of other freaky stories i have heard)

Are you sure that the laptop is completely Puke-free. If the next step is opening up the computer, I would attempt to do a more thorough job of cleaning with lint free rags, stiff bristle nylon brush, and isopropyl alcohol and maybe canned air. I would be careful that you don't push the Puke contaminants further into nooks and cranies that are hard to access. I doubt that the components have sufficient conformal coating to prevent Puke from causing shorts, etc. Also, if you are going to be digging around inside the case, you may want to consider an ESD wrist strap. Good Luck! Definately, a unique post.

this is an old post, but wanted to write this in case anyone needs it

i have puked (vomited, barfed, thrown up) on my laptop. it was two years ago. the only difference between its functioning then and now is that i cannot run on battery power now, and i had to buy a USB sound card.

the right half of the keyboard/base and an area in bottom right of LCD screen (about size of a CD) was covered in puke. i (tried to) turn the power off, and set it upside down on a towel.

due to the amount of alcohol consumed, i promptly passed out.

waking up, i found the laptop was not turned off and was still running. woops...anyway, unplugged it, and proceeded to clean and disassemble the thing (not always in that order). i had access to another computer and found the service manual for my compaq presario 2550ca online. using this, i was able to keep careful tabs on what i was taking apart. i took everything apart/out of the case except the cpu/heatsink/fan and floppy drive. these were on the left/unharmed side of the laptop.

the keyboard was in very rough shape - and i bought a new one. i can't remember if i tried booting with it or not - but, i seemed to reason that it was a problem. so, i bought a new one on ebay. much cheaper than through compaq ($40 or $50 vs $90 or $100)

got keyboard back in, and it booted up no problem. the speakers weren't initially working either - today though, i did get some sound. so, i need to retake it apart and investigate. maybe missed something last time.

but, this was 2 years ago when i puked on it, and it's still working fine. electronics can be submerged in water, and still work after. as long as they're dry when supplied with power, it's not a problem getting them wet. i was unaware of that before this. also, q-tips and water proved helpful in cleaning. as did compessed air when the stuff dried out.

hope this helps someone sometime


hey just pop open the hood above the keyboard loosen the two screws and flip your key board upside down and towards you. After that you clean it up. Unhook all the connections and clean the ribbons where they connect. Shouldnt take long at all:p

Thanks all for the tips and suggestions. I tried opening up what I could, and clean what I could.

Been many, many months, and the laptop seems to be running fine. Atleast the kid is happy with it. The sporadic problems of shutting down have gone away.

I keep the little one away from my new laptop now!



Hi Mohammed

try reintsalling the windows Xp

Anyone out there have a used A20 adaptor for sale??



I had the same problem last night,my son puked over the laptop, mostly he keyboard. WHile I was taking care of my son within two minutes of what had happened, a loud beep, alarm like, went off from the laptop. I immediately turned it off. Now the machines starts but I can not boot it, because the Ctl-Alt-Del wont work. Is is shorted and can not be revived?

many thanks in advance

Be a part of the DaniWeb community

We're a friendly, industry-focused community of developers, IT pros, digital marketers, and technology enthusiasts meeting, networking, learning, and sharing knowledge.